Sunday, September 9, 2012

Using Disc Binding To Make A Mini-Book

Last month I blogged at The Lilypad about the different methods of binding a mini book together. Since then I have discovered a new binding method that I had to try out!  It’s called disc binding.

I saw this system online in the DIY planner communities, where people love to DIY notebooks and daily planners by designing or downloading calendars and printable notebook pages, and then fully customize their planners.  When I saw it I thought, why limit it to planners?  There’s all kinds of possibilities with custom notebooks and mini-albums!  So I braved the back-to-school crowds and went to Staples to buy the supplies.

The system is called the Arc system and it’s available at Staples.  (Not in any way affiliated with them.  It’s just where it’s sold exclusively.) It’s basically a line of modular planners where you can move pages around however you like, because the pages are removable due to the special holes on it.  All the pages are bound with discs.

The discs come in 1” and 1.5” sizes.  I only got the 1” disks this time.

This is what they look like laid flat.

I bought the special hole puncher and started punching different sized scrapbooking papers.

See the holes?  They’re sort of mushroom-shaped half-circles with a slit.  I lined up a couple of pieces of paper and put the discs in.  Then I added more papers to the discs.  The different sizes can be put into the discs however you want to line them up.

And they’re totally removable! You can move one page into a different part of the book at any time, unlike traditional binding, where the page placement is permanent.

I added an overlay for the cover and back of the mini book and embellished it.  This mini book is sized 6”x8” overall, with different-sized papers in there.  I’m using this as my 30 Days Of Lists book. The discs look huge now, but once my notebook is filled with my lists and added embellishments and additional journal cards, it will become thicker.

And why stop at mini scrapbooks?  I took some 8.5”x11”  lined and graph papers and punched them with the Arc paper punch.  Then I added the discs and added white cardstock and a Hambly overlay as the cover.

I LOVE the concept of a DIY notebook, because you can add whatever type of papers in there you want!  They also sell Arc page dividers that you can add into your notebook, or you can make your own with some cardstock as well.  And with this system the pages are fully removable and re-orderable. I love it!


  1. I've been wanting to do this but last time I was in staples I couldn't find it! How much does the puncher cost? Also, are the pages really secure in the if I were to put a planner I make in my purse, will it stay together?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I haven't been able to find a new planner for this semester that I really liked & was hoping to make one with this system!!


  2. Hi Linda! The Staples Arc system is in a display by itself in the middle of the store, not in the aisles. The Arc system is actually a planner system. They sell 8.5x5.5 and 8.5x11 planners. The punch is $40. You can find out more about it here:

  3. ooh, that looks really cool and I hadn't seen it before! I wonder if that punch ever goes on sale.

    I already have a Zutter and can't justify another "system' at full price :D

    And I love that hexagon overlay!!!

  4. I own the Arc system because I love creating my own calendars and notebooks for journaling. I was not willing to pay for the Levenger system. I believe the hole punch for that system is ninety bucks!! Somehow I never thought to use it for mini books. Brilliant I say! I am off to make an 8.5 x 8.5 pet scrapbook, thanks for the idea!!

  5. I should add, by playing around with the size slider. I did the math and I think it can be done!

  6. I've seen that and thought about it more than once and always wondered if the pages stay in place well. The discs just don't seem like they'd hold everything firmly. But you seem pretty happy so maybe...

  7. The disks have indentations on both sides, so the papers are really not going to slip out. To remove a page, you have to gently pull it from top to bottom.

  8. That's awesome! I feel so late in reading this EXACTLY ONE YEAR LATER. At any rate, I love the idea with the discs. Now, to buy the punch...


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