Something about my sense of aesthetics makes it really hard for me to use manila file folders in the office. And, keeping them in plain view is irritating!
It would really make my work life more pleasant if I could keep a dozen or so file folders handy on my desk for current projects. So, I set out to find some pretty file folders to replace my manila eyesores!
After shopping around in stores and online, I was shocked to find out that any cute looking folders would cost me $15 for a package of 6! How could they be $15? A box of 100 plain manila folders cost $7.95!
The solution, of course, was to make some myself. I would simply cover some of the inexpensive plain ones I already owned. And, with Earth Day on my mind, (it is tomorrow – April 22nd) reusing something to decorate the folders seemed an appropriate and earth-friendly solution!
I would transform the inexpensive, manila folders at no cost by reusing something I found visually appealing. Right away I thought of my favorite item to recycle – Terrain shopping bags! Perfect!
There are plenty of attractive options for reusing that can substitute for Terrain shopping bags if you don’t have a Terrain store near you – here are a few ideas:
• Sheet music
• Old maps/nautical maps
• Newspaper from a significant date or a foreign newspaper (if you use newspapers, you will need to cover them with a clear laminate paper to prevent the newsprint from making a mess!)
• Pages from unwanted books or magazines (library book sales are great for this!)
• Wrapping paper (when you get a gift with great paper, don’t you always save it?)
If all else fails, and you have no paper you can recycle, pick up some decorative paper at a paper or craft store. I love Paper Source for finding great decorative papers. (The feather motif paper shown here came from Paper Source.)
Attaching a decorative paper to the manila folders is pretty easy. Be sure to have one straight edge. Then, apply spray adhesive to the front of the folder – masking off all surrounding areas from overspray. Use that straight edge to line up your paper on the folded edge of the front of the folder – good side of the decorative paper facing out – smoothing the paper flat. Trim excess paper with a craft knife or scissors.
I adhered the decorative covering to the front of the folder – the part I see – but, I also wanted the visible part of the tab covered. I decided to use chalkboard Contact paper for the covering on the tab. This way, I could easily update the information on the tabs. Since I will be using these folders on my desktop for current projects, the chalkboard tabs will make for easy updating!
I cut 12” x 2” strips of chalkboard Contact paper for this purpose and adhered them to the inside tab section of the folder, smoothing the paper to eliminate air bubbles. Then, I trimmed the excess with a craft knife.
Cute file folders? Check! Sigh…so much better! :)
Thanks so much for stopping by! Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie