During a recent art therapy supervision session, I was re-introduced (thanks Mary!) to the technique of taking a basic file folder and re-purposing it into a mini book that could be used as an art journal. I wanted to remember the folding sequence and steps involved, so I decided to do a quick, short how-to video and thought other creatives would also be interested in trying this fun, easy, and inexpensive idea. Materials you will need to get started include a file folder (with side tabs, not a middle tab) and some glue:
Here’s some written steps:
1. Start with the tab in the upper right hand corner.
2. Fold the folder up from the bottom straight across so the tab curves line up. This will create four pockets inside of the journal.
3. Next start with the right side and begin to fold this into the middle, making sure the bottom of the tab lines up with the file’s center seam.
4. Fold the left side to the middle, lining up the upper left section with the center seam. Note the file’s tabs will be extending out of the journal.
5. Squeeze the folder/journal in together- Glue the middle together and the folder’s edges.
6. Embellish with paint, collage, fabric, and mixed media materials. The thickness of the file folder surface is great for painting, sewing into, and doing lots of collage! The pockets are the perfect size for Artist Trading Cards, tags, and other creative keepsakes!
I remember that the January/February 2011 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors also had an article about making art from office supplies and featured a File Journal (watch the video here!), with another slightly different folding technique and ideas for Journal Cards/Tags to put inside the pockets. I have also been researching other inspiring examples on the sites Dreamcicle Journeys and Rough Around the Edges, as I continue to keep working on the art journals I have started.
If you try this technique out, I would love to see your journal! Feel free to comment with a link to a photo, post, etc.!