Today I’m going to share a tutorial on how to turn a basic manila file folder into a functional, beautiful piece. One of my favorite things to do is to make regular, mundane tasks a bit more beautiful. Like ruffles on dish towels. It’s more fun drying dishes with a cute towel! It helps me remember that is the task God has set before me for the moment. Well, this little project came about when we had a problem. Our problem: restaurant menus were crowding my organized junk drawer in the kitchen. We don’t eat out a lot, but when we do we like to eat at locally owned places. With three small children, you want to know what you want to order as soon as you sit down. The menus also help for when we have guests; they can get a feel for the restaurant before we get there. So, throwing the menus out wasn’t an option. We don’t have a large kitchen with another drawer to spare. We also do not have an office station in or near the kitchen. I could have used a magnetic clip and simply hung them on the refrigerator. That, however, would not have been very beautiful.
Steps 1-8 are simple instructions on covering a manila file folder. You can do whatever you want for these steps! Steps 9-11 are the steps in which we turn the file folder into its functional piece.
- File Folder
- 12 x 12 piece of scrapbook paper
- Mod Podge or Spray Adhesive (or a glue stick)
- Glossy Accents (optional–found at Hobby Lobby in scrapbooking section)
- Craft magnets
Oh, and scissors and a pencil!
Step 1: Lay the front side of the file folder against the wrong side of your scrapbooking paper and trace around the outside.
Step 2: Cut it out.
After you cut it out, your shape should look like the front of a file folder. See below.
Step 3: Apply your adhesive of choice to the back of the scrapbook paper. I chose spray adhesive because I think it is the simplest to use in this project; a glue stick would take too long and Mod Podge has the tendency to wrinkle paper if you put too much on. However, both of those would work as well.
Step 4: Apply your scrapbook paper to the front of your file folder.
Step 5: Note the lowest point at which the front flap hits the inside of the back flap. Make a small mark.
Step 6: Cut a strip of paper wide enough to reach from the top down to the little mark you made. Apply your adhesive.
Step 7: Apply your strip to the inside of the back flap of the file folder. You will have excess paper hanging off. Since I had a double-sided piece of scrapbooking paper, I chose to use the coordinating side for the back strip.
Step 8: Trim off the excess paper. You could also use this method for the front of the file folder. This eliminates the need to perfectly align your paper with the file folder.
Now this is what you should have.
Ah, so pretty! Now on to the real part of the tutorial.
Step 9: Open up your file folder and apply Glossy Accents to the inside edges of the front flap. You can use whatever glue you want. The reason I chose Glossy Accents was because it comes out in such a thin line which allows me the most possible room to store papers inside. Hot glue would be another “thin” option.
Step 10: Close the file folder and press edges together squeezing out any excess glue.
Step 11: Turn your file folder over to the very back, take your craft magnets, and glue two on the top corners.
And you’re finished! Now go hang your beautiful, functional file folder on that refrigerator of yours!
Like I said, steps 9-11 are the main instructions for the concept of the File Folder Holder. Be creative with steps 1-8! Don’t have a 12 x 12 sheet of scrapbooking paper? Cut designs and colors out of old magazines. Don’t stop with the paper. Add ribbon, buttons, lace, or a journaling card with a quote or scripture on it. The possibilities are endless!
Want to make the project really easy? Decorative file folders are sold at a lot of big box stores. Then all that’s required is gluing the edges and adding magnets. Which is exactly what I did with the top folder below!
So what are you going to store in your file folder? I want to know your ideas.
- restaurant menus?
- grocery lists?
- drop-off nursery slips?