Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stamped Paper Covered Books

Tied book bundles are all the rage right now. I'm sorry, but I just can't get into it. Not that it isn't cute, but I've been taught, and have taught my chidren, to treat books with respect. It just goes against my grain to tear the covers off of books and put them in bondage tie them up.  If my kids saw me tearing up a book it just might scar them for life.  Although there are many books that I would burn before I allowed them in this house!

Now that all the book tier-uppers are up in arms (ducking), I'll show you what I did with some of my favorite cookbooks. They were looking pretty shabby after years of use, and I just couldn't bring myself to set them on my freshly painted bookshelves.  So I made covers for them.  (No books were harmed in the making of these covers). 

I used blank newsprint because I always have some on hand.  Our local newspaper sells end rolls for a couple bucks each.  You could also use butcher's  paper or brown packing paper.  The newsprint is very thin, so I folded it several times to strengthen it.  Here's how I went about it.

Lay your book sideways on the roll of paper to make sure it will fit with several inches left on each side.  If it is too large lay the book the other direction and cut paper off the roll. 

Measure the book from top to bottom

Make a 1"-2" fold on the edge of the roll.

Fold the paper the exact amount of the measurement of the book.  Fold up twice (for thin paper) to give it extra strength.  Cut paper off the roll leaving an extra two inches.  

Fold that extra two inches down for a nice clean edge at the top and bottom of the book.  

Lay your book on the paper again to check for size.  You may have to make some adjustment to your folds.  I kept measuring at each fold to try to avoid this.

I used Stampabilities "Le London Script" background stamp and black pigment ink.  

Press the ink pad onto the stamp, pressing harder in some areas than others.

You want it to look faded out in some areas.

Flip the book cover over so the outside is up.  Line up each stamp as best you can and fill the cover.  It won't matter if you're off a little.  It just adds to the charm.  I used the stamp twice before reloading with more ink.

When finished stamping, flip it back over and center the book on the cover.

Fold one edge in and tape it down.  I used packing tape for a tight hold.  If I ever remove the cover, I will use an exacto knife to slit the tape rather than peeling it off to avoid damaging the book.

Close the book and wrap the cover around it tightly.   Tuck the excess under the cover.  I wanted it nice and tight so that didn't catch and tear easily.  Tape the second flap. 

I used a Calligraphy pen to write the title on the spine after it was on the book.  You could do this before taping it, but knowing me I wouldn't get it straight!

I added a bird stamp to the cover of this one (can't remember the company), and used  Stampabilities "Fleur de Lis" on the spine.  I also used a leaf stamp on one spine (company unknown).  The bird looks a little lonely.  I think I will write the title on the cover of the book too.

That's it.  Very easy.  I may cover it with clear contact paper if I can find a matte one.  I think they look a lot better on my new shelves than my mismatched, tatty old books.  Even a new book got a cover,  because I didn't want any bright clashing color. 

This post linked to these fabulous parties:



The Shabby Nest

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special


  1. I am with you, I was taught to cherish books too. I won't write in them or highlight either. I like tied bundles of books, but I just tie them up as is, I don't have any old enough to need a cover, although your idea of stamping the paper is lovely.

  2. Great idea. I have a few books that would be wonderful for this.

  3. I like this idea especially when wanting to make a space seem less cluttered.

    It’s a Wrap Link Party at Artful Rising

  4. Can you just run over here and cover my massive cookbook collection for me? Please! I love this idea and haven't made a cover for a book since the 70's!! Your's are beautiful!


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