Album Cover Pocket Folders

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Recycled Album Cover Pocket Folders by Amber/ The Cardboard Collective

During my New Year’s cleaning I unearthed a stack of album covers that I’ve used on many projects over the course of the last two years. As I contemplated finally recycling what was left, the photograph on the cover of this Linda Ronstadt album piqued my interest. I sat and stared at it.

I thought

…….prettiness, that’s what I’m seeking right here and now in the middle of winter, that feeling.

Recycled Cardboard Pocket Folder by Amber / The Cardboard Collective

So I brushed and cut my hair, pulled on my brightest striped sweater, and got busy making something pretty.

because of you Linda.

Recycled Album Cover Pocket Folders by Amber / The Cardboard Collective

Start with a double pocket style album cover. Cut the album cover to the dimensions of 19″ (48cm) x 12.5″ (32cm). The height of the pocket is 4.5″ (12 cm)

Recycled Album Cover Pocket Folders by Amber / The Cardboard CollectiveRecycled Album Cover Pocket Folders by Amber / The Cardboard CollectiveCardboard Pocket Folder by Amber / The Cardboard CollectiveRecycled Cardboard Pocket Folder by Amber / The Cardboard Collective

This is where you can add some pretty paper if the inside of your cover is aged.

Pocket Folder by Amber / The Cardboard CollectivePocket Folder by Amber / The Cardboard Collective

The last and most interesting part of this project is the trim. I used strips of interesting paper and gold cardboard folded over the edges (about 0.75″/2cm wide). You can glue the trim down, but I sewed it onto the folder using a standard needle and my sewing machine. I used the hand treadle to get started and then back-stitched at the beginning and end.

Cup of cocoa anyone?

Recycled (cardboard) Album Cover Pocket Folder by Amber / The Cardboard Collective

Banana Box Pull-out Drawers

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cardboard drawers

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Do you have a drawer that always stays organized, and another that does not?

I do….. and I spend a lot of time thinking about how to make the drawer (or ahem drawers) that do not stay organized behave themselves.

So with many a pre-sleep meditation on a solution, I tackled my cardboard storage (and have many times re-tackled it) to this point of civilization. No stacking and re-stacking, no lids, No plastic, just banana boxes and binder clips.

I had to know my cardboard sources well to find 2 different boxes that would nest inside one another, but once I found the winning combination I was set. I used the top and bottom of a large banana box with one end removed and the bottom of a smaller box for the drawer. No glue, just a few clips to keep the edges in place. The best part is that I can use these on the back of my bike trailer for Cardboard Play Days, and recycle or reuse at the end of the event….. Banana Box, you are a loyal friend.

Stackable Cardboard Puzzle Trays

Getting our toys organized to the point that they can easily be used and put away has been a huge focus in our home this past month.

Electra is a complete puzzle nut, so I thought getting our puzzles straightened up would be a good place to start.

These are just kiwi boxes, super sturdy ones, that I rescued from the grocery store. I cut out the front portion of the box with a utility knife.

The boxes have notches at the top that interlock with the box above. This feature makes the boxes great for stacking since they always stay in place.

In the first version I tried, I removed the entire front of the box, which I wouldn’t advise. It’s important to leave at least an inch or so on all three sides to maintain the rigidity of the cardboard.

We thought about decorating the boxes in some way, but I in the end I fell in love with the punchy red and yellow (and the little diagonal break.)  Bold, graphic colors are such a great contrast to all of the neutral shades we have in our apartment.

I’m a big proponent of Montessori philosophy. “Help me do it by myself,” is a central Montessori theme, and this project is an example of one way that we integrate Montessori  philosophy into our day-to-day activities.

Electra always works on a mat to define the space, and chooses one puzzle at a time. When she’s done she has to put one puzzle away before she gets  another one out.

Sometimes I pull all of the trays out for her to choose from and sometimes just a few, it kind of depends on the mood of the day and what she’s currently interested in.

I have to say, with this system, she really does clean up after herself. There’s something about that whole order begets order thing.

Now if I can just get it to spread to the rest of my house a little faster.

More on Montessori:

Basics of Montessori Philosophy

Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, by Angelina S. Lillard, PhD (If you don’t have time to read this excellent book, listen to the NPR podcast while you’re folding laundry!)