Vintage Book Expanding File

I wanted to have a few new examples for my vintage book planner notebook demo next weekend at the Maker Faire. (Here are some from last year, a few that I will be bringing with me again.) I spied a brand new letter-size expandable file at the thrift store the other day and thought it would be fantastic nestled into a vintage book cover.

I have a couple of 3-ring Better Homes & Gardens vintage binder books, one of which I just found today at the recycle area of our county transfer station. They are both perfectly sized for this project, but I chose The Handyman’s Book for its awesome graphics.
You can use any hardcover book that fits the expandable file. But if you choose to use a binder, first you need to get the 3-ring mechanism out of there by any means possible that won’t destroy your cover. I tried drilling out the rivets, but in the end it was a bit of a rip-and-tear on my part. No biggie, it’s easy to cover up. And look, the original pages stay in tact, they will be a fun resource!I used some 7Gypsies red measure paper tape to cover up the torn hole area and around the inside edges of the book, not because the edges needed it but because that tape just went so well with the design of the book.To create an elastic closure, you can use narrow stretch hair/headbands from the drugstore, which usually come in packs of assorted colors. Cut the headband and pinch the ends together with ribbon end crimps. You can tie a knot but that may create too much bulk within the book cover.Use a hole punch and hammer to create a hole in the center back of the book cover. You can also use EK Tools heavy duty punches if your book cover isn’t too thick. The nice thing about the EK punches is that they won’t open any further than they can punch, so you’ll be able to tell right away if your cover is the right thickness for them. My book binder cover was very thick, so the hammer method worked best. In a pinch you can also use a drill.Fold the center of the elastic band and slide it through the hole in the back of the book with the loop to the outside. Tape down the crimped end on the inside book cover.Goop up the expandable file covers with your preferred adhesive. I used E6000 for this project. You should not glue the bottom section that will be at the spine of the book.Place the expandable file into the covers. Lay flat and stack weight on top while it dries. Use clamps if necessary around the top edges to finish.Now I’ll have to decide what to file in it. It will be easy enough to cover over the alphabet tabs with little file labels if I decide to file by subject. This just might make a great file for magazine inspiration clippings.

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