This is my first time posting a project. I hope I do everything alright!
Of course, where I live everyone gets the same kind of binders because school supply shopping is split between Wal-mart and Staples and so no one's ever that original. In fact there's two guys in my class that have the same binder as me except in green. And I've seen a lot of people walking around the school with the same binder. I do like the binder because it zips up, it's got 2" rings and there's even a nice little file folder inside to store everything that won't stay like it's supposed to. I finished sprucing up my binder today and I thought I'd share, but I've also got some advice for anyone who is thinking of customizing their own binders because as you'll soon see, I've tried a few things.
I have wanted to do this since August, when I originally bought my school supplies. When I did a search on craftster I found some stencils that had been put on to plastic binders, and I decided that would work on a cloth binder, too. I thought it would look awesome if I stencilled different band logos onto my binder in black. Let's just say that it's no fun to cut out lots of little stencils with letters and other details in them and you soon develop a deep loathing for the exacto knife. Basically I got sick of cutting otu stencils fast.
Then I thought, "Hey! I can print off the stencils onto iron-on paper" and it'll still look the same, but it'll be a lot easier. HUGE mistake. I would advise that no one ever tries this. Not only is the binder reinforced with plastic ont he inside, but this particular binder had a plastic type component in the material. So, what happens when a hot iron meets a plastic binder? Not only does the plastic on the inside melt and morph into a funky but unusable new shape, but the "plastic" material melts onto the iron and everything you try to iron for months afterwards turns orange until you eventually breakdown and buy a new iron and cover for your ironing table. And then you go back to wal-mart and buy the same binder except it's no longer horribly deformed.
My last idea before school started was to try attaching the patches I had been collecting over the summer to this new binder. These were all Iron on appliques but no way was I going to use the iron my binder. So I tried to sew them on. Bad idea. The sewing machine didn't work because not only was it thick and plasticky, but I also didn't want to sew right through the file folder on the front part. So I tried to sew them by hand but of course they are super thick and it's hard to hand sew iron-on patches onto the top layer of a a thick plasticky material. So after killing my finger before even getting the first patch on, I decided the patches would look much better on my purse and the iron got along just fine with it, I must say.
So I left it at that until November when a mysterious brown stain appeared on the stain. (Like honest to god, it appeared over night, which amazes me.) That kind of grossed me out, and I figured there had to be some way to fix it. So, between training every night for basketball, school, band and of of course the ever important social life I didn't have a chance to anything to fix it up. So it got put off until this weekend, which just so happens to be turnaround weekend, so I had to empty out my binder anyways. And I decided we were either going to salvage it or buy a new one. It started by painting it with black acrylic paint. My mom was worried that it would crack and she was probably right. So I decided maybe it would have been better in fabric paint, so why not do that. Of course the only kind of fabric paint that I have enough of just so happens to be silver-glitter puff paint. So on it goes. Now, I must say that a mass attack of silver glitter on black paint looked REALLY good on the back of the binder, but ont he front, where there's a mesh pcoket it kind of looked like someone had gone a little crazy. (Which I probably did.)
So I decided I would go to Wal-mart and buy red fabric paint and a new binder with no pocket on the front. And make it look a whole lot better. First of all, Wal-mart and the other stores I went to didn't have a very good supply of binders, or atleast not ones I liked more than the one I had, and none wide enough. So, I headed down to the craft section so that I could buy something to save the monstrosity that was at home. I found red fabric paint, but I had also been entertaining the idea of decoupaging my binder for some time, except that a)I was lacking in modpodge and also b) something cool to cut up. I found some cool scrap-book scrap paper things and I thought "Hey, that'd be cool to decoupage" but then I found those Collage Paper scraps that they sell with themes. And I fell in love. So after an entire bottle of Mod Podge, a pack of this paper and a few hours of work yesterday this is what I got. I must say I love it. But, I wish I could have skipped right to this part and not tried other methods first.
Inside (I Decoupaged the first divder with the same stuff)http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v254/neocruiser2000/e926512f.jpg
I think it turned out good and I want to do another, just 1" one for Spanish that starts tommorrow night. I think I'm addicted to Decoupage!