The art of covering books has always been useful for students who want to avoid damaging their course books. Covers can also help improve the appearance of books with a poor quality dust jacket or a worn appearance. Also, you can cover a book just to make it more pleasing to the eye and to the touch. Whatever your reason for covering a book, there are a number of ways to go about it. You can choose the style and type according to your taste. From paper to felt, the options are numerous!
Method 1 of 4: Make a brown paper cover
Step 1. Take brown paper
You can use kraft paper or a paper bag. They both make a very good book cover.
You can leave this blanket as is or decorate it with stamps, paint or collages. You can also use other types of paper such as gift wrap, printed paper, or any other paper that you feel is strong enough to cover a book
Step 2. Take the measurements
Lay the paper on a flat surface and place the book on it, centering it well.
- If you are using a paper bag, cut its sides so that you can open it and lay it flat. Remove the handles.
- The paper should be much larger than the book so that you can fold it over the sides of the book and form flaps to hold it in place.
Step 3. Draw two horizontal lines
Use a pencil to draw a horizontal line on the paper following the top edge of the book. Draw a second following the bottom edge of the book. Use a ruler to draw straight lines.
These two lines will guide you as you fold the paper to form the flaps
Step 4. Remove the book
Remove the book from the paper and fold it along the two horizontal lines you just drew.
- Mark the crease on each of the two horizontal lines.
- You can use a paper folder to make straight, neat folds. A folder is a plastic object similar to a knife blade. It is used to make perfect folds without cutting the paper.
Step 5. Put the book back on the paper
Lay the book on the folded paper, centering it between the two horizontal folds. The spine of the book should be on the paper.
Make sure the sides of the paper are the same length as both sides of the book. Line up the top and bottom of the book well with the horizontal folds
Step 6. Open the front of the book
Open the front cover and fold the left edge of the paper over.
Open the book, take the left side of the paper and fold it over the cover of the book. If there is too much paper and it sticks out too far for your liking, cut off the excess paper
Step 7. Close the book
Close the book, keeping the paper folded on the inside of the cover and making sure the left folded edge stays in place.
- The paper should stay folded firmly on the side of the book. You may need to adjust the position of the book slightly to avoid tearing the paper at the edge.
- If the paper is too tight, reposition the book so that it is less stretched. You should be able to cover the book without tearing the paper.
Step 8. Open the back of the book
Fold the right side of the paper onto the wrong side of the cover.
- Fold the paper over the back of the book as you did with the front. If there is too much paper, cut it.
- Close the book and make sure the paper wraps around it.
Step 9. Slide the book into the flaps
Slide the book cover through the two flaps you just formed. Insert the front and back of the blanket into the flaps one at a time.
- The folded edges of the paper form a flap that looks like a kind of pocket on each side. Slip the book cover into these pockets to hold the new dust jacket in place.
- As long as you've folded the paper neatly and it's strong enough, you shouldn't have to tape the new dust jacket in place. However, you can tape the flaps together if you think you need to.
Step 10. Decorate the book
Decorate the book or just add a label. To make brown paper more interesting, the possibilities are endless. You can draw, paint, or use stamps (but do so before covering the book). You can also stick a simple label and write the title of the book on it.
- You can glue ribbon or braid on the edge to decorate and strengthen it. It can be a nice touch for a wedding book, guest book, or other memory book.
- You can also write the title of the book or your class on the front of the paper so you can easily identify it.
Method 2 of 4: Cover a book with plastic
Step 1. Take plastic
Plastic wrap is the most common material used to cover books. You can use clear or colored adhesive plastic film or different types of plastic film that are not adhesive, but are made to cover books.
- Both types of plastic will protect your book. However, non-stick plastic will damage it less in the long run. If you want to remove the cover, the non-stick plastic will be easier to remove. You can also make a book cover from a sturdy plastic sleeve.
- The chemicals in the adhesive may eventually degrade the colors of the book. In addition, adhesive plastic is not at all environmentally friendly, as there is no recycled version yet.
- It takes a bit more work to cover a book with non-stick plastic, but it's easy to remove. You can also try using simple clear plastic wrap like the one used to cover food.
- You can buy rolls of adhesive paper made to cover books. They are usually found in any store that sells office or craft supplies. In most rolls, there are measurements printed on the back of the plastic to help you align it properly.
Step 2. Unroll the plastic
Unroll a piece of adhesive plastic large enough to cover your book. Put the book on it.
Line up the book using the lines on the back of the adhesive plastic. If there is no line, use a ruler. It's like wrapping a gift
Step 3. Cut the plastic from the roll
This will release the piece you need from the rest of the roll. When you cut it, allow enough room to be able to fold the plastic over the inside of the book cover.
