So I went from clutter to organized, but the binder was ugly! I thought about asking Addy to color a page for the cover, and then got the idea to create a fabric cover. Here's what I did to cover a standard 1.5" 3-ring binder:
13" x 25" main fabric print for exterior
13" x 25" lining fabric
25" x 15" coordinating fabric to create the interior "pockets" to slide the binder into
4" x 5" clear plastic sheet (in the table cloth section at JoAnn's)
From the fabric, you'll need to cut to the following dimensions:
12.5" x 23.75" main print
12.5" x 23.75" lining
2 - 12.5" x 14" for interior pockets
3" x 4" clear plastic
water/air soluble marker or pencil or chalk
Next you will need to sew the clear plastic onto the exterior fabric. This creates a small pocket where you can add a label.
Using your marker/pencil/chalk, draw the following 4 lines:
3.25" left of the right cut edge
7.25" left of the right cut edge (3" over from the first line)
3" down from the cut top edge
6" down from the cut top edge
You only need the markings where you are going to place the plastic. I just made a few corner markings instead of full lines. Do whatever you're comfortable with.
Once the lines are marked, position the clear plastic in the area that you marked out. I don't like to pin through the plastic, so I pin at the corners like so:
You can see that I take a small bite with the pin before and after the corner, and the pin lays over the plastic.
Now go to your sewing machine and sew down the plastic along the sides and bottom - don't forget to leave the top open! I used a wide zig zag stitch. A straight stitch will work just as well, though.
Now grab the 12.5" x 14" pieces that you cut, and fold them in half wrong sides together so that they measure 12.5" tall x 7" wide. Press.
And we are ready to assemble the cover!
Lay the exterior print right side up. Take the 2 pieces that you just pressed and place them on the exterior fabric right sides together. Match up the raw edges and make sure that your prints are both facing the right way, if you're working with directional fabric.
I chose to topstitch the cover at the top and bottom, but only in the area between the pockets. If you topstitch the pockets, you run the risk of the cover being too snug for the binder.