Thursday, May 2, 2013

file it

Time for a tute: mini file folders! I love these things. They have so many uses -- coupons, notes, ideas, recipes, journal folders, labels, business cards, etc -- plus, it's just fun to file stuff. But the store bought ones can get pricey, and there were reams of cardstock in my inventory that I knew would be up for the job. I figured they couldn't be hard to make, and they are not. I couldn't find a tutorial that gave me what I needed, though, especially for the tabs -- so I came up with my own. The raised tabs on store bought file folders posed the only tricky part to this process. I saw no way to create the tabs as part of the folder itself without using an X-acto knife to cut the excess away. I have a spotty safety record with those, and I didn't want to spend hours shaping the curves by hand, so that was out. I worked around it by cutting the tabs separately and gluing them on. I'll get back to that later. First, let's get started...

Gather a variety of 8.5x11 cardstock (and scraps) from your stash -- different colors, patterns, textures, etc.

Pick one.

Decide on a folder size and cut your cardstock. Make sure to cut the piece at double the height you want for your folder, since you will be folding it in half. For example, if you want a 4"x6" folder, cut your piece to measure 8"x6"; if you want a 3"x5" folder, cut your piece to measure 6"x5".

Using a paper scorer (mine is from ProvoCraft which works fine for light duty work), place the longer side of your paper along the edge and score the piece in half. For example, you'll score an 8"x6" piece at the 4" mark; you'll score a 6"x5" piece at the 3" mark.

The scoring will leave a nice, neat indentation through the middle, making it easy to fold without cracking.

After folding it in half, use a corner rounder to round the top left and right corners -- don't round on the along the fold. (Here the folder is rotated to fit in the corner rounder, so I'm actually rounding the top right & bottom right corners in this picture.) I use an industrial corner rounder (the Lassco CR20 with a 3/8" die -- a dream if you do lots of paper crafting!) but a simple hand punch paper shaper will do the job well too. You can skip this step if you don't have a corner rounder, but I love how clean and finished the pieces look once the corners have been rounded.

Now you have your folder! On to the tabs.

Using your smaller pieces of cardstock scraps, cut your tabs to the desired size. (I cut mine 1" high and 2" long.)

Round the top left and right corners, run a glue stick along the lower half of the tab,

and attach it to the file folder. 1/2" should be below the top edge of the folder, and 1/2" should be above. (More or less). You can either glue it on the inside (where you'll be able to see the whole tab) or on the back of the folder (where you'll only see the top half of the tab, and it will look more like a traditional file folder). As you make more folders, you'll probably want to stagger the positions of the tabs (some on the left, some on the right, some in between) so that you'll be able to see multiple tabs as you're flipping through your box.

Then you can write anything on your tabs.

Now make lots of them,

put them in a box and file away!

Mine are rather plain for demo purposes (and also, Oreo truffles were being made in the other room which eventually won my attention), but you could do so much to dress these up. Doodle on them, collage them, write on them -- and if you're proficient in Photoshop or Illustrator, you could even print your own patterns on the cardstock and then make the folders from your own designs. That's it -- have a great weekend!



painted fish studio said...

love them!!!

Lisa Gonzalez said...

Love this tute! Thanks for sharing :)

Janelle said...

WOW - timing is perfect - was making 4 x 6 booklets today (sorta like mini junk journals) and wanted them like mini file folders - corner rounder wouldn't round all the sides I wanted so I cut them off -- so now I can go back and add the tabs - never even thought of that. - thanks for the info

Lynn Fisher said...

Love it...great idea!

Jennifer said...

these are fantastic Amy! you are so creative and full of color. Even you scrap paper for gluing is filled with color and so pretty. Your images always steal my heart.

Cindy said...

love all the colors!

Sam said...

Awesome, thanks for the tut!(following a DaisyYellow link love post)

Anonymous said...

wow these are fabulous and so colorful. Better than plain manilla. hehehe

Tricia @ Daring Hue said...

Adorable! Now I want to think of small things to file just so I have an excuse to make these. :)

Kirstin McCulloch said...

I love these! What a fab idea - thanks for sharing x

Andria said...

So bright and colorful! They look very fun.

Lorinda @ Everyday Endeavours said...

adorable. and useful too! am having serious art tool envy though... xx

Christie - Fine Lines said...

I love all the bright colors - and those Oreo truffles sound pretty fantastic, too -- YUM!!

Bella Sinclair said...

ShaZZAM! You always have the best ideas. I want your tools, girl! That corner rounder is too cool.

Hehehe, IF is still around, just under new management. I would love to glue myself on a Tuesday! Frankly, though, you set a high bar with your mad skizzers and glue skills! :) xoxo

Sue M said...

Fantastic idea - thank you for all the inspiration I'm discovering here.

Anonymous said...

looking very good (and organized :))

...thank you so much for stopping by my little blog :)

storybeader said...

How cute! You won't loose anything in those folders! Like your little corner rounder. My previous paper cutter had a little built-in one that was neat. But I'm using the same papercutter as you now! {:-Deb

Trece said...

Hurrah!! I can SO see a boatload of uses for these!! Thanks!