You should now have a book lying on a flat piece of plastic wrap, with some plastic sticking out from either side of the book
Step 4. Remove the book from the plastic
If necessary, remove the protective film from the back of the plastic film.
If you are using adhesive plastic with a protective film, remove the protective film to expose the sticky surface. When you put the book back on the plastic, lay it on the adhesive side so it sticks to the plastic
Step 5. Put the book back on the plastic
Open the front of the book and fold the edge of the plastic wrap over the inside of the cover.
Fold the plastic over the inside of the front cover of the book. Glue it in place with a small piece of duct tape. Then repeat the process with the back of the book, but do not glue the plastic in place yet
Step 6. Cut out the corners of the plastic
Cut triangles from the corners of the plastic wrap. Once you have folded it inside the cover, there will be extra plastic that will need to be removed.
- Start by making two incisions in the plastic, one on each side of the edge of the book. Then cut the corners of the plastic at the top and bottom of the book. Cut them at an angle by bringing your scissors up to the corners of the book.
- You have to cut the corners so that you can easily cut a layer of plastic from the inside of the book cover and fold down the plastic that remains at the top and bottom of the book.
Step 7. Cut the plastic protruding from the edge
After making the incisions, you should see two small strips of plastic wrap protruding from each end of the slice.
Remove these small tabs so that the plastic flaps can be folded up easily
Step 8. Lift the back of the book
Lift the book leaving the plastic flap in place on the inside of the front cover. You must lift the book so that you can see the flaps that are next to the top and bottom edge.
Fold these flaps inward then gently lay the book flat with the plastic folded over the cover
Step 9. Fold over the remaining flaps
You just have to open the cover of the book and fold back the flaps that still protrude inside.
- To keep everything in place, try tying the flaps together with duct tape without sticking it to the book. It can be difficult to peel the tape from the paper, especially without damaging it.
- Check for air bubbles. They can usually be removed by sliding a ruler over the plastic jacket. When it's done, you're done.
Method 3 of 4: Make a fabric blanket
Step 1. Take some fabric
Use fabric you have left over from another project or buy something you really like on purpose.
In any case, a fabric cover is a nice protection for a book. The fabric can also allow you to add a personal touch to the book to make it quite unique
Step 2. Choose a suitable fabric
You need a relatively strong fabric to protect the book. Avoid any fabric that you feel is too thin or fragile.
Also purchase thin fusible stabilizer. The fusible interfacing makes the fabric more rigid. It is applied to the back of the fabric to help it keep its shape better
Step 3. Iron the fabric
Use an iron to remove all creases and wrinkles from the fabric.
- If there are any folds when you lay the fabric on the book, they will stay.
- Try to use a fabric that doesn't wrinkle so you can cover the book more easily.
Step 4. Measure the coverage
Lay the fabric flat on a flat surface. Lay the book on the fabric, centering it well and making sure there is enough fabric sticking out from each side.
- Draw two horizontal lines on the fabric: one along the top edge of the book and one along the bottom edge. Continue them past the sides of the book so that there is enough fabric to make the side flaps.
- For best results, make flaps at least 5 cm wide. If you are covering a ledger, make even wider flaps.
- When cutting the fabric, leave a little extra outside the horizontal lines.
Step 5. Remove the book from the fabric
Cut out the fabric following the drawn lines and providing a rectangle larger than the dimensions of the book.
Allow a little extra fabric when you cut it. The extra fabric will also help you apply the adhesive stabilizer more easily. When you apply the stabilizer, it will be necessary to fold part of the fabric on itself and on the stabilizer
Step 6. Glue the stabilizer
Apply the stabilizer to the back of the fabric, which is the side that will touch the book.
- The stabilizer must have a smooth side and an irregular side. This is the irregular side that you need to glue to the fabric.
- Press the stabilizer with a damp cloth to adhere it to the fabric. Then iron it for 10 to 15 seconds with an iron. If you need to move the iron, lift it up and put it down somewhere else. Do not slide it over the stabilizer to heat another part.
Step 7. Put the book back on the fabric
The canvas side must always face up.
The stabilizer is not meant to be visible. When you put the book down, it should touch the backed side of the fabric. This way when you are done covering the stabilizer will be on the inside and not visible
Step 8. Open the front of the book
Open the front cover, lay it flat and fold the left side of the fabric over.
- Fold the left edge of the fabric over to form a flap on the inside of the book cover. Pin the two layers of fabric together.
