Organizing Ideas: Colorful Magazine Files + Free Labels

I have been organizing over the weekend while I was waiting for paint to dry on a few projects that I have been working on.  The biggest one – the wood file cabinet for my studioffice that I showed you last week.   I am almost finished it.  It still has a few more tweaks to go and then I will post about it.  Today I thought I would show you some of the organizing ideas I have used for the shelves above the cabinet.

Organiaing Ideas The Container Store Magazine File Knock-off tutorial

Lots of organized and labeled storage!  I got my inspiration from the colorful magazine files The Container Store sells. I love all the juicy colors, but didn’t want to spend $9.99 a piece for them when I knew I could make something similar for about $3 a piece.

Organizing Ideas How to make your own Container-Store-Magazine-File

I used some of my stash of favorite gift wrap to cover cardboard file boxes I bought at the office supply store.  IKEA also sells them – 2 per pack.  I know they are called Magazine Files, but I store more than magazines in them. They are the perfect way to store lots of items neatly while keeping them easily accessible.

OrganizingIdeas Book-Shelf-Organization with DIY Labels

I am loving all the colors against the white wood – just my style –…la.


I also found pretty and colorful new file folders at Walmart – 3 for $1.00.  I will use them in a portable clear file I store on these shelves.

CarolinaPad pretty file folders

I could not decide which pattern I liked best so I bought all three.  Aren’t they yummy?


They are from When I got home from Walmart – I went online to check out their website – lots of pretty stuff to help you organize your life and more.

Home Office Storage Idea

If you have been reading my blog for awhile then you know I collect square and rectangular baskets.  Here is one way I use them: to neatly organize and stack the different types of paper we use in the computer printer.  Since they are stacked, they take up less room and can be moved easily to get to the paper you need.

Since half the battle of getting organized is being able to stay organized, I am a big believer in labeling everything.   Now everyone in my family knows which basket to find the paper they need. No more “Mom-min” anymore with – “Mom, Where is the printer paper”.

I attached the labels with large jewelry making jump rings, but a piece of wire or ribbon would work just as well.


How To Cover a Cardboard Magazine File with Gift Wrap





Supplies Needed:

Cardboard Magazine File – I found mine at Office Max. They are called Bankers Boxes and are extra wide.
Spray glue
Acetate sheets  – Acetate is used to protect the labels. I save box top packaging that is made of clear acetate. – Boxed cards, Christmas ornaments come with it.  Don’t throw it out – save it.  If you don’t have any -you can buy acetate sheets at a copy shop for a few cents a sheet
Optional:  craft knife and ruler if you need to cut the height of the file holder to fit your shelf height.

.pdf of Free Printable Labels

Download here:  Labels with Names or Blank Labels


Free Printable Magazine File Labels { inmyownstyle-com}

How-to-cover-a-magazine-file box

Optional:  I needed to cut the file boxes to fit the height of my shelf. I used a straight edge and a craft knife to cut away a half inch from the top edge.


1. Carefully open the box as shown so that it is flat. Once you cover it with gift wrap you will glue it together again.


2. Lay file box flat and cut gift wrap slightly larger than the box.

Giftwrap-covered-magazine-file tutorial

3.  Lay gift wrap right-side face down. Spray glue on outer side of file box, let it get tacky and lay it on wrong side of gift wrap. If there is a pattern on the gift wrap, make sure it is straight.   Cut excess gift wrap into tabs, spray glue around edge of box, let get tacky and then fold the tabbed gift wrap over to secure.  Note: If gift wrap is thin – don’t use spray glue on the back of it as it may bleed through – just spray it on the box.


4. Once you have the box covered, use a line of hot glue (as shown on tab above) to glue it together again.

Home Office Organizing Ideas

5. Fold opposite side on top of hot glue.  It will go right back into place.  Place something heavy on top of it until the hot glue cools.

Container-Store-Knock-Off-Magazine File Box

6. Fold box following instructions on the bottom tabs.

How to Make The Labels

Free-Printable-Magazine-File Labels

1. Print out .pdf of labels on cardstock.  If you want to use fonts on your computer for your labels, open the pdf in a program where you can write over them. I know you can do this in Photoshop Elements. If not, use a pen and write directly on them.  I used the font Engravers MT. Place a piece of acetate over it and then cut around the border of the label so the acetate and the label are the same size.


2. Use a hole punch to make two holes in the label.


3. Mark on the box with a pencil where the brass fasteners will go. I held the label up and make a mark on the box with the pencil point into each hole on the label.  I removed the label and used the tip of the pencil to make the hole a tad bit bigger.


4.  Attach to the box with brass fasteners. Spread the tips out inside the box to secure.


There are many ways to attach labels to things  – brass fasteners, glue dots, jump rings, wire, and ribbon are a few that I have used.

Containter-Store-Magazine-File Knock-offs

I have posted about a few different types of free printable labels in the past -You can find and download them in this post How to Make Wipe-Off Labels

Giftwrap Covered Magazine File Tutorial



  1. Janice says


    I just discovered your website! I like the magazine file project and the organization tips. I, too collect rectangular baskets for paper organization! I do have a question-I have been looking for the lidded Pandan boxes like the ones you have on your shelf. Where did you find yours? I have been looking high and low for that size!!

    Thank you in advance!


    • says

      Hi Janice – I wish I could find more of the Pandan boxes in the same size I have. I bought mine at HomeGoods a few years ago. The Container sells larger ones, but they are pricey. I am always on the lookout for more. Hopefully I will stumble upon a few again.

  2. says

    After checking out a number of the blog posts on your web site, I seriously like your technique of blogging.
    I book marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site too and tell me how you


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