Beautiful, Sturdy Storage Portfolio for Artwork

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About: bibliophile, anticonsumerist, dog lover. If I can't make it, I dont need it!

My work space at home isn't the biggest and I needed an affordable, hopefully attractive way to store my various creations. Anyone who looks at my instructibles knows that "make it cheap" are my watch words. I had some various fabric remnants that were not of a size to make much practical out of. I also had a few sheets of foam core. Since these are going to be used for storage in the studio, that is, not being carried around a lot, I decided that this would be a perfect base for my storage portfolios. Foam core is pretty study, and since these are covered with fabric, there is extra protection against denting.

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Step 1:

What I used:

2 sheets of foam core (20x30 in)
fabric remnant (approx.28x40)
glue gun
ribbon
needle with a BIG eye (repair needles are nice)
something to poke some holes (I used the pointy end of a compass)
*optional
stencil
paint

Step 2:

Center the foam core on the fabric as much as possible. Make sure to leave a gap between the two sheets! I left a gap of 2.5 inches in the center and a 4 inch fabric border on all four sides. Secure all four corners of the foam core sheets with a drop of hot glue.

Step 3:

Starting at what will be the top, carefully fold the fabric over to create a neat hem. I used about 2.5 inch hems all around on my portfolios. Again, secure just the corners with a drop of glue.

Step 4:

Carefully glue the fabric to the foam core along the outside edge. Do this on both ends.

Step 5:

Now to do the sides. This is a little trickier. Fold the fabric the same way to create a hem but make sure the fabric is pulled taughtly around the foam core (don't want any wrinkles). Pin the fabric in place, and glue down the side seams.

Step 6:

Once the sides are glued in place, glue the corners. Make sure to glue both folds of each corner so that everything looks nice and neat!

Step 7:

Now for the handles and closure! Mark where everything is supposed to be and get to stabbing! I used the pointy end of a compass. I was able to get it to go through both sheets of foam core easily. I threaded ribbon on a repair needle ( any needle really if the eye is big enough) and threaded that through the holes I just punched. I secured these with a pretty beefy knot, and secured the knot with a bit of glue. Make sure both handles are the same length! I repeated this step in the center, above the the handles, to attach pieces of ribbon to tie the portfolio closed.

Step 8:

I added stencil to mine because if something is worth doing its worth doing well. Take it on faith that my stencil was taped down, all I had in the studio was clear tape.

Step 9: The Finished Product!

And here's the finished product! I was so pleased that I made a second the same way, but with a single 20x30 inch sheet of foam core cut in half (15x20). I plan on using this plan to make a tougher version for travel the same way, but out of canvas panels to give the portfolio a bit more strength.
*Update* I've carried the smaller of the two around quite a bit. I'm quite pleased with how sturdy these turned out. I definitely recommend securing the handles with a bit of glue to keep the knots from slipping if you plan on carrying these around a lot.

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