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Easy Home Updates- How to Cover a Lever Arch File in Fabric

We’re on a mission to banish ugly, functional objects.  Starting with lever arch files- who’d have thought a lever arch file could be decorative?! Well, we’re going to show you how to cover one in fabric, it’s so cheap and easy to do and there is nothing more boring on your shelves than rows of grey cardboard.  Though we can’t promise a spruce up on the outside will make the paperwork inside any more appealing to deal with!

Here’s how to do it:


  • Lever arch file
  • Fabric
  • PVA glue
  • Small paintbrush
  • Rotary cutter/mat or scissors
  • Pins
  • Ruler


Audenza- How to Cover a Lever Arch File

When choosing your fabric consider how the pattern will be viewed by laying the fabric over the file and decide how you want the design to sit on the front and side of the file.

  1. If using a small repeat design simply measure from top to bottom (the height) of file and add 10cm for turnings ( 5cm for each overlap) and then measure across the front, spine and back of the file (measure as one length) and again add 10cm for turnings.
  2. For a fabric where you want the design to be strategically placed (as I have done) use pins to mark the edges of the file at the front and then add 10cm to the top to bottom measurement and 10cm for the lengthwise measurement.  If you have a rotary cutter and mat this is the easiest way of cutting the fabric, if not, mark out the size with pins and cut to size with scissors.
  3. Using PVA glue cover the front of the file in a thin even layer of glue.  Carefully place your fabric over the file making sure it is straight and you have even edges for turning, but don’t turn over the edges yet. The fabric can be repositioned easily at this stage
  4. Smooth the fabric over the glue starting from the middle to get rid of air bubbles.  Then glue the spine of the file and smooth the fabric and then, finally, repeat the process on the back.

 Audenza- Covering a Lever Arch File

       5.  Now cut the fabric at a 45° angle to each of the four spine folds to give you a neater finish inside.  Glue the spine flap down, top and bottom.

6.  Next make 45° angle cuts to each corner of the file.

7.  Glue the flaps down inside.

8.  Once securely glued put a small dab of glue on each cut corner to stop the fabric from fraying.

Audenza- Box File Covered in Fabric

Voila – a beautiful file that is customized to suit your décor.  Mix up the fabrics to give an eclectic feel or make them all the same to give a cleaner look.  We fell in love with a tea towel from our previous home accessories collection and couldn’t resist using it to cover a file.  Luckily it was the perfect size and so was very simple to do.  Have a go and see how it can change the look of a utilitarian object.

For a more modern look, check out my post, How to Cover a Lever Arch File in Marble.

Audenza- Fabric Covered Ring Binders

Have  a lovely weekend all.

Jacqui x

Easy Home Updates- How to Cover a Lever Arch File in Fabric by Jacqui Brooks



7 replies to “Easy Home Updates- How to Cover a Lever Arch File in Fabric”

  1. Geraldine says:

    Thanks for this tutorial – I am definitely going to try ths to prettify my plain grey ones!

  2. […] I wanted my pretty yarn to have a pretty home, so I started off by covering a Lever Arch file with fabric and Mod Podge.  You can find an excellent tutorial for Fabric Covered Lever Arch Files here. […]

  3. Precious says:

    It is unlike me commenting on posts, but this is just PURE CREATIVITY. I shall definitely use this idea to spice up by lever arch file. Thank you for sharing.

  4. […] them a contemporary vibe in gold and marble. If you prefer a more vintage feel, have a look at our previous how to, where we covered them in a beautiful floral fabric. Gone are the old days when sticky backed […]

  5. Judy Moss says:

    This is great and I tried it but in some places the background colour of the file showed through. Would it be best to cover the file with plain paper 1st or is it a case of choosing the right fabric? I’m using PVA glue.

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