Instructables
Need files to hold your magazines or notebooks or papers? Don't want to pay for those fancy files? Here's instructions on making a free file for your stuff!

Update: These holders are not that sturdy when heavier items are placed in them, such as thicker magazines. And there's a gap in the front of the holders because of the size of the box. But if you can find smaller boxes, the same concept would work.

I used post office boxes that I had left over from sending other stuff. You can use any kind of box about the same size. Suggestions have been cereal boxes, reuse boxes you have around the house or whatever.
 
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Step 1: Get your boxes

A good size for the box is 11 7/8" x 3 3/8" x 13 5/8". One box will make two holders.

Step 2: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
Box
Utility knife
Pen/marker
Decorative material (optional)

Step 3: Assemble Box

Picture of Assemble Box
Assemble the box so that it is closed on both ends.

Step 6: Tada!

Picture of Tada!
Now you've got two file holders from one box!

Step 7: Additional customization

Picture of Additional customization
Cover your boxes for a more decorative look!

1. Disassemble the box and reassemble it inside out so the brown side is out.
2. Decoupage the box
3. Spray paint the box
4. Paint the box
5. Wrap the box with wrapping paper
6. Be lazy like me and keep the USPS labels showing
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Pfarmkid2 years ago
I truthfully wouldn't worry about a stupid BOX!!! enjoy the project and stop arguing!!!
hey i saw alot of negativity about these boxes. if you dont want to do that you can go into any walmart store around restocking time. ask if you can have the boxes they are about to throw out. they almost always say yes. there you go lol
cinderbelle6 years ago
These are perfect for my second graders. I've already ordered my boxes. Thanks for the idea!
I know it is tempting to get free boxes from USPS, but it is against the law and immoral. I too thought this was a great idea and picked up two boxes for free, and then I came to my senses. Taking supplies that are not used the way they are intended is not only a crime, which is stated right on the box, it is wrong. USPS provides those boxes for people who are going to be utilizing their service, if everyone at home ordered some boxes to their doorstep and didn't use them, we'd all be charged higher prices to pay for them. Do you really want to be paying higher prices in shipping so that people across the country can do free projects to their hearts content? By the way, if you order boxes from USPS, they now have your information should they want to pursue charges.
exquisite trees3 years ago
An excellent point. Thanks for speaking out on behalf of the USPS
King Crab trees5 years ago
Go away! No one wants your negativity here. If you're gonna come in and say, "Hey! That's illegal! Knock it off!" then just leave. Ok?
Talk about negativity...
Yeah thanks!
=)
well, if they are in YOUR house sitting on YOUR shelf I doubt the USPS is going to send the police out to your house because you ordered their free boxes. besides, its not like you are using them to transport drugs or whatnot, you make a simple magazine holder. nobody is going to care that you did this with a free box. and kudos to the person who made this instructable because it makes a good use out of those leftover USPS boxes.
aznliu (author)  AnonyMouse695 years ago
thank you! especially for the holidays recycle those boxes!
aznliu (author)  trees5 years ago
I got this idea after I ordered a set of boxes for mailing. I had extras and I figured I should make them useful. You do not have to use USPS boxes, you can use other things (like cereal boxes that someone else suggested). Plus there are other issues in the world that are more immoral than my use of boxes. Thanks for your concern, but I think I'll be fine. Think of my project as a way to recycle an used USPS box. Go Green!
trees aznliu5 years ago
Hi aznliu, This was a great idea as far as making your own holder for magazines or whatever. It was a really fresh idea and I think we all would do good to think outside the box and make our own things instead of paying too much at the store. I'm sure the amount of boxes that would actually be used for a project such as this is negligible in the grand scheme of the big bad post office. I wasn't trying to be a preachy person, but I think it is important to examine my own behavior and always try to make decisions that I wouldn't mind my kids emulating. Some people pilfer napkins from restaurants and think that's ok, others do not. But anyways, it was a great idea to recycle an old box and very creative. Thanks for passing it along.
meclache3 years ago
Unfortunately, it's not really free. The post office operates with the dollars that come out of the taxes we all pay. And this would be fine, if the Post Office was profitable, but right now they are in 8 billion dollar deficit (http://bit.ly/lLAYpV). This means they are having to make decisions such as closing post offices across the nation, even stop delivering mail on Saturdays, cut pay, and of course increase taxes. So sure, it's free, but do you want to be responsible for contributing to that? The box does have a cost, it has to be made into cardboard, cut, folded and printed with ink. If a million people follow your idea and take just one box without using it for its intended purpose, do you realize how this adds up?
I agree. I think the solution to this would be to use only USPS boxes that have been used in delivery. That way it's a form of upcycling and not theft from the government.
Cool idea! I've bought a few of those holders from the Goodwill, but the idea of using cereal boxes works for me, I eat a lot of cereal, and I found myself wondering if there was something I could do with them. Although, I probably would spray paint them!
You could glue some scrapbooking paper on the side OR you could use pretty magazine pages and clue it to the side like a collage :D to make even better holders :)))
LilyGrace5 years ago
How strange. I have an entire tutorial using this exact USPS box on my blog...and it's been posted there since August of 2008. Hmmmm...very strange indeed.
aznliu (author)  LilyGrace3 years ago
Great minds think a like!
so?
congratulations.
You came up with a good idea too.
ideas like this can occur to many people- no one owns these kinds of things
you really could have just looked at the info XD
aznliu (author)  LilyGrace5 years ago
Interesting indeed. Considering I posted this in Feb 2008.
dianaw3 years ago
great idea- thanks-
Those free boxes from the Post Office are wonderful- I use them for lots of things (as well as shipping for my etsy and ebay shops)
The shoebox size makes great files for rolls or rolled up paper- ie. wrapping paper, art paper etc.

