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Baseball card holder/ATC book (or maybe something else!)

So I had the idea to make a little mini-version of a Project Life-style book.  I am tempted by the project but just not sure I have the stamina to follow through.  I figure this will let me play (using stuff I have hanging around) at minimal cost.  If I like the process, if I can manage to follow through, then I can always switch over to the full size version.  The benefits of using the Baseball card sleeves are that they are a good size (2.5 x 3.5, although I can easily make the photos 2 x 3 so I can get 4 on a 4×6 photo space and fill in with something like a journaling strip or a bit of cardstock) and I have them – plus the added benefit is that the sleeves also fit ATCs, so it could be useful for that as well.

I collected up the stuff – 12 Baseball card sleeves, a couple of rolls of washi tape, an old freebie 2-hold cardboard binder, a two hole punch and metal ruler and box cutter.  Start off by cutting your sleeves to size.  I wanted some horizontal and some vertical, although the dimensional don’t match exactly, they suit me OK.

For six, trim off the bottom row of three.  These will result in portrait-style openings.  Trim just below the sealed seam all the way across. You can do this with scissors just as easily.

For the landscape style openings, we have to get a little creative. First, cut off the strip with the holes.

Now, with the sealed edge to the right, and the “top” row to the left (the top row is the one where the crimped seal doesn’t go all the way to the top edge)  line up the crimped seal line with the one just to the right of the hole-strip on the first (cut) sleeve.

Trim the sleeve to match the edge to the LEFT of the hole-strip. It will look like this:

Do this for the other five sleeves. Now you have 6 portrait (with holes) and 6 landscape (with no holes) oriented sleeves

Now, the washi tape. You will be wrapping the tape around the edge with the holes and (on the other 6) around the no-hole cut edge. Start on one side, near the edge, then wrap to the other side, all along the edge, over and back down to the original edge.  Does that make any sense? Like this:

Make sure you can access the slits that let you slip your photos or ATCs in!

Once all the edges are covered, punch the holes.  I do them in sets of two. The two sleeve versions are NOT exactly the same size, so center the portrait version onto the landscape version.  Clip them in place with paper clips so they don’t shift. Now, line up the center seal-line on the portrait style one with the center mark on the holepunch, to ensure the pages are punched centred.

Pay attention to where the holes will punch – if you snug the edge up right to the backstop (which you  would if you were punching standard paper) the holes will be in too deep. Can you just see that my edge is about 1/4 inch away from the stop in the above photo? When you punch the hole should be fairly centered in the tape-strip.

Now take you cheap 2-ring binder and put a pair of sleeves into the rings. I am guessing that the one I have is a fairly standard size, but you can check it with whatever one you have against the sleeves when they are in place.  I measured 2 inches from the top and bottom edge of the binder and cut that away, like so:

This can now be covered with fabric, cardstock, handmade paper, whatever, and decorated as you like.

Don’t be tempted to cut off the sides.  Open it LOOKS like there is a lot left and right, but CLOSED the sleeves just fit with a little extra.

This ends up about 9 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches so could also be a way to make an album for 8 x 8 sleeves!  These binders are cheap – I think DD got this one free with something or another, or if not free as part of a very cheap stationery set.

I will probably re-size some of my own printables to fit the sleeves so I can use them rather than create all new ones, but who knows?  🙂

DH is off doing another chili cook-off and DD is looking forward to a bit of Mom-time so the rest will have to wait.  I’ll share as I go along.  I HOPE I will be able to get some done tomorrow if DD gets the call from her youth club  waiting list.   If not I’ll hope to squeeze in some time to work on it but the mad chaos hasn’t abated, just shifted to different pressing matters.