How to Make an Old-Fashioned Book Cover

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Things You'll Need

  • Big piece of paper

  • Book

  • Pencil

  • Ruler

  • Scissors

  • Tape

Covering your books is easy when you lay them flat on your cover paper.

Whether you want to cover expensive school textbooks or even just books in your personal collection, knowing how to make an old-fashioned book cover comes in handy. Book covers like these work for both hardcover and softcover books, and can be made from any kind of paper you have that is big enough. Use paper bags, newspaper, wrapping paper, old posters, or even wallpaper. If you change your mind, you can slip off one cover and put together a new one in very little time.


Step 1

Lay your big piece of paper flat on a table or floor, with the side that you want as your book cover facing down. Choose a surface that is big enough to accommodate the full size of the paper once it is expanded.

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Step 2

Open your book and flatten the spine and cover in the center of the paper, as much as you can. Do not damage the book's spine, but try to get an accurate picture of the full book cover's size.


Step 3

Hold the open book down, so that the cover of the book is fully in contact with the paper. Trace around the perimeter of the book on the paper with a pencil. Remove the book from the paper once you have drawn this rectangle.

Step 4

Measure 2 inches from both the top and bottom edges of the book on the paper. Draw lines at this distance that are parallel to the top and bottom of the book. Cut off any paper outside these lines.


Step 5

Fold the top and bottom 2" over, so that the book cover is now the same height as your book. Fold the right and left sides at the right and left edges of the book outline, then unfold so you have a crease as a visual reference.

Step 6

Fold the excess book cover paper that goes past the right and left sides over again, so that it covers about half of one side of the book. Cut off any excess. Unfold.


Step 7

Place the book on top of the book cover. Slide the right and left sides of the book cover into the "pockets" created by your previous folds of paper. Close the book to adjust the placement of the book cover. Tape the book cover into place; do not tape the book cover directly to the book.


Book covers like these invite personalization and decoration. Write, draw, glue, collage, or otherwise make your book covers yours once you have constructed them. If you get tired of your designs later, you can always make a new one.


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