Friday, January 18, 2013

How to Make a Printable Mini Binder

In 2012, I wrote a blog titled How to Make a Home Organization Binder.  The blog has a great list of items to help a person get started with their 8.5 x 11 household binder.  Since then, I have expanded my interests and my shop into the realm of mini binders.  I love mini binders.  They are soooo cute!

My first endeavor into the world of mini binder pages came when one of my best friends who is a wholehearted Disney fan suggested that I design a Disney Vacation Planner that would fit into a mini binder.  She explained that mothers would love a planner in a size that could be carried all around the park in their stroller or purse.  She was so right!  I put together the Magical Theme Park Trip Organizer Vacation Planner and many mothers have been very happy to be able to easily plan all their details in one location (the mini binder).

*This post does contain affiliate links from Amazon.  I am an Amazon affiliate member and it helps me to keep on blogging!*

Magical Vacation Planner Via Designing Life

Since that time, Mini Binders have taken over!  This blog post will show you how to compile your Printable Mini Binder.  Here are some great ideas to get you started on the road to half sheet size bliss :-)

How to Make a Mini Binder

First, you need a mini binder.  While the full size paper binders come in an array of thicknesses, the mini binder is a thinner binder.  Most come in one inch size and are perfect for day planners, vacation planners, or half sheet size menu planners.  The possibilities are endless and adorably sized!

Here are three things to look for when buying your mini binder:

1. Find a binder with a clear outer pocket so you can label the binder clearly
2. Buy the sturdiest mini binder you can find
3. Go with a binder that will hold a 5.5 x 8.5 size sheet of paper and 5.5 x 8.5 dividers

Mini Dividers for Sections

Depending on the use of your particular mini binder, you can use dividers to separate sections in your petite notebook. If you are going to use it for a Disney Trip Planner, then you may want dividers to separate your daily plans from your restaurant reservations or separate your checklists from your notes.  The main thing is that you don't necessarily need to use all the dividers.  Use what you need for your small binder and save the rest for later!

Here are three things to look for when buying dividers:

1. Go with tabs that you write directly onto, the tab inserts can get lost in transport
2. Look for brightly colored dividers to make each section stand out
3. Again, durability is important; you may use some of your sections daily

My Finds

Paper Cutter

A paper cutter makes it easy to buy the standard size printables that are designed to be cut in half to provide two 8.5 x 5.5 mini pages.  Why specially buy paper when you can simply use your standard size and save tons of money and time?  Many companies sell 8.5 x 5.5 inserts and refills, but I absolutely cannot find blank 8.5 x 5.5 paper to be printed on! If you search for printables online (like the ones offered in my shop), you can find much more affordable sheets in the full size that can be cut in half perfectly for your mini binder.

Here are four things to look for when buying a paper cutter:

1. Buy a paper cutter that is at least 8.5 inches wide to cut across standard paper.

2. Go for the sturdiest paper cutter you can find

3. Make sure that the model you purchased has replaceable blades.

4. Find a paper cutter that is sturdy enough to cut through multiple sheets at a time without shifting

My Finds

Hole Puncher

A hole puncher is a must for a low cost mini binder project.  Many companies sell 8.5 x 5.5 inserts and refills, but they cost you a fortune!  If you search for printables online (like the ones offered in my shop), you can find much more affordable sheets that can be hole punched for your mini binder.  I suggest two hole punchers, one for your full size printables and one for your half size sheets.
Here are four things to look for when buying a hole puncher:
1. Buy a hole puncher that punches all three (or seven) holes at the same time
2. Go for the sturdiest hole puncher you can find
3. Make sure the paper hole compartment at the bottom of the puncher stays on securely
4. Find a hole puncher that can easily punch holes in multiple sheets at a time

My Finds
Perfect Pens
I love pens!  You want to find the best for writing on your new mini binder printables.  Some pens will bleed through to the next page, some will fade over time, and some do not leave the mark you intend to make on the page.  Therefore, you want to make the best decision you can and have a pen you love and will use.

Here are four things to look for when buying a pen:

  1. Leave the felt tips, the permanent sharpies, and the runny pens at the store
  2. Use a high quality ball tip pens for simple writing tasks
  3. For yearly sheets that you will use for reference, consider scrapbook quality pens
  4. Try out the pens at the store and find one that makes solid and obvious lines

My Favorites
Printable Mini Binder Pages

The point of having a household management binder is to have all of your home organizational planning accessible by flipping open a binder and easily finding the right section with just the right printable. We have the binder and the ability to easily access the right section, but what of the right printable? How do you find the right printable for you and your household?
Here are four things to look for when buying printables:
1. Find printables that will help you save time by planning ahead
2. Buy printable with an attractive design that will encourage you in your planning
3. Look for printables that you will actually use; all printables won't be a perfect fit for you
4. Mix and match, remember that there are many printable designers with great sheets

Etsy Sources for Mini Binder Printables

Designing Life Etsy Shop
- My Printable Planner Shop -

 Confetti Saturday Etsy Shop
- Planners Shop -

Crown Bindery Etsy Shop
- Planners, Binders, and Notebooks -

In Completion

Last but not least, if you are in need of specific mini binder pages, I am endeavoring to design more 5.5 x 8.5 sheets as I go.  Make a special request and I'm sure I can make it happen!  Thank you for stopping by my blog and I hope you picked up some helpful hints to begin your journey into the realm of mini binders!

Brooke Shambley

Owner/Designer at Designing Life

1 comment:

  1. That's such a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing this useful information.


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