Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tutorial | Binding a Mini Album with the Bind-It-All


I’ve had my Bind-It-All machine for quite a few months but hadn’t gotten up the courage to use it.  I had heard it was difficult to use.  I had also heard horror stories of how people messed up the punching and wasted lots of papers and supplies.  So it was with some trepidation that I decided to finally break out my Bind-It-All and learn to use it.  March is Mini-Madness Month at Write.Click.Scrapbook., which provided me with the perfect opportunity to use the Bind-It-All. 

I had pinned this awesome tutorial by my WCS teammate Francine Clouden. I followed the main gist of her tutorial, except for the punching part. I will show you my process step-by-step! :)

The mini album I made is 6”x8”.  I used the March Main Kit from Gossamer Blue, a monthly scrapbook kit club.  They were very kind to sponsor a week during the Write.Click.Scrapbook. March Mini Madness Month, and they sent me a kit to make my mini album.  The first step was cutting all the papers and cardstock into 6x8 pieces.  Since this post is very photo-heavy already, I won’t show you the cutting process.  I think everyone knows how to cut paper already. :)

After cutting all the paper, I put them in the order that I wanted them in my mini album.  I also added some 4x6 cardstock, journal cards, envelopes, and shipping tags.  I placed everything where I wanted them, in the sequence I wanted them in my book.  I made sure everything was lined up.

Next, I took out my 3/4” silver o-wires and eyeballed how many rings I would need for my mini album. It looked like for my 8” side, I needed to punch 14 holes.

I dug out the instruction booklet that came with my Bind-It-All.  It has instructions for different sizes and how many holes you would need.  It turns out my guess was correct.  For an 8 inch cover, I would punch 14 holes.  The instructions even tell you how to do so.

I put the Bind-It-All in the middle.  To the right was the stack of papers that still needed to be punched.  To the left are papers that have been punched already.

For the first holes in each set of papers I punched, I moved the tab on the machine to C.  The reason is, when you move the lever to C, there’s a guide that stops the papers from going further to the right.  It gives you the exact starting point to punch your papers so that your holes are lined up correctly.

The machine can only punch six holes at a time.  Therefore, you have to move the lever to B for continuous punching after the first set of holes have been punched.

The instruction booklet told me that for my 8” cover with 14 holes, I need to move my papers over to the 5th hole and line up the notch into the 5th hole so that the position of the paper is correct for the next punch.

I forgot to take photos of the next step.  After the 2nd punch, the instruction booklet told me to move the papers to the right again until the 7th hole is lined up with the notch.  Then punch one final time to finish.  This gave me 14 perfectly spaced holes.

For the cover, I cut a piece of patterned paper to 8x12.  Then I folded it in half and ran the folded part through the Bind-It-All exactly as I did above with the inside papers.  This gave me two sets of holes.  Then I scored the paper half an inch from the middle on each side to create the fold.

I used my Silhouette to cut some words out of the solid cardstock pages.  I waited until after I punched my holes to do this, so that I can be sure to cut my words so that they didn’t run into the punched holes.

Then on the other side of the word cut out, I sewed a piece of patterned paper to make a pocket in the album. The pattern on the underside would show through the cut-out words.

This is what the sewn pocket looks like.

More words cut out with sewn pocket on the back.


Sewn pocket again.

Next, it was time to make the cover.  I adhered two pieces of 6x8 thin chipboard to the inside of the cover to make it sturdy.  I took care to only put adhesive in the middle part of each piece, because I planned to sew the cover together all the way around the edge and I didn’t want adhesive to gum up my sewing machine needle.

After the chipboard pieces, I adhered a piece of 6x8 cardstock to the chipboard, making a 3-layer cover.  I had punched the piece of cardstock with my Bind-It-All, in the same way that I did the patterned paper cover.  When I adhered the yellow cardstock to the chipboard pieces, I took care to line up the punched holes with the patterned paper piece underneath the chipboard pieces.

Then I took the 3-layer cover and sewed all the way around the whole cover.

The cover, after I sewed all the way around.  The stitching added a cute decorative touch, but it also served to ensure that my 3-layer cover held together! :)


Next, it was time to finally bind everything together.  In order for the binding to be hidden inside the mini album instead of the outside, you’ll need to put all your papers in order, with your cover around it, just as if it’s already bound and you’re holding the album in your hands.  Then, you flip the back cover up so that it sits on top of the front cover. This step is extremely important!

Then you start inserting the o-wire from the back of the book into the front, a few pages at a time.

Once the o-wire is in place, you can finally bind it. But first, you need to use the measuring templates that came with the machine to adjust the plate the right distance from the binding mechanism.  I forgot to take a photo of that step, but it’s very important.  I took the measurement template for the 3/4” o-wires and adjusted the binding plate to that exact size. Here’s a photo taken from the Zutter Bind-It-All website that shows the measurement templates.
You can see a video here on how to use the measurement template.

Next, I put my book with the open o-wire in it straight down against the plate.  Then I pushed the lever down to bind my book, a few rings at a time.

When it’s done, I flipped the back cover back. This is what the inside back cover looks like, with the binding “seam”.

The inside front looks normal, with just the rings.

A closer look at the inside back cover, where the o-wire meets.

The spine of my bound book.

The bound pages.

That’s it!  Using the Bind-It-All wasn’t nearly as scary as I had imagined it to be.  It just takes some planning and following instructions.  As someone on Instagram told me… Measure twice and punch once, LOL!

I will be back with another post in a few days, with photos of the inside of my mini-album and the pages I’ve made. :)  Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments for this post and I will try to answer them the best I can.


  1. Love the tutorial, I have a Bind It All as well and its collected some dust. Feeling motivated to bind some scraps!

  2. Love the tutorial, I have a Bind It All as well and its collected some dust. Feeling motivated to bind some scraps!

  3. Wow great tutorial!!! I don't have a bind it all, but have been curious about this tool!! You make me want it.

  4. I like the looks of the spine! Thanks for sharing how to do this.

  5. I've seen lots of Bind-It-All projects before, but never with that clever spine detailing. Great results, Christine!

  6. The cover detail is wonderful as well as your stitched pockets. I love my Bind-It-All but I definitely agree with the measure three times and punch once. And I think it gets easier as I use it more, as long as sit on the shelf time hasn't been too long.
    Thanks for the detailed tutorial!

  7. I have made a number of mini books with my Bind It All, but none with this type of wraparound cover. It makes everything look so much more polished - love the end result! Love! Can't wait to unpack my craft room and get started on one. Thanks for all the details.

  8. awesome tutorial. I never thought to include the cover fold inside the rings.

  9. Love the book! Super cute papers !

  10. WOW! Love the wrap around cover idea!


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