Tutorial: How to make a 3-ring binder pocket

I bet you think of a three-ring binder as completely utilitarian, something you pick up at the office supply or craft store. While some may be colorful or patterned, let's face it–they're not you.

DIY 3-ring binder tutorial | ClothPaperScissors.com

Did you know you can make a binder yourself? From scratch? You can create a completely custom binder that is not only functional, but beautiful. I am so happy to let you know that book artist and author Erin Zamrzla has a new Cloth Paper Scissors Workshop video out, Colorful and Custom Three-Ring Binder, which will take you through every step of the process, and there's no experience necessary. She even shows you how to create fun tabs and pockets for the inside. Erin is such a great teacher, and after watching this video (available as a DVD or download), you'll want to make tons more for you, your family, and friends. But wait–there's more! We also have a Three-Ring Binder Kit, so you can get started right away! Here's Erin with a technique from the video you'll want to try. ~Jeannine

Erin Zamrzla, artist

I love to organize. Often, when putting together a binder to keep a particular project in order, I create my own dividers and pockets. It is a way to use materials that I already have on hand, and it also gives me the chance to make everything look more interesting than inserts I'd find at the office supply store. The Colorful and Custom Three-Ring Binder DVD contains many different ideas for creating dividers and pockets to fill up your own custom binder. Here is a peek at one of them.

This simple pocket divider is made from just a few materials and is a great way to create storage for smaller items within a binder.


  • Cardstock, two pieces, 8 1/2" x 11" 
  • Metal ruler
  • Pencil
  • Cutting mat
  • Craft knife
  • Paper trimmer (this is optional, I often use just a metal ruler and craft knife)
  • Transparent tape
  • Washi tape
  • Three-hole punch

Make the pocket divider

1. Along the right edge of one piece of card stock, measure 7" down from the top and make a mark. Draw a line from this mark to the top left corner of the page. Trim along this line.

2. Flip over the trimmed piece of cardstock and place it to the left of the other piece of cardstock, edges touching. Place a piece of transparent tape along the entire length of both pieces of cardstock. Trim the excess tape at the top and bottom.

3. Fold the left panel back over to the right. Place a strip of washi tape along the bottom edge. Leave half of the width of the tape extending beyond the bottom edge, then wrap it around to the back. Add a piece of washi tape to the bottom 4" of the right side of the pocket, again wrapping it around to the back.

4. Add a third piece of washi tape along the angled cut. If desired, add a 2" piece of washi tape to the edge of the pocket divider as a tab, overlapping about 1/8". Add another 2" piece of tape to the back of the divider at the same spot.

5.  Punch the left edge of the pocket with a 3-hole punch and place it in your binder.

I hope that you enjoyed this mini-demo! You will find many more ideas and techniques, like this one, in my new video, Colorful and Custom Three-Ring Binder. And don't forget to get the Three-Ring Binder Kit! ~Erin




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