How to Cover a Book With Leather

Written by martin adamovic
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How to Cover a Book With Leather
Make an elegant leather book cover. (Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Leather covers can protect your favourite books from dirt and dust, while giving your bookshelves an elegant and personal touch. They are easy to make from scratch. Once you complete it, you can personalise a simple cover with embellishments or embroidery, making this custom made book cover a perfect gift.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Leather piece
  • Rotary cutter
  • Leather needle
  • Leather craft glue
  • Embroidery thread
  • Button
  • Pencil or pen
  • Ruler
  • Embellishments (optional)

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  1. 1

    Spread the piece of leather inside out on a flat working surface. Place the book you want to cover open on the leather. Grab a pencil and outline the perimeter of the book on the leather. Add an extra inch to each side. Mark the lower and upper ends of the binding on the leather, drawing two lines on both sides of the binding.

  2. 2

    Reserve book and take the rotary cutter along the perimeter you just drew, which will be the main piece of the cover, and set it aside

  3. 3

    Make a 1½ inch wide strip of leather that will keep the covers closed together. Calculate the length of the strip taking the thickness of the book as a reference and add up 2 inches. Set aside.

  4. 4

    Find the lines on the main piece of leather that mark the binding. Place the piece in front of you and cut two parallel lines from the edge of the leather towards the book binding, so you end up with two small flaps. Fold them toward the centre of the leather piece and secure them with glue.

  5. 5

    Take the book and place it in the middle of the leather piece, matching the binding with the marks and the folded flaps. Make sure it fits. Fold the upper side of the leather down, about an inch over the book. Do the same with the right edge. Fold the corners where they meet and hold it in place and set the book aside for a moment. Sew the corner overlap creating the gap that will hold that corner of the book.

  6. 6

    Go over step 5 until all the corners are sewn. Make sure they fit the book but you are still able to open and close it comfortably.

  7. 7

    Make a button hole on the small leather strip, making sure the button you chose passes through the hole but it is not loose. Attach the other end of the strip to the leather cover. Sew or glue it to the centre of the fold on the right-hand side of the cover. Close the book and leave the strip hanging. Lift it toward your left hand and over the upper cover. Mark the place where you want it to meet the button to hold the book closed. Sew the button on the mark.

  8. 8

    Test the leather cover. Slide the book into it and check the leather is not too loose or too snug and the button and the strip are well attached.

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