How to Make a File Folder Holder

Keeping files in stacks makes it difficult to find what you are looking for.
file image by Byron Moore from

Going paperless is green, less messy and less stressful. However, the reality is that most people still have a sizable amount of paper floating around their offices and homes. Good Housekeeping recommends keeping files with tax returns for up to six years, W-2 forms until you begin claiming social security, and investment records for as long as your own the securities and for seven years after. (See Reference 1.) Though a file cabinet may not look out of place in an office, there are times when you need a more attractive or a just plain smaller place to store your files.

Keeping files in stacks makes it difficult to find what you are looking for.
file image by Byron Moore from

Things You'll Need

  • Scrap-Booking Or Wrapping Paper
  • Scissors
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Cereal Box
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Newspaper

Cut one long side off of the cereal box. Measure two inches from the cut edge and trace a straight line parallel to the edge. Cut evenly along this line to trim off the two inches you have traced.

Using the cereal box as a pattern, trace two large rectangles for the front and back of the box and three small rectangles for the top, bottom and remaining sides onto the scrap-booking or wrapping paper. When tracing, leave two extra inches along the edges that you have cut so that you can fold the paper over the unfinished edge. Trim the paper rectangles.

Lay out newspaper to cover your work surface and spray one side of the cereal box with spray adhesive. Place the corresponding piece of scrap-booking or wrapping paper lightly over the sticky cereal box side, matching up the corners and edges. Gently press the paper into place, with one hand inside the cereal box pressing against the other hand on the outside. If you push on the outside too hard without also holding the inside of the box, you can bend or dent it. Repeat with the remaining pieces of paper on the other sides of the box.

Fold the four overhanging pieces on the cut side of the box toward the inside, making as neat of a folded edge as you can. Gently unfold the folder edges. One at a time, hold an overhanging flap of paper over the newspaper and spray it with adhesive. Quickly press it back towards the inside of the box and press it flat against the cardboard.


  • With this method, you can cover your file folder holder with a paper that matches your style and office decor, whether that is brightly colored and patterned or subdued and chic. You can easily make a set of file folder holders in coordinating colors and patterns as well.


  • Do not allow spray adhesive to get on your tables or counters. It can be very difficult, if not impossible, to completely remove if you are using permanent adhesive. If you are worried this will be an issue because of a small workspace or because you plan to do this project with children, use a water-soluble or another non-permanent adhesive.