Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mini File Folders

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In my never-ending quest for organization, these mini file folders from Erin Vale Design are the perfect addition to my ever evolving system. They are great for anything from recipe cards to coupons or even saved receipts. I love the fact that you can customize them with any colors or patterns you'd like.

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For this project, you will need a mini file folder template
and a few patterns or pre-printed patterned paper to print
the template on. I created the template above which can be
downloaded here. The green paper is from the Avery Grace 
Collection Mini at Scrap Girls.

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As with most things, there are a few ways to fill the folder shape with
color and pattern. I will show you the two methods I used.

The first method is to print the mini folder template lines directly on an
existing patterned paper, use a craft trimmer with a scoring blade (or a bone
folder) to fold the card stock in half nicely and then cut the folder shape out.

For the horizontal line patterned folder, I made a mask out of the
folder shape by filling the space with a solid color and then
added a pattern overlay to that layer in Photoshop. I then printed
the file folder shape on a white piece of card stock, scored the
card stock along the fold line and cut the shape out.

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These are just 2 examples of fun ways to customize the
mini file folders to match your space. Play around with
complementary patterns and colors and enjoy the process!

My Website| My Etsy shop | My Scrap Girls store

Friday, March 4, 2011

Custom Notepads

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Ever want to customize your own notepads? I always do! I made custom notepads for client Christmas gifts this past year, but the idea came from a simpler project (that I didn't take a picture of). I made custom one-of-a-kind notepads by designing and replacing the standard covers. This recipe tells you how to create your own.

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I made a set of 2 coordinating notepad covers, so I chose 2 complimentary color palettes:
• earthy greens with a contrasting turquoise color, and
• autumn gold colors with a contrasting bold red
• use a variety of fonts in contrasting weights, widths, and styles (I just chose from varieties I already had)
• a pattern (this one is available here)
• a gum-bound notepad with an existing cover, any size you want

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I purchased gum-bound notepads (not spiral bound), and measured the covers, then set up my file using that same size. I created the artwork using PhotoShop because I like the ability to control transparency, and adjust colors, etc.

I used the lighter color and filled the whole background with it (the lighter green is my favorite and delicious color!) I brought in the background pattern and adjusted it to be only a little bit darker than the background color. Then I used the darker shade of the color and added a band across the top.

I used a different font for each letter, and adjusted their size and placement until I liked how they looked. I also had a little fun with the words I chose: Notes and Goals, and made the letters interplay with each other. I used black for one word and used the darker of the palette colors on the "extra letters" (I did the same thing with the opposite letters when I did the other notebook).

As a final touch and to give a little spice, I used the bold contrasting color as a bar to incorporate the date and also for another message on the bottom edge.

You could do this with your family name, kids' names, or whatever else you want as your cover message.
Once you're satisfied with the way it looks, trim it out, and adhere it to the cover of the existing notepad!

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Designer. Typography geek. Entrepreneur.

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