New year is always the perfect time to get organized

As you assemble your folders, after cutting the diagonal wedge in your 12-by-12-inch sheet and...
(Photo courtesy Jaim Parsons)
Story by Valerie Parsons
(Standard-Examiner correspondent)
Sun, Jan 6, 2013
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What is it about the start of a new year that makes us want to become organized? Perhaps the happy chaos of the holiday season is over and the coming year offers us the promise of a fresh start — a way to do things better.

This month’s project helps organize your handcrafted greeting cards.

Both of these alternatives can also be adapted to help you organize mementos and photos to be scrapbooked later or as a means to keep track of all of those crafting ideas or instructions from newspapers, magazines and online.


(organized by month):

You’ll need: 12 pieces of 12-by-12-inch cardstock; 6 of them double-sided.

Notebook (I’ve used the kind in which you can insert a cover sheet on the outside to decorate it)

Hole punch

Double-stick tape or tape runner.

My notebook accommodates a 9-by-11-inch page, so I cut 6 of my double-sided sheets to that size. Cut the other six sheets in half. These will become your pockets and do not have to be double-sided.

Match your pocket to your sheet at the lower lefthand corner. Flip the page over, mark the excess to be trimmed and trim it on a paper cutter or with an X-Acto knife.

Use your tape runner on 2 sides and the bottom of the trimmed pocket portion. Leave the top without tape; this will be the opening for your pocket. Match the edges, trim as necessary and mark the holes to correspond with your notebook’s rings. Now punch your holes.

You can now assemble the other side with the other pocket. You may insert a brad through both pockets on the outer corner for extra strength. Punch the holes using the first holes as your template.

My notebook also has flaps in the front and back; you can put your birthday/holiday calendar in one of the flaps or you may wish to print out a birthday list for each month and insert it in each month’s pocket.

If you wish to add other categories, simply make more pocket pages. I find it helpful to write a note to the side of each person’s name notating which card I used so that I don’t duplicate them the following year. (Yes, there are some card ideas I make that I like so much that I make them year after year.)


(organized by category):

You’ll need: as many 12-by-12-inch sheets of cardstock as you have categories for greeting cards. I have 9 categories: Birthday, Get Well, Thank You, Friendship, Baby, Sympathy, Miscellaneous, Valentines and Christmas.

Memento box (purchased at craft store; 7 1/2 by 11 inches (may also be labeled as a “photo box”)

Eyelets (2 for each folder)

Ribbon, X-Acto knife

Optional: Scoring deck

Score your 12-by-12-inch sheet in half, at the 6-inch mark. Determine which side will look good as your inside flap and remember, it will be upside down. A pattern without printed words is more aesthetically pleasing so that when the folder is opened, the words will not be upside down.

Measure 4 1/2 inches from the bottom and score. Fold your sheet in half at the 6-inch score mark. Now measure 1 inch from the folded edge at the bottom. Draw a straight line from this mark to the point where the score lines intersect; Cut a wedge along this line. Save the wedge; you can use it as a template for your next folders.

Open the sheet to the wrong side and use double-sided tape along the uncut edges on the 4 1/2-inch flap. Fold up, wrong side to wrong side. Close the sheet to create your folder. Now measure 4 inches down from the top and make a mark for your eyelet.

Set your eyelet with whatever method you prefer. Cut two 10-inch lengths of ribbon. Feed each ribbon through your eyelet and tie a knot in the end; you may have to tie one knot over the other to create a large enough knot that is larger than your eyelet hole.

I rounded each top righthand corner, but it’s not necessary. Now tie your ribbons in a bow to the front. I made labels for my categories and adhered them to the front of the folders. I place my envelopes in the front of the box, but you may choose to put them in your folders with your cards.

Either of these methods is adaptable to organize your cards by month or category, whichever you find works best for you.

One final suggestion: Rather than make all of your cards, why not organize a card exchange group with other like-minded crafters? Have each person choose some themes, put them into a container and draw out a new theme each month.Then each person makes as many cards as there are members. Meet once a month, exchange cards, ideas and methods.

If only starting an exercise program were this much fun.

If you have questions or need clarification, add a comment online at

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