ATC Folio Tutorial

I've long admired the mini masterpieces I've seen done on Artist's Trading Cards (ATCs). They prove that good things can come in small packages, 2.5" x 3.5" to be exact! To date, I haven't made any myself but since I've been having so much fun with other paper crafts and painting lately, I figure it's time to take the plunge.

If I'm going to create, collect and trade ATCs, I'll need a place to keep them! That's where this folio comes in. It was so quick and easy to make, I want to craft up a dozen more! I'm actually a little afraid that I'm going to have hundreds of ATC folios and no cards to fill them with :)!

Step 1: Gather up your supplies 

- Brown packaging paper
- 2 postcards or pieces of card stock (these will be your covers)
- Glue
- Scissors
- Ruler
- Ribbon
- Sewing machine (optional)

Step 2: Cut 

Trim both post cards (or whatever you'll be using for your covers) to 3.5" x 4.5" and set them aside.

Cut a piece of brown packing paper 5"x25". This size will give you 6 pockets in your folio. If you want more than that, add 8" to the length. For example, if you want 8 pockets, cut a piece of paper 5"x33".

Step 3: Score and Fold

Score the length of the paper in two places - the first at 1/2" in and the second at 2" in from the right side.

Fold the 1/2" side under at the scored edge and then the 2" scored edge. Make sure your folds are as crisp as possible!

Step 4: Secure the 1/2" fold

Secure the 1/2" fold down by either gluing it or using a sewing machine for an extra detail. This is just like hiding a raw edge when sewing!

Remember, you're making a pocket so don't accidentally sew or glue the 1/2" seam to the other side of the paper strip.

Step 5: Score and Fold - Accordion Style

To make the pages of the folio, you'll need to score and fold your paper at regular intervals.

Score and fold each end (the short sides) 1/2" under. This will just give you a nice edge on the first and last page.

Starting from the first 1/2" fold, measure a distance of 4" and score. From that score mark, measure another 4" and score again. Repeat this a total of 5 times (more if you added length for additional pockets).

Once all marks are scored, fold the paper accordion style.

Step 6: Glue the First and Last Pages to the Covers

Before gluing, double-check that your cover pages are facing the direction you want them. I had to rip and re-glue my back page because I wasn't paying attention :).

Glue the backs of the first and last pages to the inside of your cover pages. I used a quick drying craft glue but glue dots or double-sided tape would also work well.

Step 6: Fill it

You're nearly done! Now you just have to fill it with miniature art! The pages of my folio are currently filled with blank canvases but I hope to have some colorful ATCs in it soon.

Step 7: Wrap it Up

To keep your folio secure and compact, you can simply tie a ribbon or piece of twine around it like you're wrapping up a present.

You can also make a simple band to slide over it, like this one! If you do make a band, be sure to measure it a bit longer than what's needed to cover an empty folio. You'll want to leave a little extra room so the band will still fit once your folio is crammed with ATCs!

If I subtract the time I spent working out the measurements and the time I spent running around the house trying to find decent light for photography on a rainy Seattle day, this folio only took about 30 minutes to make. With different measurements, I could see these being used for business cards, photos, travel memorabilia or even inchie artwork. Oh my gosh, I totally need to make an inchie folio now! Stay tuned for that :).


Duni said...

I love this mini-folio! Fantastic idea for storing ATCs!
Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...


Memories for Life said...

Fun project! You're could be used for so many things. It would make the cutest photo album :)

blair mclaughlin said...

This folio is a great idea, and so fitting to the ATC's that will live in it.

Super cute!

Anonymous said...

Craftmate Virna is going to love this! She is an ATC fan!
Aimee from Craftmates

Additionsstyle said...

That is very cool! I love ATC and that would be a fun way to store them, thanks for sharing the tutorial.
Everyday Inspired