Binder Bandolier

If I can be accused of having too much of something in my house, besides crafting stuff, it’s office supplies.  A colorful set of file folders or cheap spiral notebooks get me every time.  I’m still on the search for the perfect pen.  Long after my kids have moved on, which is very soon, you’ll still find me in the back to school aisle, scoping out my next package of Sharpies. In my defense, I do use what I collect.  Eventually.  I’d be especially lost without my three ring binders, but if I could throw a few extra supplies inside they would be even better.  Done.  Want to know how I turned this:

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 1
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 1

Into this?

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 2
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 2

With this inside?

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 3
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 3

To make the bandolier, you’ll need a piece of fabric for the part on the front of the binder cut to 14 1/4” by 4 1/2” with a matching piece of iron-on interfacing.  Cut a second piece of fabric and interfacing to 12 3/4” by 4 1/2” for the inside section.  You’ll also need a piece of 1” wide elastic cut to 12 3/4” and 3/4” wide Velcro cut to 3/4”.

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 4
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 4

Apply the interfacing to the wrong side of both fabric pieces.  Fold the smaller piece in half lengthwise and press the fold.  Unfold.  Pin the elastic down the center 1/2” from the fold.

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 5
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 5

Stitch across the elastic at the following measurements from the top (with the fold to your left):

  • 1/2”
  • 1 1/2”
  • 2 1/2”
  • 3 1/2”
  • 4 1/2”
  • 7 1/2”
  • 9”
  • 10 1/2”

Add a final row of stitching 1” from the bottom edge.

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 6
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 6

With right sides together, stitch the two fabrics together at the top of the piece with the elastic with a 1/4” seam.  Press the seam open.

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 7
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 7

Fold both remaining short ends under 1” and press.

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 8
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 8

Fold the entire piece right sides together and stitch 1/4” from the edge down the long side.

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 9
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 9

Turn right side out through the end.  It’s easiest if you start from the end without the elastic.  Press, carefully avoiding the elastic.  Topstitch close to the edge all the way around and across near the seam where the two fabrics meet.

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 10
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 10

Position the Velcro 1/4” from the end on the back of the piece with the elastic.  Pin the other piece 1/4” from the other end, on the front.  Stitch in place around the edge and with an X through the center.

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 11
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 11

To add fabric inside a windowed three ring binder, cut a piece of freezer paper the size of the front.  Iron the shiny side onto the back side of the fabric.

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 12
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 12

Cut it out and slide into the front of the binder.  You can do the same to add fabric to the spine.

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 13
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 13

Wrap the bandolier around so the elastic is on the inside and the Velcro is at the bottom.

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 14
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 14

Add the supplies of your choice and you’re ready to go.

Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 15
Binder Bandolier - Crafty Staci 15

As soon as I find that perfect pen, I know exactly where it’s going.

Binder Bandolier Tutorial from Crafty Staci
Binder Bandolier Tutorial from Crafty Staci