DIY Pocket Folder


Pocket folders are a staple of elementary and high school, and grace every list of back-to-school must-haves. Next year, remove pocket folders from your supply list and instead stock up on multi-colored, heavy-duty construction paper. With just a few simple supplies and a few minutes free time you can transform that colored paper into homemade pocket folders, ready for personalization and school use at a fraction of the cost.

Things You'll Need

  • 18-inch by 20-inch construction paper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Stapler
  • Lay an 18-inch by 20-inch piece of colored construction paper flat on the table in front of you with the 18-inch edge running perpendicular to you.

  • Measure 4 inches up from the bottom of the paper and place a ruler on the paper to mark it off. Coat the paper below the ruler with glue and fold upwards, sliding the ruler out once you have made a sharp crease. Press down to seal. This helps reinforce the strength of the pocket. The paper should now measure 18 inches by 16 inches.

  • Let the glue dry thoroughly, then fold the paper in half lengthwise to create a crease. Unfold and lay flat.

  • Cut a 1-inch wide, 4-inch long strip from the bottom of the paper, centered over the crease made by folding lengthwise.

  • Grasp the bottom 4 inches of the paper, now sectioned off into two parts. Fold both parts upward at the seam where the edge of the paper is doubled. The paper should now measure 18 inches by 12 inches.

  • Fold in a 1/2-inch section on the left and right sides of the paper, running lengthwise, and staple or glue shut. Fold in half once more, and decorate if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use clear packing tape to affix stickers, magazine clippings or even photographs to the front of your folder. Not only will these things add a touch of personality, the tape will help re-enforce the folder and make it less likely to tear apart from everyday use.
  • When making folders with younger children (4 to 7 years old), go around at the end of the activity with a stapler to secure everyone's folder edges. Staplers can be dangerous in young hands.

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  • Photo Credit paper samples for business cards image by Adam Radosavljevic from
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