Sunday 19 April 2015

Upcycled Filing Tray with Ikea Magazine Files

Spring has finally sprung and I've got the cleaning bug; along with a desire to ensure that I really am organised! My new freelance business (Hello My PA) has a highlighted a necessity for a well organised workspace.

My desk is multifunctional with it being used not only for VA work but for crafts, blogging and a place to keep my household 'affairs' in order. I decided that the thing I needed most urgently was some filing trays; something in which to organise incoming work and mail before it is actioned and filed away.

I did find some lovely options for filing trays but the ones I fancied weren't quite in keeping with my 'thrifty living' ways at the moment. This led me to hunt around in my hoard to figure out what I already had that I could use. My search led me to a stash of FLYT Magazine Files by Ikea that I purchased a while ago.
Photo from

A bargain at £1.60 for 5 and great if you have a vision for adapting them. When I bought them I had intentions to cover them with something but they were promptly added to bookcase and filled up so this project is 'on the list'. These files didn't really fit the bill used in the traditional way so I popped them on their side and stacked them like this
I felt that with a bit of stability and a spruce up, this could be the perfect solution. So heres how I made my lovely new filing tray!

Firstly I needed to make sure the sides were strong so that files didn't bow with the weight of anything put in them. I got myself a large piece of 3mm thick hardboard from B&Q which costs £3. Using the front and back of a file to mark out rectangles on the board, I cut them out using a stanley knife (careful now) and inserted the rectangles into the front and back of each file to make sure they were a good fit and not too small. Then I dug out some rolls of wallpaper which I acquired from a Scrapstore. I went for three different patterns which were all a similar shade of green. I thought this would give the perfect spring look. 

After cutting out a rectangle of each paper large enough to cover all sides of one file, I used a pencil to trace around all four edges. I traced around the front of the file first and then turned the file onto its side and traced that section and so on. The shape you have on the paper should look like this. 

Then you need to cut it out BUT remember to leave a 1cm section around the edge of your marked out line. this will be used to cover the edges of your files. Like this...
Here comes the fun bit…GLUE. I also sourced my PVA glue from my Scrapstore but any PVA will do. After removing the hardboard inserts, I covered the long rectangle section of the traced shape (the longer side of the magazine file) and placed the file onto the template.  I then covered one side of the file itself with glue and carefully pulled the paper taut, placing it over this side of the file; doing the same again on the other side and then the front, trimming the excess to make the edge neat. 
Once the file was wrapped neatly in the paper I turned my attention to the bottom. I made a cut towards each corner and another to cut out a small triangle. I glued down the short edges first and then the long edges. Just like this.
I made cuts into the excess paper at each of the top four corners. Then I folded and glued the flaps of paper over the edges of the front and back of the file. In order to neatly cover the curved edges, I made cuts all the way along the excess paper (about 1cm apart). The cuts were from the edge of the paper down to the edge of the file. I then folded and glued down each section all the way along.
I popped the hardboard insert back in...

..and stacked the files in the preferred order. My files still had some glue on the edges to these are stuck together but it is of course up to you whether you leave them to dry before stacking or you glue them.
I think this up cycling project has given my desk a new dimension and is totally adaptable to your own workspace. How about using Decopatch papers or perhaps fabrics?

Happy upcycling

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  1. This is so cute and such a great upcyle! So much better than my boring filing trays at work. I wonder whether work would object to me bringing something like this in

    1. I hope they wouldn't. I have only just seen this, I do apologise! Did you have a go?

  2. These look great and nothing that anyone else would have either! Love the wallpaper designs too.

    Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me