Do you remember how to fold a book cover? Follow this simple tutorial to protect and personalize all of your textbooks with a paper bag.
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When I was a kid, we spent the first day or so of school getting our new textbooks and covering them. Most of the time, we just used a brown paper grocery bag, although some teachers had cool book covers that were just the right size. Even with the teacher book covers, I usually folded them inside out so that I could draw all over mine.
You can find book socks on Amazon.com and office supply stores, but there’s something that’s really fun about making a DIY book cover and personalizing it.
Covering a book is the best way to make sure it doesn’t get damaged too. I even covered mine in college so I could sell them back to the bookstore at the end of the semester and get back as much as possible (still usually less than a quarter of what I paid).
If your child needs to protect their textbooks, or you just want to decorate the books in your home library, learn how to fold a book cover with this simple tutorial.
DIY book cover for textbooks
This technique will work on just about any sized book. If you book is very large or very small, you’ll just need to find a bag or paper that’s the right size.
- brown paper grocery bag, wrapping paper, or any paper that’s a few inches bigger than your book when it’s opened flat
- scotch tape or any decorative tape
- markers, pens, stickers, etc. to decorate
1. Cut the paper bag to make it flat.
Start by cutting your paper bag down one side. If it has a seam, choose that corner. Cut around the bottom of the bag to remove it. Also remove the handles, if it has them.
Lay out your paper bag on a flat surface and line up your book in about the middle.
2. Fold the top and bottom edges.
Using the book as a guide, crease the top and bottom edges to be the size of the book.
Move the book and fold in the top and bottom edges to create a flat seam. Smooth them down really well. They should line up with the edges of the book.
3. Fold the side edges.
At this point, your book probably has two really long sides. While you can fold them over the book that big, I prefer the cover to only have a few inches of overlap.
Either move the book to one side or cut the paper to fold over the front of the book with about 3 inches of overlap.
Open the front book cover flap back up and use it as a guide to trim the back cover to be about the same size.
4. Secure the book cover with tape.
Fold the front and back flaps back over the book and tape them to secure. I used scotch tape here, but I’ve used packing tape and duct tape before to make sure it really doesn’t come apart.
You could also try washi tape or something else a little prettier.
5. Decorate your book cover.
You can leave the book cover plain or decorate it however you like.
Since this is a chemistry textbook, I wrote the word “Chemistry” with a Sharpie and outlined it several times with other colors to create a fun bubble effect.
Book Cover ideas
Get creative with any kind of paper and other embellishments to make your book cover one of a kind. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Use gift wrap, scrapbook paper, or a large coloring book page to cover your book.
- Create a design from washi tape to decorate the cover.
- Cover the entire paper cover in duct tape to make it indestructible.
- Take notes on the cover to highlight quick reference information you’ll need often (like formulas for science or math).
- Doodle your favorite things about the subject.
- Write the name of the subject in as many languages as you can find.
- Glue another piece of paper onto the cover to use as a pocket.
- Find a way to use the grocery bag handles! I tried, but couldn’t come up with anything that would last.
Check out some other fun and creative ideas on One Mama’s Daily Drama: