My 3 Monsters: Fabric Covered Books

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Fabric Covered Books

Hello, friends!  I have collected old books for years.  Not valuable old books, no.  Just old books that I pick up for 50¢ at thrift stores that have cool covers or funny titles.  It's kind of a fun hobby.  Remember the time we found Gary Cooper's autograph inside an old book and made a little bit of money?  That was awesome.  Over the years I have used most of the coolest book covers for craft projects -- purses and notebook covers and such -- and I was left with all the darker, drabber, less interesting books taking up space in my craft closet.  

I have always dreamed of having a collection of these Penguin Classic Books to display in my home:

Unfortunately, I have never felt like I had the several hundred dollars it would take to buy the full set.  At least, not to spend on replacing books I already own, just because they're pretty.  This week I had finally had enough of those old books taking up so much precious space in my closet and I decided to display them on the shelf of my entertainment center. But not without a simple makeover first!

Fabric Covered Thrift Store Books at
{Please ignore the scratched black paint on the armoire -- a major makeover of that is coming SOON!}  I dug out my books and some of my favorite fabric scraps and got to work.

I won't go into too much detail about how I made them, because it is pretty self-explanatory, but I'll show you basically how I did it.  First, pick a book and a fabric that coordinate -- or contrast -- whatever floats your boat.  I did a little of both because I really wanted it to be bright and fun.

Fabric Covered Thrift Store Books at
I was going for a "raggedy" feel, so I chose to tear my fabric to the right width instead of cutting.  If I was going for a more finished look, I would have cut the fabric a couple inches wider than the finished width I needed, folded the edges under, and pressed them before wrapping the book.  Either way you choose to do it, decide how wide you want your fabric wrapper to be and how much of the original book cover you would like to see above and below it, then cut or tear a strip of fabric to that measurement.  Don't worry too much about the length of the strip right now.  Just make sure it is long enough to wrap all the way around the book and we'll trim it in the final step.

Fabric Covered Thrift Store Books at
Open the front cover of the book and use a glue stick or double-sided tape to attach one end of your fabric strip just inside the front cover.  Close the book and wrap the fabric around to the back.  Pull fabric taut {but not too tight} and trim off the excess, leaving about an inch or two to glue inside the back cover just like you did in the front.

Fabric Covered Thrift Store Books at
Close the book again to make sure the fabric isn't too tight.  {If it is too tight, the cover will not be able to close all the way.  If that happens, just peel the fabric off in the back and try again.}

Fabric Covered Thrift Store Books at
I love how bright and happy these books look with their new fabric covers!  Obviously you wouldn't want to do this to a book that had any value, monetarily or sentimentally, but it's a fun way to breath new life into some old books that were wasting away in the thrift store.  I went for an ultra-bright mix of pattern and color {to mimic my Penguin Classics inspiration}, but you could also use this technique to visually calm a busy bookshelf, by covering all the books in white or another neutral shade. 

Fabric Covered Thrift Store Books at
I can't wait to show you the full armoire makeover in the next week or two.  The changes I have in store are really going to make these pretty books look fantastic.  Stay tuned!

I’ll be linking up to some of my favorite link parties.  Come and check them out!

Have a great day!


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