This is my second ever attempt at one of these folders, and my first at a tutorial. I hope itís helpful. I tend to be extremely wordy and didn't really prune this. I apologize in advance.
Hereís the finished product:
And before I launch into it...
A note on grain:
I am almost certain that every piece of paper/card/board I used in this folder was short grained. Especially when using copious amounts of white glue, Iíve found that having the grain run in the same direction makes for less wrinkles.
And a note on glue:
I used Elmers Glue-all but I also cheated and used a glue stick when I was pasting flaps on paper down because my gluing skills are pretty substandard and I was cheating. Try not to go with the glue stick, it isnít quite as permanent as the white glue.
That said, hereís a picture of almost everything you will need:
- Three pieces of mat board. Two pieces measure 9x12, the spine for my folder was 1.5x12.
- Two pieces of card that measure 5x9 for the inner pockets. This should not be as thin as regular cardstock but should not be as thick as mat board either. I included a picture comparing the thickness further down.
- A sheet of decorative paper to cover it up
- A sheet of contrasting paper to cover the insides. I used rather heavy black paper (not pictured) but I donít think the weight matters a whole lot.
- A craft knife and cutting mat.
- A ruler. The set square is optional, it just makes right angles easier to draw
- A pencil.
- A bone folder (or a popsicle stick, or your nails, whatever works for you)
- A brush for the glue (or your fingers will work too)
- Glue! I used Elmers Glue-All and a Rite Aid glue stick (latter also not pictured). You donít really need the glue-stick. I used it because I am lazy.
- A bunch of heavy books.
- Scissors are helpful too
Okay! Lets get started.
Cut a piece of the decorative paper that is large enough to cover all three pieces of mat board (see above). Lay the pieces of mat board on it such that
a) They run in a straight line. I did this by drawing a line in pencil about an inch from the bottom and setting them out on it, and
b) They are all 1/8 of an inch apart. Iím told 1/8 inch is enough to let it swing at a right angle. 3/16 will give you greater swing but thatís all up to you. I used 1/8.
Once youíve arranged them to your satisfaction, go ahead and glue them in place. Make sure you flip it over and use your bone folder to iron out any wrinkles because wrinkly paper looks shoddy. Once youíve done that, pull out that handy pair of scissors and chop the corners off the paper to better facilitate the next round of gluing. You donít need to get too close to the mat board.
I like to fold the edges over the mat board before I start gluing anything in place. I also like to begin by gluing the shorter flaps over. In reality, it doesnít matter which you glue in place first as long as all the flaps get glued down neatly.
Yay! Flaps in place!
Grab that sheet of contrasting paper. Cut it to a size that will fit the entire inside of the folder. I chose to have mine measure about 11x18.5 (an inch less on either side than the dimensions of the folder lying flat).
Check that itís the right size and glue it on very carefully. To do this, try to work slowly and keep in mind that the whole structure is going to fold. You can see that mine has a giant air bubble in the spine Ė itís there because I forgot about the folds. Try to glue the paper down over one of the pieces of mat board and then use the bone folder to score in the fold and press it down before gluing it to the spine. Before you move from the spine to the second large piece of board, score and press down into the second fold. When youíre done it should look like the picture above, only neater.
The pockets within come next.
Hereís my not so awesome attempt to compare the thickness of the folder to the cardboard I used for the pockets. The latter is much more flexible.
You should have two pieces of cardboard measuring 5x9 inches. On each you want to draw a line one inch from the bottom and one from the side - an inch from the left for one pocket; from the right for the other.
Draw these lines in and then cut out the square inch that overlaps.
Score along the lines you just drew and fold the flaps inward.
Your right hand pocket will now look like this. The other will be a mirror image of the same.
Now fold both the flaps in and turn it around. One flap will fold in more easily than the other, in my case it was the bottom one. Once folded, hold them in place and turn the pocket over. From where they overlap, one of the flaps will protrude a bit from the bottom. Use your craft knife to trim this off. Do the same with the other pocket.
Cut a large piece of decorative paper and glue the pocket to the back of it. Make sure you watch the folds like before. Cut off the corners of the paper again and cover the pocket. The best way to cover around the corner that was cut out is to make a diagonal cut across where that square would be. This creates two smaller flaps that fold in with no fuss.
Hereís the other side of the pocket after its been covered. Look for wrinkles, smooth them out.
This step is kind of unnecessary. Iím just finicky. I covered the inside of the pocket (just the main pocket, I didnít bother with the flaps) with more paper. It makes me feel like itís more finished. In reality, you canít ever see it when the folderís all put together.
Once both the pockets are covered, fold the flaps in once again and glue them together. To make sure the glue did its job, I left them under a stack of books for about half an hour
Once theyíre done, simply use more glue and fix them inside your folder. Stack some more books on for a while, let the glue dry and youíre done!
The pockets definitely arenít the most ingenious but once theyíve been broken in (and by that I mean ruthlessly stuffed with paper until the stiffness of the glue gives a little), they last for a long long time. They could be done other ways but Iíve not really had time to experiment yet. Feedback and criticism is always welcome
Happy storing! Post pictures if you make one!