Book Covers

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Total Time 1 hour Ages all-ages

The first weekend after school starts -- when textbooks have been handed out but the homework hasn't yet -- is prime time for a little book beautification.

What you'll need

  • Pocket off an old pair of cargo pants
  • Bag from a favorite store or designer
  • Wrapping paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape
  • 1-inch-wide electrical tape
  • Post-it Pad

How to make it

  1. Fold paper in half around a closed book. Crease the paper sharply around all edges of the book.

  2. Remove the book and trim the paper -- leaving a 2- to 3-inch margin around the creased rectangle. (Tip: Measure and mark the margin with a ruler and a pencil before you cut.)

  3. Fold in the top and bottom edges of the paper along the lengthwise crease lines.

  4. Then fold in the right and left edges of the paper along the side crease lines.

  5. Slide the front cover of the book into the folded paper "sleeve" along the left edge of the paper cover. Repeat with back cover and right side.

  6. Cargo Pants Pocket Cover: This cover is ideal for carrying cargo, such as pens and milk money. Cover the book following the directions above, then cut a pocket off an old pair of cargo pants and attach it to the cover with double-sided tape.

  7. Designer Bag Cover: Here's an easy and inexpensive way to give textbooks en vogue style. Flatten a bag from the store, and fold it around the book using the directions above with one modification: Step A is the time to center the words or pictures you'd like to show. If you use a plastic bag, tape each fold in place.

  8. Pen and Pad Cover: This cover makes jotting down homework assignments a breeze. Start with a covered book. To create the pen holder, cut a 6-inch piece of 1-inch-wide electrical tape. Stick a 1/4-inch piece of tape to the center of the 6-inch piece (sticky sides together). Next, wrap the nonsticky part around your pen, and attach the sticky ends to the edge of the cover. Repeat to make the second band. Attach a Post-it note pad to the inside flap of the book cover with double-sided tape or a glue.

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