Of Paper Projects and Binding

You know, I'm a fan of technology.  I really enjoy my gadgets; they are fantastic tools!  I even have a Kindle and do truly enjoy the tool it can be in the home learning environment (my but all those free ebooks are such treasures for voracious readers!)

At heart though, I'm a paper gal.  I just love the look of pretty paper, and the feel of a nice pen.  I open the doors to my supply cabinet in my learning room and just delight at all the papers I have - spiral bound, yellow pads, white pads, decorative pads, journals with miscellany covers that make me happy.  And books.  Paper books.  I love my paper books!  Oh sure, that Kindle is a fantastic tool, but for reading and treasuring, delighting and savoring, it's paper.  Touchable, flip-able, tangible, sometimes yellowed with age - paper.

Which brings me to the project I've been working on this week!  I wanted to share with you because I just think my little project came out so pretty, and it is a delight in the hands and, I find, a great deal more useable now than in their previous condition.

I inherited, from my mom's homeschooling shelves, the entire set of Karen Andreola's original Parents' Review magazines.  Do you have these, friends?  If not, and if you're looking for a little gentle, encouraging and enlightening inspiration in your Charlotte Mason home education, you might consider ordering the back issues which Karen offers on her website.

The Parents' Review magazines, in addition to containing some fabulous in-the-trenches perspective from Charlotte Mason home educators of that time, also include a great wealth of original Parents' Review articles, some of which are not printed or shared anywhere else (save the Library of Congress).

The magazines were published quarterly for 6 years (1991-1996), and I have all these old issues on my shelf where they've been living, quite functionally I might add, in a magazine file holder.  But they weren't terribly pretty that way, and I really wanted to be able to open them up and lay them flat and the stapled bindings didn't allow me to do that.  I decided to remove the staples and bind the issues according to year of publication, and I'm pleased with the results. 

You can see that I bound some years in landscape {width larger than height}, while others are bound in portrait {height larger than width}.  This is simply a function of how the magazines were printed for that year.

Aren't they inviting?

Part, the Second, in which I gush about being able to bind books...

How did I bind these, and other happy little books which I print (with reckless abandon) from those free ebook sources?  With my Proclick.  This has simply been one of those amazing and fantastic tools that I'm so grateful to have on my shelf!  I carefully researched and considered this product for over a year before I finally bought one, and it has been in service since the day it arrived here.  Quite simply, it is a hole puncher, but a special hole puncher!  It punches holes in a 3:1 coil pitch so that pages, any pages that have been punched, can now be tidily assembled and bound together with coils, any coil with a 3:1 pitch.  (I know, that sounds confusing...who the heck knows what a 3:1 coil pitch is anyway!  Don't worry, I'll link you to all the right places so that this will make more sense!)

My favorite site for gathering information about which spiral binding spines to purchase, and the site with the most choices in terms of color and size option is MyBinding.com.  Do click around a bit on their site if you're considering this tool!  You'll find them to be a wealth of information, both on their website and when contacted personally!

I've bound many books with my Proclick.   The Parents' Review magazines you see above have all been bound with 1/2 inch spirals in frost.  I used a clear presentation cover over K & Company Ancestry designer scrapbook paper.

Because the Proclick punches in a 3:1 pitch, ANY 3:1 pitch coil will work to bind pages.  (A 3 to 1 pitch means that there are 3 holes for every 1 inch.)  This made the Proclick that much more useful to me because it meant that now I could punch and bind thicker books, like my Math Mammoth books!  Works wonderfully!

When I was looking into the Proclick initially, I found myself a little overwhelmed at the options - what would work?  What wouldn't?  What was necessary?  What was icing on the cake?  I kept hoping I'd find someone that would just throw a sampler package together so I could click one little *buy it now* button.  I never found one.  So, I learned and ordered by trial and error....and wrote the nice customer service people at MyBinding.com a lot!  As I mentioned, I spent some time trying to discern this tool's usefulness in my home before I made the purchase, and I trust you will prayerfully discern this tool's potential usefulness (or not) in your home before you'd make a purchase just based on my recommendation, right?  Right!  Ok - well with that out of the way, I'm sharing what I really wanted to find when I was considering this purchase - my recommendations for a Proclick sampler package!

For a starter kit to bind with the Proclick, here is what you'd need:
...to add to a basic starter kit...
Coil lengths can easily be trimmed with standard scissors, but I use an oval hand crimper for trimming the bigger coils.  Edited to add:  Another benefit of the Proclick is that I can RE-open the coils after binding, and insert additional pages (or subtract).  It is nice to have the benefits of a spiral binding, as well as a little of the flexibility of a binder.

If you are seriously considering a purchase of the Proclick, do read through the comments section of this post for additional information.  Readers asked some great questions!  I've been updating this post with some information as questions have come in, but read the comments for more information about the Proclick!

And, because I love variety, do check out Jenny's fantastic review of how she makes use of a Zutter binder!

Well, I know the last part of this post was mostly a review for my Proclick, but I really have wanted to share about this fantastic tool for some time, and I do remember feeling dizzy with all the options and sizes.  And, what better time to review it than when I have just bound the prettiest little collection of magazines into useable books!

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