Today’s post is inspired by a comment on my lens Science Notebooking:
Hi, I just came across your site and LOVE it! I have been doing notebooks for years and I appreciate your freebies and ideas! My problem right now is this…I love to use a 3 ring binder but the darn pages rip and fall out (especially for my messy kiddos). I have been using composition notebooks. They work okay, but I’m looking for the perfect solution.
So the problem at hand is pages that tear out of three ring binders. I’m going to answer this one with a video. A text post follows for those of you who would prefer to read rather than watch.
Three ring binders are, by far, my favorite type of notebook even though we do use other types. But it is true that pages can easily rip out of them.
There are four methods for reinforcing pages so that the holes don’t rip. (These methods also work for holes that have already ripped.)
1. Use High Quality Paper
We tend to use a fair amount of cardstock in our notebooks. It can hold up to a lot more pressure than normal notebook paper. And by the way, copy paper is going to be thicker than notebook paper. I try to buy the heaviest weight paper when I’m shopping. It does cost more, but it feels nicer and holds up far longer than cheaper paper. Maybe changing the weight of the paper you use will be a solution.
2. Page Protectors
The easiest solution is to use page protectors. Because they are plastic, they rarely rip from the binder. Stick with the better quality ones, in other words, slightly more expensive ones, for best results. Page protectors give a uniform appearance to your notebooks and make them look really classy.
But there are some cons t0 using page protectors. First, they do cost money that you may want to spend. In addition, they make your notebooks thicker, so you may need even larger binders than before. Also, page protectors ruin any interactive features you may have in your notebooking pages. Let’s say you have minibooks pasted on or brochures that open. Obviously, you can’t access those with a page protector in use.
But bottom line, page protectors prevent pages’ ripping out.
3. Stick on Hole Reinforcers
We keep these on hand because we are avid notebookers. The do work, especially when a single hole has been torn through. But it is hard to find reinforcers that actually stick! A lot of them come loose and do no good at all. So to be honest, these are not the best option.
4. Patch With Tape
This last method may not look great, but it works. You can use tape — masking tape, clear tape, patterned duct tape — along the margin of the paper. Holes punched in the taped area are not likely to rip through.
As a caution, you need to know that this solution may gum up your hole punch depending on the tape you use.
We reserve this method mainly for pages that have ripped through on two or three holes and need major help with staying together.
So those are the four ways we deal with pages that rip out of three ring binders. Do you have any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them in a comment here on this post.