Thursday, August 13, 2009

Coil Binding for Journals

Gina asked about how I bind my journals. Several years ago I was teaching some workshops on travel journals and I splurged and bought myself a holepunch for coil binding, (like the plastic coil used in spiral notebooks). This isn’t your everyday holepunch; it punches a jillion holes at once, perfectly spaced, through several sheets of paper. It wasn’t an economical move but I’ve loved being equipped to create my own unique spiral/coil bound journals with my paper of choice. I like the coil binding for my sketchbooks because I can turn the pages back on themselves and have a solid platform for writing or making art. I bought my coil punch from Bonnie’s Best.
Most copy stores will be able to coil bind your books for a small fee, usually around $5. Assemble your pages, clamp them firmly with some bulldog clips on every edge except where the spiral coil goes… and on that edge put a big yellow Post-it with an arrow pointing to the edge you want punched… PUNCH HERE. They may take off the bulldog clips but hopefully the note will stay in place and they’ll do it right.
Sometimes when I have a hardback book that I’ll be using a lot in the studio I’ll take the book to the copy store and have them slice off the spine along with about ¼” of the spine edge of the book, and have holes punched in the book so it will fit into a 3 ring binder or punch it for a big fat coil if they have the large size in stock.


  1. First Jo: Happy Anniversary to you both! What a great way to celebrate.
    And second thanks for the tip on coil bindings. The holidays are list has started....

  2. Thank you so much Jo. You're not only talented but kind. Today's post was very helpful & affirming. You're the 2nd person that recommended the RubiCoil binding system to me (hint to hubby: b-day gift!! :). Watercolor journals are so pricey. It's time that I make my own. BTW, this is also why I'd need it!

  3. Oh yes, Gina, you certainly need the RubiCoil. It's so much cheaper to make your own watercolor journals this way than to buy them, and you can choose your own paper and size. You could make each page slightly wider than you really want and if the painting is a best seller you can cut it out of the journal. I like the idea of using photo corners to put the paper into the journal.


I appreciate comments and questions.

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