This is a unique challenge blog where we are inspired by and focus on the Vintage; shabby; mixed-media; art journaling; industrial, timeworn and steampunk genres and encompass the talent, flair, expertise and ideas of many artists that we are inspired by. We welcome all types of projects - cards, journaling, assemblage, layouts, albums, atcs, altered art in fact whatever you want to share (as long as it is in good taste).

Friday 15 June 2018

Fun with File Folders

Hello lovely visitors, - it's the third Friday of the month and that means a tutorial post from this month's challenge host, and that happens to be me - Astrid

As this month is all about using stencils, here is a tutorial of how to create a file folder booklet with pockets where you can store tags or cards using different stencil techniques.

 I created this folder for the challenge and I shall now show you how you could make one yourself.

The file folder I used for this project was a Kraft coloured folder in Foolscap size, but any size file folder will do.
But before I go into the details, for some reason these folders are hard to come by in the UK, while in the US or Australia any stationery shop will have them, but I found one source HERE, just in case you are interested.

You can of course decide what height you would like your folder to be, and also how deep you would like the pockets. You will also need to decide whether you want the tab to be at the top or at the bottom, or indeed not have a tab at all, in which case you would simply trim it off.
 For my folder I decided to have the tab at the top, so I trimmed 2" (5 cm) off the bottom,  and then folded the bottom up to create pockets about 3" (7.5 cm) deep
Having it this size means the space is just right to fit size 8 tags in the bottom pockets, and a size 10 tag in a top loading pocket. More about that in a moment.
Open your folder up and create a W shape by utilising the central folder fold and then folding each side up towards the centre as you can hopefully see from the photo, using a bone folder to get nice sharp creases.

Time to decorate your folder in whatever way you want:

 I decided to use designer paper and started decorating the front of the folder, by cutting a piece of my chosen paper (Stamperia Blues collection), about 1/4 " smaller than the folder front.

The paper I used  had a white kind of baroque pattern on it already, so I chose a stencil that would match that and stencilled with texture paste and while that was still wet, sprinkled some of Seth Apter's Baked Textures in Rust into it and then dried with my heat-gun to give it the rusty effect.
Next I added some strips of washi tape and did some background stamping. 
A few other embellishments and flowers finished it all off.
Time to decorate the inside panels, obviously as the pockets will fold up, you need to make sure to put your papers on the correct side. I also cut some notches with a circle punch to make it easier to get the tags in and out.
The pockets are decorated with slightly different stencil techniques using word stencils. For these two I used sand paste,giving it a slightly grungy texture, (hard to see on the photos). I then decorated further with background stamping, some lace and fussy cut elements.

For these two pockets I used Distress Crayons, scribbling over the top of the stencil and then rubbing it in with my fingers. This gives a slightly raised effect.

Alright, time to create the booklet. First glue the pockets toward the base of the booklet by either using a thin strip of wet glue or very narrow double sided tape.  Next, if you want a top pocket, glue panel two and three together in an L shape, so don't glue the top together. If you don't want a pocket, just glue these two panels together completely and your booklet is done. I hope the photos below explain this step:

Now you could easily continue and add several more pages to your book and make a mini or journal, but I decided to just keep it like this.

Now I had planned to tell you more about the tags I made too, but this tutorial has become so long already, that I will do a more in depth tutorial for the tags soon on my own blog, so if you are interested, - stay tuned.
Here are just photos of 3 of the 5 tags I made using different stencil techniques:
Using sprays for stencilling and a dry embossed background.
Using white paint, again against a dry embossed background.

And this #10 tag using crackle paste

Well, that's it for now. Thank you for your visit today, and don't forget there is still almost a week to join in our current challenge. Happy creating!


  1. What a fabulous tutorial Astrid, you make it all look so simple. I always seem to get in a muddle with folds and they never seem to fold back as neat as they should. Decorated in those posh papers with it's pockets, it holds so many lovely things with room for more. I really must try this. Thank you for the inspiration, it's magnificent.
    Hugs Tracey xx

  2. Wonderful tutorial, and so easy to follow! Even I could follow your directions and not get lost--so thank you for that! As always your project is full of the gorgeous texture and richness I so love. Thank you for your inspiration! Hugs!

  3. Fab project, thanks for the tutorial!

  4. Oh my gosh Astrid! You are truly on a roll with these file folder minis! I totally adore this one and your grunged up DP adornment. The tags are incredible and I would just love to have a good flip through of this beauty again and again. Wow! Bravo and thanks for reminding us of this fun project idea. Big hugs, Autumn

  5. Astrid, my oh my!! it is gorgeous , love the construction from a file folder, and have to have a look here in my paper shop :-)
    Your pages are stunning Astrid, and the tags, too- all wonderful in blue-brown tones, which I love.
    Thankyou for the tutorial.
    Hugs, Dorthe, x

  6. I saw this over at A Vintage Journey and it is just beautiful, Astrid. I love the floral motifs and the embossing. And those papers lend the perfect amount of vintage color and texture. I really like the file folder idea. Beautiful!

  7. Astrid, you really are the Queen of file folder journals, this one is gorgeous! I love your detailed tutorial, it is so clear and instructive. Each page and tag is a delight to behold! Hugs, Anne xx

  8. Your file folder is absolutely fabulous , Astrid and the tutorial you have shared today is excellent. You have given us a fantastic lesson in how to 'file folder'and theres nothing better than learning from the very best !
    Hugs x

  9. Such a fantastic tutorial ! Gorgeous ! Thank you!

  10. A great clear and concise tutorial of just how you created this lovely file folder tag holder Astrid - each section looks like a piece of art as well as your beautiful tags! thanks for sharing all the details! Julia xx

  11. Wow!! Absolutely stunning folder journal Astrid! Very clear and concise instructions too .. definitely bookmarking this for future ref. Thanbk you for sharing! hugs x

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  13. Astrid I absolutely love this fabulous file folder and the beautiful details you have incorporated both inside and out xx Having seen it in real life I am in awe of all the texture and wonderful techniques to decorate the papers. Thank You for sharing your detailed step by step xx

    Huge hugs
    Annie xx

  14. A great tutorial for your brilliant file folders - and the tags are amazing too. A useful reminder of the joys of embossing folders, which I often forget to use. Gorgeous textures and vintage styling as always.
    Alison x