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Making a Manila Folder Album

Making a Manila Folder Album

we always get more than 1 copy of the programs when we go to events don't you? geesh! i used one program from megs graduation ceremony, as the artwork for this cover.

the pockets that are created (opening from the sides) from folding the envelopes in half, hold all that extra memorabilia wonderfully! now, it is all in one spot and easy to look at!

you may use any size of manila envelopes that you have handy, in fact, if you have a mish-mash of different sizes, if they are wrinkled, marked, or written on, it will make this journal more fun and unique!

the end result of this particular manila album/journal will measure: 5.5" by 9" when closed.

you will need:

4- 9" X 12" manila envelopes
2- 5-3/8" X 8--3/4" pieces of cardboard/chipboard
2- prong paper fasteners
- scraps of patterned papers
- clips
- a ruler
- a scoring tool (I use an embossing stylist)
- a bone folder (or any tool that is hard and smooth)
- glue ( i used "uhu-twist and glue")
- hole punch
- lots of fun memorabilia


pockets for photos and papers to cover the pages were also created from the program. i also used some of her received cards as pockets.


i used lots of clips, brads and eyelets to hold papers in place and to create pockets. remember to open the large pockets and place a small cutting mat inside if you are making holes for eyelets or brads, so you will have use of those pockets for storing stuff.


Open flat, showing inside with metal fasteners.

Open flat, showing inside with metal fasteners.

fold each manila envelope in half, width-wise, aka hamburger fold. create 2 more folds- 3/8" on each side of the center fold. using a bone folding tool or wooden popsicle stick to crease the fold, it will hold it a much neater fold.


Open flat, showing outside with metal fasteners

Open flat, showing outside with metal fasteners

stack them flat on the desk top and punch holes for your binding (i used those annoying office metal binding thingies that are hanging around in our drawers, getting in my way and actually cutting me!) you could use, brads, ribbons, buttons, twine, string,or whatever you choose for binding.

i first slipped some lightweight cardboard inside the front envelope, on each side of the fold so the front and back covers would be more sturdy. the 2 pieces of cardboard measured about 5-3/8" X 8-3/4" each.


Standing showing center binding clips

Standing showing center binding clips

i covered the sticky part of the inside envelope flap with paper. the manila folders we have hanging around here have the metal clasp, one of these clasps broke off after a couple of times use, so i threaded a ribbon through the place where the clasp broke off and tied it through the closure holes, it worked fine, but with this type of a journal, just a metal paper clip would do to hold the flap closed, or no clip at all would be fine too.


Standing open

Standing open

this type of album/journal works great for those fun trips where you collect lots of "stuff"- receipts, maps, postcards, info papers... there is tons of room to keep all the good stuff and plenty of room for emergency numbers, postcard lists, journaling, just everything!

do remember, the envelopes are not acid free, so, after time, things may deteriorate, but by then, it will be an adventure for your grand-kids to see how things were in the "old days".

no original photos should be placed in any pockets unless the papers used to create the pockets are acid free, or the photos are protected in photo sleeves.

we have 4 of these great collections so far, one from megs graduation, our grandson's first year, our disneyland trip, summer camping trips, and in the process-our alaska trip!

i actually created the disneyland album at home then as each night closed, i created that page for the day, using the stick glue, patterned papers and memorabilia.

have fun with this, no rules, no mistakes!