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Tutorial: A-7 Pocket Folders

Finished A-7 pocket folderAs I promised yesterday, what follows are step-by-step directions on how to create your own A-7 pocket folders, similar in style to those for sale at Paper Source.

The pocket folders are perfect for use in DIY wedding invitations (I’ll show you my own finished invitations once the bride has mailed them out).

My tutorial is ideal for creating an A-7 pocket folder in a paper that better coordinates with your colors or theme. The Paper Source website has a tutorial available for download with ideas on how you can further embellish the folders.

In addition, there’s a significant cost savings in making them yourself. By making the pocket folders myself, I spent about $30.75 on materials (paper & adhesive) to assemble the folders (not including tax). Buying the folders pre-made would have cost me $92.25 (not including tax) – this is a significant savings.

Be forewarned this is not a fast process.

Not including the time it took me to figure out the measurements and process, it took about 4.75 hours to assemble 100 folders (that’s about 3 minutes per folder).

On a positive note, the process is pretty easy – so if you have more time than money, this could work for you. If you have eager bridesmaids, make a party of it!

Some notes before I begin:

  • Yes, my cutting mat really is that ugly.
  • I am not a great photographer.  I’m serious, these photos are not pretty. What can I say – I’m a bookbinder, not a photographer.
  • You’ll notice that the images include paper that changes from black to blue…that’s because I realized I forgot to take some key pics, so I had to make another pocket folder to get them.

So here we go!

    1. Cut a strip of paper measuring 16″ high x 6″ wide.
    2. Place the paper on your cutting mat so it is oriented in a horizontal manner.
    3. Measure 5.5″ in from the left side and make a vertical score line.
A-7 pocket folder in progress

Step 3

    1. Measure 3.5″ in from the right side and make a vertical score line.
A-7 pocket folder in progress

Step 4

    1. Place the paper on your cutting mat so it is oriented in a vertical manner, with the 3.5″ scored section at the top.
A-7 pocket folder in progress

Step 5

    1. Using a quilting ruler, measure 1/2″ in from the left side. Make a score line from the top of the paper to the score line, 3.5″ down.
A-7 pocket folder in progress

Step 6

    1. Using an X-Acto knife, cut from 3.5″ (right below the score line) down to the bottom of the paper.
A-7 pocket folder in progress

Step 7

    1. Rotate the paper so that the 5.5″ scored section is now at the top. Using a quilting ruler, measure 1/2″ in from the left side. Using an X-Acto knife, cut from the top of the paper to the 2nd score line, 12.5″ down.
A-7 pocket folder in progress

Step 8

    1. Using a bone folder, make a vertical score line from the 2nd score line (12.5″ down)  to the bottom of the paper.
A-7 pocket folder in progress

Step 9

    1. Cut the 1/2″ wide strips off of both sides of the paper.
A-7 pocket folder in progress

Step 10

    1. You should be left with a shape that looks like a narrow “T”, with the widest section at the top being 3.5″ high.
A-7 pocket folder in progress

Step 10

    1. Rotate the paper so that the wide part of the paper is at the bottom.
A-7 pocket folder in progress

Step 12

    1. Fold in the two side flaps, flattening them with a bone folder.
A-7 pocket folder in progress

Step 13

    1. Unfold the flaps and flip the paper over. Apply adhesive to the back of the flaps. I like roller adhesive because it’s quick and is dry on application.
A-7 pocket folder in progress

Step 14

    1. Make a diagonal cut on the tab from about 1/2″ below the score line to the score line. This will eliminate some of the bulk when you fold the tabs in to create the pocket.
A-7 pocket folder in progress

Step 15

    1. Flip the paper over. Tuck in the two side flaps press down on the edges of the pocket using a bone folder. I recommend using a teflon bone folder if you have one – it won’t leave shiny marks on your paper.
A-7 pocket folder in progress

Step 16

    1. Fold down the top flap to create the cover of the folder. Use the bone folder to press down on all of the folds, making them sharper and flatter.
Completed A-7 pocket folder

Step 17

That’s it! [she said after 17 steps]

Once you do it several times, it gets much easier. If you’re doing multiples, I recommend working on one step at a time on all of your pieces. It will not only save you time, but it will also help you make less mistakes.

I created a printer-friendly pdf of the directions for the pocket folder. If you do print it out, color printing works best. When I printed it out in black & white, the images became less clear.

I hope you find this tutorial is helpful and I’d love to hear feedback on how it worked for you.

Ohhhhh…and send me pics of things you make using the tutorial and I’ll post them on the blog!

2 Responses to “Tutorial: A-7 Pocket Folders”

By Kjersten - 16 April 2009 Reply

Cool post! Thanks.

By elissa - 21 April 2009 Reply

Let me know how the tutorial works for you if you use it. 🙂

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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