Compare prices and save on cheap textbooks at

Protect Your Investment: How to Make a Book Cover for College Textbooks

how to make a book cover

Going to college is incredibly expensive. Buying textbooks for each of your classes is no exception. How can you protect your investment by keeping your books in great condition? 

With this guide, we will show you how to make a book cover that is fun, stylish, and useful! 

How To Make A Book Cover

Let’s walk through the process of making a book cover. Buying a book cover can range in price from being very affordable to be extra expensive. Making one from materials you already own is a great way of saving money on a college student budget. 

If you don’t have enough paper collected for this project, find a local recycling center. Most will allow you to come take what you need for free.

Paper Book Cover

Depending on your taste and style, you might want to use newspaper, fabric, or even paper grocery bags. The first thing you need to decide when making a book cover is what you’re going to use. 

For paper book covers, you’ll need a ruler and scissors. Obviously, to preserve the cover of the book, you won’t want to glue anything to it. This method relies solely on folding the paper to tightly wrap around the book. 

Step 1: Cut The Paper

The first step is cutting the paper. If using a bag, cut off the bottom and up the length of one side. If you want to keep the cover as clean as possible, cut up the seam of the side of the bag so it won’t show on the finished product.

Step 2: Determine Size

The next step is determining the size of your book in reference to the paper. Lay your book on the paper and wrap it up over the front of the book.

You’ll want to fold the paper under the front and back covers, leaving about 1 – 2 inches of space between the edge and the bookbinding. 

After you do the width of the cover, you’ll want to do the height next. To do this, do the same method of laying the book on the paper. Fold the paper down to match the height on both the top and bottom.

Don’t cut the paper off this time! You’ll want to save the folds on the top and bottom as those are what holds it to the cover. Keep in mind if your paper has any undesirable labeling on it that you’ll want to put those on the inside of the book. 

Step 3: Attach The Cover

Now it’s time to attach the paper cover to your book! You’ll want to slide the cover between the top and bottom folds. It will be a tight fit, but that’s a good thing!

If you’re unsure of how to do this part, check out this video to get a more visual idea. 

Step 4: Customize

The final step is the most fun! Now it’s time to customize your creation. You can go all out with rhinestones and mod podge, or keep it simple with the subject of the book. 

If you plan to make many covers, remember to put an identifier on it somewhere. Otherwise, if all your book covers are from the same material, it will be hard to tell them apart!

Fabric Book Cover

Fabric book covers are harder to construct, but they are more durable and easier to customize. For this, you will need your fabric of choice, thread, needle, scissors, and a ruler. 

Step 1: Measure

Remember that saying, “measure twice, cut once”? It applies to this step. Measure the dimensions of your book while open and write them down. 

Once you have those measurements, add 2 inches to either side of the length for the hemmed flaps. And add 1 centimeter on either side of the height for the hem. 

Now you will need to measure your fabric to match the dimensions plus the added length for the hems. Measure twice to be certain you’re correct!

Step 2: Cut

Cut your fabric, preferably with fabric scissors, to match the correct dimensions. If you want to have contrasting fabric for the inside of your cover, go ahead and get it cut as well. 

Step 3: Sew It

Now it’s time to sew your fabric. If you have two different fabrics, sew those together first. Make sure to start with the corners and work your way around. 

If you only have one piece of fabric, start here. Fold your fabric to meet your hem dimensions (2 inches on the length, 1 centimeter on height) and sew. For your flaps, make sure to only sew 3 of the 4 sides! 

Here’s a helpful video for a more in-depth look at this project. 

Step 4: Customize

Now you can customize your creation! Add whatever details you prefer, but make sure to have an identifier on each cover so you know which book you’re holding!

Why Make A Book Cover? 

Why would you want to make a book cover anyway? As mentioned above, it can help protect the condition of your expensive textbooks. If you plan to resell the textbooks, these covers can help keep them in great shape. 

Paper book covers are the most cost-effective, especially when using recycled materials. However, they won’t stand up to rainy conditions. They may also rip or stretch over time. 

Fabric book covers are a bit more expensive up-front. But they will last much longer than the paper alternatives. They can be removed and washed if stains appear, and can absorb rain to protect the book cover during an unexpected shower. 

This “How To Make A Book Cover” guide is something we hope you enjoyed! If you’d like to read more about textbooks, check out our blog!

About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.