Customized Filing: Your Guide to Making Cute, Decorative File Folders

Of all the office supplies, file folders are some of the most neglected—that is, in terms of creativity.

Whether tucked quietly away in filing cabinets or stacked tiredly in trays, file folders are hardly given a second glance.

Why? Let’s face it: in the modern workplace, Manila can be incredibly vanilla.

It’s time your filing folders got the makeover they deserve. Luckily, making a custom folder is a simple art. Keep reading our 3-step guide to start designing cute, decorative file folders for your office space today!

  1. Find Your Folders

As an artist chooses his or her canvas with care, so you should pick your file folders.

In general, there are two types: basic folders, which are (unsurprisingly) the more popular choice, and hanging folders, which are hooked at the ends.

It doesn’t stop there. You’ll also have to pick your folders’ tab type and material.

We’ve bulleted the most common types of each below to help minimize the amount of time you’ll spend choosing your ideal file folder:



As you can see, customized filing begins with the very folder you select. To start this project off right, check out; you’ll find hundreds of different file folder options waiting for you there.

  1. Furbish Your Folders

We know what you’re thinking: yes, furbish is a word—and it’s exactly what you’re going to do with your file folders now that you’ve successfully found them.

The key to customizing anything is making it your own, so don’t be afraid to try out what feels right!

However, if you’re having trouble knowing what to try, take a look at these 4 suggestions:

  • Tape Them Away: Colored tape has been on the rise for several years now. Why not use them on your folder? Although your creativity may be limited to more rudimentary shapes, you can still design a decorative file folder in a way that’s sure to stick.
  • Color Them In: For those of you who feel so artistically inclined, try using supplies like markers, colored pencils, and paint to make your filing folders decorative. You have unlimited potential here; whether you fashion a trendy pattern, doodle to your heart’s content, or illustrate a landscape worthy of Bob Ross, exercise your creativity how you see fit—just don’t leave any corner uncolored!
  • Wrap Them Up: If you feel less confident about the above but still consider yourself to be equally crafty, wrapping is the way to go. For an easy option, use patterned contact paper to give your file folders a whole new look. More involved possibilities include using wrapping paper and fabric to the same end, although these will need some type of adhesive to securely attach to your cute new filing folder.
  • Picture Them Like This: Everyone loves decoupage, right? Show your file folders some love by decorating them with a creative collage of your favorite photos, images, and quotes. All you have to do is collect your materials, cut them out, arrange them how you want, and use mod podge or glue to keep them in place.

No matter which of these methods you choose, have fun and enjoy the process of designing your file folders. If time is not on your side, though, opting for these adult coloring file folders instead may be a good choice for you.

  1. Flaunt Your Folders

Your final step in our guide is by far the easiest and the best: show off your work!

Once you’ve made your file folders as decorative as you please, you’ve got to display them for all your co-workers to see. To make your folders the envy of desks and cubicles everywhere, try presenting them in a folder rack.

It’s amazing how adding a personal touch to more dull and drab workspaces can make doing a job all the more enjoyable. For that reason alone, be proud of every folder masterpiece you create!

Want to keep learning how to keep your workspace looking its best? Explore our blog for even more office-friendly tips and tricks. And for help filling any of your office supply needs, visit our website.

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