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DecoArt Mixed Media Blog

Upcycled Packaging Photo Album Folder

by: Louise Crosbie
September 29, 2015

Upcycled Packaging Photo Album Folder

I have been ordering craft supplies online and receiving them in these easy to assemble corrugated card folded packaging envelope type things (a long description but not sure what else to call them). Every single time I receive an order in one of them, I open it out and think “I could use this for something”. Consequently I now have 7 of them sitting in a corner. So today, I finally decided to upcycle one. I have made a file folder style photo album.

Items needed :

  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Burnt Umber
  • Metallic Lustre 1oz - Gold Rush
  • Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint 8oz - Everlasting
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titanium White
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Crackle Paste - White
  • Assorted Paint Brushes
  • Cardboard Packaging
  • Strip of Card
  • Glue
  • Keyhole Embellishment
  • Lace
  • Stencils

Instructions :

Firstly, paint the outside of your folder in white (or your chosen base colour. Use whatever paint you have plenty of. I used chalk paint as i didn’t want to waste too much of my media fluids on such a large absorbent surface.

Line up a stencil on your surface.

Using a palette knife or spreader, spread some crackle texture paste through the stencil.

Repeat on the other side of the folder.

Cut a strip of card long enough to attach to the end of the folder at the opening. I used decorative scissors but you could use a border diecut if you have one

Repeat step two and three on your strip of card with a smaller patterned stencil and crackle paste.

When the texture paste has dried on the folder and card strip, paint a wash over them using media fluid burnt umber. I have tilted my project in the second image here so you can see how wet your wash needs to be. But i recommend you paint your wash on with the items on a flat surface. When they are dry, attach the strip to the main folder and trim to size and shape. This will strengthen the card where it will get most handling. It is also decorative.

When it dries it should look a bit like this...

Make sure your surface is completely dry. Now dry brush over the surfaces using a broad brush. Build up layers by dry brushing and pay particular attention to the edges and corners.

Using your finger or a soft cloth, gently rub some Metallic Lustre on to the raised parts of the stenciling.

If you are using a strong colour of lace,dry brush some media fluid white titanium over it so it blends in and softens the look. But allow some of the colour to show through.Attach lace where you want it. I added it to the bottom and along the edge of the decorative card strip.

Now you are ready to do the inside.

Be sure to visit ZuZu's Petals Altered Art and Stuff for more projects and to learn more about Louise Crosbie.


I just love this! Such a beautiful project and great tutorial.

Candy Colwell

September 30, 2015

Love it!! Such a beautiful folder out of corrugated card.


October 1, 2015

This is absolutely stunning! Love it when people upcycle. Karen.x

Karen Garrard

October 1, 2015

Great idea and a beautiful finished project - thanks for sharing xx


October 14, 2015

I have been lucky enough to see this in real life and it is truly stunning! A great tutorial Louise!!


October 14, 2015

Love this! Where can I go to pin it? The Pinterest symbol takes me to Deco Art Pinterest boards but I can't find this project.

Karen Smee

October 14, 2015

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