Thursday, August 11, 2011

Best Binding EVER

This may or may not already be out there in bloggerworld, but I haven't seen it, so I'm claiming the idea as my own ingenuity.  (If it's been posted before, I can only say, "Great minds think alike."  Wink, wink.)

This will revolutionize your flip charts.

I have read on several Primary-music-related sites about taking printed and laminated flip charts somewhere to have them bound.  I'm not sure what type of binding is available these days, but I can imagine it might cost a pretty penny after your first dozen flips charts or so.  Not to mention TIME, which happens to be my most valuable commodity.  The office-supply/copy-shop binding I've seen in the past (it's been many years, mind you), was that black plastic spiral-type binding.
I'm not a fan.

So I brainstormed a use-what-you-have solution, and came up with this:

 Packing tape.  Best binding tool ever.

Step 1:  Print and laminate your flip chart.

Step 2:  Start your first strip of tape on the inside of the first page (the title page is on back).  Make your strips slightly longer than the edge you are binding.

Step 3:  Turn the first side over, tape-side-up, and place the next page along the edge, leaving about a 1/8" gap between the laminated edges.  Press firmly.

Step 4:  Fold the second page over, lining it up with the first, and crease the tape at the bottom (there will still be a little sticky edge left).  Carefully trim the outside edges of the overlapping tape off.

Step 5:  Begin the process again, taping along the edge,

then turning it sticky-side-up, carefully placing the next page, folding it back on itself (to it's correct song order), and trimming the edge, until all of your pages have been added (I've bound a flipchart with a dozen pages this way and it still works amazingly well).

Step 6:  To finish the outside binding, use one more piece of packing tape.  Place the tape along one side of the flip chart, then turn it over and carefully fold the sticky side down.  Trim the edges, and voila!
The perfect binding.

Once you get the technique down (there's not much of a learning curve, here), you can bind an entire flip chart in 5 minutes!!  No running to the office store or copy shop.  No big investment needed (you don't even need a tape dispenser).

And the benefits are enormous:

*Your flip chart is completely flat.  It fits perfectly in a file folder and/or your church bag.  You can have 6 flip charts in your church bag and still have room for your scriptures.
(This is my 12 page flip chart -- all three verses.  See how flat it is?  Awesome.)

*Should you mess up while making your binding, that packing tape rips off the lamination without damage.  No problemo.  And should you need to add another verse or change a picture (I had our Bishop's picture on the Fathers flip chart I made, and he was released the next week... I won't be tossing the flip chart OR making another one, just printing a new page for next year - or the next year - and replacing the old page), not only is it doable, it's pretty darn easy.

*Even though replacing a page is easy, once bound with packing tape, your flip charts are amazingly durable AND flexible.  You can flip a page all the way over, if needed.  You can even add a descant page!
Ta-da!  This page is attached, but can be taped up inside the cover should you choose NOT to sing the descant (which may be too tricky for those junior Primary kids).  The top pages can continue to flip:

*The binding possibilities are endless.  Long-side, short-side, edge, bottom, accordion-style...

Try it, you'll like it :-)


  1. Your awesome! That idea is awesome! Is there a laminator you recommend that supplies tons of low prices materials to go with, what do you use?

  2. Tina, I recently discovered your blog. You have done a great job on it. In fact, I like your idea on binding. It is similar to what I have done for some of my visuals. I just did a post explaining what I do with my flip charts and I linked your binding page to my post in my blog as a great option. I hope you don't mind. Thanks for sharing your great ideas.

  3. @unknown I was searching for a good laminator when I got my primary chorister calling, and I found one at Hobby Lobby, called a Purple Cow, for around $70. That was TOO much for me! Then randomly, at Costco, they had the exact same machine (I think, anyway) with 100 hot pockets (the laminating sheets) for $20!! I jumped on that! And it works fabulously!! I love the thing. So, if you have access to a Costco, check in their office supply area- I saw them a few weeks ago too, so I think they may still be there. Good luck!

  4. Finding out that perfect design company that would meet your requirements would actually seem a bit difficult. Best Binding Supplies

  5. Yes the way you put the song together is great but the way you did the sheets for Give Said the Little Stream was fierce especially to a tech challenged chorister. I try my very best I do, but could you make each sheet downloadable? It was the best. Thanks