Altered File Folders, Take One

Altered File Folders 2014 (Marjie Kemper)

Altered File Folders

I’ve wanted to make altered file folders ever since I saw Ellen Vargo do this back in March.  In fact, Ellen’s project captivated me enough to start a Pinterest Board on Altered File Folders.

Kemper altered file folders 09212014A

The current challenge at Craft Hoarders Anonymous (school or office supplies) was just the prompt I needed to create my own file folders. I worked outside to avoid fumes in the house ~ always a good thing.

Kemper altered file folders 09202014B

It was so much fun doing this that it was hard to remember to put down the spray paints and pick up the camera. I definitely want to do this again soon.

Kemper altered file folders 09212014C

Sticking with three colors, I started laying stencils out and worked on all six folders at once. Lots of moving of stencils from one folder to the next.  Since you can always cover up a layer with another layer, I wasn’t very concerned about patterns at all.

Kemper altered file folders 09212014D

My favorite part was spraying one color through a stencil, looking at the folder, then replacing the stencil and spraying another color over part of the same stencil.

Kemper altered file folders 09212014E

See what I mean?  This picture shows the chevron stencil on the right partly green, and partly black.

I’ve titled this post “Altered File Folders, Take One” because I had so much fun doing this, I have no doubt there will be additional efforts in the works.  Who knows, maybe I’ll even do some filing!

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Your comments are very much appreciated!


  1. I am….blown away! I love the colors and these folders are going to be FABtastic for other projects, or just as file folders! I confess that I have never, ever used spray paint…I am missing out! Thanks for joining us at Craft Hoarders Anonymous!

  2. Ooh and meant to say great idea about the table too x

  3. I cannot get over how funky these are, and spray paint… what a great idea! Think I need to get me some more stencils 🙂 x

  4. You did absolutely awesome! I adore the idea of having a fold up table to work outside – that is definitely something worth considering just for fun in Summer!! Now I am intrigued as to why you used spray paints instead of mists & which brand in particular you like. We can get some American brands here, very expensively of course, but I have seen that they are actually the same value as they have twice the coverage & stickability of the local ones.

    • Marjie Kemper says:

      Thanks, Helen. I used spray paints for this one for an ‘instant satisfaction’ experience as they dry so quickly. Liquitex is the brand readily available here.

  5. LOVE these. I’m a huge fan of altering file folders. YOurs came out awesome. I love the color palette.
    Thanks so much for sharing with us at Craft Hoarders Anon 🙂

  6. Fern Edwards says:

    Love this and I think I need to get busy to change up some of the bazillion boring file folders in my office!

  7. Well, I’d be inspired to do some filing, just to get to see these fun, funky file folders! I love the layers of ink, the punchy colors and the energetic vibe of this post. I told you file folders are fun to work with! LOL Thanks for sharing with us at Craft Hoarders Anonymous!

  8. Wow!! Looks like lots of fun Marjie 🙂 messy and inky all at the same time……and outdoors x
    Have fun filing x

    Hugs Annie x

  9. Very cool Marjie! haha I can’t believe you made a board for those folders!! new obsession!! teehee
    I have a question- how do you clean your stencils after spray painting? Are the sprays water based?
    I love the stencils that you used and those 3 colors- great choice! So what’s going in the folders?
    thanks for sharing “)

    • hey I said three colors ,but only see two used! I love that teal- would look great as a third!just saying!

    • Marjie Kemper says:

      Clean my stencils!?!?!? Hah! Notsomuch…. never for paint, anyway. I only clean them if it’s something thick like gesso or paste that may clog the openings… paint and inks are just fine uncleaned.

  10. I love the colors you have used on your creation. Thanks for joining us at Craft Hoarders Anonymous!

  11. These are just fantastic and so full of inspiration, Marjie!

  12. Kirsten Alicia says:

    I like them a lot, they look great!

  13. It certainly looks like you had lots of fun creating these amazing file folders Marjie, I love them. Anne xx

  14. Wow, amazing techniques and colors! Thanks for joining us at Craft Hoarders Anonymous!

  15. These look amazing Marjie, great effects! xxx

  16. What a great idea. I just used some plain folders.. Now I want to go decorate them.

  17. Your color choice is great and the stenciling eye-cathing! I think this should make filing fun again!

  18. What great fun , good job you did that in the garden & in green !! I recently walked blue all around my kitchen floor as I had been using spritzing ink in my craft room !!! Think the folders are great, will be following the Pinterest board x

  19. These are AMAZING!!!!!!!

  20. these are fantastic Marjie! Can’t wait to see what you do next with your file adventures. Love the urban inspired colors.

  21. Glad there will be a take 2 because these are stunning!

  22. Marjie How fun to spray like crazy outside. These came out great. File folders are so perfect for all the wet media. Another win, my friend.

  23. This looks wonderful fun with such great results.
    Marjie, thank you so much for your comment on my Red Lead AJ page where I journalled along the stems of the flowers. I am enjoying this time of embracing colour, different stamps to my usual style (although it was a stencil I used on that page) and journalling.

  24. These are so fun. File folders take the paints so well too. I need me an order of those lush colored liquitex sprays….xox

  25. Great altered file folders. Love the colors. Thanks for sharing with us at Craft Hoarders Anonymous!

  26. Looks like fun….I MUST do some.

  27. Fabulous and fun altered file folders, Marjie! So you were asked to take it to the yard, huh? Have a great finish to Sunday, GF!

  28. Fabulous Marjie, I love altered file folders, even though it is almost impossible to get manila ones in the UK… 🙁