How To Up-cycle Cardboard Shipping Boxes into Wall Storage Folders

Wall storage folder

Wall Storage Folders from Old Books

The whole idea of Wall Storage Folders was originally inspired by a little book purse Diane created and shared on Craftypod several years ago. Diane's friend, Michele, who shares her crafty brilliance on Michele Made Me, inspired me to take this idea one step further and recreate these absolutely useful Wall Storage Folders from common ole everyday ubiquitous cardboard!

Wall Storage Folder

The folder I am making in this tutorial happens to be the perfect place to store knitting and crochet patterns I have ordered and am planning to make this year! It hangs right next to the shelves that house boxes and baskets filled with the yarn assembled for these projects. All very organized and pretty and inspiring!

Two of the original folders that still hang on the wall near my computer and printer have been wonderfully useful for temporary storage of recipes, craft ideas and patterns that I have downloaded and printed.

But what I love most about this new version of the Wall Storage Folder is that since I am no longer restricted by the sizes of old books that are available, I can make these folders any size I need!

And that means that Mom's can make them big enough to hold all the beautiful art that comes home from school or is produced at the dining table! Toy designers can make them big enough to hold pattern pieces. Artists can make them big enough to hold larger finished paintings or drawings awaiting framing.

And if you prefer, use paper - old paper sacks will even work - instead of fabric. Mod Podge your kid's favorite art on the front!

Or use a fabric that depicts your child's interests - robots, fairies, trainsÂ…. Michael Miller and Spoonflower are great resources for wonderfully creative fabrics depicting everything one can think of.

Or design and make your own fabric cover employing - simple quilt designs, embroidered designs, or fabric paint designs.


WALL STORAGE FOLDERS ARE EASY TO MAKE! (Lots of pictures but EASY to make!)


Wll folder Storage process image

Everything you will need probably already lives in your home! Cardboard boxes (shipping box cardboard) straight edge, scissors, pencil, X-acto blade, scrap paperÂ…

Wll folder Storage process image

fabric enough to cover the cardboard, Regular or Fabric Mod Podge and a brush! Oh and, four buttons, thin but strong yarn, and a bull dog clip or two!

Wll folder Storage process image

1. Cut two pieces of cardboard any dimension you need. Mine happen to be 11 1/2" x 13 1/2".

Note: These two pieces will become the folder sides and for greatest strength should be cut so that the interior "tubes" in the cardboard are perpendicular to the bottom edge.

2. Cut one piece of cardboard from 5" to 10" wide and equal in length to the dimension of the bottom edge. My cardboard measures 7 1/2" x 13 1/2". This piece will be the "spine".

Note: When drawing and cutting the spine, make certain that the long "tubes" in the cardboard are parallel with the "bottom edge". In the case of my folder, the "tubes" are parallel with the 13 1/2" dimension. (For easier folding!)

3. Find the center of the "spine" and then mark a line on either side about 1/2" from the center line as shown above.

Wll folder Storage process image

4. Using a straight edge as a guide, cut two shallow slits into the "spine" cardboard along the outside lines you just made in pencil. Do not cut all the way through. Cut just enough to cut throughout the surface paper.

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5. Use the straight edge to assist in folding the "spine" along each cut you have just made.

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Outside view and...

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inside view

Wll folder Storage process image

6. Cut two rectangles from the fabric chosen for the folder sides and one rectangle from the contrast fabric that will cover the "spine". Cut your fabric about 4" to 6" wider and longer than the cardboard pieces. The fabric cut for this project - 2 rectangles measuring 15 1/2" x 17 1/2 " and one measuring 11 1/2" x 17 1/2".

7. Brush an even layer of Mod Podge over the entire surface of one of the larger (13 1/2" x 17 1/2") pieces of cardboard.

Note: Fabric Mod Podge is the best choice to avoid pools of glue from bleeding through the fabric, but if you are very careful in your application and spread the product evenly, Classic Mod Podge will work well for most fabrics.

8. Place the Mod Podge covered side of the cardboard against the wrong side of one of the large rectangles of fabric.

9. Brush additional Mod Podge onto the exposed surface of the cardboard as shown. The width of the product should not be more than the "overlap" dimension of the fabric.

Wll folder Storage process image

10. Fold the long edges of fabric over the product and press into place.

11. Cut some of the excess fabric from the ends as shown above.

Wll folder Storage process image


Wll folder Storage process image

12. Fold the shorter ends of the fabric over the cardboard creating a mitered corner and press into the Mod Podge. Add a bit of Mod Podge to the inside of the corner fold. ( NOT as much as shown here - I just wanted to make it clear!!)

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Almost done with this side section!

Wll folder Storage process image

13. Cut a piece of scrap paper (anything you have on hand from a recycled paper bag to holiday wrapping paper) about 2" smaller than each dimension of the folder. For this folder, the paper was cut to measure 9 1/2" x 11 1/2".

Note: Once the paper is in place, you will have a 1" fabric border around the paper as shown above.

14. Cover the entire surface of the back of the paper with a thin but even coat of Mod Podge and place the product covered side of the paper onto the exposed cardboard as shown.

15. Press into place. Cover with a sheet of wax paper and then with several heavy books and let sit several hours.

16. Repeat steps 7 through 15 to cover the other side panel of the folder.

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17. To make the "spine", begin by applying Mod Podge evenly to the UNCUT side of the cardboard spine.

Wll folder Storage process image

18. Press the product covered side of the "spine" into place on to the wrong side of the fabric as shown.

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19. Cut a strip of fabric about 1" wide and about 2" shorter than the bottom dimension of the "spine".

20. Brush Mod Podge along the center strip (defined by the cut lines) and place the wrong side of the fabric strip into the product as shown.

