DIY Folder with Pocket Tutorial

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Following on from my last post where I painted a large sheet of patterned paper, I mentioned I had a project in mind to use it. Here's what I used it for, I made a neat folder for my sketches and illustrations. I've been doing more illustrations recently, working and developing my style, I do work in sketchbooks and notebooks but I like to work on loose sheets a lot of the time and I've little stacks of these all over the place! So I thought I'd make a special folder to keep them in.

I had an idea of what I wanted the folder to look like but I wasn't really sure how to make it, so I pretty much made it up as I went along. I took a few photos as I was making it, it's not perfect, I definitely would have lined the inside to hide a few things but otherwise it worked out nicely!

So my painted patterned paper is face down under these pieces of card. My folder is going to be holding A4 sheets of paper so I made the large rectangles slightly larger than that, the two long strips of card are the depth or thickness of the folder and the last rectangle on the right is the flap closure on the folder. I trimmed the corners of the patterned paper before folding but didn't go right to the corner of the card, I just left a couple of mm.

I used double sided tape to stick the card to the patterned paper and a glue stick to stick the edges of patterned paper over. I folded the two ends first then the top and bottom of the folder.

Then I folded over each join to make sure everything was sitting nicely. Now at this point I probably should have lined the inside of the folder, I didn't think the white join lines on the inside would bother me so much but they do now! SO, line the inside with a coordinating paper!

Next I made a pocket to go inside the folder, this is pretty straightforward, you have tabs on either side, the top rectangle adheres to the folder and the bottom rectangle will be the front of the pocket.

I used double sided tape to stick the ends together, here it is fully assembled. I adhered the shorter side to the folder.

At this point, I would test the positioning of the pocket before sticking it down, by inserting a sheet of paper, so the distance from the edge will be the same at the top and bottom.

I did use both double sided tape and a stronger craft adhesive to stick the pocket down, just to make sure it was secure.

I planned to have a tie ribbon closure at the front. So I needed to make some slits for the ribbon, firstly I measured half way between the top and bottom on the inside and made a small mark.

You only need to make two slits, the first one is shown below, I marked it with a pencil, slightly larger than the ribbon, so it would be easier to thread through.

The second slit is on the other side of the piece of card that holds the pocket. Again I marked it with a pencil.

Then make the slits with a metal ruler and a sharp craft knife or scalpel and mind your fingers!

Then simply thread the ribbon through from the back into the first slot and across and out of the next.

Bring the ribbon around to the front, with even lengths on either side. Then tie a neat bow as best you can!

Then trim the ends of the ribbon with a sharp scissors, don't trim it too short in case you need to take a bit more off if your cut isn't clean.

And that's it, the only change I would make is to line the inside to hide the white lines but at least you can see the folds clearly in the tutorial because of them!

That's all for now! At least my sketches and illustrations aren't all over the place now and it turned out pretty cute! I think I'll make a couple more. Thanks for dropping by! Have a great week! : )


  1. I love this, Clare!! Your directions are clear and concise and I love that, too! Thank you for sharing and taking the time to make the tutorial!! Hugs, Darnell

  2. Thanks Darnell! I'm so glad you like it!

  3. Clare, your paper is just gorgeous!! I love your artwork that is up on your instagram too!! You should submit these with some coordinating patterns to some fabric companies. I quilt more than I do stamping nowdays and I would LOVE some fabric like that to work with!! email me if you want the name of some companies in the US that I could point you to. Maybe we will both get lucky: you could sell your art and I could sew with it!! Hugs, H in Healdsburg

    1. Thanks Helen! It's definitely something I'd love to do in the future. I just need to create more designs and patterns and get a portfolio of work together. I'm working towards it for sure! I really appreciate your comment by the way! It's nice to get some positive feedback. Yes, I'm loving instagram at the moment, lots of creativity on there!

  4. Let me know when you're ready and I'll see if I can get someone to look at your work!


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