How To Decorate a File Cover

Here you will find a step-by-step master class on how to make, or rather to remake, an ordinary stationery folder with files for the now very relevant, so-called portfolio for a student.

You will make such an original folder in just a couple of hours!


For this you need:

  • Folder with files, A4 format
  • Stationery cutter
  • Metal ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • 2 sheets of 30 * 30 cardstock or thin colored cardboard, or 2 sheets of heavy scrapbooking paper for Endpapers
  • 2 sheets of scrapbooking paper 30 * 30cm for the cover
  • Thematic cardboard stickers (chipboard) or any pictures on a school theme
  • Glue Moment Crystal, a large tube (a small one is not enough for you)
  • Any acrylic paint of a suitable color
  • Brush
  • 2mm thick binding board for the cover
  • Simple pencil (possibly)
  • A small piece of fabric that matches the color
  • Sheet of thin cardboard A4
  • Glue stick or thick PVA (a little)

 First stage: cut off the cover-cover from the plastic folder, leave 1.5-2 cm each.


Second phase: cut off to the size of our files (22 * 30cm) two sheets for endpapers

(I have this cheerful green cardstock – dense, but thin cardboard measuring 30 * 30, so I cut off only one side, the photo shows the marking of the rug 22 cm.)


3. Apply glue to the remaining “wings” of our folder and glue the endpapers like this:

For fidelity, you can sew on a sewing machine. In addition, the machine stitching is very decorative. If you don’t have a sewing machine, that’s okay! So you will glue it well :))) 

This is how future endpapers will look like. They can also be decorated using the scrapbooking technique, but at the very end.

4. Now we take the binding cardboard. It is sold in any art store. It happens in different sizes, I take large sheets of 70 * 100 and cut into the desired format. In this case, I cut out two covers of 22.5cm * 31 cm, since it is better to make the cover a little larger than the main sheets. Then I paint the ends and sides of the covers with acrylic paint of a suitable color so that our cover looks beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. 


5. Cut sheets of paper for scrapbooking to fit our cover. 30 * 22cm
Now it is clear why we painted the ends and sides of the cover? Scrapbooking paper is mainly produced with a maximum format of 30 * 30, A4 format is still quite rare. If you use designer paper, which is usually large, then of course you can cut the sheets exactly to the size of the cover.
Cover sheets can also be stitched around the perimeter for beauty and glued to cardboard.
I chose naughty zigzags.

6. Now we need to make a spine that connects the cover.
A standard folder with 20 files has a spine size of 1.5cm. If you have a larger folder, measure the spine and draw such a diagram on thin cardboard. X cm spine + 5 mm allowances on both sides for a free fit (as they would say in sewing terminology). I tried to make a 7mm allowance, it turned out to be too big.

7. Take a piece of cotton fabric (I chose a light yellow color) slightly higher in height than your spine.

8.Using a glue stick, glue the fabric to the spine blank. You can also glue it with thick PVA glue applied in a thin layer.

We fold the fabric allowances and glue them to the wrong side.

9. When the fabric is dry, sew the spine and seam allowances every 5mm.

10. We glue according to the marking of the lid like this, from the outside. It is better to apply the glue 2 times according to the instructions, wait until it dries a little and glue, pressing firmly. The cover is almost ready. It remains to connect with endpapers.
11. Now, quite abundantly, but evenly, apply glue to the entire surface of the endpaper and glue it to the cover one by one. First one side, then the other, when the first side grips well! Moreover, it is necessary to press down quite well and iron the entire surface with your hand, especially at the spine. Take your time, wait until one side dries well. Because if you hurry up, the flyleaf will move away from the base.

One side is glued. We begin to glue the second …

This is how the glued endpaper looks like.

12. The most pleasant thing remains – the cover design!
We take scrap paper scraps, themed stickers, decorations and beautifully group the decor))))
Don’t scatter elements all over the page. You should have the center of the folder, usually an inscription is formed in the center, it can be a frame with an inscription.


It remains to insert diplomas and certificates, the achievements of your child into the files.


I hope the master class is useful to you! Thank you for your attention and creative mood!))))

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