How To Sew Your Own Book Cover

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I do love my books and I hate them getting grubby. So here is what I do when my dust cover is worn out, I sew a cover for said book. These are incredibly easy to sew and you can adjust the size according to your book. You can make these for any book of your choice or perhaps a favourite notebook.

I made mine for a science fiction book that is a hardcover and I do not want my precious hard cover getting spots and stains. So let’s get started and sew this already.

How to choose the right cloth for your book cover

I used a thin cloth; it’s better than a thick cloth here. Specifically to avoid the book cover becoming too bulky because the cover is made with two layers of cloth. I used a thin cotton cloth. You could always choose a slightly thicker material, but it’s better to go for thinner fabric here. Further still, I did use the same print on both sides of the cover, but you could use two contrasting colours like red on the outside and any other colour on the inside.

Play around with the design as much as you like just use this tutorial as the “grey structure” of your book cover. Because the book I am making a cover for is a hard cover I suggest you use a thin material. Alternatively, if you want to make a stiff cover for a paperback then you can always sew in batting.

How to sew your cloth book cover

Estimated time: 40 minutes

  • cotton cloth 1/2 a yard
  • matching thread
  • sewing chalk
  • measuring tape
  • sewing machine
  • sharp scissors

Iron your fabric of choice because if your cloth is not properly ironed cutting it will be difficult. Also, you may make measurement mistakes. Here we will prepare a strip of cloth for the book cover. Cut a length of 11 inches-28 centimetres, and a width of two inches. Take this strip of cloth and fold it in from both sides, repeat this again and sew a straight line. Keep this strip for later. As you can see I have used a plain blue coloured fabric for the printed material. Even though there is a lot going on in the print the plain blue is a great contrast.

Another way of sewing this strip is to take one inch in width and 22 inches in length cut of fabric. Join the fabric and sew it on both sides. With the help of a pencil turn it inside out. This can be tricky and so the above technique is the best way to go. Still, the reason I went down the harder route was that this way the sewing is completely hidden.

Now cut two pieces of cloth at a length of 20 inches-51 centimetres, and a width of 11 inches-28 centimetres. Place these two pieces of cloth on top of each other on a tabletop. Sew a straight line down the width of one side joining the two pieces of cloth together.

Place this in your table, and with chalk, mark a half-inch on the corner of the width. From the point, you marked, measure three inches down and to the side in a slant, mark this with chalk. Cut this off with your scissors.

Now you will have to fold in 2 inches of cloth at the seam. Start by lifting the top layer of cloth and pulling it off at two inches as shown below.

Now place your finger on the seam and gently pull the cloth back.

Now hold the folded cloth in place and pull the cloth back over until it meets at the edges, as shown below.

Now gently pull back one of the layers of cloth but just halfway. Measure five inches from the width and mark it with chalk on both sides of the length. Place the strip of cloth on the markings and cover it with the removed cloth. Take sewing clips or pins and pin-up the entire circumference.

Here comes the easy part. All you have to do is sew a straight line down from either side of your folded material. Note, do not sew the width of the folded side. All you have to do is sew straight down and around from both sides, leaving about four inches unsewn.

Look at the image below and see how I did it.

Through the open, un-sewn hole gently turn your book cover inside out. With a needle and thread hem the opening shut. There you go, your book cover is complete! Take a look at the finished product.

I hope the instructions are easy to follow and if you have any trouble at all understanding them please do reach out and ask questions. Remember to play around with the print of your cloth. Make your sewing projects a fun activity not a dreary chore.

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