hPDA Expanding File

Make your own expanding file (like the popular Moleskine version) with as many pockets as you want.

Paper size: 
Index Card (3 x 5)
Usage advice: 

This template is for a single expanding pocket. It's a little wider (0.5" wider, actually) than a standard 3x5 index card, and 2.75" high so the cards can be visible over the top edge. The pockets can be glued together to make a multi-pocket expanding file, similar to the Moleskine version. The only reason I made this is because I was too lazy to drive to the store and buy a Moleskine.

Another great modification/addition to this template would be gluing a flap-style cover over the top, so the cards aren't falling all over the place.

A few notes:

  • I used permanent double-sided tape to attach the tabs AND to attach the pockets together, and it works very well. It holds better than glue does right away, so I recommend it.
  • The corner fold (the only angled lines in the template) are a real pain in the neck, but don't lose hope, because it CAN be done. If Smead can do it, so can you. I find that it helps to fold the wide sides of the pocket up, and then mash the corner fold in there BEFORE cutting any tabs out.
  • I used cover-weight (65-lb.) cardstock for this, and since I was gluing more than one pocket together, it provided the right flexibility but was still sturdy enough when done. Anything thicker might be too hard to fold properly.
  • Last tip: scoring the creases (with the dull side of a butterknife, or a letter opener) helps the paper crease neatly. Use a ruler to guide the butterknife along the straight lines.

Also, there are two templates: one requires a printer capable of borderless letter-size printing, and has 2.75"-high sides all the way around. The other template can print on any printer that can handle half-inch margins, but the "expanding" sides of the pocket are only 2.25" high.

Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader, Mac OS X Preview)
DIY_exp_file.pdf34.12 KB
DIY_exp_file_borderless.pdf33.13 KB
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Great idea, thanks for

Great idea,
thanks for sharing Alison.


I have been thinking of creating something like this!
Thanks a lot. :-)