While you can purchase commercially produced, reusable book covers, it is easy as pie to make your own.

Simply make one for each child in a couple of sizes, rather than cover every book you care about.

The one pictured left,  is designed to fit our set of G.A. Henty books from Preston Speed Publishing. These were a considerable investment, and are passing through the hands of multiple little girls. (Poor Henty would be horrified I’m sure, to see his stories covered in pink and purple.)

My goal is that when the first three are finished reading them, they will still be in good, clean order for the fourth girl to read, and suitable to pass down to their own children when the time comes.

You could make the cover from any fabric, but I chose polar fleece because;

  • I can’t sew for peanuts, and polar fleece does not need hemming.
  • It has hydrophobic properties.  While it won’t help if the book is dumped in the bath, it will protect from splashes, wet hands and sticky surfaces.
  • I happened to have  some on hand.

Here’s how easy it is:


Cut a rectangle to suit your book size.  For a large, Reader’s Digest hardcover book, I cut the above rectangle sized at 56cm x 25cm.  For the Henty collection, I made another rectangle sized 43cm x 23cm.


Fold in a 10cm section, and sew top and bottom.  This is to slip over the front cover of the book.


27cm from the now left edge of your cover, sew a piece of elastic. This will hold the cover in place, and you can also tuck the excess on the right, into the elastic as you read.

sew elastic at top and bottom

The right side of the cover extends with length to allow for different thickness of volumes, and so that when the book is closed, it can be flipped over to the front, to protect the exposed edge of pages (as pictured in the very first photo).


Add a ribbon bookmark to avoid finding combs, tissues, leaves or other goodies used as emergency bookmarks.  It also leaves no excuse for flipping the book upside down while open, to hold a place.

Decorate with beads, ribbons, embroidery, iron on motifs or a cut out of fabric in another colour.  Experiment with fabrics such as denim, leather, corduroy, or micro suede.  These can be as elaborate as you have time and inclination for, or the “low sew” option of polar or micro fleece can be a simple gift even a child  can make for friends or family.

If you are a crafty soul and make something beautiful, please post a picture on your blog, and leave a message here, so I can see your creations 🙂