A new brick & mortar interior design boutique will be offering Daisy Janie fabrics for sale to their home decor clients, and they requested a swatch book to show the collection. This is my simple, budget-friendly solution that conveys professional and handmade at the same time.
1. Design your header. Print your swatch header on a heavy cardstock - I used 110 lb.
2. Trim a neat 1/4" from each side as well as the bottom edge.
3. Laminate the entire sheet - I had this done by the nice young woman at Office Max (they're very helpful and happy to have your business these days!).
4. Mark grommet placement. Consider the width of your binding - how many and what types of fabrics will be in your book? I determined 5/8" would be sufficient. I backed up from that measurement and added my grommet allowance (how wide are the rims of your grommets?). Sounds odd - but I kind of eyeballed the placement for one, and simply marked the others accordingly. The marks ended up being 2" from each edge and 1" apart from each other.
5. Install grommets with a press (big or little) - whatever you have. Follow the directions for the type of press you're using. The big one is from Micron Fasteners. I got a great package deal!
6. Gently but firmly crease and fold your binding between the two pairs of grommets. It's not a race - just slowly crease & press so you get it right.
7. Prepare your fabric swatches. I cut 7" squares. I used a twin needle and heavy duty thread to finish the edges (I love a fringed edge). If you have a serger, knock yourself out!
8. Place fabrics inside swatch book to mark placement of grommets on fabric. I put my fabrics in 4 groups of 3 and installed the grommets for each group (to minimize thickness).
9. Print simple stickers with the name of each fabric. Adhere upside down so that when the fabric is flipped over, the name is readable without turning the swatch book around every time.
TIP: Stagger your fabric swatches by cutting some shorter than others. You'll be able to see a little edge of each one, like a wallpaper book.
Finally, place all your fabrics in a stack. Tuck inside the book and insert a book ring through all the grommets in each side. If a client wants to borrow a swatch for color matching, it's a cinch to remove and put back later.
Side view. I pressed my book under a heavy weight to get the top flap to stay down.
Voila! Neat, professional and durable! Now, go sell some fabric!