Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Business Card Holder: A Tutorial

I started making this Business Card Holder Book YEARS ago…as in 15 years ago…before my kids for sure.  This was back in the prehistoric days of crafting when finding pretty paper was very difficult and I had never heard of Matte Medium.  Back when Chipboard was called Cardboard and one would NEVER use it for an artistic project.  Back when paper, glue and book board all had to be ordered from specialty stores.  Now days, it's so much easier so I'm gonna show you how.
You will need:
Chipboard: My books were made with Medium Weight Chipboard.  For the smaller album, I used 2 pieces of 8 1/2x11 in chipboard I purchased at JoAnns.  For the larger album, I used 4 sheets (more below).

Business Card Inserts: These inserts are made to go in folios such as a Day Planner.  They are readily available but can be tad pricy.  I got mine at Office Depot.  They come in different sizes and formats- it comes down to just preference.  But be sure that you choose inserts that have holes that you can either thread the ring or sew the ribbon through.

My large pages are Office Depot brand (I used XXXX Sheets) while the smaller ones are Day-Timer brand (I used 2 packages).
Adhesive: I used both Ranger's Glue N Seal and Redline tape.  You would use just about anything you are comfortable using.  Be aware that Mod Podge has a lot of water in it which will require more time to dry and more care to ensure you get out all the bubbles.  Even if you chose a dry adhesive, I recommend sealing the papers with something like Glue N Seal or Mod Podge to help protect it.  This is NOT a project for a Glue Gun.
Redline Tape
Papers: I sued Heidi Swapp's Color Magic paper and some of Tim Holtz's Core'dinations papers.  It doesn't really matter what you use, any decorative paper will work.  I used Color Magic because it is very sturdy paper and I knew it would hold up to being used frequently.   In the past I used marbled papers and even beautiful wrapping papers from Papyrus.  
The Color Magic papers have a white background with inked designs as well as varnished areas.  The varnished areas repeal any color you try to apply giving the paper another texture.  The varnish (as opposed to embossing powders) won't melt under a heat gun.  
I will post a short tutorial on coloring the papers on Thursday. 
Foam Brush
Bone Folder
Seam binding or silk ribbon
Ring binding clips
Large Eye Needle: Bookbinding or Upholstery Needle
To Begin

  • For the large book I needed to laminate two pieces of chipboard together to make it sturdy enough to hold up to use.  My chipboard was labeled "medium weight" but felt pretty flimsy to me.  For the smaller book this isn't necessary.   Allow the glue to dry- preferable with the chipboard under something heavy to keep it flat. 
  • Measure the size of your inserts and add 1/4 to width measurement and 1/2 inch to length.  I always line up the left binding edges flush so you only need overhang on the opening edge.  You will need the overhang on both edges of the length.
  • Cut the chipboard covers.  I use a Zutter Cutter because I cannot get a straight cut with an X-acto and straight edge no matter how hard I try.  
  • Cut your front and back cover paper leaving 1/2 overhang on all 4 sides (add an inch to width and length).
  • You need to apply adhesive to the entire surface where the papers meet.  If you are using dry adhesive you need to apply it to the entire surface of the paper OR the chipboard.  If you are using wet glue you must apply it to the backside of the paper AND the chipboard.  If you don't you will end ups with air pockets which look bad and will rip easily. 
  • To get the cleanest corners, you need to push any overhang portion up over the point before you fold the sides up.  
  • Color Magic Paper is very thick, making it perfect for this type of project, but this makes it not want to lie flat after it's folded over.  The answer?  Clothes pins or binder clips. 
  • Work your way around the cover.  Use a bone folder for crisp edges and to be sure the glue is in good contact with the chipboard.  You may need to reapply glue because it starts to dry very quickly and you need very good contact with wet glue to ensure a good strong bond. 
  • Let that dry for 20-30 minutes before you remove the clothes pins.  Prepare the inside cover. 
  •  Here I used Redline tape.  I should have applied it to the entire surface so pretend I did.  
  • Even though I used dry adhesive here,  I covered both inside and outside covers with Glue N Seal to protect it. 
  •  This is the back cover- made the same way. 
  •  Set all pieces aside to dry overnight. 

  •  Line up the cover and one insert page- be sure to stack the left edges flush.   Make a mark- I used pencil where you want your holes to be. 
  •  Use a Crop-A-Dile or Martha Stewart Screw Punch to punch out the holes.  
  •  For this book I decided to use the Ring Binding Clips.  They are available at office supply stores  or if your husband is an Air Force Pilot they will be in every nook and cranny in your house (They use them to bind their flight book thingys do dads).
Thursday's post will include how to color the Color Magic and how I embellished the books. 

The Larger Book
Most of the process is the same…just bigger.  

 Until you hit the binding. 
  • Start with 3 yards of either seam binding or silk ribbon.  You need something that will withstand the repeat friction of the pages as they open and close.  Silk ribbon is available where they sell silk ribbon embroidery supplies.  
Look for silk ribbon packaged similar to this regardless of brand.
  • I usually use a large book-binding needle or upholstery needle to do this but it was late and I couldn't find mine so I faked it.  Make it easier on yourself and get a needle.  
  •  You begin by threading from the back cover, through the inserts and through the front cover.  Be sure to leave a tail for tying at the end 3-4 inches is sufficient. 
  • Zig Zag through the holes- if you have more holes than I did just keep the pattern up- until you reach the bottom.   Pull ribbon over to opposite side and begin the pattern again so that you end up with the ribbons crossing on the binding. 
  • When you reach the top again tie the two tails together in a note to secure.  You can leave it tied off with just the knot, tie it off with a simple bow, or add a multi loop bow like I did.

That's it for the basics.  Come back tomorrow for a final Halloween Project and thursday for the rest of this tutorial:  embellishing the book and coloring the Color Magic paper.

Laters Baby….
This post was linked to the following Linky Parties:
The 36th Avenue
Thirty Handmade Days
Just Us Four


  1. This is just beautiful card you have shared..i might need this info when use it for the design of Metal business cards..thanks you share it with us.

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