Cheap File Folder Idea

I have come up with a cheap file folder idea using a dish drainer. If you don’t have room for a file cabinet or just want something pretty and unique on your desk, you might try this project.

This is a colorful system for your home office.

Cheap file folder idea using a dish drainer and crafted file folders

I actually have a file cabinet, but it isn’t big enough for all that I need to file. All those bank statements, warranties and legal documents take up all the space there.

Why I Use A Dish Drainer For A Filing System:

This dish drainer filing system is fun to create and very cheap to DIY. I enjoyed the creativity of this project.

Embellished file folder for cheap file folder idea

First I bought those plain file folders. I already had the dish drainer. Then I went online and started copying graphics I wanted to use in my project.

I was especially taken with the vintage graphics, so that’s mostly what I copied.

Vintage black and white graphic of a child from the past

I created some file folders for holidays so I could slip decorating and craft ideas inside. This way when I need a decorating idea or instructions for craft project, I know just which month to go to!

Halloween decorated file folder with pencils in the silverware holder of the dish drainer for the cheap file folder idea

Creating Decorated File Folders For My Cheap File Folder Idea:

I used glue to adhere the graphics and such to the file folders. And I embellished with paper ribbon, doilies, etc.

Graphics and quotes I printed out on my printer make for pretty file folders in my cheap dish drainer filing system idea.

You are limited only by your imagination. This would be a fun project for children to keep their papers from school. Especially their artwork drawings.

But also anything else you might need, like papers, later on.

Embellished file folders for my cheap file folder idea with a dish drainer

I doubt you’ll find a cheaper way to file important documents or simply decorating, craft and gardening ideas.

Decorated file folder using graphics and embellishments

The Files Are A Perfect Fit:

The files fit perfectly inside the dish drainer. You might want to take a file folder with you to buy the dish drainer to make sure it is a good fit, as they come in varying sizes.

You may already have a dish drainer sitting around. Put it to a more creative use if you’re not draining dishes with it. A dish drainer can have a second life as a cheap file folder system.

Or if you want to buy a dish drainer, they’re pretty darned cheap to purchase. And I’ve provided a link for you.

What You Will Need:

  • File folders
  • Decorative graphics
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Glue
  • Dish drainer
  • Scissors

Instructions For Cheap File Folder Idea:

  1. Get your plain file folders together. Print off chosen graphics or acquire them some other way.
  2. Arrange what you want to use on a file folder and see if it’s how you want to proceed. If so, then glue everything down. Embellish as desired.
  3. Arrange your decorated file folders in the dish drainer and enjoy!

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  1. i think this is what drew me in to you blog wayyyyyy back when (eons ago really) still love love love it!

  2. Brenda, I have made so many of this from back a while, but can never make mine as pretty as yours, you need to give classes on your blog! we would love it, you are so talented.

  3. Hi Brenda, How nice that you treat yourself and us to such nice details! I try to do that too, create small details that make me smile when I see them. Sweet!

  4. Brenda, I use a dish strainer in my office for files. I love the ones that Ikea sells they are very thick and chunky and don't tip over.

  5. I do this too in my studio – it's a perfect fit! Not sure where I first saw the idea…maybe here?

    Love the red!!!

  6. I love your post I do every day!! I am so gonna copy and make me some of them files! Staples! here I come tomorrow!! and Hobby Lobby too!!! Thanks for always sharing your wonderful crafty ideas with us all Brenda!! You Rock!!! 🙂 Carol

  7. This is such a cute idea! I always have plain old files I use most often laying around on my desk. I might just open them more often if they looked this pretty! Pinning this to my organization board.

  8. I remember you showing this awhile ago on your blog and I have always loved this idea! I recently saw a pack of 6 decorative file folders in a store (can't remember where, maybe Target) and was appalled at the price. You could buy a whole box of file folders for what they were charging…and then decorate yourself with craft items that you probably have at home! Thanks for the reminder…

  9. That is the cutest idea! I've never seen that done before. I love the way you "filed" them in the dish drainer and used the silverware cup for pencils. The file folders are much prettier now too.

  10. You know after I saw this orignally I bought a vintage red drainer and now I just need the office space. I don't even have a desk in this house.

  11. Brenda!!!! I LOVE this idea and I've already pinned it to use as my inspiration!! Girl, you are so creative and inspiring!!! I'll keep the pertinent ones in the drain basket…seasonal and very important and then rotate them with others as needed. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas you bring us!!

  12. Brenda, I love this! I'm definitely doing this for my office! Love the folders. I save old folders when I'm through with them for one purpose, I hold on to them for later use. Great way to dress them up. You did a beautiful job decorating them. (I save paper scraps too)! Thanks for sharing this!

  13. WOW… what a great idea!! I am doing this one!!! I have limited space in one 2 drawer file cabinet.. so this is one sweet and fun way to add more space!!!

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