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Making Blank Books

By: Roxanne McDonald - Updated: 22 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
Blank Book Covers Making Covered Books

Making covered books is not only exceptionally easy--once you do the first one--but it will prove to be a far cry from the paper bag-covered school books we did when we were kids. If you are interested and want an easy craft project, blank book covers are definitely one way to go.

Book Cover Materials

  • Blank book of your choice. Go to a discount or other store and get a little tiny pocket-sized book, a standard portrait layout blank book in any size, or even a pre-printed calendar or address book. The trick is to make sure 1, it is hard-cover, and 2, it has a spine.
  • Craft paper or fabric of your choice. Really thick and rich fabrics are fun, but so are those sheets of paper at the crafts store that have pre-printed--like wallpaper--patterns.
  • Scissors. It may seem obvious to have a pair of scissors for cutting. Scissors also come in handy when making covered books as a tool for tucking.
  • Spray glue . Glue also seems obvious, but the trick is the right type of glue. Get a glue that does not bleed through material, and that does not create an impression (lump or dent), especially if you use paper for making covered books.

    If you don't overdo it and add to depleting the ozone, spray glue is ideal. It can be controlled, can go on evenly, and is light enough but tough enough to bond cloth and paper without soaking the finished product.

Making The Book

To begin, lay the book cover material on a flat surface, spread out and raw side up…or facing you. Lay the blank book down, closed on with the binding centred with the material. Close the material around the book..just to confirm you have enough material to cover the blank book.

Return the material to its flat position, and spray glue the entire inside surface--making steady, quick movements to avoid puddling.

With the book closed and the binding facing the material, centre the binding. Press the binding to the glued material. Make sure there are no wrinkles. Close the left material over the left hard cover of the book. Again, smooth the material. Bring the right-sided material to the right--or back side--of the book, and smooth that also.

Lay the book flat for a minute. Using the butt of the scissors, run the butt over the place where the cover meets the spine--the trough--so that the material is flush with the indented parts of the book, too.

With the book flat in front of you again, open the front cover. Snugly fold the extra material at the left side over the inside of the left cover. Flip the book over and do the same for the inside back cover.

Close the book. Hold the book like a sandwich: look at the top, closed part. You will see extra material extending out over the front and back, right? Trim the top to about 1/4 of an inch with scissors. Do the exact same thing for the bottom of the book. You will have a bulge of material where the book's covers meet the spine, so snip two tiny slits at the trough grooves. These slits, about 1/4 of an inch, should align with the grooves...to give the closed book material play.

Lay the book flat again, and open the front cover. Fold the top material down over the inside of the cover. Fold the bottom material up over the inside of the cover. You will now have two flaps at the corners of the left cover--at the top left and at the bottom left. At each corner, make a closed flap with the extended material and attach it to the book corner--the same way you would wrap a present, but with a tiny bit of spray glue to keep the fold glued to the inside cover. Rub the new area with the butt of scissors to flatten and smooth. Do the exact same steps for inside back cover.

Return to the outside top of the spine, where the extra material is. Open the book. See where the original book cover and the actual spine have a small gap? Using the point of the closed scissors, slip that excess material into that gap and press. Hold the pressure for a second or two, so that the excess material is now flush and secure at the spine.

Finally, lay the book flat one more time. Open the left cover. See how you now have a covering, but the area of material is exposed? Turn the first blank page of paper so that it is flat against the inside cover. See how that will cover the evidence? Glue the page to the inside cover. Do the same for the inside back cover. Voila! You have a completed covered book.

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