How to Make a Fabric Book Cover

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Use this book cover to "dress up" a paperback novel or any other book. Choose fabrics that are mid- to heavyweight.

Things You'll Need

  • Braided Trim
  • Flat Work Surfaces
  • Lace Trims
  • Dressmaker Pins
  • Dressmaker Shears
  • Fabric-marking Pens
  • Fabrics
  • Sewing Machine
  • Yardsticks
  • Rulers
  • 1/4-inch, double-fold bias tape
  • Place your book on a flat surface so that the spine of the book faces to your left. Measure the width of your book (side-to-side) and multiply this number by three. Add the width of the spine to this number and then write down the total inches.

  • Measure the length of your book (top-to-bottom), add 3/4 inch to this measurement and write this number down as well.

  • Place your fabric on a flat work surface, wrong side up. Use a yardstick or ruler, fabric marking pen and dressmaker shears to measure, mark and cut out a piece of fabric that is equal to the dimensions calculated in steps 1 and 2.

  • Use a sewing machine to apply 1/4-inch, double-fold bias tape to the short edges of your fabric rectangle. Trim any excess bias tape.

  • Place the fabric, wrong side up, on your work surface. Fold in each short edge of your fabric rectangle toward the center. Each folded-over flap should be about one-half of the book width calculated in step 1. Use dressmaker pins to keep the flaps in place.

  • Place the book on top of the pinned fabric and slip the front and back covers of the book into the pockets formed in step 5. Make sure that the book will be able to close. Adjust the flaps if necessary.

  • Apply 1/4-inch, double-fold bias tape to the remaining raw edges of the fabric. Keep the flaps in place when you enclose the edges with bias tape. This will create the pockets for the front and back covers of your book.

Tips & Warnings

  • Look in the remnant bins of your local fabric stores for suitable fabrics at bargain prices.
  • Apply bias tape by inserting the raw fabric edge between the tape's layers. Sew it into place, close to the tape's edge.
  • Make sure that the shorter of the two bias tape folds is facing you when you sew the tape into place. This will help ensure that both folds are stitched.
  • Sew lace or braided trim around the outer edges of your book cover. Make sure that your stitching line does not interfere with the fit of the book cover pockets.

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