Many books are sold in shops today with beautiful handmade covers. But it is easy to create your own if you have a few craft materials handy.
You may have a book, notebook or scrapbook album which is useable but you just don’t like the cover. It may be that you want to revamp the outside of a scrapbook album to reflect the contents and link in with the theme. A cheap notebook from a supermarket, when covered with handmade paper or decorated paper makes a great present. Let your imagination go free and use designs, packaging, art, nature or anything else to inspire your designs. You could personalise a book for a special friend or to reflect what is inside, for example creating a recipe book, friendship book, address book, diary or whatever you can think of.
When covering a book or scrapbook album you will need accurate measuring and cutting tools to make sure that you know exactly how much of the materials you will need. Take care to make sure that all edges are straight for a neat, professional-looking finish.
A self healing mat is essential as it not only protects your work surface but when cut the edges come together again “healing” so there is not an indent left. The cutting mat therefore remains smooth ready for the next cut. The cutting mat will only cope with vertical cuts as angled cuts gouge out parts.
Always use a metal ruler and not a plastic ruler when cutting with a craft knife. The knife will cut parts of the plastic out and make the ruler unusable. The metal ruler, preferably with a cork base to stop it from slipping is best.
A metal craft knife with a disposable blade is necessary to make clean cuts in paper or card. Replace the blade regularly.
A shape HB pencil is best when measuring paper and card so it can be rubbed out easily not leaving any marks
Choose the paper you want to cover your book or album with. It should not be too thick or it will not fold easily, however too thin and it won’t be sturdy enough. A weight of 140 to 160 gsm should be used. Decide if you want to decorate the paper at this stage. Here a simple rubber stamp of a leaf design was printed all over the paper with green ink.
Measure the book or album you are covering, measuring length, height and width. Now mark this out on the paper allowing a 2cm margin on all sides. With a scoring tool score lines where all the folds will be.
Cut out a “V” shape from each corner to allow the edges to join neatly. Now place glue along all borders. Open the book and place in to the centre of the paper. Fold one edge over and secure one side to the book, pressing down firmly. Press all edges down and close the book to make sure the paper is not too tight.