Monday 13 June 2011


Tutorial: Pimp your filing cabinet with fabric hanging folders

As part of Operation: Save Our Collective Lives it's an ongoing concern of mine to get this house and family into order. I have done many things, I am currently doing many things, I am planning on doing many things in future. But one thing that is always carried from To Do list to To Do list is the freaking filing. I hate filing paperwork. Tricks must be played on my subconscious to get it on board. Do you remember I have played tricks on the subconscious before? It worked. But Pretty Solution One is now too full. Subconsious, I am now playing dirty. I will get you yet.

11 hanging files done

Want to pimp your filing cabinet / scare your rational non-psychotic friends? Here goes...

1 hanging files start

Start with a hanging file that already fits your filing cabinet. Note how lackluste it is and lacking the gravitas required to cradle your important family bizness.

2 hanging files cut

Cut off the metal bits at the top.

3 hanging files draft

Trace around the paper file you cut off, adding 1cm to both the left and right sides and 3cm to the top. Marking the fold at the bottom of the pattern piece.

4 hanging files cut

Cut your fabric on the fold. Think to yourself, 'I'd like to put paper in this every day'.

5 hanging files edge finish

Edge finish all four edges. A serger makes a super-quick job of it if you have one, an overcasting zig-zag on a regular sewing machine is fine too. Fraying edges will only make you angry about filing.

6 hanging files iron

Press the 1cm allowances (of the long edges) to the wrong side with your iron.

7 hanging files hem

Sew them down close to the edge.

8 hanging files iron casing

Press the 3cm allowances (of the short edges) to the wrong side with your iron.

9 hanging files stitch casing

Sew them down close to the edge, to form casings.

10 hanging files thread through

Thread the metal hanging bits through the casing.

Fabric hanging files

You're done! File away the two years of paper work you've collected in various parts of the house.

Disclaimer: 98% of you are going to think this is a completely mental use of time and fabric. But it's a very quick project (I made six folders in less than an hour) and I am hoping / praying / doing black voodoo magic that making my filing pretty might help motivate me to stay on top of it. Once I have a better idea of exactly how many separate folders are required, different colours and prints will be added for extra organisation. It's time-saving and stash-busting, right? Right? Anyone? Okay, it's probably just a bit crazy.


  1. Well, I can't say 98% won't find this crazy but count me in the 2%. It's brilliant especially FOR YOU. Even the organizing pros push having something attractive to draw you to icky tasks. Pretty fabric is your siren call. I hope it works!

  2. Surely all the best projects are a bit crazy?! I think this is great! I was filing away months-worth of stuff yesterday (and chucking out loads, which always makes me feel better). Think how much more stylish my afternoon would have been with these fabulous files!!! Now I just need to address the sad grey exterior of my filing cabinet...

  3. Well... yes, it's a bit crazy, but I LOVE IT!!! Someday, I'll do something like this for my files - until then? The paperwork can stay in it's stacks. ;)

  4. This is exactly the kind of mental games I have to go through to convince myself to stay organized too.

  5. I'd have just got on with the filing, but then I'm boring :D

  6. this is so me! Time to procrastinate on how the filing should look before actually filing!and it involves fabric! tremendous!

  7. I love this!! Your filing cabinent drawers looks so pretty now. It almost (notice I said ALMOST) makes me want to file the crap load of papers threatening to eat my computer.:)

  8. You clearly need to get out more!! (but I secretly love it!!)

  9. well if you're crazy then I am too! LOVE this!!! and I am sooooo doing it once we get the cellar converted and have the filing down there! Pinned! ;)

  10. The words 'displacement activity' spring to mind. You now have a way more attractive filing system than I do though! Seems a shame to spoil the look by putting anything in it really.

  11. I think that's awesome, and the only thing holding me back from immediately going forth and doing the same is... lack of filing cabinet. Now if you can think of a way of pimping up A4 lever arch files, I'll be all over it!

  12. What an absolutely brilliant idea! I love it. I don't have a filing cabinet as we use folders but I am now thinking of getting one just so that I can make these.

    Emma Phillips
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