Monday, November 5, 2012

DIY Pretty File Folders {Command Center Project}

Happy Monday Friends!! I hope you all had a great weekend. We had a good combination of productivity and relaxation around here. The big news is that we got the new dresser-turned-tv stand done and into the house today!!! I will be taking photos and getting it up for you to see really soon! Before I get to that though, I wanted to share one last project from our Family Command Center!

Some people say that I sometimes can't leave well enough alone. That very well may be true, and this project would be a good example of that. However, I can't resist the urge to coordinate and match all the elements of a space when I have a simple and cheep means to do so!! 

You see...when I finally figured out a mail organization system that would work for our family, I put it into action immediately using some old file folders I had on hand (you can read how we deal with our mail here). These boring folders lived in our wall-mounted file system (temporarily) while I hunted around for cute yellow or turquoise file folders to take their place. 

As I discovered, this was no easy task. And as I was digging around my basket holding my extensive patterned contact paper collection, a light bulb went off. Instead of buying new file folders (or even leaving the plain ones in place - gasp!), why don't I just cover the ones I already have, using contact paper I already own?!?!

I started here with old files and a roll of yellow and white flowered contact paper:

In a few short minutes, I had a collection of perfectly coordinating file folders...

Let me show you how I did it!
I don't have exact step by step instructions for you, but it's pretty easy and pretty obvious from the pictures below!

Here's the gist:
  • Cut your contact paper a little wider and a little longer (a good 2+ inches on all sides) than your open file folder
  • Remove the paper backing from your contact paper and lay your file folder down onto the sticky side; place it carefully to avoid bubbles!
  • Working around the file folder, SNIP and FOLD as you go, creating neat creases and corners. 
  • The inside may not look so pretty or perfect, but it's the outside that counts ;) (left photo)
  • Instead of worrying about the rounded-ness of the file folder tabs, I just squared out the corners as I folded the contact paper in (right photo).

Any label maker would work, but I used the same clear label sheets I used on my Sticky Note Reminder Board to make labels for each of the folders!

Cover as many folders you need, and load them into your hanging file system (or wherever you need a splash of whimsy or color!)

Once the file folders were done, I proclaimed this nook complete - isn't it funny how something so little can finish a space for you? I love that the folders now match other elements in the space; and I REALLY love that I didn't spend a penny making this filing solution pretty and functional!

That rounds out all the projects from Our Family Command Center! There has been a really positive response to this project with several blogs featuring it, as well as it receiving lots and lots of "pins"! Thanks to everyone for all the blog love, and I am so happy that many of you found some ideas for getting your family business in order!

In case you missed any of the projects, you can see them all here!

Hope everyone has a great start to their week. I'll be back later this week with some another organizing project, as well as a fun Thanksgiving-related post!

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  1. Love, love, love it!!! What an easy way to decorate plain file folders. Where did you get the cute contact paper? I never seem to find colors that are cute.

  2. Ha! I was wondering which store you may have found coordinating file folders and pretty bulletin board. fooled me.
    now I see how you coordinated it. I need a mail station at home.

  3. Hi, I'm sure you have posted this somewhere, but I'm brand-new to your blog...where did you get the five-cubby wall hanger?! I've been looking for that, and I love this idea!! Thanks!

  4. Love this space! And your systems! I want to try to do a mail system like yours - where did you get your hanging file organizer? I love that one!

    1. Hi Ashley! It's from IKEA. We don't have a store near us so I got it from Amazon (albeit, marked up!) Here's the link:

      Good luck!

  5. Oh my goodness Megan, you are SO organized! I love your command center. I found your contact paper file folders over at What a great idea! Have a great day!


  6. Do you mind sharing where you found the pretty patterned contact paper?My son just gave me a box full of manilla folders that I can certainly use. Love the cheerful yellow folders. What is the Silver colored board? It looks like maybe it is magnetic because of the Silver color but I don't see any magnets holding up the information on it.

    1. Hi Pippi, Sorry I am just now replying! I buy my pretty patterned contact paper at Marshalls and TJMaxx whenever I see it. The silver board is a metal sheet purchased at the hardware store - we love that it's industrial looking, it's magnetic and it was super inexpensive! Hope that helps!

    2. Love the Command Center, the beautiful yellow folders covered in contact paper and all the other decorative accessories..Where was your Decal from(Happy Days) and the plaques? A cheerful wall decorated like that makes working in the home office so soothing and relaxing. All you need is some beautiful, soft music playing in the background and that is certainly easy to do. Thanks for sharing all your creative ideas with us.


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