How to make homemade bible covers

Written by sharon cotton
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How to make homemade bible covers
Protect your Bible with a homemade cover. (holy bible on the blue background image by Alexey Klementiev from

Bible covers are a good way to carry your Bible conveniently. A well-constructed Bible cover will have pockets for holding notepaper and pens. Many also have ribbons to use as bookmarks to hold your place for your favourite verses. You can personalise your Bible cover to suit your needs and show your personality.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Iron-on interface fabric
  • Thread
  • New sewing machine needle
  • 5/8 yard of strapping material
  • Cutting board
  • Rotary cutter
  • Scissors
  • 1-inch piece of Velcro
  • 12-inch pieces of different colour ribbon (3)

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  1. 1

    Select your fabric. You may want to make your pockets from a different pattern. Quilted fabric is most often used for Bible covers. You may also like a more tailored look. Personalising your Bible cover will make it unique.

  2. 2

    Measure your Bible. Measure the height, width and the distance around the Bible. A standard Bible measures approximately 6-by-9 inches. Bible sizes vary depending on the manufacturer, the font size and the amount of annotations and maps within the text. Careful measurements are the best; add 1 ¼ inches to all outside measurements for the seam allowance.

  3. 3

    Cut a rectangular piece of fabric, according to the measurements. Also, cut a piece of the lining material and the interfacing, according to the measurements. Use a measured cutting board and rotary cutter to ensure a well-aligned rectangle.

  4. 4

    Cut the pockets for the inside of the cover. This will be where you use your contrasting fabric. Cut two pieces of the contrasting fabric to the desired size. For a pen pocket, make the height of the pocket approximately 5 1/2 inches to accommodate a standard size pen. Make the width approximately 3 inches to allow you to carry more than one pen or pencil. Your notepaper pocket will need to be the same height as the bible cover, but about 3 inches shorter than the width of the Bible.

  5. 5

    Iron the interfacing in place on the lining.

  6. 6

    Embellish the cover. Before sewing the lining/interfacing piece to the front cover fabric, you may want to be creative with the front cover. Embroidery or beading will add to the personality of the cover.

    How to make homemade bible covers
    (1700s bible book image by Allyson Ricketts from
  7. 7

    Sew the pieces of fabric, right sides together, for the pen pocket leaving the bottom of the pocket open. Turn the pen pocket right side out and press the seams to make the pocket square and flat.

  8. 8

    Sew the pieces of fabric, right sides together, for the notepaper pocket, leaving the side of the pocket open. This is one of the long sides of this piece.

  9. 9

    Sew on the pen pocket. The pen pocket goes on the left side of the lining fabric (finished side). Placement of the pen pocket should be in the centre of the left side of the lining fabric. The unfinished side of the pen pocket will align with the bottom of the lining. This placement allows the pen pocket to be on the opening side of the Bible when the cover is in place.

  10. 10

    Sew on the notepaper pocket. Place the notepaper pocket on the right side of the lining fabric (finished side). Placement of the notepaper pocket is with the finished edge toward the middle of the lining rectangle with the unfinished end along the right side of the rectangle.

  11. 11

    Sew a 1 1/2-inch piece of Velcro on the end of the 3-inch piece of strapping material. Finish the end of the strapping material to avoid later fraying of the strap.

  12. 12

    Sew the 3-inch piece of strapping material to the wrong side of the lining in the middle of the lining on the side with the notepaper pocket between the pocket fabric and the lining fabric.

  13. 13

    Sew one of the 5-inch pieces of strapping material to each wrong side of the lining to make the handles. To make comfortable handles, measure evenly on both sides from the middle of the lining fabric and place the ends 5 inches apart.

  14. 14

    Sew the 3 pieces of ribbon to the wrong side of the centre top of the lining.

  15. 15

    Place the lining assembly and the front of the cover together with the right sides of the fabric together. Pin the two pieces of fabric on all four sides, leaving 6 inches open at the bottom of the cover so that you can turn the cover right side out.

  16. 16

    Sew the pieces together using a ½-inch seam allowance. Backstitch the ends of the seam to reinforce it during turning of the fabric. Clip corners diagonally and trim the seam as much as possible. Avoid trimming too close and weakening the seams.

  17. 17

    Turn the cover right side out. Use your handles to help turn the assembled cover. Push the corners of the cover to make a smooth square. You will need to use a pointed object, such as a knitting needle, to help make the corners square.

  18. 18

    Press the seams to a crisp edge. Press the open end of the cover to match the seams. Use a ½-inch seam allowance and stitch around the entire cover.

  19. 19

    Sew the other side of the Velcro piece to the centre front of the cover, aligning it with the Velcro on the strap.

Tips and warnings

  • Cutting all the pieces at the same time will help organise your project.
  • Using a new machine needle will help avoid thread breakage.
  • Sew slowly to ease over the handles and make a straight top stitch.
  • Assemble the lining first, most of the hidden work is done on the lining.

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