Monday, March 10, 2014

Baby Gift Idea: Custom Keepsake File Storage

UPDATE: I created 3 boxes for my own kids did an updated (a little more efficient) post including free file labels you can download. See the updated post here.


My younger sister just had her second baby, and I knew I wanted to complete this project for her the minute I saw it on Pinterest.  The original idea of "Baby Boxes" came from here and I just modified it to my liking.

The idea is to create a file storage system with hanging files pre-labeled with their age/grades and other things you may "collect" as they grow up. This gives parents a perfect place to put special school projects, report cards, pictures, letters, medical info, etc. You can expand to a larger file box like this as you grow, but I figured my sister wouldn't want to store a huge box when the girls were still little. Plus, the smaller box limits you to only keeping what's really important so you don't end up with tons of  giant totes full of scrapbooks when you move out the house (not that I didn't just rearrange my basement this morning to fit mine and my husbands').

Here's how I completed the project:

  1. Supplies: First, I ordered jewel-toned hanging file folders ($13.20 on Amazon) and picked up some clear storage boxes from Walmart for around $6. They are also sold on Amazon but cost more and don't have free shipping. Whatever you get, make sure it has ledges for hanging file folders to...well...hang!
  2. Front Sign: Since I don't have a graphics program, I picked out a free blog header I liked from Cutest Blog on the Block.  I saved it to my computer and then put it into a Word document, resized it, and added my nieces' names with Word Art. I printed it on cardstock, cut it out, and used spray-mount to stick it to the front of the box.
    (No guarantee that is going to stick long-term.)
  3. File Labels: Also in Word, I created a table with each cell 2" wide and 0.6" tall. I made the borders light gray so I'd have a guide to cut them without it being too dark. I typed the long names right in the text box and decided to crop a piece of the blog header image and paste it into the left side of the cell. Then, I used a text box to put the number on top of the image. I also saved a few symbols from the internet to use for some of the labels. Once printed on cardstock, I used a Fiskars cutting tool (for scrapbooking) to cut them apart. You could use a scissors, though. You can click the picture of the labels to enlarge it, or here are the labels I chose and the image in parenthesis:
    • Baby Info (image of baby footprint)
    • Age 0-3 (0-3)
    • Age 4-5 (4-5)
    • Kindergarten (K)
    • 1st Grade (1) - 12th Grade (12)
    • Medical (medical cross)
    • Certificates (rectangle with medallion)
    • Church (cross)
    • Cards/Letters (envelope)
    • Pictures (camera)
    • Sports (running shoe)
    • All About Me (conversation bubble)
    • blank--so they can put whatever they want on it --there are 25 total files in a box.
  4. All About Me: I liked the idea of doing the same "birthday interview" every year, so I found a template I liked (here) and printed off 18 of them for each box. That way they're all ready in the All About Me folder to be completed!
  5. I decided on the order of the labels and the pattern of the file colors (take note of which color you want showing in front) and then inserted all the labels into the clear holders. I like being able to see the entire label so I put each 2 spaces apart. 
Done! Time to give your gift! I didn't even wrap mine and ended up putting the rest of my gift in one of the file folders!

Of course now I'm too lazy to make such cute ones for my own boys, but I did get some files put in a box with hand-written labels. It makes it easy to decide what to keep (once the file is full!) and I'm sure we'll modify it when they are older, but for now, it's nice to have a place for everything!


Anonymous said...

This is such a fab idea. And LOW COST. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Anne @ Unique Gifter said...

What a super-cute and also super-practical gift idea, I love it!
It would be easy to make up a batch of them if you could find the stuff on sale, too. I love having a gift stash for baby showers.

Anonymous said...

What size boxes did you use?