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DIY Decorated Book Covers

Highlights 4Cs

Curious, Creative, Caring, and Confident™
The light bulb icon represents curiosity. For content about raising a curious child, look for this icon.
The paint brush icon represents creativity. For content about raising a creative child, look for this icon.
The holding hands icon represents caring. For content about raising a caring child, look for this icon.
The thumbs up icon represents confidence. For content about raising a confident child, look for this icon.
Sometimes school supplies and other stuff can look like everyone else’s. But it doesn’t have to! Let your kids express themselves with book covers they decorate themselves.

Once your kids make the basic book cover, they can personalize it with tape, fabric, drawings, anything! They can make a photo collage of their friends, draw their favorite summer memories, or craft a geometric design from tape. Because sometimes it’s fun to show who you are on the outside, not just the inside.

What You’ll Need
  • Butcher paper or a brown paper bag

  • Scissors

  • Ruler

  • Optional: markers, crayons, washi tape, fabric, glue, photos, old magazines, wrapping paper, etc.

What to Do

1. Cut the paper so that it is four inches longer and wider than the book (when opened). 

2. Fold the top and bottom edges so the cover becomes the same height as the book.

3. Center the open book on the cover.

4. Fold the right-hand side of the cover snugly over the back cover of the book.

5. Close the book and folder the other side of the cover.

6. Slip the edges of the book into the cover.

7. Remove the cover from the book so you can personalize the cover (without ruining the book!). 

Ideas to Get Started
  • Favorite animals: Cut pictures of your favorite animals from old magazines or ads. Glue the pictures on the book cover.

  • Cutout cover: Cut interesting shapes out of a colored piece of paper. Glue these papers to the cover to create a collage.

  • Checkerboard pattern: Glue on patches of scrap fabric in a checkerboard pattern.

Extend the fun

Younger kids: Little ones probably won’t have schoolbooks to cover (we hope not!), so think about making covers for drawing pads, well-worn books, or homemade journals. Before starting, talk through how your child wants to personalize his cover—with markers, photos, tape, or all of it—and then let him get to work.  

Older kids: Turn this into a buddy project. Have your child invite a friend over so they can make covers together. And if one book cover isn’t enough, encourage them to make a personalized cover for each other. It can be a fun way for friends to show what they notice, respect, and value in each other. Encourage them to add a to-and-from note on the inside. It can be a nice way to carry friendship around.