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Changing the colour of a canvas school folder!

Recently I needed to separate out some paperwork into two areas. Both area's needed two folders each for them. My vision was to have Blue ones for one area and Green for the other (actually, the colours wouldn't really matter but the colours went with the logos making it easier to remember which was which!)

I was volunteering at the LifeLine Book Fest and thought I would grab some cheap folders (at 50c each I was unlikely to ever get a bargain like that again!) and I managed to get two green folders but only one blue one... I found a purple one and in the interests of having everything match (and not spending a penny more than I had too) I bought the purple one and bought it home with the intention of changing its colour to blue...

Here's what I did...

This folder is one of those ones that feels like its made out of canvas but I suspect hats its a woven plastic of some sort really. :

Changing the colour was as easy as simply painting it with water based acrylic paints that I had lying around!

I chose to just paint the coloured bits and not the black for this project.

I gave the folder a decent wipe over with a bit of vinegar and let it dry in the sun

And then simply painted it the colour that I wanted!

There is no reason why you couldn't have painted pictures, done spots or stripes or what ever took your fancy. I just wanted a block colour so I knew instantly which folder to put the receipt's in and which one had the contracts in it at a glance.

Once I had painted the outside, I left it in any airy nearly sunny spot to dry. If you were careful, you could use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process - just be careful you don't melt the plastic!

Despite what this photo looks like - I only painted the outside. For some reason the purple inside has come out blue in this image! And again, there is no reason that you couldn't paint the inside once the outside is dry.

So now I have my matching set - Blue for one lot of paperwork and green for the other. As my two folders are different, I know instantly which of the four I need to grab for each piece of paperwork without having to label them!

As I was doing this I had this vision of doing kids school folders from year to year with new colours, pictures and designs on them! I thought it would make really cool folders for school. Or am I out of touch and only the licensed characters are cool these days... :(   

It would certainly be the way to make a one of a kind present for some one starting school! I don't know if it would work on the plastic folders at the top of the photo, but it would on the paper based cardboard-y ones that are out there!

Let me know how you go if you try this! - K xx

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 for buying second hand from a charity instead of new!
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for donating folders I didn't need and purchasing new ones for $2
Time cost: About 10 minutes to paint and 1/2 and hour to dry
Skill level: kindergarten painting - and maybe, staying in between the lines!
Fun -ness: Great fun to get what i wanted at such a low price!


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