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I have a recipe booklet I disassembled and put into sheet protectors (I'm a bit of a messy cook at times), and the 3-ring binder I put the sheets in is a bit bulky and prone to popping open.

Is there a bookbinding stitch/technique that would be appropriate for 3-ring sheet protectors? (Google was spectacularly unhelpful, as it would return results for the sheets or bookbinding, but not both 🤦).

Here's a photo of the sheet protectors, in their current binder:

A photo of the 3-ring sheet protectors in their current binder

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    Maybe have a look at a restaurant supply store. There are menu cards which consist of a bunch of sheet protectors, but feel like a book. Dec 30, 2021 at 11:01

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Putting the pages in sheet protectors creates a lot more bulk and thickness than the original book, so this is just something that needs to be dealt with if you want to use sheet protectors. The sheet protectors are great for their purpose, but they don't last forever; depending on the material, they can eventually get brittle or split/tear. So I'd be hesitant to use any kind of permanent binding unless you did something like bind many more sheet protectors than you need, and move pages to another pocket when a sheet protector gets damaged.

A few thoughts and ideas to deal with the issues using a non-permanent binding:

  • My first thought would be to stick with looseleaf, since that's what the sheet protectors are designed for. It is the simplest solution and retains the advantages, like easy replacement and the ability to pop out a recipe for use without having to work from a giant binder. Some ways to mitigate the problems:
    • Don't overstuff a binder (although your picture looks like this may not be your problem). If everything doesn't easily fit in the binder, look for ways to organize the recipes to subdivide them into several binders. If there is a limited number of recipes you use regularly, maybe put them in a separate binder that is sized for easy access.
    • Use looseleaf binders with a stronger ring closure so they don't accidentally get pulled open as easily.
  • Use an alternate style of binder that fits looseleaf pages but doesn't pop open in the middle with a pushbutton (but you lose the convenience of easily popping out an arbitrary page).
    • There are individual rings that are hinged in the middle and the ends lock together (punch your own front and back covers and incorporate them in the rings).
    • Use a binder with loops (typically plastic), where one end is permanently attached and the other feeds through the pages and then locks to the spine.
    • Use a binder consisting of front and back covers connected by nylon rods that hold the pages.
    • Use a binder with screw posts.
  • If you have access to a binding machine (they aren't insanely expensive), you can punch additional holes in the sheet protectors and use a wire or spiral binding. These can be reopened a limited number of times if necessary, or the binding can be removed and replaced.

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