September 12, 2012

DIY Magazine Files (Free Template)

This week, I’m sharing some of the DIY organizational projects I completed for my new sewing room and home office. One of my main challenges in this tight space was finding a way to keep everything organized without having everything become overly cluttered, and I knew I needed to find an attractive, discreet way to stash all of my magazines, which lately have started to take over just about every flat surface in my home!

After my little helper above assisted me in purging my magazine collection (no small feat!), I started looking for magazine files to purchase so that I could store them on the bookshelf in the space. During a recent trip to the Container Store, I was really attracted to these files:

They are sturdy and make a nice decorative statement, but the DIY’er in me simply couldn’t abide paying $11 apiece for something made of cardboard! Instead, I set to work creating a template of my own to use to make something similar for a fraction of the cost. My secret? Foam core board! Let me show you how I did it.

For this project, you will need:
Foam core board (1 20×30″ piece for each file)
X-Acto knife
Scoring tool
Clear ruler (recommended) or yardstick
Clear packing tape
Patterned paper
Mod Podge
Label holders

To start, print off and assemble the magazine file template, available for download below.

Helpful hints for assembling the template: First, connect pieces 1, 2, and 3, and then connect those joined pieces to piece 4. Next, connect pieces 5, 6, and 7, and then connect those joined pieces to piece 8. With the left- and right-hand sides of the template assembled, join them together at their centers, as indicated on the template pieces.

With a pen or a pencil, trace the assembled template onto the foam core board.

Working slowly and carefully, cut over the traced lines with an X-Acto knife. Be sure to work on a self-healing mat or a piece of scrap cardboard to protect your work surface!

Using a scoring tool and a clear ruler or yardstick, score along the dotted lines indicated on the template piece. Hint: To transfer these marks easily from the template onto your foam core board piece, place the template on top of the piece and mark the end points of these dotted lines onto your foam core board piece with a pencil. Then, connect the two points with your ruler and score. 

Using the scored lines as a guide, fold the the side panels to create all four vertical sides of the file. (Be sure to fold toward the scored lines.) Secure the joint where the sides connect generously with packing tape.

Fold the bottom flaps of the file and secure them with packing tape in a similar fashion.

To cover the assembled file, trace each side onto patterned paper, cut the pieces out, and then affix the paper to the file with Mod Podge. If desired, apply a protective coat of Mod Podge over the paper to seal. (FYI: I opted not to cover the bottom of my box, since I knew it wouldn’t be visible, but if having the exposed foam core board bothers you, by all means, cover it up!)

Now, attach a label holder to the front of the file. You can find traditional label holders at office supply stores, but I fell in love with these label holders from Tim Holtz that I found in the scrapbooking section at Jo-Ann.

You are finished!

There are so many options for these files!
 You could even cover them in fabric for a more streamlined, sophisticated look.

I recommend making a separate file for each magazine your subscribe to. 

Fill your files with magazines and display them happily on a shelf. No more clutter!

To download the template pieces for this project, click on the arrow in the right-hand side of the box below. Please note that if you are enjoying this post in a reader or via email subscription, you will need to click over to the blog for the download.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out how I made a no-sew version of my diaper box storage bins for additional storage in this space.

Thanks for making me a part of your day!

Linking this to…
Skip to My Lou
Serenity Now
Home Stories A to Z
Tidy Mom
Tatertots and Jello
Flamingo Toes
A Glimpse Inside

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32 Responses to DIY Magazine Files (Free Template)

  1. Melanie@Crafty Cupboard September 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    So cute Amy! Foam core, what a great idea!

  2. Holly @ September 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Looks great! This is a project I’ve been meaning to get to and I’ll pin yours to keep it fresh in my mind. Thanks!

  3. Country Mouse September 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    What a great idea! It would make my stack of magazines look so much prettier and neater! Thanks!!!

  4. Amanda @ Serenity Now September 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Aren’t you a smarty pants?! Love them! The embellishment is so pretty. 🙂

  5. Beverly {Flamingo Toes} September 12, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    This is so great Amy!! I love the papers you chose too – so pretty!!

