Every school year, there are usually plenty of textbooks you’re required to protect for the duration of their corresponding classes. If you’re feeling a little crafty, it’s easy enough to make your own covers from paper you have lying around! Here’s how to make over and protect literally any hardcover book you have.
What you’ll need:
- Paper, like gift wrap, brown packing paper, paper shopping bags, wallpaper, art paper—whatever you like!
- A pen or pencil
How to do it:
Spread the paper you are going to use on a clean surface with the patterned side down. I’m covering my art history book with crane-patterned art paper.
Open up your book and lay it on top of the paper.
Trace around the sides of the book with a pen or pencil, leaving at least a one-inch margin between the book and the line you’re drawing. If you have enough paper, try to make your margins closer to two inches. You especially want to have room on the left and right sides to accommodate the spine of the book. This particular paper was already wide enough for my book, so I didn’t have to measure the right and left sides.
Move the book to the side and cut the paper along your lines.
Lift up the cover of the book and fold the paper over, starting from the short side. Tape it down.
Cut slits on the top and bottom edges of the paper, where the cover ends and the spine begins. This will allow you to fold the top and bottom of the cover inward without ripping the paper.
Secure the other sides of the paper on the inside of the book with long strips of tape.
Flip the book over to cover the back. Tape the paper down, being careful to allow space for the spine! Almost closing the book and taping down the outer edge first made it easy for me.
After securing that edge, you can open it back up to repeat steps five and six.
Trim the extra paper off the top and bottom of the spine.
Now you have a beautifully made-over book!
Go wild with this however you see fit: I used more art papers to cover two small hardbound sketchbooks, and a world map–print gift wrap to cover another textbook. If you use a solid-color paper, like brown packing paper, you’ll have a great surface for drawings, stickers, or washi tape. Anything you can glue or tape down is an option! To decorate my French book, I used brown packaging paper and decorated it with colored pencils, a pen, a clipping from my sketchbook, and a scientific illustration I printed out:
Whatever you choose: Yay! Even if class is occasionally boring, your books are quite the opposite. Want to show off your homemade book jackets? Send a photo in an email with your NAME/NICKNAME, AGE, and CITY to [email protected] by September 21 with the subject line “DIY Book Jacket” by September 21 if you’d like us to feature it in an upcoming post! ♦