My first time using the We R Memory Keepers Cinch binder has me hooked. I can honestly say “It’s a Cinch!” to use, and I wonder why I have put off trying it for five months. This little marvel was my birthday gift, a New Year’s Day present from my husband. He still bought it for me even though I warned him that I would more than likely need his help to use it.
When I say my husband bought it I really mean…
Him: “What do you want for your birthday?”
Me: “I really fancy a Cinch binding machine.”
Him: “Order one then, I’ll buy it for you.” (You’ve got the credit card number, sort it out!)
In truth, I had no idea why I really wanted one, other than fanciful notions of making the occasional album or notebook. When it arrived we had a brief fiddle with the knobs, punched the practice holes you can see in the picture – and then I left it covered with scarf , until today.
If you haven’t seen much of my blog let me explain that I am a digital girl in the main. I use PaintShop Pro X8 for designing cards, creating my weekly Project Life pages and all manner of other graphics. For making cards and cutting embellishments or shapes I use a Silhouette Cameo. I can manage (just about) cutting a piece of card in half for a card base with a paper trimmer, but that’s the limit of my expertise. Yet I do still like playing with paper and physical embellishments although only in small doses, because using my arms and hands is quite tiring and often painful.
Today, however, my husband is home and he can make me cups of tea while I tire myself out with some experimenting!
Preparing the notebooks
With no grand design in mind I pulled apart a notebook that has lined paper. I first removed the thin cover and staples and trimmed the height of the paper to 15.6cm. An odd measurement, I know, and the reason is that’s the height of the original cover, minus 0.2cm! To remove the fold in the middle of the pages where the staples held the book together, I trim the paper to 9cm wide.
I have some leftover scrapbook paper to use for the cover and gaze out of my window, watching the rain pouring down, trying to do mental arithmetic. The cover needs to be 15.8cm x 9.3 cm, there needs to be enough to fold over to the inside, to make a nice edge, and then I need a piece slightly smaller to cover the insides of the cover…. Let’s just say I manage to make the cover! The second cover I make using Kraft cardstock and some of the pieces left from the first cover; I am loathe to break into more of my paper until I know if my experiment works. To add a little interest I ink the edges with brown Versa colour ink.
I decide to use my wood veneers for decoration, but not stick them down until I have bound the notebooks together, just in case they don’t fit once the wire is in place. Having told you I am rubbish with a paper trimmer, I make myself out to be liar because my pages are relatively neat and certainly pass the standard for a handmade notebook.
This has taken me two and a half hours and I have to stop for lunch before attempting the most important stage – binding with The Cinch.
That was easy
In ten minutes I have all the holes punched in the two notebooks. I sit for a minute looking at them, perhaps slightly disappointed it’s so easy. I do not have much arm or hand control or movement, and yet I punched holes through four or five pieces of paper at a time. The Cinch makes it simple to line up paper correctly each time, and the large handle means I don’t have to exert much pressure at all.
Now it’s time to tackle the wire binding, and here I do have to enlist my husband for more help than making cups of tea. I can’t cut the wires, no matter how hard I try I haven’t got enough strength. He happily does this for me and I put together my first notebook.
These little ridges on the side of The Cinch are marvellous, making it another easy step to put my notebook together. I reach for the second notebook, realising I asked my husband to cut only one set of wires! Muttering to myself at my mistake, I gather up the wire and cutters and wheel through to ask him to cut me another set.
I didn’t take a photo of the binding. For that you place the wires up against The Cinch under the platform at the back. The instruction manual warns you to watch your fingers; no trouble there I can’t get mine close enough to hold the wire in place. I rely on my trusty helper – a pencil with an eraser in one end, which I can push against the wire to keep it in place while I press the handle to close the wires and bind my notebooks.
It’s A Cinch!
This has to be the the best tool in the world. From punching the holes to binding my notebooks with wire took no more than twenty minutes, leaving me plenty of time to have a lie down. Looking at the neatly closed wires I am beyond happy at my small achievement.
Finally, I pull out some Ranger Multi Medium (another first for me) and stick down my today wood veneer. I have the tiny bottle and it’s another tool I’ll use more of because I can hold it without getting glue everywhere.
I am so happy with these little notebooks. I know they are plain and simple, but as I didn’t think I’d even manage to complete them I think they’re brilliant. Add to that I managed most of the work myself and it’s a small triumph. Now my husband knows I only need him to lift The Cinch onto my craft table and cut wires. He doesn’t have to wait around being my hands or learn the art of notebook binding. He can watch rugby or cricket instead!