For my portfolio class we were given a budget and told to go buy a nice portfolio to use during our class presentations, and keep for job interviews. I went to the store (Flax in SF is AMAZING, but $$!) and saw that they only had one style of portfolio that would work for our type of projects. It came in bamboo ($130) brown wood ($130) metal ($100) and white and black plastic ($80). Honestly I was kinda Meh about them. They were pretty, but really $$. Also, I had a feeling that everyone one in my class would buy one...and that kinda defeats the point of having an eye-catching and interesting portfolio.
Long story short, I decided to make one. I looked on ebay and eventually found a suitable book that had a vertical layout and was 13x19". My projects are tabloid size 11x17" so that gave me a nice border. Later on my teacher assigned we have a smaller companion book (8.5x11 printouts) of our fabric, merchandising plans, support and research materials. The two books combined cost me about $60, $50 of which was my budget.
I did the smaller book first as my tester, so I didn't take a lot of pictures. It was a photography book called "Dogs in the Sun". The pictures are actually very nice, I plan to keep some when I clean my room post-finals madness.
One point I am not happy about? The black masking tape. I was almost done re-binding when the fabric spine of the book got a crack in it. I tried a few methods to fix it, but in the end went with the tape, it covered the text which I thought might be distracting anyway.
After I was done re-binding the inside was still kinda messy, and the dogs were now really random so I covered it with some black paper. Double-stick tape yeaaa!
When doing the larger book I took more pictures. First get some fabri-tac glue, and some spray glue if you think you may want to temporarily bond stuff. As the pages of the portfolio I used two cheap Itoya brand portfolios I got from school. Make sure you look for the kind that has the perforated spine. In some versions (like mine) it was glued and easy to pull off. I have also seen them sewn.
Then take your book and carefully cut/pull out the pages of the book. Try to leave as much of the book as you can as it will give you more to work with later.
Next measure your book and cut a buckram strip the length and width of the spine. Since my book included extra pages of the rust cover paper, I cut a piece wider than the buckram and spray glued them together. I knew I was going to be sewing in two bunches of the Itoya pages, so I marked sewing lines on the buckram.
Next sew the Itoyapages to the Buckram/paper strip. I used several strands of Silimide (waxed thread) and a back-stitch.
When you are all done, put a fair amount of Fabri-tac on the buckram, and press everything into the book. Hold in place until it sets (usually under 30 seconds) then let be a little while to be safe. For my first book (The blue one) I didn't have a colored paper strip do I covered the join with the tape. For the second book I had planned to glue the paper down sealing the join. Unfortunately for me I ran out of fabri-tac and not only was the spray glue not strong enough it stained the paper :(
With the aid of a friend I was able to make it out to a store that carried Fabri-tac. After that gluing the join/paper was easy. To cover the messiness left by the spray glue I added another piece of the rust paper over that. I even had enough paper left to add a pocket to the front, it hold my CD (digital version of portfolio content) and business card.
Having had my my BIG portfolio presentation this morning, I can say it was a huge success! One of the critiques even commented on it. He said something like, "I noticed it was different than everyone else, I was intrigued/interested to see what was inside." He also asked if I had mentioned its relevance during my presentation (Which I hadn't) but now I am wondering if I should have? It is definitely relevant to my theme (Anachronism) and as my major fashion trend I used Steampunk. It's definitely not a 100% steampunk book, but it has the flavor.