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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