September 11, 2012

Hacking my 2013 calendar

Since I started teaching knitting and quilting classes at Joann's, I've needed a small planner in which to keep track of things. The first year I made my own, and the next year I found one by that worked even better. Unfortunately, the style is discontinued. So my search for an inexpensive monthly/weekly smallish tabbed planner has been in progress for a while. I am pretty picky.

Then I ran across another Carolina Pad calendar in the back-to-school section. It was nearly perfect. $4. Tabs. Month and week pages. Squares big enough. The whole thing close to small enough. The downsides:  Wire binding. Curling corners on the plastic covers. Too many months (18) and unneeded reference pages making it too thick. Here are two Before pictures, borrowed from Carolina Pad's online store:

See that big wire binding just waiting to be squished, catch on things, and help rip pages.
The weekly pages are big enough to record ideas, expenses, and student info.
My options were to keep looking, design and make my own, or hack this one. You know which from this post's title.

The front.
Here you can see a new plastic binding and the ends of the elastic that holds the calendar closed. I have a few coils around because I have a punch for making spiral bindings. It turns out that metal comb bindings like the one on this calendar are spaced at exactly twice the distance as the spiral bindings, so I threaded the plastic coil twice through each hole. My original thought was to repunch everything, but there lies madness if every punch is not perfect. Avoiding madness is a good thing.

The back.
On the back you can see the long section of elastic (mine is 5/8 inch, I'd have used narrower, but this was the only black elastic I had). It keeps the corners of the covers from curling. Using a craft knife, I cut small slits in the cover (you can place them on the back cover if you want the long elastic on the front), inserted the elastic, glued it, clamped it, and waited overnight. Here's a close-up of one corner of the inside front cover:

Placement of the elastic.

How long should your elastic be? How long did I make mine? Long enough to hold the calendar closed without stressing the elastic or curling the book. My book is 3/8 inch thick and 8 inches high, I figured that 8 inches plus 2 inches fold-over twice (12 inches total) would work fine and it does. The elastic has to stretch 3/4 inch (twice the thickness of the book). When you glue, make sure the elastic is NOT wrapped around the book.

Shown just because are the new binding from the inside, the tabs I didn't have to make myself, and the nice big squares on the monthly calendar pages.

One thing checked off my shopping list.

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