Tutorial + How-to 15 DIY School Supplies

Published on May 24th, 2010 | by Julie Finn

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Only Use Cloth Grocery Bags? Then Try These DIY Book Covers

So you can’t make a brown paper bag book cover because you don’t have any brown paper bags?

More power to you, my friends!

I do have to admit that I have a soft spot for that free kraft paper, amenable to so many crafty uses, but it is by no means the only material available for creating a sturdy temporary cover for your books.

We are resourceful, we are recyclers, and we can make ourselves an awesome book cover out of practically anything.

Some of us, however, have achieved new heights in the realm of DIY book covers, and this round-up is an homage to a few of those crafters who not only crafted an awesome, eco-friendly book cover, but who also lived to write about it:

  • If you’re any kind of fangeek, check out the post at La Carmina showing off books covered with pages from J-Pop fan mags. It makes me long for a Teen Beat with a few Corey Haim vs. Corey Feldman glossies.
  • For a straight-up fabric book cover that looks and behaves a lot like a paper bag book cover, try out this fabric book cover tutorial by Natalie Jost. It’s got the math to enable you to cover any size book that you want.
  • This sewn patchwork book cover from V and Co. is a stashbuster’s fantasy. It’s quick and easy and the math is relatively pain-free, and after you make a big project, you can use up just a few of your throwaway scraps to make your subway reading materials suitably mitchy-matchy!
  • This paper patchwork book cover  from iHanna’s blog is definitely NOT removable, but yay for scrapbook paper! And if you know you’re going to read that Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark Hunter novel over and over and OVER again, why bother pulling off the book cover when you’re done? Might as well make it permanent!
  • A potato chip book cover from Make and Takes is an excellent way to give a little shout-out to your favorite brand, even when you’re not currently munching. Of course, my Master’s in archival librarianship is screaming in my head at the thought of even a washed and dried greasy chip bag snuggling up next to my paperbacks, so I’ll just mention that the silver inside lining? Would look GREAT facing out!

Other awesome book cover ideas?


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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



3 Responses to Only Use Cloth Grocery Bags? Then Try These DIY Book Covers

  1. Carmina says:

    Thanks for linking to me! Glad you like the post about the Visual Kei / J-rock book covers. xoxo

  2. Ha ha, my inner vandal is laughing at your inner archival librarian. :) Just kidding! Thanks for linking to my chip bag tutorial. I promise I washed my chip bag with dish soap before I put it on my book!

  3. bmlay says:

    I love the book covers. When I taught MS science, one of our first ‘assignments’ was to make book covers from paper grocery sacks. It gave the students a chance to be creative, & gave them ownership, which helped keep the books in better condition. And I could add ‘measurement’ and ‘following directions’ to my lesson plans.

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