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Covering Books

Martha Stewart Living Television

With back-to-school comes back-to-books. You need to protect those all-important textbooks against the elements and it's also fun to personalize each book. Here's an easy update on the traditional brown-paper-bag book cover.

Tools and Materials

  • Self-healing cutting board
  • Brown paper bag
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Double-sided tape
  • Decorations (such as stickers)
  • Self-laminating roll
  • Bone folder
  • Pencil
  • Label

Covering Books How-To
1. Place a brown paper bag atop a self-healing cutting board (you can also use craft paper or butcher paper). Cut along one seam, and cut out the bottom. The length of the paper should be approximately three times the width of the book.

2. Using double-sided tape, adhere your favorite picture to the paper. Try to line it up to a place that would look nice once the book cover is in place.

3. Cut a piece of self-laminating roll 1/4 inch bigger than the paper cover. The laminating roll makes your paper cover considerably stronger.

4. Peel a small amount of the backing off the laminate.

5. Have the 1/4-inch excess overlap the brown bag, and attaching itself to the self-healing cutting board. Slowly and deliberately, pull more of the backing off the laminate, while using your bone folder tool to press the laminate to the bag. Work right to left as you press your way down the paper. Cut any excess laminate off.

6. Center book on brown paper. Mark top and bottom corners on both sides to determine where the fold line will be. Fold the top and bottom edges over using the bone folder. Place book back on brown paper, and fold the right and left sides over, leaving enough space to compensate for the size of the binding.

7. Add a label showing the child's name and the book's subject. You can use store-bought labels. Or to add a special touch, trim the edges of your labels with a pair of pinking shears.