Image File Tutorial

My what a busy week Many things have been accomplished in the chunk of time since the end of June’s UFO madness.

Image File Tutorial

The first one of note was a much-needed update to the Image File. What’s an Image File? In this case, it’s a big 3” 3-ring binder with pages made from heavy cardstock. The pages are divided into sections like “Pants”, “Shoes”, and “Garden.”

Each page is a collage of images torn out of magazines and images from the internet printed out on photo paper. The collages are an excuse for dreaming and for getting inspired. White linen pants? Platform velvet pumps? Entire wall of wooly pockets full of ferns? Allowing the impractical into the realm of the possible is a great way to let your creative side come out and play.

The value in creating the collages is two-fold - you capture a mood or an idea visually, and you gather inspirational images and ideas into one place. The mood could turn into an inspiration for a project, or have intrinsic value as something pretty to look at.

An Image File can also help with the problem of longing for things you can’t have. As an apartment dweller, garden magazines were their own special form of torture – until the “garden” section of the Image File became the repository for dreams of shady spaces, home-grown produce, and grass underfoot. It’s a virtual, perpetual garden for indoors that never needs weeding. Thanks, Image File!

There are many ways to create your own Image File. Here’s how I manage mine. You’ll need:

  • Magazines, printed images, or other source material
  • scissors
  • accordion folder with tabs
  • cardstock
  • glue stick
  • hole punch
  • binder
  • section dividers for binder
  • (optional) page protectors
  1. Tear or cut all the images you like from your source material.
  2. Create piles based on theme.
  3. Label the tabs in your accordion folder (in pencil!) and on the section dividers in your binder by theme. It’s important to use pencil so you can change your section names as your File expands and grows.
  4. Place your images into the sections of the folder. This step is important because it lets you to work on your collages one at a time, and it keeps all your images where you can find them again. Having huge piles of images everywhere is fun, but it only takes one pet running through the area or an errant breeze to wreck all your piles.
  5. Glue your images on the cardstock as you desire.
  6. When the glue is dry, hole-punch your collage, and place it in your binder.
  7. If you have entire articles or multi-page photo spreads, page protectors are a great way to include them.
  8. Voila! Inspiration on demand.