How to Make a Fabric Book Cover

By Ashley Berg , last updated December 25, 2011

Making your own fabric book covers is a fantastic way to be creative, make something unique and special, and save money on binding. Covering a book yourself is actually much easier than many people think it is, and can be done in just a few short steps. Taking care to have all supplies ready and having a healthy store of patience will save you from any stress that might develop with DIY projects. If you would like a simple tutorial on how to make a fabric book cover, read on to discover some tips and tricks that will ensure a fantastic and beautiful result.

Choosing the Fabric

The first step in making your own fabric book cover is choosing appropriate fabric. Pattern, print, and color matter less than the thickness of the material. You do not want your book to show through, so choose a quilting fabric for best coverage.

Sizing the Fabric

Cut out the fabric one inch larger than your book on all sides. This will give you plenty of room for adjustments later on. Lay the book flat on top of the fabric for the easiest measuring.

Using Fusible Lining

Grab a piece of fusible webbing or lining, it can be found at any sewing or fabric store, and cut it just a bit smaller than your fabric, about ¼ inch on all sides. Lay the webbing on top of your fabric. The back of the fabric should face the glue side of the fusible. Using an iron on its highest setting (generally cotton) and the steam option set to off iron the fusible to the fabric. Keep the iron moving steadily and go carefully over the entire swatch, be extra thorough around the edges.

Covering the Book

Once the fabric has cooled off, peel the fusible lining away from the fabric to reveal the transferred glue. Double-check that the glue is universally applied. You can carefully recover and iron again if there are dry spots.

Place your book, with cover side down, on top of the fabric with the glue side up. Close the book semi-tightly with the fabric wrapped around it. Hold the fabric carefully in place and iron once more. Be careful to keep the iron moving and go over the edges twice to ensure a firm seal. Flip the book over, adjust the fit if necessary, and repeat the process. Finally, run the iron over the spine three or four times to attach.

Trimming to Size

You have two options to finish the book. You can fold in a seam allowance of about ¼ to ½ inch and glue down the excess fabric inside the cover of the book. The other choice is to trim off the edges of the fabric and leave as is. The latter is a clean look that is extremely simple. Wait for the book to cool and use either a pair of household scissors or a rotary blade and trim off all extra fabric right up to the edge of the book. Feel free to run the iron one more time around the edges to confirm a perfect seal.

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