  6. Kari Sweeten September 12, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    Amy I love, love, love these! I have those embellishments from Tim Holtz, too. Now I know what I’ll be doing with them!

  7. Sarah B September 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    What a great idea! I wonder if this could be changed slightly to fit scrapbook pads? I hoard scrapbook paper and I have 4 sets of mismatched 12×12 magazine holders for my paper – I wonder if the foam core would be durable enough to hold up several pads of paper?
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  8. Smart School House September 12, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    I might get addicted to this! What a GREAT idea!

  9. Debbie September 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    I’ve tried do these before and it has never worked out. Somehow they always ended up different sizes. I’m so glad you posted this because it looks soooo much easier! thanks =)

  10. Bonnie @ Uncommon September 14, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    Beautiful Amy!!! love the patterns and those little labels are perfect!

  11. aimee September 15, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    These look great they look so pretty. I’d love if you stopped by later and linked them up to my party at

    Thankyou xxx

  12. Christina at I Gotta Create! September 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Those are Gorgeous, Amy! Love the patterns and embellishments.
    <3 Christina

  13. nest of posies September 16, 2012 at 4:14 am #

    these are so smart looking!

  14. Amy September 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Hi! Nice to meet another crafty Amy! I totally love these…the patterns you chose plus the hardware really put them over the top awesome! I would love for you to share them here:

  15. scrapfancy September 17, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    Thanks for sharing this idea. Always need these and now with using the foam board my life can be simpler.

  16. Joan Hayes September 23, 2012 at 3:41 am #

    So glad I found this post. I’ve been looking for Magazine boxes for months but everything out there is just…ugly. Now I can make my own and huge bonus, I have all the supplies already so they’ll be free! Can’t wait to get started on these. Pinned!

  17. lisa cone October 30, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Supplies+shopping time+crafting time. Did you really save money?

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid October 30, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

      The foam board came out to $1.25, and each sheet of paper was right around 25 cents. Aside from those items, everything else I happened to have on hand. I love the fact that these are totally customized for my space, so the work to create them was worth it for me. Plus, the satisfaction from making something with my own two hands is always appealing to me! Thanks for stopping in.

  18. Pam Shipman November 7, 2012 at 5:57 am #

    I sure wish you were around when my kids were little. I could have used a lot of your suggestions for children. But you still have loads of crafts for me to enjoy now. Thank you for sharing your talent.

  19. Jen December 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    What a fantastic idea, I’m trying desperately to get organised before Christmas and start the new year super organised so this is so great! And really stylish too!

  20. AverageJane March 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Hey Amy – found this through Pinterest. I happen to have everything at home I need. Forgive a really dumb question, maybe someone can help – but when I print out the templates, they aren’t the correct size. Any idea how to do this from Acrobat?

    • AverageJane March 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      As a note, when I print out the paper and measure they 1″ key – it measures at 1 inch – but the pieces are super tiny. I’m totally feeling stupid over this.

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid March 13, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

      Hi there! The different pages are all pieces of the same template, which you have to piece together according to the directions on the pieces themselves. Since the template was larger than a standard 8.5×11 sheet of paper, I had to split it into different parts so it could be printed with a standard printer. I hope this helps!

  21. Leslie March 25, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    If using fabric, what would you use to attach it to the foam board?

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid March 27, 2013 at 6:26 am #

      Hi, Leslie! I would use a thin layer of Mod Podge to adhere the fabric to the board.

  22. Emma April 6, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    I have been looking for magazine files everywhere, and you’ve made this look so easy! I will definitely be making these soon!

  23. Julie May 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Can I ask what you used for printed paper? It doesn’t look like scrap booking paper. Maybe gift wraping paper?
    So love the idea. Thank you in advance.

  24. Kathy June 27, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    These are wonderful! I cannot wait to make my craft room look wonderful with these files. Thanks!! registered & protected

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