I've also used the medium size when moving- packing books which have gotten too heavy for me to carry in large boxes anymore.
Then, just collapse them down and use for shipping again.

gotta love free.
;-)
Thanks again.
Great idea!  I use a lot of the Priority Mail boxes to ship items, but sometimes I have leftovers (because I picked the wrong size).  So for all the Negative Nellies...I'm technically recycling by making these magazine holders with boxes I can't use!!!!
Sandywich4 years ago
lol! there are so many angry comments, but come on this was a REALLY easy idea I was surprised it was even posted. Doesn't anyone just walk around Ikea thinking, hey these Spurkla file holders are $8! I can make these at home from spare cardboard, I'm not spending money on this!


sweett15 years ago
If you use powdered detergent you could also use those boxes as they are really sturdy. Great idea as I am a magazine junkie!
Awesome idea
acaz936 years ago
Anyone kows if USPS send that stuff to mexico ? The Design and Simplicity of This Make Them Very Nice
marc92 acaz935 years ago
I do believe that USPS stands for United States Postal Service, so I doubt they will send boxes to Mexico.
freckleface5 years ago
Yay! I've been thinking about getting more magazine holders to organize my homeschooling materials but I'm on a tight budget. Thank you for this idea. It saves me money and its reduce before reuse before recycle. Ya saved that tree a step. :P To all you nay sayers, did you miss the "be nice" comment policy right under the comment box? Go away and but a shoe box on your head, but be careful... Nike might get mad at you for reusing the box...
doodz - FedEx will GIVE you boxes very much like this AND you don't have to worry (or argue) about federal regulations. I'm guessing that UPS might also supply you with lovely, brown boxes.
trees5 years ago
I know it is tempting to get free boxes from USPS, but it is against the law and immoral. I too thought this was a great idea and picked up two boxes for free, and then I came to my senses. Taking supplies that are not used the way they are intended is not only a crime, which is stated right on the box, it is wrong. USPS provides those boxes for people who are going to be utilizing their service, if everyone at home ordered some boxes to their doorstep and didn't use them, we'd all be charged higher prices to pay for them. Do you really want to be paying higher prices in shipping so that people across the country can do free projects to their hearts content? By the way, if you order boxes from USPS, they now have your information should they want to pursue charges.
King Crab trees5 years ago
And you posted this same thing twice? Fail.
Renirock5 years ago
a good alternative for the usps boxes could be a cereal box.
And if there too flimsly you can always take another one and reinforce the sides or bottom, plus its recycling (-) woot! gatta luv recycling~
You can use cereal boxes to
Cereal boxes work for this as well, although I would recommend a little reinforcement if you try using them.
tinkluvspan6 years ago
i went and got some boxes from post office today:)
heyjai6 years ago
Great idea! I just ordered some boxes to decoupage for the first time. Thank you!
reese526 years ago
What a great idea! I just ordered the boxes and will be trying this out.
Scammah6 years ago
Man that's nuts. This is so simple however very effective. I was recently at Kmart and they were charging 7 bucks for one box just like this and it was cardboard too. I literally screamed when I saw this because I was so appalled that they were ripping people off. I imediatley made a comment to my girlfriend about the price and said I'm sure I could make one of these for cheaper now I can for free. Thanks for the info you saved me a ton O money
aznliu (author) 6 years ago
Hmmm. I'm not sure if USPS will send it to Mexico. You'll have to create an account when you check out and perhaps then you can see if they will mail it there. You might be charged for shipping.
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