Thursday, January 12, 2012

Renewable Smash Book Tutorial

A while back, I made and uploaded a video on You Tube that dealt with what I called a renewable Smash book.

Since then, I've gotten a number of requests for a follow up tutorial on how I created the folders. I finally did go through the book explaining the mechanics of each folder, but I thought some instructions and pictures about the whole process might be nice for everyone interested to have a look at.The video dealing with the folders is at  I apologize in advance as it is really long. That is another reason that I added this blog entry!

First let me just say that I bought the actual small binders at Staples a few months ago.  They are still available and are a great way to keep a ton of your art related lists on and sketches etc.  Why do I use a 3D, real life book with paper?
  • First, it's not always easy to get cellphone reception in the store when I'm shopping.  
  • Although I use the apps on my phone when shopping at JoAnn's, Michaels and Archivers, they do send  paper copies or give you register coupons. So the new renewable book I'm making here will have a coupon folder to store all those in one place.
  • I'll have a place to store my Copic List, my Spellbinder and Sizzix list, my sewing pattern list and so on.
  • I'll be able to store a record of projects I want to do by putting pictures that I take with my phone, grab online or I can even sketch an idea...when I get one, LOL!
  • Finally, it's just plain fun! I've always loved paper and although I can scrap digitally and I am fairly good with photoshop, I just love cutting and pasting!
Enough, blah, blah! So here is what the binder looks like and works like.


Binder Cover
The binder has a "window" with an insert.  Remove the insert and use it as the template to create your binder cover.  This will be glued to your inside cover when you decide to recycle the binder to another use!

Inside Covers
Chipboard dimensions for the covers:  (these will become the mini album covers when you re-use the binder and in the meantime they do a great job of protecting your inside pages and folders)
Cut  2 chipboard pieces  8.5 inches x 6.5 inches.
Patterned paper dimensions for the outside of the covers (cut 2):
Cut 2 pieces patterned papers 8 x 10 1/4 inches.
Make sure the paper is in the right direction.

Fold the paper over the chipboard, then remove the chipboard and adhere it to the paper.

Cut all four corners and adhere each side.  I usually put a line of adhesive on the edge of the chipboard and the edge of the paper.

Patterned paper dimensions for the inside of the covers (cut 2):
Cut two pieces, 8 7/16 x 6 15/16 inches

Adhere paper to inside of the cover.

Use your crop-a-dile to cut three holes that match your binder! Your covers are done, now on to the folders!

The folders for this size binder are easy to make!  I use a 12 x 12 inch sheet of double sided cardstock which I either cut to 6 x 12 or leave full size.  Let's start with the 1/2 folder!

Single Folder
Cut your 12x12 paper in half from the top to the bottom. Put the side of the paper you want to have the pocket facing up on the table. Fold  bottom up 3 1/2 inches. Add double sided tape.

Remove the protection from the tape and fold up and adhere the flap to the main part of the 

Glue the flap to the main piece. You have a single sided folder.

Double Folder
Place your 12x12 sheet with the side that will have the flap up.

Fold the paper up at 3.5 inches.

Fold in half from left to right.

Open the folder and put double sided tape on the outer inside edges of the flap.

Take off the protective white protection and adhere the flap to the main part of the folder. Refold in half and decide if you want the holes on the fold or open side.

You can see a number of variations of the folder in the video tutorial!  Thanks for looking!