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3.26.2011

File Folder Paper Organizer Tutorial

I had wanted to buy one of those cute wood magazine wall racks that you see in catalogs like Ballard or PB.  But they were too expensive and didn’t have enough pockets. Plus, I had no space for one on my walls.  So, I designed this organizer out of file folders.  I don’t have pictures to show you how it was put together but here is the finished product.  I used double sided file folders so that I could fold down the edge with the tab where you label the folder.  This makes it a bit easier to slip the papers in.  I put mine together with glue and grommets.  I love the grommets and ribbon, but it was really difficult.

So later, I made one for a customer by sewing the folders together with my sewing machine and a heavy duty needle.  It worked well.  I then punched some holes and added some grommets and the ribbon because she wanted them.  If you want them too, please get yourself a seriously heavy duty hole punch or just buy 3 or 4 because you will no doubt break one or two.  You could totally make it cute without the grommets though.
I made these ones for some Christmas gifts for my sisters.

I also made some cute labels for my tabs and added some dimensional epoxy stickers that I got in the dollar bins at Michaels.  Mine has a pocket for each kid, me, my husband, coupons, receipts, things to file, and things to do (like papers I need to do something about like make an appointment or order something or deal with a problem like insurance claims).  You can have a pocket for whatever you want.  Mine is hung on the pantry door in my kitchen.  The best way to hang it is with 3M Velcro strips.  You probably need 4 of them.  Mine is on 2 but occasionally my one year old rips it off the door.


DIRECTIONS:
The file folder has a front and a back, right.  And both the front and back have an inside and an outside.  The inside is where your papers would go if you were using the folder as intended.  So here is what you do, step by step:
1.      Fold down the tab edge of each folder to the outside of the front of the file folder. 
2.      If you want it extra extra sturdy you could take the folders to be laminated with this edge folded down. You should probably glue it down if you are going to have it laminated.
3.      Decide how much space you want between the tops of the front side of each folder.  Figure out how much you want them to overlap. I made mine far enough apart so that an 8 ½” x 11”  piece of paper could be in the pocket upright without covering the label of the pocket above it.
4.      Use a glue stick to glue the inside of the back side of one folder to the outside of the back side of the folder that will be above it.  So the folders are like nesting inside each other and then spread out like a deck of cards.  Make sure you measure the distance so you can make it the same on each folder.  If you laminated (I did not) you may have to use a different type of glue.
5.      Once all the folders are glued together you can sew up the sides with your machine.  Be sure to back stitch at the ends or tie off your threads to it doesn’t unravel.
6.      Add any embellishments you want like labels, stickers, or ribbon.
7.      Hang with 3M Velcro strips.

I realize this would be a lot easier to understand with pictures.  But I think if you follow the instructions carefully you should be able to duplicate this.  Please email me if you have any questions. 

31 comments:

  1. This is a great idea and so cute!

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  2. This is really cool. I found you on Strut Your Stuff by Somewhat Simple. I also shared your post on my blog: http://koolbeenz-blog.blogspot.com/2011/03/file-folder-paper-organizer-tutorial-by.html

    Feel free to grab my Featured Button

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  3. Wow, I'm totally impressed. I home school and have been looking for something to organize kids papers (wall mounted magazine racks) but they are a little out of our budget. Folders are pretty cheap, and colorful. I'm going to make one for each kid. I'm so excited to try this!!!!! Thank you.

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  4. This is really great and so thrifty. Thanks for linking to We're Organized Wednesday. I'll be featuring this.

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  5. Very nice! I popped over from 'organize and decorate everything' & will surely share your idea with my organizing clients. Do you sell these is someone wanted to order?

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  6. You are so organized. I love this idea :)

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  7. I love this! Its perfect!!! I am making one soon!

    ~Kim

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  8. My email is brittany.mckinney@mavs.uta.edu

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  9. I absolutely love this. I wanna order one!!!! Email me

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  10. Wanted to share an idea with you about making the holes. Have you thought about using the Crop-a-Dille? It is a scrap booking tool that can cut through leather so I am sure it would work on the folders. You can buy them at Hobby Lobby for around $25 and you can use a 40% coupon when they have them.

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  11. Thank you for the Cropodile idea. I bought one and know it will work. wish it punched bigger holes but it should be ok. I also used it to punch holes in jar lids to make sippy cups from my mason jars which I am super excited about so thanks so much!

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  12. I'm going to attempt making one of these. I'm going to either paint the folders or cover with scrap paper then proceed. I'm going to make these now to organize my thoughts on future projects. I am going to make a new project each week in 2012, and I'm hoping to start with this project to help organize lots of paperwork.

    Watch my progess on my blog http://52projectsthishyear.blogspot.com/

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  13. I meant http://52projectsthisyear.blogspot.com/

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  14. I use this in my classroom. It's great because there are six files and I have six classes, AND then folds up so I can just throw it in my bag to grade. I actually have two, one as a "to be graded" and "to be passed out" AND only $15. Might be an easier/cheaper alternative... but not as cute as yours!

    http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10024242&N=&Nao=20&Ntt=file

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  15. This is an awesome idea, and thanks for sharing!

    I know I am late to this, but figured I'd share an idea I had to make the grommet holes, you could use a drill, just put the folder over a solid surface, perhaps some scrap wood and drill the holes. It might make it easier.

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  16. Love this! I linked to your project on my (newish) blog and made my own version this morning!! Thank you so much for the inspiration and the tutorial!

    http://mycraftysummer.blogspot.com/2012/02/organization-attempt-1.html

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  17. Great idea! I shared on my blog.

    http://tnteacher.tumblr.com/

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  18. I just found this project on Pinterest. Clever idea! Thank you for sharing the directions. I love my summer for classroom projects. This one is at the top of my list.

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  19. Great idea! Where do u find cute colorful folders?

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  20. I love it...but I am more of a visual learner. Ifyou have time, can you create a tutorial showing pics. step by step?

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  21. How much are these? Shipping included.

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  22. I would love for you to make me a set of these! My email is jaime.huddleston@hotmail.com Could you email me so I can work this out with you? Thanks!

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  23. I would also love if you could make me one. Please email me at tcurley0108@yahoo.com. Thank you :)

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  24. I really love this idea. I'm not a sewer, so I can't think of a way to make one of these without being able to sew, so I would be very interested in buying one of these. Could you e-mail me at christylynnrice@yahoo.com?

    Thanks!

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  25. I have a friend who used duck tape to make one of these. I love the idea and was trying to find where she got the idea. I will be trying to make one of these in the near future.

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  26. It was God that I found this! I seen one like it, but much smaller & ridiculously expensive. I had been really thinking of stretching my budget to get at least one, but then God led me to your page when I wasn't even looking! :o) Now I bet I could make about 7 for the price I was going to pay for just one that is half the size. Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad! Let me know if you need any help figuring it out!

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  27. I started making one of these yesterday (they are absolutely adorable, so thank you for the idea). I had a question though. When you get to the sewing part, will a needle really go through a file folder? It seems like it would break. I have a heavy duty needle (for jeans and leather), but not sure if that is good enough.

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    Replies
    1. It didn't break my needle. I am sure it will work fine. just go slow. good luck!

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  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

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