What to do with Old Ring Binders

Perhaps it was for an office presentation. Perhaps it was for a field research. Or perhaps it was for old thesis notes. Whichever way, paperwork eventually yields an inordinate amount of plastic folders, clear books, and archive folders that could clutter homes and workings spaces. While it is always a good idea to reuse them, some products will be crumpled and damaged over time and can no longer be used for presentations.

While we could easily throw them in the garbage can for easy disposal, thinking of ways to recycle them will not only be beneficial to the environment but will also allow us to explore creativity through these projects.


  1. 3-Ring Binders are suitable for holding large amounts of paper and is popular in schools and offices alike. Being made of at least several materials like paper and metal makes the 3-Ring binder more complicated to wrap up for recycling. This very nature, however, allows us variety a variety of materials for creative recycling sessions.
  2. Ring binders can easily revamped with a bit of wrapping paper and other paper decorations. You could wrap some paper around an old binder and use it for personal files or to decorate bookshelves, desks, and coffee tables.
  3. Washi tapes, stickers, and scrap-booking materials can also be added to customize the old binders and make them more visually appealing.
  4. You can also decoupage the binder covers with cut-out paper and a layer of PVC glue applied evenly using a crafting brush. You can eventually add more and more layers of images as you wish.
  5. You can also wrap the binders in fabric and keep it in place using glue, tape, or heavy duty stapler. The cardboard covers can also be cut separately and decorated using the same methods. The cardboard sheets can now be used for decoration, signage, image boards, or other purposes.
  6. The ring mechanism on the spine, on the other hand, can be separated from the ring binder proper by using a utility knife or a flat screw driver. You can choose to keep a bit of the cardboard spine if you wish.
  7. The rings can in turn, be used as a secure key holder or can be used to hang clothes hangers from. This can also be used to hang belts and kitchen towels.
  8. Ring binders with the metal parts removed can also be used to store small things. One can paste a plastic or paper compartment to the insides of the folder and store buttons, thread, and other small stuff. The binder can then be stored vertically in shelves and save space.

Laura Brentley works at Card Printing US, a producer of highqualitycustomgiftcards and plastic cards. See her latest post on 7 Must Use Elegant Fonts on Skyje.com.