Introduction: Increasing the Life and Looks of Paper Folders

If you’re like me organization is the difference between passing chemistry, or not being able to find all the notes you took about cyclohexanes the night before the midterm.

Luckily I discovered a solution that allowed me to haphazardly throw things into my backpack without them escaping: the common folder. Unfortunately with the discovery of folders, came the knowledge of their flimsiness. One folder could barely survive one semester, and having to replace what I considered to be such a young death was no less than tragic. So what could protect the weak exterior of my organizational tool? The answer for many a fix-it question: Tape!

Preemptively taping my folders not only increased their strength, extending their life, but also allowed the creation of some truly unique folders to show off on campus!

Step 1: Gathering Materials

Things you will need to create a swankey new folder:

1. A folder (I usually like picking up the 10 cent ones from places like Office Max around the back to school season, but any folder should do, cheap definitely welcome)

2. A roll of masking tape (the thicker, the easier)

3. An X-acto knife, or similar sharp object

4. A writing utensil (for writing)

Step 2: Design Your Folder

Now for the drawing. Take your pencil (or pen if your feeling lucky) and design the outer face of your folder, using any design you'd like. (Preferably one you'd be able to be seen in public with)

Designs that have larger pieces of connecting tape (or at least not a bunch of thin easily tear-able pieces) will help your tape last longer.

Try to pay extra attention to the middle seam and corners of your folder, as these are the areas that tend to get the worst of backpacks.

Step 3: Tape Over Your Design

Cover the area where you planned your design with masking tape, leaving extra room around your pencil marks. Wrapping the extra tape around the other side of the folder is also recommended.

Step 4: Cut It Out

Cut out your design with your X-acto knife, removing any excess tape you did not want in your design.

Step 5: Color and Finish!

All that's left now is to color!I used Sharpies here, but most any colored pen or pencil should work with varying results.

You could also leave it the natural shade of masking tape, or try this project using different colored duct tape.

This project should be fast and easy (I completed the whole thing between turns of Catan), and should cost very little if you already have masking tape on hand.

I hope this instructable helped you with your organizational needs (or at least gave you a creative outlet). Happy studying!