Can’t Buy It? Make It! A 3-Ring Binder That’s So Unique

We’re so fortunate to have this online community, which brings together like-minded people. This feeling is reinforced every time I meet a new mixed-media artist, such as Erin Zamrzla. I spoke with Erin about her amazing 3-ring binders featured in her Cloth Paper Scissors Workshop DVD. She not only decorates this 3-ring binder, mind you, but also makes it from scratch (you can, too, with this three-ring binder kit from the Interweave store). Reading her answers to just three questions, I was inspired and enlightened. I think you will be, too.

DIY 3-ring binders |
Handmade 3-ring binder by Erin Zamrzla

CH: How did you come up with the creative idea to make your own three-ring binder?
EZ: My husband and I operate a small Etsy shop called Droplet, which offers a downloadable and self-printable planner and calendar. One of the planner designs is made to fit within a three-ring binder. Over and over, customers asked where they could find a unique three-ring binder. After researching and then discovering how few unique binder options are available for purchase, I realized that this would be a great project to make.

Handmade 3-ring binder kit |

CH: And so it is! You also create a variety of handmade books. What’s your favorite part of the process?
EZ: I love to select the materials for each project, such as mixing patterns, fun colors, and textures. I also enjoy the repetitive nature of bookbinding, including folding pages and sewing signatures. But my very favorite part is when a project is complete and I can hold it in my hands, turn it over, feel the weight of the paper, and flip through the pages. It is so satisfying to make something by hand.

Cloth Paper Scissors presents: 4 Free Articles on Handmade Books: Learn How to Make a Book Using Mixed-Media Techniques

CH: What advice do you have for someone who may be trying this out for the first time?
EZ: My best advice is to not be intimidated by working with new materials. Cutting book board and gluing large sheets of paper can be frustrating at times. Even if your first project doesn’t turn out perfectly, you will learn something through the process.

Don’t you love how Erin’s advice applies to so many aspects of creating art? As much as I love blogging and using social media to communicate with the world, I equally love and appreciate working with my hands. And it’s reassuring to hear that others get just as frustrated when trying out new techniques. Remembering this can help us get through any project that presents special challenges.

If you’re enticed to make your own three-ring binders for work, school, and more, you’ll want to start with the Erin Zamrzla Three-Ring Binder Kit. It includes the supplies that you’ll need to get started, including Erin’s Workshop DVD.

Until next time,

Update, regarding Board’s comment below: Hi board ~ it’s not just a binder . . . it’s a kit that includes a DVD workshop, an issue of PAGES magazine with binding techniques, and tools and supplies that you can use to make your own binder. Hope that helps! 🙂


3D Art and Assemblage, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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