How to Make a Fabric Book Cover

My poor ol' Jordanville prayer book was getting ratty. So I taped up the parts that were falling apart, and made a book cover. While I was at it, I decided to make a coordinating set of covers for my pocket Psalter and my Bible.

I also decided to blog the process, so that if anyone wants to know how to make a quick and easy book cover, you can learn.

You will need:

Two types of fabric that you like (quilting fabric or something of that weight works best), that probably coordinate in some way, according to your tastes. If you use denim or a heavier weight fabric, line it with something light weight so that you don't have too much bulk.

Pencil (for drawing lines where you will cut the fabric, marking buttonholes and button placement.)

Measuring tape

Straight edge

sharp scissors

a sewing machine

a button

the ability to do some simple math.

First you measure your book, from the edge of the front cover, around the spine (with the book closed) to the edge of the back cover. Add eight inches to this number.

Second, measure the height of the book, and add an inch to this number.

Now cut a rectangle out of both fabric pieces according to the dimensions you just figured out.

With right sides together, sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, the two pieces of fabric together on three sides.
Trim the corners, so that there won't be a wad of fabric when you turn it right side out. At this point, it will look like a small, un-hemmed pillowcase.

Iron it so that the edges are nice and crisp.

Fold the raw edges to the inside of this "pillowcase-looking-thing" and iron. Then sew as close to the edge as you can manage, nice and neat.

You are almost done.

Do the all of the above with a smaller rectangle of any smallish size if you want a button flap to keep your pages together when you toss your valuable book in your backpack, or purse, or whatever.

Now, take your bigger fabric piece, and decide which side is "out" and which side is in, and wrap it around your book so that the flaps on the inside are even on the front and back. Carefully remove your book and iron the flaps down so that you have a visible crease.

BEFORE you sew this, decide where you want the small rectangle to be placed. On the back of the book cover, careful to not cross over the ironed line where the flap will turn under, sew nice and neat near the edges of the small rectangle to applique it onto the back. One end, of course, will be loose.

Check the fit.

Now sew the flaps down according to how you ironed them, at the top and bottom edges of your book cover, as close to the edges as you can get it. Now you have pockets to slip the front and back cover in.

Pick a button, and sew it onto the front. Make a button hole in your flap (I do this by hand as I can't seem to find the instruction manual for the automatic buttonholer on my machine).

And enjoy your charming, personalized book cover.


T. said…
I. Love. Your. Blog. I love that you can do so many things that I've never thought of doing!! One day I will learn to do things like this! And now I have the step-by-step posts from your blog to guide me!
Alana said…
Why, thank you!
Veiled Glory said…
Thanks for the directions! There are a few books in my collection which need such attention.

Anonymous said…
My Jordanville is getting ratty, too. But alas, even with your directions I think my result would be a patience here at all! Could I bribe you to make one of a sewing-challenged blog reader? :o)
Ally said…
Love it, thank you for your guidance :D It really helped me, thank you again :D

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