If you have to turn in a project folder at school, you may not know how to decorate its cover. Don't worry, there are many ideas and techniques you can use to create a custom folder, no matter what type of project it is.
Part 1 of 3: Brainstorm and Think of a Layout
Step 1. Review the project guidelines
If you're making a folder for a school project, review the guidelines your teacher gave you. Follow the instructions on the format or decoration.
For example, the teacher may not allow clip art or print in the folder
Step 2. Match the folder to the theme of the project
The style and theme of the folder should be somewhat related to the project so that everything is cohesive.
- For example, if the project is about marine life, you could make it blue and decorate it with images of corals and fish.
- Another alternative is that, if your work is about a specific book, draw the characters or sketch a scene from the story.
Step 3. Sketch out your ideas before you start decorating
Once you know what you want your work to look like, sketch it out on a separate sheet of paper that is the same dimension as your folder. By sketching your design first, you will save time that you would later use to correct mistakes.
- You can use a ruler to determine how much space you will need for each element and help you center your text or images.
- You don't have to add a lot of details, just make a little sketch with text boxes, stick figures, and the like.
Step 4. Don't overcrowd the project folder
You don't need to cover the entire space! Just add a border and put the project title and your name in the middle. Even if you want a more detailed design, don't forget to leave blank space on the page.
- Aim to leave at least ¼ of the page blank.
- If you decide to add text or a title, leave space around it so that it is easy to read.
Step 5. Make your work as neat as possible
Take some time and pay attention to the details. Go through all of your text to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Do not cross out the words you have misspelled, rather cover the area with a new sheet of paper or start from scratch.
Part 2 of 3: Design the Folder by Subject
Step 1. Make an outdoor scene for nature-themed projects
If your project is about nature, the environment, animals or habitats, you can make it look like an outside scene. Focus on the specific element of nature that the project is focusing on.
For example, if you are describing the habitat of an insect, use a green marker to draw grass of different sizes “growing” from the bottom of the page. Add layers of soil as well as worms, insects, and plants to fill in the project folder
Step 2. Include lots of images for an art project
If you are decorating an art project folder, avoid using words and letters, and focus on images. You can make your own artistic creations or even an interpretation of a famous painting or sculpture, depending on the focus of the project.
Step 3. Use geometric shapes or numbers for a math project
If the folder is for a math class, you can decorate it with shapes or numbers. Draw each shape or write each number in a different color to make it colorful and fun.
Another alternative is to create a border with the sequence of numbers that equals pi
Step 4. Cover the folder with letters, symbols or characters for a Spanish project
You can incorporate symbols or characters from a book or poem the project is about. For example, draw an important scene from the book that shows the main characters.
- If you want to add symbols to it, choose ones that are central to the story, like an albatross and a ship for "The Ballad of the Old Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
- If you use letters to decorate the folder, be sure to rearrange the order to include all the letters of the alphabet. Use several colors to make the cover more interesting.
Step 5. Create a map for a geography project
Search the internet for a template for a map of a state, country, or continent that you've been studying. You could also use a world map. Print out the template, then cut it out and fit it into the folder. Color each state, country, or continent a different shade to make them stand out.
Step 6. Add staves and musical notes for a music project
What better way to decorate a music work folder than with musical notes? You could randomly place the notes or even copy the sheet music of a song that is featured in the project.
Step 7. Include figures or evidence important to a history project
Pick people or objects that are crucial to the time period the project is about. For example, you could include the photo of Paul Revere if the work focuses on the start of the American War of Independence.
Step 8. Decorate a science project folder with relevant symbols
Choose those that reflect the discipline of science the project is about. For example, if the project is about chemistry, make drawings of test tubes, Bunsen burners, and protective gear. For an astronomy project, make a map of the stars with important constellations.
Part 3 of 3: Add decorations
Step 1. Cover the front of the folder with a new sheet of paper, if necessary
If the outside of the folder is written on or is a different color than you'd like, you can cover it up. Use a ruler to measure it, then cut a piece of construction paper or scrap paper that matches the measurements. Glue the new sheet to the front of the folder.
You can use white school glue, glue stick, or rubber cement
Step 2. Use washi tape or cloth tape to make a frame
An easy way to make a file folder stand out is to frame it. If you don't want to draw it, add one with cloth tape or washi tape. Use a ruler to measure the length and width of the folder. Then do the following:
- Cut the cloth or duct tape into 4 pieces: 2 the size of the folder's length and 2 the width.
- Tape the washi tape to the edges on each side, or use glue beads to adhere the fabric tape.
Step 3. Draw the frame by hand if you prefer
You don't have to use cloth tape or washi tape to create a frame; you can make your own designs. Use pens, markers, paint, or even glitter glue to create a frame for the project folder.
Some ideas for frame design are spirals, shapes, letters, and flowers
Step 4. Use templates or stickers to add text and make it look professional
If you have to include the project title or some other text, you can use letter templates or stickers to make it look uncluttered. Place the template where you want it to go, then fill in the letters with a marker of the color of your choice. Another option is to simply stick letter stickers on the sheet.
- You can also print the text on another sheet, cut it out and paste it into the folder.
- Another alternative, if you have nice handwriting, is to write the title or text by hand. You may want to use bubble letters or another technique to make the text stand out.
Step 5. Include images that reflect the theme of the project
If you like to draw, you can add images to the folder. You can also cut them from magazines or find them on the internet, print them or cut and paste them on the cover. Adding images helps personalize the folder and can match the cover to the information inside.
For example, if your project is for a Chemistry class, put pictures of test tubes and beakers on it
Step 6. Add more details with cutouts
If you want to add another dimension to your project folder, you can cut out the shapes or designs from a different color of paper and glue them together. Use school glue or a glue stick.
For example, if the folder is decorated with a tree, cut leaves or flowers out of construction paper and glue them to the branches
Step 7. Make the folder stand out using glitter or glitter paper
Glitter always catches the eye, so it looks good in a folder. Don't use too much though, or it could get overwhelming, not to mention messy! Use glitter to accentuate, like in a frame that goes around the edges.