A portfolio is a large case used to transport or store your papers and pastel works. The best type of portfolio opens like a book, with zippers or ties on three sides. These cases are usually made of vinyl-covered cardboard, and sometimes leather. We don't recommend the envelope-style portfolios that only open on one side, because your papers and artwork may become damaged as you slide them in and out of the portfolio. We also don't recommend fabric portfolios because they don't support your paper without damaging it — it's like putting your artwork in a sack.
If you have a limited budget, you can make a book-style portfolio out of two acid-free boards. It won't be pretty and it won't last forever, but it will get you started. Gather up two acid-free mat boards or foam core boards the size of the biggest paper you plan to use, duct tape, acid-free artists' tape, 30 inches of string or ribbon, one or two sheets of acid-free paper, an awl, and a pair of scissors, and follow these steps.
Set the boards side by side, butting the long sides together.
Attach a long piece of duct tape down the seam between the two boards and then run an additional piece of tape on each side of the first piece of tape, overlapping it slightly.
Close the boards so that the tape is on the inside and place the seam side (not the open side) facing you.
Attach three pieces of duct tape perpendicular across the seam (one at the top, one at the middle, and one at the bottom) for strength, and, leaving the portfolio closed, attach another piece of duct tape the length of the seam just as you did the inside.
Open the portfolio and line the inside taped area with folded acid-free paper to act as a barrier, taping it in place with acid-free artists' tape. The duct tape isn't acid-free, so you need this extra layer of protection for your projects.
Close the portfolio and use an awl to punch three holes through both boards on the top, bottom, and open side an inch away from the edges.
Thread about 10 inches of ribbon or string through each side's holes and tie to close.
This author writes about Wood Steamer Plans and TV Tray Plans. Visit the Outdoor Wooden Snowman website for unique Christmas decoration ideas.