It’s so easy to procrastinate when it comes to new designs or products. Recently a buyer asked me if I sell handmade address books—not the first time I’ve been asked this question. This time, however, the question was followed up with an order, and I finally designed the book.


I often use recycled chipboard for my books from old three-ring binders you’d normally throw out, but I forgot how thick that chipboard is. This affects the type of punched holes I use for the spiral binding. My Zutter Bind-it-All punches rectangular holes, while my We R Memory Keepers The Cinchâ„¢ punches round holes. If you’ve ever wondered which punch-and-bind machine is better, it really depends on what you’re binding and how much flexibility you need. The Bind-it-All definitely handles thicker materials better than The Cinchâ„¢, and it’s more portable, too. However, if you need to punch more than six holes, it’s fussier to use. The Cinchâ„¢, on the other hand, is extremely flexible. You can vary the spacing of your holes with a simple flip of a lever. Because the chipboard I used for my address book was so thick, I had to use the Bind-it-All.


Whenever you design a book with printed pages, it seems to be easier to size the pages first, and then calculate the cover size needed. I had to allow for a little more cover space on one side of my pages because the book has alphabetical tabbed sections.


It was fun designing the address book for my buyer, who is gifting a friend with it. Although you can purchase an address book in any office supply store, there’s something special about a handmade one destined to become a keepsake. And that, of course, is the general idea!

Address Book Collage

© 2014 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

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5 thoughts on “Designing a keepsake address book”

  1. Your address book turned out great. Sometimes it takes that extra nudge to get us in gear. Designing a whole new product can be time-consuming, but when it’s done, the next one will go much quicker. And I’m sure you’ll be making more of these soon 🙂

  2. Paige @ Little Nostalgia

    It looks great! And good to know about the different binding tools. I’m not sure that I’ll work with them soon, but my sister might and I’ll pass it along to her!

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