Less than $2 actually…they were 2 for $3.
I was shopping this week and looking at binders to hold various papers for my office. Target had several really cute ones, but they were $14 a piece! I just didn’t want to pay that much since I needed at least three. Instead, I purchased the basic ones on the bottom shelf for $1 each, then stopped at the Dollar Tree to pick up more wood-grain contact paper for $1 a roll. (One 18 in by 1.5 yd roll covers two 1” binders with several inches to spare.)
This is a really simple project that makes a big difference on your desktop when you don’t have $45 to spend on binders.
- Peel off enough paper backing to lay down the closed binder on the contact paper. (We’re only covering half of the binder at this point.)
- Flip binder over and smooth out bubbles.
- Cut small V shapes out of corners of the binding so the contact paper will fold up nicely.
- Trim off the excess around the edges. About one inch overlap is a good amount.
- Trim off corners and fold them onto the inside of the binder.
- Fold in the three sides over the inside of the binder.
- If your binder has pockets, use a blade to cut open the contact paper so you can still use the pockets.
- Once the back of the binder is covered in contact paper, continue to cover the rest of the binder the same way, with a continuous sheet of paper.
Your $2 binder is done! If you choose to use contact paper, you have many patterns and textures to choose from, but you could also use wrapping paper or even brown paper bags like we did in school (I still think it’s not a bad look, definitely better than the plastic blue and white that binders come in). Just use double sided tape or spray glue to stick the paper to the binder.
I also have a cheap solution for the inside. It’s not that I didn’t want to spend money on divider tabs, I just kept forgetting to purchase them. So, I took a square of washi tape and folded it over each page I wanted the divider on. Write on it and your binder is divided!
Oh, and for the labeled portion of the binder, I didn’t want to write directly on it in case I changed the contents, so I took used some leftover wood grain paper, cut in the opposite direction of the grain of the binder and stuck that on top so the labels could be removed.
Sometimes it is really simple things that make a big difference in our homes, especially our home offices where everything tends to be cold and cubicle-like.
Do you have any fixes for typical ugly office accessories?