Upcycled Document Files

These days, it’s all about creating a space that you want to spend your time in.

With so many of us now working from home, the office space is somewhere we need a peaceful and calm atmosphere to work. Getting that harmony doesn’t have to cost a fortune. This tutorial shows you how to take cheap files and turn them into something that looks chic.  You can match them to your decor and make people believe you’ve spent far more than you have. How about making some for the kids desk so that they can keep their homework safe and to hand.

Here’s what you need:

Cardboard files (we used IKEA plain white flat packed ones)

Wallpaper or magazines

Glue (we used Wilko Let’s Create range)


Scissors (adult supervision is required here)


Here’s what you do

The first and most important thing to do is protect your work space. A craft mat is ideal as it can be washed after, if you get any glue on it. Don’t worry if you don’t have one, just make sure that you put something down before you start working, as it may ruin the surface. A chopping board is good or how about an old plastic tablecloth.

Take one of the blank files and the first thing you need to do is take it apart to make a template. We used IKEA cardboard files They are perfect for this project as they are well priced and easy to work with. Fold out the file, but don’t tuck any of the flaps in. Using scissors, cut down the centre of the short side so that you can open the file out.

Open the file and cut off the flaps along the crease on the short side. Do this for both sides.

Next, cut off the bottom flaps along the crease to complete your template.

Lay the template down on your chosen design. This can be wallpaper, magazines or even fabric. You can see that we have placed it on the front of the design.  This allows us to position it exactly where we want.  It also makes it easier if you want to make multiple ones exactly the same so you can match the design each time. Use a pencil so that you can rub out any marks once you have cut it out.

Cut out the design and you are now ready to cover the file.

Using a suitable glue, spread an even layer over one side of the file. Don’t be tempted to cover the whole file at this point.

Carefully line up the correspnding piece of paper and press it down.

You may want to place your hand inside the file behind this side so that it can take the weight when you press down. Working from the front edge of the file, smooth the paper out, taking care that there are no bubbles.  The front of the file will not be covered,  so you can write a message or what’s inside there.

Glue the spine and other side and press and smooth down as before.

Leave it to dry completely.

You can decorate them to fit any style room.

And they are just perfect for storing your personal documents to give you that clutter free look that we are all after.


We love seeing your creations so don’t forget to tag us in your makes #CraftyCoCreations

Happy Creating

The Crafty Co


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up to Receive Crafty Creations

Want to be the first to hear about the latest crafty creations? Pop your email here.