Turn Manila File Folders into an Awesome Mini Journal/Album

When I signed up to take part in Journal52 for this year, I knew I would need a new blank journal.  I already had the Dylusions Journal, which I loved, but I really wanted to try something different.  I looked at the Strathmore Visual Journal, which is a popular choice, but I really wanted something with smaller pages knowing my time to journal and create can be very limited depending upon how busy my tech geek job is.

Then I stumbled upon a video tutorial by Joggles.com.  It took the viewer through creating a small art journal from manila file folders!  Not only was it the perfect size, it would be inexpensive and I knew I wouldn’t be afraid to experiment and ‘mess up’ a page or two here and there for the sake of discovery.

I’m not going to give you a step by step video, because Joggles.com has already done a fabulous job of that.  What I did want to do is share a couple of things I did a little different from the video.

First, I already had regular manila file folders, so I didn’t use the heavyweight ones they recommend in the video.  They worked just fine. I also didn’t have a bone folder, although I do own one somewhere in a box in the basement. That box has been MIA and also includes some Tim Holtz dies and embossing folders. I used a plastic ruler.  Worked like a charm.

I did use Scor-Tape. I actually ordered some on Amazon after watching the video because I could see lots and lots of uses in my creating. I got both the ½” and the ¼” widths.  In the not so distant future I will probably pick up the 1” as well for covering larger areas.  It would have worked well for this project. Scor-Tape is wonderful!

I set up some of the pages with pockets, but rather than the top loading pockets as shown in the video, I used the tabs and dips to create side loading pockets, using the same adhesive on three-sides method.

Finally, after creating a cover, I made the decision not to put a spine binding on it until I’ve completed the journal.  That way if it ends up being really bulky it can expand over the year.

As great as this is as a journal, I see many uses for this simple to make little book.  Of course you could turn it into a scrapbook with photos and embellishments, but it would also be awesome to decorate the pages alá junk journals for writing in.  Or turn it into family recipe book.  The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

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