Cabin Crafting Series #2: Washi tape expandable file folders

February 22, 2016: While staying at the tiny house cabin 1 and cabin 2 at Blue Moon Rising, I was inspired to come up with a quick and easy solution for all of the books and loose papers that I’ve accumulated in the space. We’re talking my coffee table books that I brought along on the trip (and hoping to finally flip through), magazines, area attraction brochures, check-in papers, receipts, you name it.

So while at Walmart I picked up a pack of Pendaflex file folders and added it to my washi tape decorate project list.


I used the tape to glam up and add strength to all sides and corners of the folders so that they can hold plenty of books and papers (and can stand on their own on a table or shelf).

All I can find at the store were the basic manilla folder brand. Not as handsome or as sturdy as the legal file expanding folders that I used for loaner laptop storage in my DC tech office. So covering these with washi tape is a must so that the folder doesn’t immediately fall apart upon use.

I liked the look of the yellow manilla color when mixed with the washi tape patterns, so I applied strips of tape (various sizes), leaving a small gap to show the folder beneath.

The tape used is from Michaels (part of this spring’s Make Market Alphabet Soup collection).

I made sure to cover the bottom corners and the sides of the folder to add extra strength.

Once the entire folder was decorated, I used Mambi stickers to add a VidaDIY label to the folder.

Here’s the first folder I created (with a “Books” label using more stickers). This folder holds two books, three magazines, and a healthy stack of papers. And what’s best? It stands up on its own.

The folders can stand up on a table or shelf whether it’s empty or full.

Here’s the folder on a ledge (that I’m using as my books and papers shelf) in the Bella Donna tiny house cabin.

I recommend using washi tape for any file folders that you plan to use and re-use. Especially if you’re toting them from place to place. Not only can you make a creative statement using different colors and patterns (and applying them using different designs). They make the folders more sturdy in the long run (so that they can go the distance while you use them to organize books and papers). And they will prevent them from being crushed when crammed into your laptop bags (another personal tip from me).

And, of course, you can seal them for extra protection by adding a layer of Mod Podge. These came out so pretty that I chose to do just that. I’ll be making plenty more of these for work, for home and for travel. V-