File folders are expensive y’all. Especially when you don’t need a million at a time. And the cute ones are even more expensive. However, reusing boxes you already have is free, eco-friendly, and in my opinion, adorable. All it takes is about 10 minutes and a thin cardboard box (like a cereal or frozen pizza box), scissors, a pencil, and an old file as a template. If you want, you can add in some decorative packing tape and a label maker if you want to get fancy.
Step by Step Instructions
Start by cutting down the long seam of your box and laying it flat. Lay your template file over top and find the best fit. Don’t worry if you need to include the tabbed edge to get the right size. We can fix that later. It’s also a good idea to find a seam already made in the box to serve as the folder seam. It’s a lot easier and looks cleaner than folding a new one.
If you care, now is a good time to check which image will be on the front of the folder. I usually like to go with the box cover.
Once you’re happy with the positioning, outline it.
Cut it out. *Said while making the Joey Gladstone gestures.*
Remember when I said we’d take care of the tab part later? The time has come. It’s not necessary, but it adds a fun detail and a little stability. Use packing tape to cover the tabbed edge. Mine just happened to be decorative because that’s how I roll. Half the tape should hang over the edge so it can be folded over and reinforced.
Now all you have to do is label it. It’s easy enough to grab a pen or Sharpie but my favorite is a simple label maker. It looks nice, and it also easier to change if the content of the folder changes. Voila! Grown up organizing materials. Kinda.This may also encourage you to vary your cereal choices, which may or may not be a good thing.