Practical and Pretty: A Handbound Checkbook Register

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I've got something a little more practical than normal to share with you today. I needed a new checkbook cover, but kept forgetting to go to the bank to pick it up, when it occurred to me that a check register is nothing more than a small book, and I'm perfectly capable of making one of those. So, that's what I did.
Now, you know I would never make something plain and boring like a typical checkbook cover. I wanted one that was pretty. So I found a beautiful, bright floral print cardstock for the cover and stitched the pages in with a longstitch binding, gathering up the stitches in the center for a little pizzazz. And, for a change, I think I actually got the colors right in a photo. It really is as vivid as the photo.
Since I was going to make a book anyway, I figured I'd go ahead and really make it worth my time, so before making the book, I designed my own check register sheets in Word. Pink and Orange are the first two sections. They have basically the same information that a standard register does, but I gave myself a little more room to write, put more lines on a page, and made them in several bright colors. Based on how many entries we normally have in our checkbook, this one should last me about 5 years. Each year can be written in a different colored section, as there are five in all. The book ended up measuring about 5-1/2" x 6-1/2" x 1/2".
The third section is green. I sewed the book together with a deep yellow linen thread. You can see the stitching here, but somehow I lost the color in editing. Notice that the book lies completely flat. That's one of the things I love about handbound books. They are very writer-friendly.

The last two sections are a teal blue and purple. In between the sections, because of the style of binding, you can see the back side of the cover, which has a small floral pattern on it. I pasted two sheets of cardstock together in order to make the cover sturdier. If I'm going to use it for five years, I don't want it falling apart on me.

Here's a look at the pattern on the inside of the cover, and you can see the pocket I made to hold a book of checks. This is the one thing that I will do differently in my next book like this. I bound the pocket into the spine in the back of the book, at the same time I sewed the sections together, which makes for a nice place to hold the checkbook, however, when I actually used the register, I realized that it makes a big lump under the pages, so I have to pull the checkbook out even if I'm not actually writing checks. Next time, I plan to make a flap on the back cover with a pocket so that, when I'm writing in the book, all I have to do is flip the flap out and the book is flat for writing. Whew, that was a lot of "fl's!"
Here is a better look at the longstitch binding I used. I LOVE how it turned out! If you are interested in making one of these yourself, I have a link to the book I referenced below.
And, finally, here is a look at the book completely opened. Isn't that a happy cover? Nobody ever said that bill paying has to be dull, right? 

I've always enjoyed bookbinding, but now that I've got my MONSTER paper trimmer, I'm loving it more than ever, and I've been busy making books, but I haven't had time to edit the pics yet. I hope to have at least 3 new blank journals posted by next weekend!

In the meantime, thanks for visiting, and have a happy week!

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Deborah Anton said...

This is fabulous Cheryl! Your bookbinding skills are so awesome and I think I need you to come back to visit to give me another lesson! Lol! Awesome job!

Leslie Miller said...

This is the best check register EVER and you're the BEST at making any kind of book. Amazing skill you have there, Cheryl. This is beautiful! I'll look forward to seeing your journals.

Rainey's Craft Room said...

This is such a great idea and very useful too. You have done a perfect job with it. Thanks for sharing it with us at 613 Avenue Create this week.
Lorraine DT