CRAFT Project: Customized 3-Ring Binders

Jenny Ryan

Jenny Ryan is an artist, crafter, and maker of things. She lives in Los Angeles with a pack of various animals (including her husband) and writes about her adventures in creating at Exit Through the Thrift Shop.

4 Articles

By Jenny Ryan

Jenny Ryan is an artist, crafter, and maker of things. She lives in Los Angeles with a pack of various animals (including her husband) and writes about her adventures in creating at Exit Through the Thrift Shop.

4 Articles

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It’s no secret that I love HeatnBond, it’s a must-have for appliqué projects and is perfect for all kinds of no-sew fabric applications. But a lot of people don’t realize you can use it with paper, too!
I found these simple paper and fabric binders (made by Russell + Hazel) at a local shop here in Silver Lake. I like their clean yet sturdy design, and that they were made using 100% post-consumer materials. The large binder is Davey Board (think: heavy chipboard) and the smaller binder is board covered with green linen. They look beautiful as-is, but I thought they’d look even cooler with a few simple embellishments. So here’s what I did.
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I picked out a few fabric scraps and ironed some HeatnBond Lite iron-on adhesive to the backs. Then I found a font I Iiked on my computer and printed out a phrase (“Home Ec.” in this case) in 2″ high letters. I taped the printout to a window in my office, then taped the fabric on top and traced the letters using an ink pen.
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Then I cut out the letters using my favorite scissors, which our “Old School” columnist Cathy Callahan turned me on to. They have a very fine angled tip, which makes them perfect for detailed snipping work like this.
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Peel off the HeatnBond’s paper backing and place the letters adhesive-side down on your binder. Using a dry iron on a medium setting, iron them into place. I covered my letters with a floursack tea towel first just to be safe–as I wasn’t sure if the iron would discolor the board or linen–but it ended up taking the heat well. Just try to work quickly so you don’t warp the binder in any way–fuse the letters down bit by bit if you need to.
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All done! For the large binder, I simply freehand-cut some teardrop shapes out of my fabric scraps. I’m ready to go back to school now! Oh wait…

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