DIY: File Organizer

Last year, one thing I was really lacking in my classroom was a file organizer/box for my students' writing portfolios. I found this old McGraw Hill Box that is probably older than I am in one of my cabinets and decided it needed a makeover.

The Tools

  • An old box that needs some TLC
  • Wallpaper- I got this awesome wallpaper from Marshalls for $7 for two rools (STEAL)
  • Black paint and paintbrush

The Steps

Step 1: Apply wallpaper to the areas of the box you wish. I originally intended on doing the entire box, but I ran out of wallpaper and improvised with paint. 

Step 2: Paint the sides of the box. I painted about half way down the inside of the box for good measure. 

Step 3: I made this awesome label in PowerPoint with an old frame clipart and a simple text box. I printed it, laminated it, and hot glued it on to the front of the box.

Step 4: Find the perfect place in your room to display your new beauty. 

The New Home

This is my new home for my file box. I'm calling it my "writing area". Last year, I hot glued these hanging file holders on to the side of one of my cabinets to hold my students' writing folders. I labeled them for what works for me. 

The top two file holders are left blank so that I can write with a dry erase marker exactly what stage of the writing progress those students are in (brainstorming, rough draft, editing, etc.). Once the writing project is complete, the student's writing folder gets moved to the file box on the small white shelves at the bottom of the picture until we are ready to start a new project! As you can see, the bottom file holder holds all of my writing templates so they are easily accessible to myself and the students.

What types of writing organization work for you?


  1. This is a good idea, Kristen! This way, it'll be easier for you to determine the works left undone. Separating the finished ones will also make the file organizer spacious for the next writing assignments. What I like best about this project is that the materials are recycled!

    -Ruby Badcoe @ WilliamsDataManagement


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