Lap-Worthy Homemade Circa Covers


I had some matte board lying around from another project. By itself, this stuff is too thick to get into a Circa/Rolla punch. But if you doctor it a little, you too can have a lap-worthy, stiff, customizable cover (or backing) for your Rolla or Circa notebook.

Get ye a piece of matte board from your local craft/hobby/art store. It's the stuff they use when framing pictures, ya? Comes in a bunch of colors, usually white on the back and color on the front.

Cut ye piece of matte board to the size you want for your finished cover.

Flip it over so the backside is up.

Measure a half inch (or slightly less) strip along the edge you want to punch.

Use a metal ruler to guide your xacto knife along said strip. Do NOT cut all the way through!

Now pick up your matte board and look at the edge--it's made of layers of paper. Starting from the backside within the 'strip' area, use your thumbnail or the xacto to start peeling away the back paper.

The front side of the matte board is quite tough and thick, so you shouldn't have much trouble removing the excess material from the backside. Your goal is to get the strip thin enough to fit into the punch. You might have to reapply xacto along the cut line to get a neat removal.

Once your strip is thin enough to fit into the punch, punch it. You can also decide if you wish to reinforce the fibrous backside with something toughen it, like packing tape or clear nail polish or some sort of glue.

Anyway, the result is that the bulk of your piece is full-thickness, and only the punched strip is thin. I haven't tested the toughness of the punched edge of the prototype I've made, but it seems pretty firm to me.

Depending on the direction of the grain, the ears might want to crease on you, so you'll have to insert your discs gently. The grain also makes a difference to how the piece will sit on your lap. The paper flexes more in one direction than the other, so you'll want the grain to run the long direction of your notebook. But in either direction it's waaay stiffer than anybody's plastic covers, and even a little stiffer than the back of a legal pad.

If you really really need a stiff backing, you could make two, with the grain running in opposing directions, to back your notebook. It would be very strong then.


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Which punch ?

Portable ? Desktop ? Either ?

I'd think a desktop punch can smurf a sheet of matte board
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)



I used the Desktop variety. But I can't think of a reason you couldn't use the portable too. They have similar strength and thickness allowances, I think.

No, the desktop punch will not allow a sheet of the matte board I am using. It's too thick unless you doctor it in this way or some other way.