File Folder Fun: Making Pocket Journals

The Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors had an article on how to turn an ordinary office file folder into a little book with pockets for journaling. I don’t know if it was because it was an office supply or an opportunity to make a book or both, but I could not resist making one of my own.

Two pocket journals made from folding and sewing a file folder.

Since I want to be working in my art journals more, I decided to make a journal-prompt journal. Instead of journaling on the tags (as is done in the CPS article), I put different starting points or prompts on the back of my tags, an idea I got from the book Visual Chronicles by Linda Woods and Karen Dinino (see pp. 30-35).

I used a blue file folder and covered it with some pretty papers I’d collected.

Two of the pocket pages in my blue journal.

Then I made a bunch of tags by layering images ( from my own photos, magazines, old calendars, and scrapbook papers) onto cardstock or other heavy paper. On the back, I wrote or stamped my prompt (things like “Lessons Learned” or “I Feel…”).

Journal prompt tags

I enjoyed making it and had some ideas of other things I wanted to try, so I decided to make another one for my sister. I made her a blank version of the journal, putting in tags without any writing on the back so she could write “Happy Thoughts” of her own on them and make it into a gratitude journal. Her favorite color is red, so I used a red folder.

Gratitude journal; the tags are just waiting to be written on.

Firsts for this project were: 1) sewing on paper with my sewing machine and 2) using an office supply to make a book. I had a great time and love the results.


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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

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