Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Get Organized! P3 challenge 12-1-10

It's a crazy time of year for most of us. I don't know about you, but I am drowning in lists. To do lists, grocery lists, shopping lists, wish lists from the kids, gift idea lists (and I always seem to forget someone), scribbles of menus being planned etc, etc...

The challenge at Paper Cubed this month is to make something to help us say organized this holiday season, some kind of to do list or organizer. What perfect timing! I made this Holiday Planner for the challenge, and it took all my will power NOT to start writing in it before I got photos to share. Trust me, it's covered in my scribbles now, and how handy to have all my lists in one place!

Here is my pretty Holiday Planner before I started filling it with my notes and lists:

Closed it is the size of a wallet to easily fit in my ginormous purse.

When I open the flap, I find my handy calendar and a pen.

And inside are all my lists, with handy pockets for stamps and receipts.
You can click the pic for a closer look...

How's that for organized? Pop over to the Paper Cubed Challenge Blog to see what the fabulously organized DT has come up with to inspire you.  You have the entire month to create a planner, list, calendar or something else that will help to keep you organized (I suggest you start now, only 24 more days until Christmas!), play along with us and link it up to the December challenge. You could win a prize!

I have seen these file folder organizers before, but I didn't have a file folder so I made one with what I had in my stash. Because it's almost Christmas, and because I love my followers, I made up a tutorial for you!  Actually there are 3 tutorials included, instructions to make the planner folder, a link to a cricut tutorial, and a faux leather tutorial.  This is going to be the longest post in history, so if you don't want to view the tutorials you can just scroll to the bottom to leave a comment :) 

For those who want to see how this was made, read on...


You will need 2-12"x12" solid cardstock for base, 2 or 3 coordinating patterned pages for embellishing, neutral 81/2x11"cardstock for labels, plus a coordinating color of cardstock for matting, a paper trimmer, score board or bone folder for scoring, plus strong adhesive (I used 1/8" and 1/4" scor-tape) and 2 brads plus a fancy brad or button for front. I also used Versamark clear ink, clear embossing powder and a small ball stylus to make the faux alligator front flap.

Take 1st piece of cardstock base, trim off 1.5" from one side.
OK, I am Canadian and do know the metric system,
but for this tutorial I am going to use inches because it's just easier.

Now score along the shorter side at 3.5" and 7"

Rotate the page and score at 8.5"

Fold bottom flap up and press well along score line.

Then fold along vertical score lines as shown.

Now take 2nd piece of cardstock and score it at 3.5" and 8"

Now rotate it at score at 8.5" too.

Now you need to trim out the bottom pieces as shown, the bottom flap is trimmed below the 8.5" score line at 3.5 inches and 7" (that is 1" in from the vertical 8" score line) Hope I didn't lose you there.

Now fold along the score lines as shown.

Measure in 2" from the right flap, make a pencil mark,
do this along the bottom edge too.

Use a round object, line up those marks and trace the curved outline.

Cut out along curved edge to make the wallet flap.

I used 2 brads on the back for my closure, but since I have completed this project I have thought of several other ways I could have done it. Isn't that always how it happens? Well, they are in my pics so I thought I should explain why. I put the brads in at this point so I can hide the prongs on the other side as I am decorating it. You could make a belly band or a strap/buckle type thing to hold this wallet closed as well, if you prefer that, then skip the brads.

Time to adhere the 2 pieces of cardstock to create the folder. Use a strong adhesive so it doesn't fall apart.  I like Scor-tape, but the red line tape would work well too.  Apply the tape to the left flap as shown.

 Place the 1st piece over top of the taped flap, make sure the edges are straight.
Press it down good and tight.

My favorite part is embellishing with the pattern papers. Here, I used 4 pieces cut at 3.25" x 6", don't worry about them being short, the bottom flap/pockets will cover it.

You need a fine strip of glue for the flap/pockets. 
 I used 1/8" scor-tape, but a fine bead of strong glue would work too.

Fold the flaps over and press down. Embellish as desired. I used 3.25" square pieces of coordinating paper, the middle 2 are actually little envelopes to hold small things like stamps and gift cards or receipts.

For the labels, I printed them with my computer, spaced out on the cardstock. I then used the center point function on my cricut to cut them out. If you've never used this function on your cricut, I highly recommend you check out THIS VIDEO on YouTube and learn how to do it. It's fast and way easier than storing a bunch of punches or die cuts. You could use a punch or die cut system, but I spent alot of $ on my cricut and it does all these things for me, once I figured out how to use it.

