Wednesday 28 December 2011

Making transparent dividers with floating tabs

I often produce bound reports for clients, so I have a variety of report binding machines. I also have a stock of clear plastic covers, like these:

There are fifty in a pack. Each one will yield three Personal size flyleaves, or two A5 ones, provided you have a ruler, a craft knife and a hole punch. So far, so good.

However, another use for them is to cut them out with tabs at the top or side to make transparent dividers. On the face of it, this is a silly idea, because the one thing you want your tabs to be is visible, but bear with me.

You can either cut from measurements or you can draw around a template using a CD pen. An exisiting flyleaf with a Post-It index tab on it makes a good template to draw around. If you place the straight edges at the corner of the sheet, you need only draw around and cut two edges rather than four.

Use a label maker next to make your tab titles. Use a small setting for the text. I always have to trim the labels my maker produces to use them on tabs. I find that if I use the 'box' setting, the label maker will make some nice cutting lines for me:

Cut down the labels and add to the tabs - front and back - and add to your binder. You'll find the labels seem to float in the air:

It's a nice look. My thanks to Vanjilla, who suggested I write this idea up after I mentioned it on her blog.


LJ said...

And another thing to add to my Amazon basket :o)

These look great, and no chance of the tabs getting damaged.

Ray Blake said...

Indeed. You can buy them in different thicknesses, too. Mine are 150 microns, which I think are the same thickness as the official flyleaves. But you should be able to get 200 or 250 if you'd like them to be even sturdier.

Vanjilla said...

Wow, Ray,
this thing you made looks sooooo pretty! Thank you thank you thank you!!! :)
Can't wait to have some time and start doing them!...

As of the other kind of dividers we were discussing: they're made of the same transparent material, but have a slide-in tab so you can change the tabs as you wish... I hope this picture shows it well enough:

And you are so welcome! And so kind! :)

Ray Blake said...

I see what you mean now. I think you could recreate this by cutting the plastic sheet down without tabs into flyleaves and then fixing something like these to them:

Out of the pack, these will be too long, so you'll probably want to use a knife and make them narrower. They might also protrude too much, but all you really need is the foldover of plastic - you could cut this to protrude as little as you wanted and then glue this to the divider. If you're careful you would still be able to slide paper labels in and out.

Vanjilla said...

Ray, thank you as ever!
I'll keep your idea in my head, but to be honest... your "floating tabs" are so great I have no need for other dividers yet! :)

Strickmuse said...

Great idea. I need to copy that.

paperscribe said...

Thank you for sharing, will try this.


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