diy: paper covered books

I’ve been working on unifying the colors in our living room and pulling together a clean and organized look. We spend most of our time in this space so I stare a lot at the bookshelf with multi-colored books…um, no bueno. Being the first room you see when you walk through our front door, I needed a quick and cheap decor solution. Let’s cover the books in colors I need and like!

MAKE IT! You will need:

  • Wrapping paper sheets (I used two sheets from Paper Source…this one and that one)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pencil/pen
  • Ruler

1 – CHOOSE PAPER. Lay out your papers and decide which one will cover which books.

2 – MEASURE & CUT. Lay the book to one corner of the paper so that the book is flush on the long and short sides. Using your pencil/pen, trace a line on the top edge of the book.  Like wrapping a gift, flip your book over and again, trace the top edge. To make sure you have more than enough paper to wrap the covers of the book, extend the top edge line an extra 3″-4″. Make a straight line down to the bottom edge of the paper. You now have your rectangle-shaped book cover.

3 – TAPE. Set your book in the book cover, making sure the top and bottom edges are flush. Also, make sure there is extra paper for both the front and back cover of your book. It doesn’t matter which one you do first, tape down the book cover to the inside flap of your book’s front/back cover.

4 – WRAP & TAPE AGAIN. Once you have one cover flap taped, it’ll be easy to pull the book cover tight and wrap it over the book. Once you have a good fit, tape down the other side.

5 – CREASE. Once the book cover is taped on both sides, your last step is creased the edges of your book’s spine. And you’re done!


Linked up at: I Heart Nap Time | Nifty Thrifty Things | Under the Table and Dreaming | Love Notes By Lauryn | My 1929 Charmer | Tatertots & Jello


35 thoughts on “diy: paper covered books

  1. Great idea Christine! We used to cover our school books like this to keep them looking new. Our covers were boring compared to your fun colorful paper!!! Love it!!! Have a great weekend!!! Sophia

  2. While I love this idea – so pretty, I also love the multicolored book bindings on my shelves, all random and interesting. The covering also covers the titles, which is a bigger no bueno than the multicolored bindings for me.

    • Agreed. How do you know what books are on the shelf when you can’t read the title? Perhaps that’s just a small price to pay for complete coordination.

      • For me, this project was primarily for aesthetics. I also only picked six books, which were already on those shelves, so I kinda have an idea what’s there.

  3. This reminds me of how the Victorians would buy set of similar bound leather books based on how they looked and not how what the titles were. For them, it was more about looked good. Enjoyed. T

  4. This is a great idea! You could even use fabric in different colors and patterns if you wanted to as well! I am SO adding this to my DIY list! Awesome blog.

  5. I love this idea, but I’m afraid that implementing it would drive my boyfriend crazy. He was not a great fan of the time I arranged our books by color. I suspect he’d be even less happy about obscuring the covers entirely.
    I’m going to have to find a few books to artfully place in a prominent location just so I have an excuse to do this…

  6. Great fun project. As the reader wouldn’t be able to read the spines of the books, I think it’s a good idea (like the writer said) to use this art form on a few books which you know about and should fill the empty halves of the shelves in random. That way it would look great I am sure. Thanks for sharing.

  7. It is wonderful that you are teaching this. Growing up, I went to an amazing art school near Penland Nortch Carolina. My teachers name was Jan and she taught us how to do this as well.

  8. Your papers have such wild crazy colors. I did this 12 years ago when the over-stuffed bookshelves in my bedroom disturbed my peace. And went with all pale green mulberry paper. The result is soothing. But with your take, those books become a fashion statement, room decor, like throw pillows.

  9. I like it a lot. Will have to find some beautiful paper to unify/decorate my shelf. Thanks for the cool post.

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