diy book covers


In the past few months we have both been in the process of styling our bookshelves thanks to the amazing tips from Refinerie in our post on how to style a bookshelf. As much fun as it’s been culling our books and knickknacks, and collecting decorative pieces that will make our shelves look stylish, we noticed we were moving through our budget for books rather quickly. Stylish books are expensive! Fortunately, we found a way around the book dilema while we were helping our friend Leslie Hunt Johnson style a home for a photoshoot, which was featured in our post: a beautiful blue family room. While putting the finishing touches on the project, Leslie placed an elegantly fabric-wrapped stack of books on a bookshelf. We had no idea what books were in that stack, and it didn’t matter. What did matter was that the fabric used to wrap the books coordinated with the room and gave the bookshelves a polished look. The minute we saw those books we knew all our book problems were over…and of course with that came the idea for this post.

Remember way back in junior high and high school when your teachers made you wrap your text books with a paper bag? I bet you never thought you’d use that skill again! Wrapping books is very easy and it only takes a few supplies that you can find at any fabric store, craft store or even your local drug store.



  • Decorative paper or fabric in any color or print you’d like. We found ours at Paper Source, but you could use fabric or even wrapping paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Tape (note: if you are covering your book with fabric permanent glue dots will work better than tape)
  • Pen
  • Old hard cover books


Step 1: Start by turning your paper over so that the side you would like to show is facing down. Lay your book down on the paper and open it up. You will want to make sure that the width of the paper will cover and wrap around the hard cover of your book. With your book lying flat on the paper, measure 2-3 inches on either side of the book lengthwise and cut off any excess paper.


Step 2: Standing your book on its spine, draw two lines extending out from either edge of the spine at a 45 degree angle. Repeat this on the other end of the book.


Step 3: Cut along the lines you have drawn and then fold the triangular shapes you cut inward towards each other.


Step 4: Place the book back on the paper, holding the book on its spine, so that the spine is centered on top of the paper you have folded inward. Open one side of the book cover and lay it flat. Then fold both sides of the paper snuggly inward, over the book cover. Close that side of the book and repeat the same process on the other other side of the book.


Step 5: Both sides of your book should now be covered with a length of paper that is longer than the cover. Fold one side of the extra paper over the edge of the cover so that you create a crease. Then open that side of the book and fold the paper inward. Secure the end of the paper inside the book with tape, taking care not to place the tape directly on the book. Repeat this step with the other side of the book and voila…you have a wrapped book!

Happy decorating with your new, and much improved books!


Ashley + Hallman