DIY Art Appreciation Folders: An Easy, Budget-Friendly Guide for Teachers

This method of making folders isn’t a secret in Montessori teacher circles, but sometimes the simple things are what never gets shared. Enjoy this little tutorial and fill your class with beautiful art appreciation materials!

Materials Needed

  • Paper two-pocket folders. You can get these for really inexpensive during back to school sales. But if you’re looking outside that time, folders in a variety of colors is surprisingly hard to find (at least in my area).
  • Clear Packing Tape. I tried using fancy tape and cheap tape, and the dollar store tape seemed to work best. I’ll let you know if that changes over time.
  • Colored Dots. In my materials I chose not to preprint dots, because I knew you would need to have matching dots for your folders. I thought it was better to have actual identical dots and sticker the materials and folders at the same time.

Recommend Tools

  • Paper Guillotine. This is the same one I’ve been using for years and it’s great. Self sharpening and sturdy. #DeathToScissors
  • Corner Rounder. This one is quite nice. I’ve punched a few thousand corners at this point, but I’ve had it for less than a year. It doesn’t hurt my hands to use. It looks like the “PRO NEO” version would be even better and I’ll probably get that one if this one ever breaks.

How to Make Basic Folders

Step 1

Cut the folder down to 6 inches wide and 7 inches tall.

Step 2

Round the top corner to look extra professional. I used the large setting.

Step 3

Tape the edges shut.

Step 4

Add sticker dots to the inside pocket.

Fill the Folders

How to Make Multi-Pocket Folders

Step 1

Cut two folders down to 6 inches wide by 7 inches tall.

Step 2

Tape all the edges shut. Tape the back-to-back edges to each other.

Step 3

Staple the back to back edges together for strength.

Finishing Steps

Round the top corners and add colored dot stickers. Add a cover image to the front of the folder.

Fill the Folders

Some Variations

Write with clear, concise language to inform and engage your audience. Consider what matters to them and provide valuable insights.

And don’t forget to fill your folders!

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