How to Make a Leather Book Cover

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How to Make a Leather Book Cover. Make a leather cover for your favorite book or to give as a gift to someone special. You can decorate and personalize the cover with tooling and stamping or leave it unadorned.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat Work Surfaces
  • Tools And Leathers
  • Paint Stirrers
  • Scissors
  • Pencils
  • Paper
  • X-Acto Knives
  • Rulers
  • Straightedges

Make a pattern for the book cover by folding a medium- to heavy-weight piece of paper around the existing cover of the closed book.

Trim the paper so that ¼ inch extends beyond both the top and bottom of the book. Also trim the vertical edges of the paper so that ¼ inch extends beyond both the front and back covers.

Measure the length and the width of the front cover of the book. Use a ruler, pencil and scissors to measure and mark out a rectangle that measures ½ the width of the cover plus ¼ inch and the length of the cover plus ¼ inch. This forms the pattern for the pockets of the cover.

Lay the two pattern pieces onto a piece of 4 to 6-oz. leather. See 'eHow to Cut Leather' for instructions on marking and cutting out the pattern pieces from the leather. Make sure to cut out two of the rectangular pieces from Step 3 as well as one piece from Step 2.

Lay the larger pattern piece onto a piece of skiver leather. Mark and cut out the pattern from this piece. This will serve as the lining of the cover.

See 'eHow to Finish the Edges of a Piece of Leather' for instructions on finishing the edges of the cover and pocket pieces.

Place the heavier book cover piece on a flat work surface, right side down. Evenly apply leather cement to the leather with a wooden paint stirring stick. Allow the cement to dry until the shine has disappeared and then affix the lining.

Affix the lining beginning at either the left or right edge of the cover and then smooth the lining toward the opposite end. Make sure that the top and bottom edges are lined up evenly. Allow the cement to dry thoroughly.

Keep the book cover right side down and cement each pocket piece in place along the left and right edges of the cover. Apply cement to the side and top edges of each piece. Allow these pieces to dry thoroughly, as well.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use vegetable-tanned leather if you plan on tooling, dying or stamping the leather.
  • Do any tooling, dying or decorative stamping before beginning Step 7.
  • Use a clean wooden paint stirring stick to smooth the lining of the cover.

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