Wednesday, October 19, 2011

DIY: Rockin' File Folders

Greetings, and thanks so much for stopping by!

Today I would like to share a craft with you that comes from a friend of mine. It's a great way to transform those fabulous old record album covers into something you can use and enjoy everyday. Here's an example of what she started with:

Gotta love the Monkees.. wouldn't you love to look at those smiling faces instead of plain old file folders on your desk? If you don't have any album covers you're prepared to give up for this craft, you can pick these up for not a lot of money at garage sales, thrift shops, and flea markets -- or even free on Freecycle!

Use a plain file folder as your template. Look at your album and decide which part you want to keep. You'll  want to keep the best part of the picture - often the top. Once you've chosen, line up the bottom of the file folder with the FOLDED side of the album you're keeping (again, usually the top). This will be the bottom of your new file folder. (Just make sure you're not lining the bottom of your template with the open end of the album!)

You can see in the picture that this leaves a bit of the album left over on each side, and more above the top. These parts will need to be removed. The easiest way to do this is with a heavy duty paper cutter. We took off the sides first. See the red lines in the picture? These show where we will be trimming down the album cover.

If you'd like, you could draw a line along each edge of the template, and cut along your line on the paper cutter. My friend just used the file folder as a cutting guide. Either way works, just make sure everything is aligned before you make any cuts, and of course, be safe!  The "template" file folder was curving up a bit in the picture above.. if you're using the file folder as a cutting guide, make sure to hold it flat when you do the cutting.

Here is my friend making the first trim (along that red line). Repeat on the other side.

Then it's time to trim off the extra from the top of your new file folder. This is where your file folder will "open". Trace or trim along the upper edge of the file folder tab (see the red line in the photo below). This will give you the general shape of the new folder.

With both the sides and top trimmed, now you'll need to do the rest by hand. Trace along the edge (see the red line on the photo below) then cut with scissors. Take your time and use a good pair of scissors, some of these albums can be difficult to cut. You could also use a craft knife, just be sure not to over-cut.

Ta da! Here's the result! Finish it off by applying a file folder label, covering the brown inside color of the album cover. Now it's looking like a file folder!

To strengthen the folder for use, you can apply some brown kraft or scrapbook paper to the inside bottom  fold of the new file folder. Just cut a strip about an inch wide and apply with a glue stick.

Match the color of the label to the album. You can buy these at any office supply store.

Some of the album covers were worn on the outside edges. To give them a finished look, you can add solid or patterned edges using a matching scrapbook paper and a gluestick. As most albums have a lot going on, a solid color is often a good choice. Again, cut a strip about an inch wide, the length of the file folder, and apply with a glue stick.

Here are all the file folders that were made. What a great gift that you can personalize! You can be sure that the recipient of these loved them.

That was easy, I think even I can do that :) Thanks, Mary, those file folders are rockin'! I'm looking out for fun album covers now!

This post is entered in the following link parties:

The Shabby Nest

Thirty Hand Made Days


Tip Junkie handmade projects



  1. Very cool idea. Visiting from Stumble Upon For You hop and just stumbled it for you.

  2. Wow! Great post! It's very creative. But I feel bad about the record covers. Maybe I can use old magazine covers and posters? Moms can also do this for the kids right? Thanks for the tips!


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