Fabric covered 3 ring binder tutorial

Need a graduation gift or a cute way to organize all of your little ones projects from the past year? Personally, I keep thinking of all those ugly photo album books out there that could use some updating. How cute would a bunch of these look on the bookshelf?
Here is a tutorial to make one of your own, enjoy!

Fabric Covered 3 Ring Binder Tutorial
(Beginner Project: From start to finish project should take about 1 hour.)
Materials needed:
One 3-ring binder (I used one that was 21″ x 11.5″)
** You will need to adjust measurements of fabric and stabilizer depending on size of your binder**
2 pieces of iron-on stabilizer: 23″ x 12.5″4 pieces of fabric: 13″ x 8.5″ (for the pockets)2 pieces of fabric: 23″ x 12.5″ (outside cover of binder)
Trace around binder onto the two pieces of stabilizer and cut out.
Make sure the pieces of stabilizer are the exact size of binder.
Take one piece of stabilizer and fold in half.
Measure three inches from fold and cut.
You now have two pieces of stabilizer that will be used for the pockets.
Should have this.
Gather the fabric pieces.

Time to iron on the stabilizer.
Take two pieces of fabric sized 13″ x 8.5″ and iron stabilizer onto wrong side of fabric.
Take one piece of fabric sized 23″ x 12.5″ and iron stabilizer onto wrong side of fabric.

Should have this. Don’t worry about trimming off excess fabric.

Gather all the 13″ x 8.5″ pocket pieces of fabric.

With right sides together sew one piece of fabric with stabilizer to one piece without stabilizer. Make sure you sew on the straight edged side. (The rounded edges are the corners of binder.)Repeat for other two pieces.

Turn right side out and iron

Time to layer the pieces.

Place the 23″ x 12.5″ piece of fabric on table right side up.
Place one pocket piece on far right side and one on the far left side. (Straight folded edge is towards the middle and the rounded edges are on the outside.)
Now place stabilized 23″ x 12.5″ piece of fabric on top of pockets, stabilizer side up.
Carefully line up fabric so that all the pieces of stabilizer line up perfectly. This part is a little tricky. Pay special attention to the rounded edges of the pockets. You want to make sure all the pieces of stabilizer line up perfectly, if they don’t, it may look a little bulky on the edges.

Pin in place.

Leave a 2 1/2″ opening in the middle bottom of fabric. (Opening will be used for turning fabric out.)
With using the stabilizer as your guide sew together leaving 1/4″ space from stabilizer.
Trim off excess fabric. Reach into hole and pull fabric out. Iron. Hand stitch opening closed.

Place binder into pockets. Now your finished!
Please Contact me with any questions.

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  1. Tiffany says:

    Sweet – I just picked up a free stack of old business binders, and I'm going to start the school year with my Home ECO-Nomics class making new trappers out of old ugly binders, and giving them to kids who need trappers. Thanks!

  2. What a cool idea! I'm going to be sending my kids back to school with the coolest binders!!

  3. This is so adorable! I would love to make a few different ones. How pretty they would be on the shelf in my office instead of those ugly office ones!

  4. I would love to make several of these for my daughter. I envision her changing her binder covers like she might change her jacket, based on her outfit, the weather or just because.

    One question, if I make these out of cotton, will they be washable?

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is amazing. I have below basic sewing skills, I didn't even know what stabilizer was! This came out perfectly, I can see myself making many more of these. It did take me about 2.5 hours but mist of that was trying to work the sewing machine.

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  11. Nice post. I was watching continuously this site and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info especially the last part I care for such info much. I was looking for this specific info for a long time. Thanks and best of luck.

  12. Why are there two thicknesses of fabric? Can I make it with just one? Which is the fabric that shows? The ones with or without stabilizer? I only have enough fabric to do one layer, not two.

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