The project I'm sharing today is one that I've been working on for a while now. This is actually the fourth prototype I've created continually tweaking the design. I was inspired by all of the envelope albums that seem to be in vogue right now.
I knew I didn't want to create an album per se. I was interested in taking the "pouch system" created with the envelopes and adapting it to a type of holder or file system. I originally thought it would be a cute idea to use as gift packaging for a set of personalized note cards. However, after working with the design for a while now, I think this would be a great design to hold tags, photos, gift certificates or coupons.
The main problem I encountered was coming up with an appropriate closure system. Previous versions used a hook and loop closure, a constructed tab closure, and a button closure. Through trial and error, I've decided the most effective (and best looking) closure was made by using simple eyelets and ribbon.
The base for this project was a piece of thin chipboard measuring 11" in length and 5" in width. I scored the chipboard piece at 5 1/4" and 5 7/8". This creates the spine of your book, which measures 5/8" in width.
With the interior structure of the folder created, I chose a lovely patterned paper from SEI's 'Oasis' collection to cover my chipboard with. I allowed a 1/4" overhang allowance on all sides of my covers to allow for the paper to wrap over the edges and be adhered to the interior backing of the chipboard. I used separate cut pieces to cover the front and back covers and the spine.
At this point I punched holes on each side of the covers and set eyelets to hold my ribbon closure. For the actual ribbon, I used some 1/2" Stampin' Up! silk ribbon in Old Olive. By threading each piece of the ribbon through the eyelet and then using my ATG 714 adhesive, I taped the ribbon to the interior raw chipboard. Not only does this allow you to anchor your closure, but it allows you to hide the backsides of your eyelets and the ends of your ribbon. I then used the same decorative paper to cover the inside panels of my folder book.
For the actual accordian fan folders, I used some Stampin' Up! A2 sized Kraft envelopes. I took four envelopes and sealed them. Then I cut 2 1/2" off each end of the envelopes to create the eight pockets used to create my filing system. To create the fan file, I used two strips of ATG adhesive in the center of each of the envelope pockets, adhering the back of one pocket to the front of the next. Once all eight pockets are adhered to one another, all that is left to do is adhere the pocket bundle to your chipboard covers. I covered the front of the first envelope pocket and the back of the last pocket and attached them to my cover.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results. I might work on a couple other design modifications, but the basic folder shape is there and it is very functional. [TIP: A cute Valentine's Day idea for a project like this is to create eight coupons to place in your file folders (e.g., "redeem for one kiss", "redeem for a massage", "redeem for a candlit dinner", etc.)]