Office-Supply Journal Folder

Didn’t want to take the whole big journal, but wanted to take some papers to journal on. Looking around my office, I found a red file folder. I don’t like the color of red file folders, so I always have extras. But file folders are meant to hold papers, so the purpose was set.

I opened the file folder, and then folded each side to the center line. I left the tabs intact.

Then I folded up the long bottom side. I made the fold about two inches high. Now I had an accordion fold page holder. Except it was file-folder red. I used three colors of acrylic paint and a sponge, and sponged over the red. Using Titan Buff, Aztec Gold and Burnt Sienna, I created an irregular color pattern all over the folder.

You can display the cards or hide them while you are working on them.

As paper, I decided to take long postcards to write on. It created a completely different approach to journaling–postcards, not just from a location, but from the other side of my brain. Using the ephemera I found along the way, I made several postcards and sent them to me back at home, a reminder where I had been when I arrived back.

Folder held closed with a duct-tape belt.

The folder needed something to hold it closed, but easy to open. For that I reached to my old favorite—duct tape. The directions are below.

It’s a simple, useful, easy-to-make journal that you can make if you are in your office. It’s handy, holds a variety of papers, and looks pretty good–for a red file folder.

Tutorial for duct-tape belt for your journal

In the final step, adjust the size of the belt to fit loosely and comfortably around the journal.

-Quinn McDonald is a writer and journal artist whose book will be out in July.

5 thoughts on “Office-Supply Journal Folder

  1. You mean they aren’t “vanilla folders”? Would this one have been cherry or perhaps apple? I remember calling them vanilla also!

  2. This is a great journal! How did you know I had just been looking at some file folders and thinking about ways to use them for a journal? I wouldn’t have thought of folding it the way you did and I am loving the tape belt! Here I go pulling out more goodies to play with!

    • It’s really easy and practical, too. I must admit, I like using what my son called “vanilla folders” better than the colored ones. The belt is great–keeps it closed but not jammed shut.

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