GBC Binding or Comb Binding

comb book binding1 Scrapbook Binding Methods   GBC or Comb Binding

One of the advantages of this binding method is for the ability of the completed book to lie flat–something scrapbook crafters desire.  The binding process is fairly simple.  Holes are punched along the side where the binding is preferred.  A plastic comb (a cylinder with plastic fingers that are flexible to open)  is inserted into the corresponding holes.  Another feature or benefit to paper crafters is the ability to add pages to the completed project.

GBC Binding (named because of the company GBC–a major binding machine and supply manufacturer) is one of several methods used for binding books–including scrapbooks.  The process of this type of book binding is relatively uncomplicated, but is best done with the help of a binding machine.

Comb binding utilizes round plastic spines in varying sizes and colors to create the bind.  These spines have 19 comb fingers for a standard U.S. letter sized sheet of paper (8 1/2″ x 11″).  Each comb of the spine is inserted into rectangular punched holes in the document to be bound.  The springy nature of the plastic cylinder of fingers retains the coil to hold the sheets together.

Here is how the Comb binding process is done:

Step 1

comb binding punched holes Scrapbook Binding Methods   GBC or Comb BindingThe first step in binding your scrapbook will be to punch the holes on the spine side (where you want the binding to be) of your pages.  Here is where having a comb binding machine comes in handy.  A comb binding machine will produce uniform rectangular holes evenly spaced (approximately 19 holes for a standard U.S. letter sized[8 1/2" x 11"]  sheet of paper–which corresponds to the number of “fingers” on a binding comb ring.   When punching standard 12″ x 12″ scrapbook pages you will need to center the punches.  Most punching machines have a guide to allow for centering the punches on your sheets.  When punching the holes be careful not to over extend the capacity of the punching machine or tool.  You may well be better served to reduce the number of sheets you punch at a time.  What you want are clean, neat and uniform rectangular punches.  Imperfect punching will make your finished binding less functional.

Step 2

comb binding spines Scrapbook Binding Methods   GBC or Comb BindingWith holes punched, you want to select a comb spine that will accommodate the size or thickness of your scrapbook to be bound.  When selecting your spine bigger is always better . . . allowing for easier opening and “paging”  or flipping through your pages without the spine catching your pages.  Comb spines come in thickness ranging from 3/16″ up to 2″ as standard, and in a wide array of colors.  The standard length of spines is 11″ which means on a 12″ x 12″ scrapbook page you will have to center your spine.  If you plan to add pages to your scrapbook, you will be best served to use a larger sized spine to accommodate these pages which may be added at some later date.

Step 3

This last step is the assembly of your bound book.  The fingers or combs on the binding spine open out.  You need to insert one finger into each punched hole through all of the pages of your book.  The fingers or comb should be rested under the spine to secure your pages.

comb bind step1 Scrapbook Binding Methods   GBC or Comb Binding

Machine opening the spine.

comb bind step2 Scrapbook Binding Methods   GBC or Comb Binding

Spine rings through holes.

comb bind step3 Scrapbook Binding Methods   GBC or Comb Binding

Rings closed on paper.

comb bind step4 Scrapbook Binding Methods   GBC or Comb Binding

Completed book.


The addition of a stiff cover and backing to your scrapbook can be added during the process noted above.  The backing should be the first page on the spine, followed by your scrapbook pages, and concluding with the cover page.

This method of scrapbook binding can be done without the use of a binding machine, but quality results are best obtained when a machine is used for punching and opening of the spine to insert your scrapbook pages.  Here are some machines that are reasonable in price for the serious scrapbook crafter who plans to do a fair amount of binding to justify the cost.  Click on the photograph to get details on the particular machine/system:

 GBC or Comb Binding Machines


GBC Manual Comb Binding Machine-C55

gbc manual binding machine C55  Scrapbook Binding Methods   GBC or Comb Binding

GBC Manual Binding Machine C55

The GBC CombBind C55 manual plastic comb binding machine features a 5-sheet manual punch capacity plus 90-sheet binding capacity using plastic combs up to 1/2″. Rotary comb opening. Integrated carrying handle. Paper alignment guide.
GBC ProClick P50 Binding Machine

gbc proclick p50 binding machine   Scrapbook Binding Methods   GBC or Comb Binding

GBC ProClick P50 Binding Machine

The GBC Proclick P50 Binding Machine is small enough to take with you in your car or even in your briefcase so that you can punch documents on the fly. The Proclick P50 uses a rotary punching mechanism that punches a 32 hole 3:1 pitch pattern that is compatible with GBC Proclick binding spines (It can even be used with 3:1 pitch color coil). Make a lasting impression with GBC’s fast, easy binding style. ProClick lasts pages lie flat with 360 degree rotation for convenient note taking and photocopying, and you can easily add and remove sheets with a ProClick editing tool. Binds up to 100 sheets.
GBC Manual Comb Binding Machine C110

gbc combind c110 Scrapbook Binding Methods   GBC or Comb Binding

GBC ComBind C110 Manual Machine

Ideal for moderate use. Punches up to 15 sheets manually and binds up to 300 sheets. Full size handle and separate bind lever maximizes efficiency. A comb selection guide makes it easy to select a comb size. Accommodates oversize and standard size covers.
Fellowes Manual Combing Machine

fellowes comb binding machine Scrapbook Binding Methods   GBC or Comb Binding

Fellowes Manual Combing Machine

This manual binding machine is for occasional home, office, or student use, and will manually punch up to 7 sheets at a time.  This machine will bind up to 90 sheets with a 1/2” comb, and allows the user to punch and bind continuously for maximum productivity.  Paper is loaded vertically for accurate punch alignment.  There are adjustable edge guides to help  center documents with ease.  There is also a document thickness guide to help users select the proper comb width.  A built-in comb storage tray is provided for added convenience.

These options may not be what you are looking for.  Click here to visit our web-page on other scrapbook binding options, or go to our alphabetical subject page above and click on the “S” to see information on other binding pages.

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Ron on February 1st, 2011 | File Under Binder/Laminator, Helpful Products, Scrapbooking | No Comments -