OK - so hands up if you have one (or a bunch) of those boring folders at home - you know the sort you store plastic pockets inside, use as stamp binders, keep ephemera and ideas in ....... They might look a bit like this, they might have a plastic cover, they have 3 or 4 rings .... this sort of thing.
So you saw these in my craft room a while ago - I have masses of them, big ones, little ones, black, blue, white and a bunch of other colours - my gosh they looked downright hideous! Here's a reminder...
I know, I know - not very visually appealing! My problem here is that while not pretty to look at they provide a purely practical function that I couldn't find a replacement for, well not one I had the space or the $ to implement. In these folders I store my unmounted stamp collection (the bulk of the folders), my A4 papers, my ephemera, my ideas, my embellishments, alphabets, stickers etc. I had to find a way to make these work for me.
So this is what I've done:
- Have a MASSIVE clean out, I savagely went through my paper stash A4, 12x12 and random sizes (I had much more than one gal could use in a lifetime) and I reduced my hoard by a little over 2/3's (many thanks to the lovely lady who purchased all my papers in one huge hit!)
- I re-sorted all the contents and combined into fewer folders where possible.
- I gave away all my 2 ring binders as these were not ideal for storing my craft items and I also gave away all of my thinnest folders as these took up more room than necessary.
- I took a look at what was left and dumped any damaged, rusty or warped binders along with those that had damaged binder rings.
- I then ruthlessly purged most of my 'odd' colour folders and took these in to use at work
- I bought 7 new 400 sheet Bantex folders (so all my stamps are now in similar folders)
- Then I set about 'tarting-up' my boring white folders and this is what I did.
Gather your supplies: White card stock, black cardstock, 12 x 12 Damask template from Crafter's Workshop, black gesso, stippling brush, double sided tape, printed labels and Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst Sprays in Sea Mint Green & Bells of Ireland Green.
- Measure the spine of your folder, I then subtracted 1 cm from width and 1 cm from height (to be sure my spine label would fit. Cut black card to the size of this initial measurement and put aside.
- Trim a piece of white card to the correct length - but do not yet cut. Lay onto scrap paper and spritz lightly with Sea Mint Green, half way up the card, then while wet spray bottom of each piece heavily with Bells of Ireland. I've chopped some of the white area off in this photo, but this is how the sprayed 1/2 looked.
- I then cut this into strips that were thinner than the black base strips - it's up to you what size you make these, I was going for dramatic effect, so I cut the coloured strip small enough to have a large black border.
- Next I used black gesso and a template to stencil on an image along the base of each strip - I intentionally made each one slightly different so they didn't look like a little row of copies.
- Allow 20 minutes for the paint to dry and then attach the painted strip to the base strip.
- Print the contents of each folder onto a piece of paper (I used a coordinating colour) and mount onto a small piece of black card using double sided tape.
- I then used a small piece of tape to attach the label to the top of the coloured strip - a very small piece of tape. By doing this I can remove the label without damaging the decorated strip if I need to change the label in the future. Now you may ask WHY spend all this time and effort on making labels for the folders in my craft room?
Because my ratty collection of folders now looks like this...
I think this was worth a little effort, looks much nicer now and as an added bonus now they are sparkly!