Altered File Folder

by Maria Williams

Try this kind of album if you need to include a ton of pictures!


  • Patterned Paper (SU! Treehouse used here)
  • Coordinating Cardstock (Bravo Burgundy, Night of Navy, Almost Artichoke, More Mustard used here)
  • Glue Stick
  • Two-Prong Fasteners
  • ¼" Hole Punch
  • Paper Trimmer with Scoring Blade
  • Bone Folder
  • Adhesive


  1. Step 1

    Open file folder and punch holes for prongs to fit in. (here, the holes about 2 ½" apart)

  2. Step 2

    Apply glue to the middle of the inside of file folder.

  3. Step 3

    Fold 12" x 12" patterned paper in half.

  4. Step 4

    Apply patterned paper to the glued area, lining up the folder's crease with the midpoint of the paper. Use a bone folder to smooth any bumps.

  5. Step 5

    Glue coordinating cardstock to the edges of the file folder and smooth over with bone folder.

  6. Step 6

    Trim excess paper from edges.

  7. Step 7

    Repunch the holes on the inside of your file folder.

  8. Step 8

    Insert prong fasteners into the holes.

  9. A small piece of tape on the back of the prong will keep it in place.

  10. Step 9

    Cover the front of the folder with glue and more patterned paper.

  11. Hint: Outline the front edge of the file folder on the back of the patterned paper. Cut carefully, and the other side will fit on the backside of file folder.

  12. Step 10

    Glue each piece to the outside edge of the file folder.

  13. Step 11

    Cut a second sheet of patterned paper in half to cover the spine and slightly overlap the other patterned paper.

  14. Step 12

    When done, fold folder in half and smooth over the spine with the bone folder.

    Be sure to trim the excess paper around the edges.

  15. Step 13

    For pages on the inside left, cut a piece of card stock starting at 5 1/2" x 6". Then add an inch for each additional page – (5 1/2" x 7", 5 1/2" x 8", 5 1/2" x 9", 5 1/2" x 10", 5 1/2" x 11").

    Repeat this step to make pages for the inside right side pages.

  16. Step 14

    Match up holes for the prongs with the pages you just cut and punch holes in each page of card stock.

  17. Step 15

    Score the top of each page at 1".

  18. Step 16

    Finally, fit the pages on the prongs and close the prongs.

    To finish, personalize the cover and start scrapping on the inside pages.


    Once you've decorated the outside of your file folder album, make it more durable with lamination. Most copy places or office supply stores will do this for a small charge. Be sure to remove the inside pages and prongs first.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Altered File Folder. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Awesome! I can't wait to make some of these! Where can I buy the prongs?
Crystal  |  Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:07 PM
Super project! Holds so many pictures! Thank you for sharing this.
RSweetLuxeree Rita  |  Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 3:34 PM
you can get the prongs at any office supply store.. i checked and they have them
kaelva  |  Mon Sep 1, 2008 at 7:44 PM
I can't wait to try this. I have so many ideas running through my head.
CraftCrazy24  |  Wed Jan 7, 2009 at 9:01 PM
This looks great- how many pics do you think you can get this to hold?
Karen  |  Thu Jan 8, 2009 at 5:07 AM
I can't wait to try this. It would be a great idea for single event albums (i.e. wedding, baptism, trip etc.)
joyce49  |  Thu Jan 8, 2009 at 8:07 AM
This is Awesome! I will be using this for sure so easy and quick...
Bev Hochstetler  |  Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 6:03 AM
This is super cool. I was given a stack of folders with prongs on them already and had no idea what to do with them. Thanks for the idea! Some of the ones I got in the stack have 3 pages (front, back and middle has prong on one side) I think this will be better than I expected.

For those that can't find prongs or don't want to make the pronged folders, you can buy them all ready to go in ofice supply stores - just decorate.
debiannj  |  Thu Apr 9, 2009 at 8:14 AM
In step 13 the numbers are all funky------does anyone have the correct measurements? Thanks, Dian
Dian  |  Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 5:20 PM
Hi Dian,

Thanks for letting me know. I fixed the numbers. Sorry about that.
Hugs and smiles
beate  |  Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 5:38 PM
I simply love this idea. I have numerous pictures of my grandson's first birthday party and did not know how I was going to choose which ones to use in a scrapbook. Now I am going to make his own First Birthday personal scrapbook! Thank you so much for taking this load off my mind.
Kimberly Conley  |  Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 7:32 AM
Its really amazing and simply step by step guide line... Thanks for sharing. I try it for holding my business sample cards...
Gilroy  |  Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 6:27 AM
Looks great! About how long does it take? I'd like to use this for a workshop if it is not too time consuming. If it takes too long I'll still try it for my own use.
Thanks for sharing!
Bonnie Worley  |  Wed Jan 2, 2013 at 2:43 PM
To protect the pictures once the album is done you could even get the individual scrapbook pages laminated too. That way the entire album is protected from wear and tear or any spills.
Amy  |  Mon May 13, 2013 at 9:28 PM

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