- The fabric should protrude slightly from the book at the top and bottom. The protruding strips will allow you to pin the two layers of fabric without pushing the pins into the book.
Step 9. Open the back of the book
Fold the right edge of the fabric over the inside of the blanket.
Repeat the same process as for the front of the book and pin the two layers of fabric together
Step 10. Remove the book
Take the book out of the flaps you just formed. The fabric should now have the general shape of a book cover.
Fold over the fabric that protrudes from the edges of the book cover. The excess should be folded over the wrong side of the fabric and pinned to the rest
Step 11. Sew the fabric
Sew the edges of the fabric at the top and bottom by topstitching.
Topstitching is a seam that involves passing the thread over the edges of the layers of fabric that you sew in order to bring them together
Step 12. Sew the flaps
When you do the topstitching, be sure to also sew the flaps you created to close them and keep them in place.
- The topstitching will allow you to reattach the edges of the folded parts to the rest of the fabric. You will thus obtain a large pocket on each side in which you can slip the cover of the book.
- Sew the flaps on both sides. You should get two pockets, one on each side of the sewn blanket.
Step 13. Slide the book into the cover
You can now use it on a daily basis.
You can use this cover to protect any other book that is the same size as the one you just covered
Method 4 of 4: Make a felt book cover
Step 1. Use colored felt
Choose beautiful colored felt to cover your book. Felt is a sturdy and resistant material, useful for covering books. It's a good choice for children's books or for notebooks that you often carry in a bag.
If possible, use wool felt rather than synthetic felt, as it is much easier to work with. However, wool felt also tends to be more expensive
Step 2. Take a fairly large piece
Use a piece of felt large enough for the book you are covering. Typically, basic notebooks are around 8 x 12 inches, but you may need a larger piece of felt depending on the size of the book you are covering.
The felt should protrude enough on each side that it can be tucked inside the book
Step 3. Lay the book on the edge
Lay the book on its edge and open the cover on each side to get an idea of how much felt is needed.
Center the book in the middle of the felt, open it and lay the two parts of the cover flat
Step 4. Outline the book
Draw two horizontal lines on the felt with a pencil, following the top and bottom edges of the book. These lines will show you where to fold the felt top and bottom. Do not follow the vertical edges of the book, as these parts will be folded after the others to form the flaps.
- The felt protruding from the book on the left and right will form flaps. If you follow the measurements above to cut out the piece of felt, the flaps should measure approximately 2 inches.
- Also add an extra 5mm outside the horizontal lines you have drawn. This will give you a little more felt to fold or cut.
Step 5. Cut out the felt
Cut out the piece of felt and lay it flat on your countertop.
You should now have a piece of felt that is slightly larger than the open book
Step 6. Lay the book on the felt
Lay it on its edge and open its blanket on each side so that it is lying flat on the felt.
Center the book so that there is a space of the same width between the edge of the felt and the edge of the book on each side
Step 7. Fold down the left edge of the felt
Fold the left vertical edge of the felt inward. Take the felt protruding from the left and fold it over the inside of the book cover. Pin the felt in place.
- There should be a bit of felt sticking out at the top and bottom of the book. This will allow you to pin the felt without pinning the book.
- Repeat the process on the right and pin the felt in place. You will thus form the flaps allowing to retain the cover of the book.
- Carefully remove the book from the felt. Carefully remove the felt jacket, being careful not to dislodge the pins.
Step 8. Sew the felt
Sew the top and bottom of the felt. Sew the two layers of felt together following the top and bottom edges to hold the flaps in place.
You can sew by machine or by hand depending on the desired effect
Step 9. Cut off the excess
Trim the excess felt on the outside of the seams. Leave some felt above and below the top and bottom seams respectively. It is important not to cut too close.
Do not cut the felt too close to the seams, as you may cut the thread and undo the stitches
Step 10. Slide the book into the flaps
Close it and make sure the cover is holding tight. Your book should now be very well protected!
- Book covers can make lovely personalized gifts for loved ones.
- If you like to use chatterton for your craft workshops, you can also use it for a book cover.
- If you want, you can stick a sleeve on the cover of your book. This is especially useful for fabric and felt covers, as it allows you to add a pen, eraser or bookmark.
- You can embroider a piece of fabric and make a blanket out of it. Embroider a symbol, animal, plant, name or anything else on the piece of fabric. It will have to be positioned on the book first in order to place the embroidery in the right place. Perform the embroidery after measuring and cutting the fabric, but before sewing the flaps in place. If you are using stabilizer, do the embroidery BEFORE gluing it to the fabric.
- If you are using plain paper, you can color, decorate, or print a design on it before using it to cover your book.