Introduction: How to Make a .25 Cent Portfolio Last for Eight Years

About a month after starting college I realized I was picking up a lot of miscellaneous papers and it was starting to make a mess.  So I went to the bookstore and bought one of those cheap .25 cent  paper folders to hold it all.  After a week it was already starting to get ripped up so I decided to reinforce it.  Taking all of ten minutes I managed to create a portfolio that saw near daily use inside and outside that, as of last week, saw me through to my doctorate.

Step 1: Materials

-A cheap portfolio
-2 inch wide scotch tape aka packing, or sealing tape ( I have tried this with duct tape but I personally didn't like it as much)
- Any pictures you might want to add for decoration
- A glue stick

Step 2: Reinforce Key Spots

First I taped the spine by cutting a length of tape slightly longer that the portfolio.
Lay the portfolio flat on a table and centering the tape over the spin adhere tape to the back of the spine then wrap the excess around the edges

Second, Tape the top and bottom edges of the portfolio with one piece of tape for each edge placed so that half of the width is on the outside and the other half is on the inside. Adhere the tape on both sides then trim any tape extending beyond the corner with your scissors.

Third, Tape the side edges the same way you did for the top and bottom then on the inside cut any tape that may be keeping the pocket from opening all the way.

Note: After eight years the corners and the spot where the top of the pocket meets the outside edge were showing the most wear.  So you may want to take steps to further reinforce these areas.

Step 3: Decorate

If you would like to add another personal touch you may choose to add pictures to your portfolio. I did this by first gluing the picture where I wanted with a glue stick then after drying laying strips of tape over the pictures barely overlapping the tape. 

Note:  Years ago I used a similar method to 'laminate' games I found in children's magazines using a glue stick and card stock paper.  Unfortunately I left those games with the parents of some of the kids I worked with and don't have any examples to show.

Step 4: Prepare for the Reaction

Unfortunately I found that most of the time when people noticed my portfolio the reaction was negative (obviously I wasn't hanging around the right people).  Typical statements included:  why would you do that,  you know I'll give you a quarter to buy a new one if you throw that thing away,  gross that thing is so old and dirty.  

The few that understood were actually people that I know frequent this site.  I've actually started to use it as a litmus test.  If they like it (or at least don't look at you like your crazy) then they probably have that DIY spirit and you can go on to discuss various projects you've done and they'll probably add a few of their own.  If they react negatively they tend to be the sort of people that don't know the difference between a screw and a bolt and you should keep shop talk to a minimum.   So not only will this amazing project save you several dollars over the course of a decade it can also be a guide to show you who should be your friends. :)

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