How to Make a Smash Book by Upcycling an Old Ring Binder

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One easy and very trendy way to create a keepsake book is to compile everything into a smash book.  So what is a SMASH book? It is a quick place to literally “smash” photos, memorabilia, journal notes, and other keepsakes into one place for a collage of memories.

So instead of buying a pre-made smash book I wanted to upcycle and make a smash book as well as have a more personalized book than something I could find at the store because I figured if I’m going to all the trouble to hand make this project then perhaps having a “green” way of making the base of the book would be a great way to make it even more personal

Below is an example of how to make a smash book from an old ring binder.

I started with an old 3-ring binder, since the rings are a great way to easily add new pages to the smash book – it just seemed like a no brainer.

ring binder for making a smash book

First I needed to get rid of the cover so I cut off the vinyl from the front and back and removed it from the spine where the ring is.

And I was left with this!

binder clip removed for use in smashbook

I saved the front and back chipboard from the binder to use as pages in my SMASH book which I then trimmed to the size I wanted.

cutting chipboard from binder for my DIY smash book

To add a little pizzazz I thought it would be fun to create tabs so I created a template for the tabs I wanted and trimmed the pages accordingly.

And here is my SMASH book ready to decorate.  All I needed next was a few scrapbooking supplies, photos, and a little creativity.

completed DIY smash book without decorations

The best part of leaving the chipboard under the ring is it gives you a good base to decorate.  I found some scrap burlap and decided to glue that on more a more rustic feel and finished it off by accenting with jute.

burlap wrapped binder clip - how to make a smash book

Then I got busy adding photos!

smash book complete

Other fun things I could easily add to this book are:

  • Greeting Cards I don’t know what to do with but don’t want to throw out.
  • Scribble art
  • Funny notes and memories
  • Piece of that favorite old blankie
  • Trip memorabilia
  • Ticket stubs

Now that you know how to make a smash book, it’s time to dig into your old office supplies/crafting stash and make that smash book of your own.

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December 18th 2012 |

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