As a student, substitute teacher, and tutor, my schedule is all over the place and regularly getting worse. After forgetting about a reading for a class, I finally decided I needed a day planner. The selection I found at the store was really less than desirable – tiny spaces to write in, too much extra stuff (I really have no need to carry around an address book with me), or super boring covers. Then I found this one…for $1.38!!! Boring cover aside, it has everything I require (without any extras)! So, I decided to make my own cover! I bought this fabric a while ago and have been looking for the perfect project for it. Yes, it is void of color, but it has a lot of character and I love it!
- A book in need of a cover
- Embellishments (ribbons, buttons, sequins…use your imagination!)
- Sewing machine
- The first thing you need to do is test the flexibility of your book’s spine. The measurements for the inside flaps will depend on this flexibility. Open the front and back cover as far as they will go (be careful not to hurt the spine). If the covers come close to touching in the back, you can cover the entire inside of your covers. If not, you probably only want to cover half of the inside to allow you to get the finished cover on the book. My book is spiral bound (a lot of flexibility) so I chose to cover the entire inside.
- Next, you need to measure the book to determine the amount of fabric you need. Measure from top edge to the bottom edge of the front cover to get your height. Measure the inside of the cover to the point you want the fabric cover to stop. Multiply this measurement by two (for the front and back covers). Close the book and measure from the side edge of the front cover around the spine and to the side edge of the back cover. Add this measurement to the measurement for the inside of the front and back covers and you get your width. Add 2-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ to both the height and the width measurements. If your book has relatively thick covers, you probably want to lean towards the 2-1/2″ side.
- Use these measurements to cut out your fabric.
- Fold 1″ down on each side with right sides out and press. Repeat with the top and bottom. Fold the sides over to your measurement for the front and back inside covers and press.
- Now that you have an idea of what the outside of the cover is going to look like, its time to embellish! I will continue my directions to include a ribbon as shown in my top picture. This ribbon actually starts on one inside cover and continues around the book to the other inside cover, but you may choose to only decorate the front of your book if you want.
- Unfold all pressed edges. Pin the ribbon halfway between the top and bottom of the cover. Sew down both sides of the ribbon as close as you can get to the edge.
- Once you are finished embellishing, refold the side edges in along the 1″ line. Fold the inside covers over the outside covers with right sides together (this will go against the ironing you did earlier, but it is only temporary). Pin together along the top and bottom ironed creases.
- Sew along the top and bottom creases.
- Turn the cover sleeves right side out. Open the front and back covers just like you did in step #1 and slide the cover onto your book.
- You’re all done!