21. Brush more Mod Podge along the edges again trying to keep it from extending beyond the dimensions of the fabric overlap.

Wll folder Storage process image

22. Press the edges into place as before only this time you don't need to create quite as neat a fold as it will never again see the light of day!!!

23. Cover with wax paper and let dry under books.

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24. After allowing the folder segments to dry for several hours, remove the books and the wax paper and let the sections dry completely - this should take no longer than two to four hours. Turn all sections half way through the drying period.

Note: FWI - to cover my wall folder, I used denim fabric left over from making my "Nini Makes" bag actually the (Forager Bag from her Stitch Village Shop) and a piece of pretty pink fabric I actually "made" while experimenting with Sun Painting fabrics.

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25. Cover the entire surface of the back side of the "spine" section with a liberal coat of Mod Podge. (Just don't smear on so much it oozes out from the seam!!!)

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26. With paper side up, line up the bottom edges of the folder sides along the folds in the "spine" as shown above and press into place.

27. Cover the surface with wax paper and then add books and again let sit several hours or over night. Remove books and wax paper and let dry thoroughly. (A few hours should do it.)

Almost done! See I told you - EASY!

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Once the folder is completely dry, it is time to install what I have come to regard as the simplest and most effective system for bracing the folder side sections!

The inspiration:  Joanie at Nini Makes!  It is the method she used in wrapping seriously lovely surprises sent to me several years ago!!!

FYI her daughter Gracie designed and created the wrapping paper using stamps.  Something else to be considered for your folder decorating!

wall folder storage process

Hopefully this set of views will give you a pretty good idea of how the button/yarn assembly works!

29. Thread a needle with a piece of thin, strong yarn - about 24" long - and follow this path:

a. first pass the needle through a button hole and then through one of the holes punched into the front section leaving at least 6" of yarn hanging from the front of the button hole.

b. pass the needle through the opposite hole in the back section (paper side to fabric side), through one hole of another button, then through a second hole of the same button and back through the hole in the back section.

c. bring the needle back through the hole in the front and through another hole in the button at the front.

d. remove the needle, adjust the yarn to create the wedge size you like and tie a knot and then a bow in front of the button.

Note: if you want your folder wedge width to be flexible, simply tie a bow in front of the button. For wall folders kids will be using however, the knot and bow is a better choice.

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30. The simplest hanging system I came up with when I made these initially has proven itself over these past three years to be very effective.

Mount a large bull dog clip at the top!

These days I simply slip the loop in the clip over a Pin hook! And if you intend to pack your folder full, maybe two clips would be a good choice!

Wall Storage Folder


You might consider making several Wall Storage Folders! You will not believe how useful they are for keeping piles and piles of paper off precious horizontal surface real-estate!


You have seen where I keep the others I made three years ago - in my kitchen and office. This one fits neatly in a "crafty corner" next to a bookshelf filled with baskets of yarn!!! Perfect!

If you like to weave here is a simple way to create your very own woven fabric to cover your folder. (And bonus - the loom is cardboard as well!)

Or create your own quilt top or pretty embroidery and use them to cover your cardboard folder!

Me?  I am thinking punched tin!!  Will let you know how that works out!!

THANK YOU. I have been trying

THANK YOU. I have been trying to figure out how to make these (in my head) for a few months now. I don't usually look online for answers, But amazingly, I stumbled on this post through your flowers, gourds & Mod Podge Tutorial. Awesome. <3

Hi, Pam! Looove this

Hi, Pam! Looove this project. Those little buttons sewn in front (and structural, not just decorative!) make me very happy. My first time visiting, what a cool blog you have crafted. Thanks so much for coming over to see me and leaving SUCH a sweet comment. Now I am off to peruse what else you have been up to...

Thank you so much for this

Thank you so much for this lovely idea Pam. I have been wondering how to store my craft papers in a way I can look through them quick and easy without having to unpack boxes etc. This sounds such a nicer way.

What a good idea to use good

What a good idea to use good ol' boxboard to make these folders Pam. And the fact that you've finished them so prettily makes this a project so many will love to customize to their own decor. Useful and beautiful tute!

this is an smart and clever

this is an smart and clever idea!!! Like it , of course because it's handy and it's made of cardboard which you know i'm still have many of those.
Great upcycling project.
My hubby made of scraps his own suplies as well, i have them now. I'm still thinking of him like a miracle was happenend to me. I have some much learned of him and he was the one that pushed me to try to go to the exames for the art academy. I'm greatful for that.
I think all those things , is making me happy and helping to go further in my big adventure.
I think it will be a good idea for my snail mail problems i have. so thank you for the greate tute and the sharing, i will try t his out soon.
I hope you will have a nice fun lazy weekend and lot's of creativity ideas.
All my love, and many dutch hugs, till soonxo's

Very clever! A couple of

Very clever! A couple of these will come in very handy for a design I'm working on :)

Wow! What a wonderful idea

Wow! What a wonderful idea and project. I have some boxes right now that are going to be up-cycled into Pam's
Wall Storage Folders. They are much needed in my sewing room. Thank you so much for this great idea and tute.

Pam, Your beautiful photos

Pam, Your beautiful photos make these so enticing. I need one for next to my kitchen table, which doubles as a desk, to get that desk stuff off the table in time for dinner -- and these are beautiful. Thank you for the lovely and detailed tutorial.

First of all - thank you

First of all - thank you Lisa!!  I am glad to hear that the idea might be useful!  And a great idea for it's use - so many of us find ourselves in the same boat - double and triple duty dining tables!!

PS I would suggest TWO bull dog clips! :-)

Love this idea! :)

Love this idea! :)

This is a wonderful project!!

This is a wonderful project!! LOVE it!