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Organizing Ideas: Colorful Magazine Files + Free Labels

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Looking for colorful home office storage? Today I am showing you how I made colorful magazine files with free labels for the shelves I have above my library file drawers in my studioffice

Organizing 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 these magazine size holders – 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 – Ooooh..la…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?

Home Office Storage Idea

They are from CarolinaPad.com. 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.

If you have been reading my blog for a while then you know I collect square and rectangular baskets to use to store and organize all sorts of stuff around my house.

Above 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.
  • Giftwrap
  • Spray glue
  • Scissors
  • 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 it 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 Laminated Labels

Free-Printable-Magazine-File Labels

1. Print out .pdf of labels on card stock. 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 made 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. You can find them all here in my Free Printable Gallery

Giftwrap Covered Magazine File Tutorial


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  1. Great ideas and the labels are awesome, Diane! I’m jealous of that gorgeous paper you have – where I’d you get them. I’ll have to look for those files at Walmart. Love the designs. xo Jenna

    1. Hi Jenna – I am always on the look out for decorative paper and never spend more than $ 3 or $4 a roll. I find it a Marhall’s, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Target, and Walmart.

    1. Hi Kathy – I love the storage the files provide – they keep anything that fits into them out of site, easy accessible and in pretty order. :) Enjoy your trip to IKEA. I am sure you will end up walking out with a few more goodies. Hard to pass up all the stuff they have right near the check-out lines.

  2. I love this idea! Great money saver and still pretty and practical. Thank you for the printable labels.