How To Make A Fabric Book Cover

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Need a fun sewing project for your next craft night? I’m going to show you How To Make A Fabric Book Cover! A book cover can be a fun addition to a book. It protects the pages and also gives it a unique look that can be used to identify it as your current read or as just your favorite read! LOL! All you need are some spare fabrics to create a custom look that will give your favorite books a fresh new style. The best part is that this is absolutely a beginner’s sewing project! It is so easy that you can make it in an hour or less! But, if you wanted to spice it up for the more advanced sewist, that can easily be done with fun stitches and a little extra twist here and there. Pick out some cute fabric and make a few of these for yourself and the family. I made some of these for a few of the kids’ school books this year to help them look new for longer. This is a good scrap buster if you have some larger strips in your fabric stash.

fabric book cover top photo

I’ll just go over the basics, of course, but if you want to add anything, that’s absolutely up to you – it’s your book cover after all! So, grab your favorite book, gather your supplies from the list below and let’s get making!

How To Make A Fabric Book Cover

What You’ll Need:

fabric book cover supplies

To make this book cover, you’re going to need a book and at least ⅛ yard cotton fabric or duck cloth in a fun pattern and some matching or contrasting thread. I say cotton or duck cloth because both of these will work, although duck cloth will be more likely to repel water (hence the name “duck”) in the event that your book is exposed to liquids like rain or spilled coffee. Note that the book cover is specifically tailored to the book itself, so for every book you want a cover for, you’ll have to sew another. 

Also when you’re choosing the fabric you make your book cover with, if you want this project to be a super long-term heirloom piece, I would recommend making sure your fabric is thick and sturdy. Because typically reading a book requires quite a bit of movement from the cover and is likely to get a lot of action especially along the spine and corners, the idea that this book cover might wear and tear is highly likely. So, thicker is better if you expect this to last for more than one or two reads.

Oh, and the tools? Yeah, you’re going to want: a pair of sharp scissors, a sewing machine, pins, and needles & a ruler or fabric tape measure. I used a sewing machine because I already had it out for another project. But you could sew this by hand very easily. It also comes in handy to have an iron, but it’s optional.

How To Make A Fabric Book Cover

measure fabric for book cover

The first step in this how to make a fabric book cover is to measure your book so you know what size to cut your fabric. If you wanted you could wash, dry, and press your fabric, but I didn’t think it was necessary for this project. With the book closed, measure horizontally from the right edge of the back cover to the right edge of the front cover, wrapping the tape measure around the spine of the book. Write this measurement down and add 8 inches to that length. This will be the width of your cut.

take vertical measurements as well

Measure vertically from the top edge of the (front or back) cover of the book to the bottom edge. Write this measurement down and add 2 inches to that length This will be the height of your cut.

trace out size you need on fabric

Cut the fabric to the width and height of your measurements. For reference, this is what you are intended to cut:

Width = horizontal book measurement + 8-inches

Height = vertical book measurement + 2-inches

cut out fabric and fold short edge over 1/4" and pin

Lay the fabric flat right-side down on your work surface. Fold each of the shorter sides of the fabric over by ¼ inch, and pin.

sew down fold

Hem them in place. I found it helpful to iron the folded hems flat before hemming.

place book on fabric book cover

With the fabric laid flat right-side UP on your work surface, place the book, open with the covers face-down, centered on the fabric. There should be about 4 inches of excess fabric on each side of the book.

Fold over extra fabric on edges onto cover of book

Fold this extra fabric over the book covers on each side, then close the book. Pin each of the folded sides of the fabric, taking care not to leave the fabric too loose or too snug around the book – you want the cover to comfortably fit the book, not strangle it or fall off of it.

mark where the inside corners of your book cover are

Open your book, with the cover still pinned on it, and mark each of the folded sections at the top and bottom edges of the book corners, about ⅛ inch from the edges.

sew along each mark to create pockets for the cover of your book

Remove the cover from the book and sew along each of the marks to create the pockets to keep the cover on your book.

trip corners of fabric book cover

Trim each corner of the cover to reduce bulk and allow the corners to turn out nicely.

turn fabric book cover right side out

Turn the cover right-side out and push out each corner neatly, using a dowel or eraser end of a pencil. I also ironed the cover flat to press the corners neatly.

hem top and bottom

Fold each upper edge of the pocket to the seam made previously, then hem that in place. Repeat on each bottom and top edge of the cover.

final fabric book cover

Fit the cover onto the book and get reading! Now you know how to make a fabric book cover! Optionally, you can add cotton interfacing, if your fabric is thin or you feel you’d like that additional structure. But I found that one layer of fabric was more than adequate to protect my book. Additionally, if you wanted to add a little flair, you could pop a ribbon on the spine part of your book cover for a built-in bookmark or add a pocket onto the front or back to hold a pencil or highlighter.  This is just such a fun and useful project, I can’t tell you how excited I am to have made it. I think I could make a dozen different and fun covers for my favorite books.

Easy Sew Fabric Book Covers

If you liked learning how to make a fabric book cover, make sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share it with friends on social media. If you decide to make this simple project on your own, make certain that you take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing the fabrics and color choices that people use!

Yield: 1

How To Make A Fabric Book Cover

Fabric Book Cover Create Card

Protect your favorite book with this easy sew fabric book cover. Super simple and great for beginners.

Active Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $10.00

Instructions

  1. With the book closed, measure horizontally from the right edge of the back cover to the right edge of the front cover, wrapping the tape measure around the spine of the book. Write this measurement down and add 8 inches to that length. This will be the width of your cut.
  2. Measure vertically from the top edge of the (front or back) cover of the book to the bottom edge. Write this measurement down and add 2 inches to that length This will be the height of your cut.
  3. Cut the fabric to the width and height of your measurements.
  4. Lay the fabric flat right-side down on your work-surface. Fold each of the shorter sides of the fabric over by ¼ inch, pin and hem them in place.
  5. With the fabric laid flat right-side UP on your work-surface, place the book, open with the covers face-down, centered on the fabric. There should be about 4 inches of excess fabric on each side of the book.
  6. Fold this extra fabric over the book covers on each side, then close the book. Pin each of the folded sides of the fabric.
  7. Open your book, with the cover still pinned on it, and mark each of the folded sections at the top and bottom edges of the book corners, about ⅛ inch from the edges.
  8. Remove the cover from the book and sew along each of the marks to create the pockets to keep the cover on your book.
  9. Trim each corner of the cover to reduce bulk and allow the corners to turn out nicely.
  10. Turn the cover right-side out and push out each corner neatly, using a dowel or eraser end of a pencil.
  11. Fold each upper edge of the pocket to the seam made previously, then hem that in place. Repeat on each bottom and top edge of the cover.
  12. Fit the cover onto the book and get reading!

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