I matted the labels on a contrasting color of cardstock, also cut (a bit bigger) with my cricut.
I used foam dots to mount them so the paper/list inserts would easily slip under them.

The page inserts are free printables I found at


If using this finish on your Holiday Planner, it may be easier to do before you embellish the inside.

For the faux leather finish on the flap of my wallet, I first masked off the part I wanted to do.

Apply versamark clear ink generously over entire surface.

Cover well with clear embossing powder.

Use a ball stylus or other dull small edge (a dried up ball point pen would work) to drag fine lines through the embossing powder. No need to be straight, irregular lines look better anyway when done.

Gently tap off the big crumbs of embossing powder left over from the dragging. (Don't put these stray bits back into your embossing powder jar unless you want lumpy hard chunks in it)

Now melt it with your heat gun!
I just love heat embossing, the image appears right before your eyes like magic.

I then popped a pretty brad on the flap, and for the closure...I wrapped a piece of stretchy silver cord around the brads on the back so I can do this:
...and wrap it around the front like this:
As I said before, I now have thought of a better way to do this. I don't like belly bands because I always wreck them, but I think a strip of faux leather embossed cardstock to fold over from back to front, with a velcro tab to hold it under the fancy button would work great. I'll try that next time. Maybe you can think of a better way to hold this closed. This stretchy cord works great though, and expands if the contents get bulky (and they will).

Try one for yourself, or make something totally unique to get yourself organized,
and link it up to the Paper Cubed Challenge Blog for our December challenge.

I wish you all an organized and stress free Christmas!


CTMH Products available on my website:

#G1014 Mistletoe Worksop on the Go Kit , contains the cardstock, pattern papers, stamp set and beautiful brad embellishments.
CTMH inks in #Z2114 Cocoa and #Z2120 Garden Green for distressing edges and #Z2116 Cranberry for the ornaments.

Other products used:
Martha Stewart Scoring Board
Scor-Tape in 1/8" and 1/4"
Stretchy silver cord from SU
Cricut Expression and Storybook Cartridge
Red Stickles on the labels
Post it notes
Ruled paper
Red pen

Faux leather heat embossing


  1. Lorrinda! You're a genius! I really need one of these. Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. Excellent tutorial and links. Thanks for sharing. I'm trying to get a blog going myself but I'm finding it very challenging. Susan Freeland

  3. Lorinda--You are AMAZING! This is brilliant! love it-love it-love it! Thanks for sharing with a tutorial!

  4. Wow!!! Not only is your project absolutely amazing but you gave us a tutorial as well!! Love it, and thanks!

  5. Oh this is awesome!! When I first saw it, I figured you dry embossed the cover! I love that you did it a different way! I am going to have to CASE this!!

  6. Love the faux-leather Christmas planner, Lorrinda--so we've showcased it at Christmas Planner today!

    Nice job--and thanks for such a creative use of our printable forms.

    Cynthia Ewer, Editor

  7. Lorrinda!! This is amazing!! What a fun project:-)

  8. Wow, Lorrinda, you are amazingly creative and talented!!

    This little organiser is fantastic and the tutorial too, brilliant.

    Thank you for linking up to Make It Monday this week.

    Michelle :-)

  9. Nice little organizer. You did a great job with the faux leather.

  10. Lorrinda, what an amazing project!!The faux finish is perfect! At first, I thought that you had converted an old purse!

  11. OH MY STARS!!! You've completely blown me away with this one!!! EXCELLENT!!! How sweet of you to share the amazing tutorial with us're the bomb!!

  12. This is amazing Lorrinda and the tutorial is perfect. Thanks for the link to the inserts too!

  13. This is the coolest project!!! I wish I had seen this earlier!!! Great gift idea!! I think I will make this and keep it for next year!!!

    Debbie B

  14. the lizard skin technique is fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

  15. I just found your blog from Split Coast. What a wonderful project. I think I'd like to do something like that as a workshop this upcoming holiday. However, the thing that made me drop my jaw was your easy faux leather embossing technique. I can't wait to share it at a team meeting!

  16. This is awesome!! I'm curious as to how you got the printables from Organized Christmas to print small like that - when I try it comes out full size?

  17. Amazing instructions!! and a great big WOW!!! Thanks for sharing.


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