Paper Portfolios 101

I finally got the go ahead from my producer to blog about some of the awesome builds (well… very small builds) I’m doing for the various shows I have coming up with Prague Shakespeare Festival. Tina is awesome, Prague is awesome, and I’m going to share the process for making these special portfolios for the show (and I’m definitely going to steal this process for other occasions).

Cut two pieces of heavy cardboard or chipboard which are slightly larger than a standard piece of paper (left)

Cut 3, 2″ wide pieces of your regular paper, lengthwise. Glue them along the gap between the two pieces of chipboard, about the width of a paintbrush or a pencil.

Use the blunt end of a paintbrush or a pencil to squeeze paper together in the middle, so that you have a thinner, flexible layer of paper between your two pieces of chipboard.

It should look like this when you’re done.

Then, cut your ribbon in half, pick a side of your portfolio to be the front, and staple your ribbon to the board about halfway down, and an inch from the edge of each side.

Dab a bit of glue over the staples, put some masking tape over the end of the ribbon, and then glue over the masking tape.

Grab your large piece of cardstock and cut it about 1 1/2″ larger on each side  around your portfolio.

Glue the cardstock to the back of your portfolio, avoiding the strip between where your ribbon is and the edge of your portfolio. Cut a slit in the cardstock where the ribbons are stapled down, and pull the ribbons through to the front. Glue the rest of the paper down, clip the corners of the cardstock, and fold over the edges to finish the sides of your portfolio.

A quick note about the glue. I’m in the land of difficult to find craft supplies, so spray glue was unavailable to me, and I used Elmer’s white glue in its place. I loathe using Elmer’s glue with paper, because it makes the paper buckle and wrinkle, but it can be smoothed over… sometimes. Use spray glue instead. For all of this.

Now it’s time to cover the corners. Take your second color paper, and cut a strip about 1 1/2″ wide, along the length of your paper. Cut that strip into 4″ sections.

Fold like so.

Insert the corner of your portfolio into the folded piece. Glue.

Cover the center back of the portfolio with another 2″ wide strip from your A3 sized paper. Do the same with the inside center of the portfolio.

For my portfolio I used a stencil I made from an image on the internet of a seal, and some gold paint!

I think it looks really cool!

The portfolios kind of stuck open a bit, so I stuck them under a pile of plates overnight to solve the issue.

Voila! Portfolios!

I’m actually quite proud of them, and I have so many ideas to make some for myself for other purposes.


3 responses to “Paper Portfolios 101

  1. Pingback: DIY Notepad/Clipboard | WhipStitchDesigns

  2. Pingback: The Last Build | WhipStitchDesigns

  3. Pingback: Fake Wax Seals and Paper Props | WhipStitchDesigns

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