Make Your Ring Binder Stand Out: A Sewing Tutorial For a Fabric Cover

Hello, my crafty friends!!!

Keeping organised and productive is challenging, especially if you have a lot of work or study materials to keep track of. A ring binder is an essential tool that can help you keep everything in one place and easily accessible. However, standard binders are plain and boring, and store-bought covers may not reflect your style.

A great solution to this problem is creating a custom ring binder cover. Not only does this allow you to tailor the cover to your exact binder dimensions, but it also allows you to express your creativity and add a personal touch to your organisational system.

Creating a fabric cover for your binder is easier than you may think. Here are some simple steps to help you create a custom size fabric cover for your ring binder:

Materials Required:

  • The fabric: You will need external, accent and lining fabric of your choice. You can use various types of materials, such as quilting cotton, canvas, denim, corduroy, cork or vinyl. I used a faux leather fabric for the main external piece and quilting cotton for the accent and lining pieces. If you are looking for a new fabric, check out Minerva! They have a large selection of beautiful materials available in many colours and prints!
  • Sewing machine, thread, and needle to sew the ring binder cover.
  • Measuring tape and ruler to create the paper pattern.
  • Fabric scissors to cut out the fabric.
  • Iron to press your fabric and fuse the woven interfacing and stabiliser.
  • Fusible woven interfacing: When working with a lightweight fabric, such as quilting cotton or cotton poplin, you may need to interface it with some woven interfacing. I like to use Pellon SF101. 
  • Stabiliser (optional): A stabiliser is not required, but if you want to make more of a structured cover, I recommend using Fusible fleece or a Decovil light.

Step 1: Create a pattern

Before you start, measure the dimensions of your ring binder. You will need to know the height and width of the binder to create a custom-fit cover. 

I have a detailed video tutorial on my YouTube channel if you need help figuring out how to start.

Step 2: Cut the fabric

Using the pattern you created, cut:

  • One piece for the front and two accent pieces from the external fabric 
  • Two pieces for the sleeves from external and lining fabric
  • One piece for the main panel from your lining fabric

Step 3: Prepare the fabric

Adding interfacing and stabiliser can make a significant difference in the overall look and durability of the binder cover. So, it is essential to consider the fabric type and intended use before deciding whether or not to add these additional materials.

Add interfacing to the back of the fabric when using a lightweight, stretchy or prone-to-fraying material such as Pellon 101. This adds stability to your fabric.

You can also use a fusible or sew-in stabiliser if you prefer to make a more structured cover.

To add interfacing or stabiliser to the fabric, cut a piece the same size as the fabric and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fuse or sew it in place before proceeding with the rest of the steps.

Step 4: Sew the cover

  • Stitch the accent pieces to the external front with the right sides facing each other. Open the panels, press the seam allowance to one side and topstitch along each seam.
  • Place the external and lining sleeves right sides together and sew along one side edge. Turn the sleeves right side out, press the seams flat and topstitch along the finished edge.
  • With the right sides facing up, align the sleeves along the side edges of the main lining piece and baste them in place.
  • Place the outer and lining cover with right sides facing each other, and sew together, leaving an opening in the middle of the top edge.
  • Reach into the opening and turn the cover right side out. Use a corner shaper or a chopstick to push out the corners.
  • Fold the edges of the opening in and pin them in place. Close the gap by hand using a ladder stitch or topstitch around the cover about 2 mm (1/*”) from the edge.

Step 5: Slide the binder into the cover.

And that’s it! Your custom-size ring binder cover is now completed. You can experiment with different fabric patterns and colours to create a fabric cover that reflects your personal style. Plus, having a unique cover will make it easier to identify and keep your binders organised.

And there you have it! A custom-size ring binder cover that fits your binder perfectly and adds a personal touch to your organisational system.

I have created a detailed video tutorial so you can sew along with me.

Creating a fabric ring binder cover is a fun and easy project. The possibilities are endless, whether you choose to use a pattern or create one from scratch. So why settle for a plain and boring binder when you can create a custom one that is uniquely yours? Give it a try and see the difference it makes!

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