Hello crafty friends! Today I am sharing how to give a book a new look by creating an easy scap paper DIY book cover and ribbon book mark. This was a totally impromptu craft inspired by a free book that I found on the library “free books” cart when I went to check out my new classroom today (Yay! My middle school choir students are getting an actual classroom! No more teaching on the stage in the auditorium! I digress…)
I immediately spotted this butterfly identification book on the cart, but I was going to pass it over because the cover and spine weren’t in the best shape. When I thumbed through the book however, the inside was in great shape and full of so many beautiful pictures and info about butterflies. I actually needed this book because I am always trying to identify the butterflies that swarm in my butterfly bush from spring through fall.
At first I was going to just chalk paint the cover white so it would fit in with my other neutral books, but then I remembered an old calendar with a couple of months featuring beautiful French botanical graphics of flowers and butterflies. I bought the calendar at Dollar Tree back in 2016 to keep track of my students’ piano lessons. After 2017 I kept the calendar to use in craft projects.
You might rememver my Easy Mod Podge Garden Stake Makeover from last year where I used a mini-image from the back of the calender to update an old garden stake.
Easy DIY Paper Book Cover
As I was writing this post, I realized that I didn’t really take the best pictures to explain my process, but it’s pretty straightforward. To make the bookcover, place the open book in the center of your paper of choice. You can use any scrap paper such as actual scrap booking paper, wrapping paper, or a brown paper bag of course! Simply fold over the top and bottom of the paper until it lines up with the top and bottom of the book cover.
Leave enough paper on the sides of the book to fold in over the edge of the book. You can down the sides or use a glue stick.
Note: One calender page wasn’t enough to cover both the front and back of my book, so my husband showed me how fold and slide two pages into each other to make a complete cover. The front and back pages don’t match, but they are both pretty so it doesn’t bother me at all. If you have one paper that is large enough to cover your entire book, it will be simpler but two papers pieced together looks fine.
Making it Extra Pretty
I wanted to make the inside of the book pretty too, so I ripped out the blue paper on the inside cover (it was coming apart and had been taped in the past) and used a glue stick to add some burlap-look scrapbook paper cut to size.
Next I used a little glue to secure the book cover to the inside and back side cover.
I was going to stop here, but then I rememembered something…
I have had a box of “From the Library of” book personlization labels with pretty butterflies graphics for years. I scored this box at a yard sale many years ago and it has just been sitting inside my old bookcase looking pretty, but I had never actually used any of the papers.
I decided to also cover the cover page with the burlap scrap book paper, and use the pretty vintage butterfly book id labels. The librarian had noted the date of May 2012 as the time when the book was added to the school library, so I used this date on the label
I used hot glue to secure the wobbly book spine, and t0 make sure that the scrap book papers were tight along the seam.
I didn’t get a clean look at the seam, so I decided to use some pretty green satin ribbon to cover the inner seam, and to use the excess ribbon as a book mark/place keeper. I also added a scrapbook butterfly sticker to the top corner of the library label.
I am so excited about this book! Not only does it have a new look, it is also going to be very useful. There have been many times that it has been hard to identify butterflies using the internet. I think having a good old book with pictures will be much easier!
Last year this Painted Lady butterfly showed up in late summer and stayed through fall. I haven’t seen any yet this year, but I am hopeful!
When not in use, my “new” book will look pretty in the book shelf or stacked with other books in summer vignettes.
I hope this post has inspired you to create your own diy book cover the next time you spot a useful book that may not have the most aesthetically pleasing cover.
Have you ever given an old book a new look using paper covers or even fabric of chalk paint? Let me know in the comments. I love hearing your ideas!
Thaks for visiting today!
Wow, I LOVE how your book turned out, Amber! It is so pretty!! I have some books that I would like to try this on! Thanks for sharing!
Hugs,July 6, 2021 at 12:51 am
Thank you so much! Be sure to share a post!July 8, 2021 at 9:21 am
Your book looks great Amber! I love to alter books, new and old with chalk paint, fabric, burlap, paper… You might have seen some of my old posts on this. I love that you will actually use the book as a resource & you matched the topic to the paper. All my alterations are purely decorative so your project is extra special. Looking forward to seeing it in some of your future vignettes. Have a great day. XO- MaryJoJuly 6, 2021 at 1:02 pm
I appreciate how you work hard to make books special for your students.July 8, 2021 at 10:20 am
Amber, that is so gorgeous! I love how it turned out, and I love that it’s a book about butterflies. I’m always wondering about the butterflies in our yard, too.July 9, 2021 at 8:14 am
Amber it looks amazing. You definitely breathed new life into a well loved book. I love that you have a book on butterflies ( one of my favorite things)xoJuly 11, 2021 at 9:47 am
Lovely upcycle, Amber! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!July 11, 2021 at 3:30 pm