Your children might flip out when you insist on using a paper bag book cover – but they won’t when they see this version! Welcome to the “Cool Version” of the Paper Bag Book Cover.
Okay, I admit it. I don’t have any textbooks to cover. but I had this idea, and I wanted to bring you something fun and useful for back to school, so I decided to cover my “House Book” – a.k.a. my DIY bible.
The Story Behind the Paper Bag Book Cover
When my mother used to cover my textbooks for school, I used to pray she wouldn’t insist on using paper bags. As years went by, her ideas became more creative (my mother is Queen of Creativity) and she went on to use wallpaper scraps and other fun patterns. I decided to elaborate on her ambitions and approached the challenge of making the paper bag cool.
I started off with a paper grocery bag and some duct tape extra decorating is optional. The idea behind the duct tape is to make it more durable, adding function to fashion. I incorporated a mix of styles, with the crumpled bag and the bold colors on the duct tape.
What You’ll Need for the Paper Bag Book Cover
- A paper shopping bag
- A book (naturally)
- Masking tape
- Patterned Duct tape (I used this one)
- Optional: paints for decorating
How to Make the Cool Version of the Paper Bag Book Cover
- Crumple the bag as much as you can. Get your child to help with this fun part. This is one of the most vital factors of the “cool” concept, as distressed is in style now. No amount of funky duct tape will be able to counteract the paper bag if it is not distressed.
- Cut down from the opening of the bag (top) in one of the natural corners. Cut until the bottom and turn. Cut the bottom completely off. You should have a large rectangle. It does not need to be neat at this point.
- Wrap the bag around the book to measure size. Fold over and crease to mark book sides. Leave a few inches at the sides (where the cover opens) and trim what’s left.
- Remove from book and fold in edges toward the wrong side. Tape in place with masking tape.
Make sure to make corners neat by folding in a triangle as pictured.
Your paper bag should measure in height a few millimeters larger than the book, and in width a few inches longer than the full cover size when closed. It should look like this:
- Trim the edges with decorative duct tape – the cooler the pattern, the cooler the book cover. Do this by lying duct tape sticky side up in the right size, and gently pressing the edge on.
When going around corners, cut triangles on the ends to remove bulk.
I did mine 2/3 on the outside and folded it 1/3 inward. Do what works best with your design, but make sure the edges are adequately covered to ensure durability. The front should look something like this:
And the back like this:
- Center your book on the bag (closed) and fold in ends.
- Tape the outside and inside of the flap that holds the book cover using a small piece of duct tape. Try to align the pattern as much as possible. Having a geometric pattern such as mine helps. Do this in all four corners.
Your book should now look like this:
- Decorate or – even better – have a child decorate (optional).
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