This post is in collaboration with Casablanca Cargo Youtube channel— my mom’s crafting channel! In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to turn a snack box into a file folder holder which we can use to store ephemera for collages, junk journals, and scrapbooks.
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- Snack box, something long enough to fit a file folder. The video example uses a variety chip box.
- Some thicker pieces of leftover cardboard, like from Amazon boxes
- Scissors, ones that can cut through cardboard.
- Fiskars SoftGrip PowerCut Fabric and Mixed Media scissors are good ones!
- Double-sided tape
- Masking tape
- Glue (recommended: Aleene’s Tacky Glue)
- Hot glue may be needed
- Black paper, such as cardstock
- Decorative paper such as scrapbook paper or even an upcycled wallpaper sampler book
- Embellishments as desired
Step 1: Build the foundation
Start with the (empty) box and measure it to a height that will fit your file folders. Depending on how you’d like to organize them, you may want to cut the storage box higher or lower. In the example video, the box is cut to about 2.5-3 inches shorter than the folders.
Cut out a few pieces from the extra pieces of cardboard to fit on the sides the box. These extra pieces will give the chip box some needed strength– otherwise the file folders will be too heavy and the box will tip over.
Next, cut 1.5″ wide strips from the black cardstock. We’ll use these to cover the corners!
Pre-crease the paper by folding it in half lengthwise. Glue or use double-sided tape to stick the black paper strips onto the corners of the box. Fold the extra over the top of the box and glue it to the inside.
Step 2: Wrapping the box
Grab your decorative paper. This can be anything, like scrapbook paper, old book pages, wallpaper samples (as in the video), or even a collage you’ve made yourself. Cut pieces to cover the thicker cardboard pieces that’ll eventually be covering the sides of the chip box. Wrap the edges of the paper around the cardboard’s edges to make a clean line.
TIP: Leave the top and bottom edges of the paper UNGLUED from the cardboard piece. When you stick the cardboard piece to the side of the chip box, you’ll wrap that paper edge OVER both the cardboard piece and the chip box and glue it down INSIDE the chip box. The bottom edge will be wrapped around the bottom of the box.
Step 3: Finishing Touches
Repeat on all four sides of the chip box, until you have it reinforced and decorated with the first layer of paper.
If the box still feels floppy, you can also add a piece of thicker cardboard to the bottom inside and/or outside.
Attach handles to the box by cutting two pieces of fabric (the example video uses part of a curtain) and sandwiching them on the short sides between the thicker cardboard and the box’s sides. Use hot glue to attach them to the cardboard.
Step 4: Personalization
Use decorative paper, stickers, ephemera, etc. to decorate the box as desired.
You might also be interested in these posts:
- 100+ pieces of trash to upcycle into junk journals
- 3 ways to upcycle an Amazon padded envelope (for art!)
- Tea Bag Ephemera: Upcycled Junk Journal Technique
- What’s a gluebook and how to make one (for beginners)
- How to find REAL vintage photos online for junk journals | Library of Congress search tips