Fabric covered books for a pop of color

22 Aug

One of the biggest stumbling blocks of our combined move to Chicago was the sheer number of books the two of us have collected over the years. We love books and love reading, but we vowed not make the situation any worse before we moved again by getting a library card, an e-reader (whoohoo, ipad!*) and donating our not-so-favorites to charity or offering them up on my favorite thing, freecycle. 😉

I bought an Expedit bookcase from IKEA with some tax return money in May, I think and it took me this long to get it the way I wanted.

step fourteen

I love the look of a rainbow of books but I hate the look of most book jackets now. I almost always take them off when reading and tuck them into the book like a bookmark. That left me with a ton of hardback books that look the same with most of them having a black spine. I wanted more color, and this is what I did.

Using basic white copy paper, I Modge Podged over the cover to give it a smooth light base to work with…

step one

You can barely read the title on the spine, but under fabric, it creates a blank canvas….

step two

For the next step, use masking tape to secure your book into a corner of your fabric, leaving enough around the edges to fold to the inside. (I didn’t go exact here, since I will line the inside with scrapbook paper as soon as I pick up some more Modge Podge, this project finished off my jar.)

step three

Now wrap the fabric around the book and trim to size (Didn’t photograph this step since scissors and cameras don’t mix.) I used quilting quarters that I found at walmart for $1, I just grabbed a few that caught my eye, but you can use whatever you have on hand to keep this project as cheap as possible. 😉

step four

Keeping the masking tape in place, move the fabric out of the way and coat one side in Modge Podge…

step five

and smooth the fabric into place, making sure you press the fabric into the dip where the spine and cover meet. Do the same for the spine and the other side.

step six

Now that the fabric is secure, remove the masking tape…

step seven

And “paint” the Modge Podge along the edges of the inside cover then

step eight

smooth the fabric over the edges, stretching the fabric a bit to make sure it covers securely.

step nine

I found the easiest way to get sharp corners is to trim the fabric a bit…

step ten

and fold in place (I put a little extra Modge Podge at the corners, dampening the fabric a little so it would not only stick to the book but itself.)

step eleven 

Before folding down the top and bottom edges, make a cut in your fabric at the edge of the spine on either side (no photo of this, again scissors/camera bad) You will be left with this sort of flap of fabric that you will moisten thoroughly with Modge Podge and allow to dry. When the fabric is dry, it will be stiff and you will be able to carefully trim it close to the spine without the danger of fraying. (It’s dangerous, I’m telling you. Mostly because you will be unable to stop picking at it until the whole thing falls apart. Not that that has ever happened to me. Ahem.)

step twelve

When you have covered the outside with fabric, you can use the Modge Podge to attach the cover art to the inside front as I did here. (Queen Betsy!) See, now you can’t see the edges of the fabric….

step thirteen

and you have a stack of colorful vampire books to add to your shelves. 😉

step fifteen

And more than enough colorful books to arrange by color to bring life to your bookcase. 😉

Now if you stress about finding your books or have so many that you need a more traditional way of organizing them, this system and project is not for you, but I love the look of the bright books in the dark shelves and we have managed to cull our collection down to this one and one more wood one in the dining room. Between the library card and the yet to be decided on e-reader, we should be able to keep the books under control and if you are an apartment dweller like us and a frequent mover, keeping the book collection under control is important. (And believe me, your movers will thank you. Heh.)


Thanks for listening,


*We are saving up now, I wanted one and a few trips to Best Buy to play with them convinced BFP to my way of thinking. 😉


2 Responses to “Fabric covered books for a pop of color”

  1. Jamie August 23, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    Love this idea so much! You’re so crafty. I love it 🙂

  2. Hillary August 26, 2010 at 1:04 am #

    This is fantastic. I am a color memory person. I’m more liable to remember the color of a cover than the title. I got a nook for Christmas and vie only bought one physical book since then. It’s fabulous carrying 82 books in my purse at once! And there are so many free ones. You can check out library ebooks if your library uses overdrive. I’m a librarian who orders ebooks and I only just learned this!

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