Friday, February 27, 2009

Making a Logbook From Old Gift Cards

I am one of 'those people' that doesn't throw anything away without looking to see if I can use it some how when crafting. This holds true with used gift cards and with all of the pesky plastic and cardboard fake credit cards that the credit companies keep sending me in the mail. I have been saving them up until I get a match and then I make them into logbooks. The plastic cards are great for the covers. As you can see in the photo above, I have reused my daughter's iTunes gift cards, Borders gift cards and the blue ones on the right I found in an outside ashtray at McMenamin's in Oregon. The covers are room keys that someone discarded and I scored with!

The inner pages of the logbooks are blank index cards. I used a package of 100 3 x 5 cards and cut them to the dimensions above. Like I said, I don't throw anything away so the other two sizes I used for smaller logbooks. When you get to the end of this post, I will show you what I got out of this one package of cards. The inner page size I used for the gift card logbooks are the 2" x 3 1/4" cut. Like I had mentioned before, I punched on the 2" end because the 3 1/4" side will give you an uneven punch row.

I am using the 1/2" coils for this logbook and 30 inner pages. One thing I should mention before you start any project is to do a prototype punch before you start punching a stack of pages. That way if you mess up, you only messed up one sheet and not a whole bunch of them. Really, that is a tip I use religiously when starting any kind of project that requires that I cut or produce multiple items.

After punching one inner page to make sure that my punches will line up the correct way, I put my logbook together the way I want it; front cover on top, 30 inner pages in the middle, and the back cover on the bottom, set it down and start punching from the top of the pile starting with the top cover.

When you are done with the punching your pile should look like this.

Pull the back cover from the bottom and place it on the top of your pile so that the right sides of your covers are facing each other.

Loop your coils through the inner pages first then through the front and back covers and cut your coil at the edge of the top of your logbook and place in the groove of your Bind It All and squeeze the coils by pulling down the handle.

When your coils are squeezed closed, flip the back cover over to conceal the coil in the back.
With some of the left over cuts from the 3 x 5 notecards, I will show you how I made a smaller logbook that will fit perfectly in a medicine bottle.

Again using those pesky plastic fake credit cards that I got in the mail, I cut one in half and trimmed it to fit the 1" x 2 1/2" cuts from the index cards. I put the logbook together the way I want it, top cover, middle pages, and back cover, and set the pile down.

Working from the top to the bottom, I punched the top cover first, then the inner pages, then the back cover. Remember that you can only punch about 5 sheets of the index cards at a time. If you try to punch more than that, it becomes strenuous to pull the handle down and punch through all of them at once.

This logbook is so narrow that it only requires two punch holes.

Pull the back cover from the bottom of the pile and place it on top of your pile so that the right sides of the covers are facing each other.

Loop your coil through the inner pages first, then the top cover, then the back cover and trim the coil with your wire cutters at the top end of your logbook.

Its not easy to show you up close what this looks like but there are lines on the base of your BIA that are labeled in inches. You can see some of the white lines to the far right of the BIA base. You want to set your size by the inside of the gap where I am placing the logbook. Since I am using the 1/2 inch size coils, I turned the knob on the end until the bar moved up to the 1/2 inch line. You can also measure the gap by placing the hard plastic cards that come with the BIA into the gap until it is flush with the size coil you are using that is pictured on the card.

Pull the handle down and squeeze the coils together. I have found that if I use too much pressure by pushing the logbook down into the gap, the coils will be out of shape after they are squeezed closed. The top of the coils will look flat and not rounded.

Flip the back cover over and to the back of the logbook to cover the coil in the back. Trim the ends of the coils so that there is no injury caused by the points on the coils.

And there you are! A perfect narrow logbook to fit in a medicine bottle for a hitchhiker or cootie.

So, I went from one simple package of 100 3 x 5 blank index cards that cost me anywhere from 49 to 99 cents a package and a few free plastic fake credit cards to..........

12 logbooks in three different sizes. And it only took me no more than two hours work to cut and assemble them all. What a deal!


  1. Once again---mighty impressive CFL!!! You are saving us all a ton of time and getting us all to move forward with our BIA machines!! Big hugs! ~Trailtracker

  2. OK,now I'm starting to think about getting one of these.

    BTW,I love machines and gadgets.

  3. Heck, I pick up some of those gift cards even without using them! I got really nifty Watchmen 3D cards at Blockbuster and made two little logbooks for littlmoon and her hubby, who were going with LBers to see the movie.

    In fact, I have a card that I picked up just thinking about you, CFL. I will be making a little book soon . . .


  4. Hello,
    Your blog is really looking very attractive. Thanks for sharing such a nice information about these type of cards.

  5. Thanks for giving me such type of useful information about Plastic Gift Cards. Now a days it has became a wonderful resource of plastic cards.

  6. That is such a nice way to recycle the old cards and make them into use by making log book its great idea which you shared with us.
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  7. Logging your book with the old cards and recycle to new one. Here are some useful uses of different card types which I think is very essential for anyone who bore its own card.
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  8. ok, this is brilliant! I am saving all our Christmas gift cards for this, and asking my friends to do the same!

  9. I LOOOOOOOOOVE these ideas! You are awesome!!!

    ~Inky Smiles!

  10. love the idea!!!

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  13. Wow great idea about gift card. I think gift card is very attractive gift for your spicule person.
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  14. this is brilliant.Your cards is really looking very attractive.
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  15. This is so brilliant work !!!That's a great tip to re-cycled the old cards and create... those cards looking so attractive ...
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