Schools need to get as much mileage as possible from a supply of textbooks; they do this by asking kids to protect them in paper covers. A cover made from a cut-open brown-paper bag does the trick quite well -- it withstands months of use -- but heavy construction paper, road maps, wrapping paper, or even scraps of wallpaper allow a kid to design custom covers, all of which are just as good, sometimes better, at protecting books from bumps, scratches, or drippy servings of cheese fries.

Basic Cover How-To

Begin with a piece of paper big enough to wrap around the closed book,adding at least two inches on all sides.

1. Place the book in the center of the paper, and fold the paper against the top and bottom edges of the book to make creases. Remove the book and fold the paper down neatly along these creased lines, keeping folds smooth and even.

2. Place the closed book on the folded paper,two inches away from the right side;wrap the long side of the paper around the front cover of the book,and crease along the edge of the front cover. (It's important to do this with the book closed, or the cover will be too tight.)

3. Remove, fold crisply, then open the book and slide the front cover into the created sleeve. Close the book and crease the other end of the paper against its back cover. Fold down,then open the back cover and slide it into the created sleeve.


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