Stretch Fabric Vinyl Book Covers
Book covers are becoming more widely used, but finding one personalized to your style isn’t always easy. What’s more, high quality book covers can be quite expensive. So how can you create the perfect personalized book cover on a budget? Stretch vinyl book covers are a great alternative to store-bought ones and are an easy craft project almost anyone can do.
Vinyl is often used as faux leather and is very durable; because of this, it makes an excellent protector from the weather and jostling movements in a backpack. Typically, book covers stretch to fit the book, but because vinyl is such a strong fabric, it doesn’t necessarily allow you to create an elastic fit. Most vinyl book covers are made specifically to fit one book. So how can you make a stretch vinyl book cover that will fit different books? It’s a bit of work, but well worth the end result.
Here’s what you will need:
- 1 book that is approximately the size of most books you will be using the cover for (most text books are within inches of the same size)
- Vinyl fabric
- Thread that matches the color of the vinyl
- A sewing needle strong enough for leather
- Thimble (optional)
- Elastic cord that is approximately .25 inches in width.
Step One: Open your text book and lay it flat on a table. Measure the full length and width. Record the measurements in inches. Now close the book and measure the width of the front cover. Record that measurement in inches. Take the width of the cover and the width of the entire book and add them together. Record this measurement as your “total width.” Add 1.5 inches to the length of the book and record this measurement as your ‘total length’. Keep all measurements- you will need them later.
Step Two: Lay your piece of vinyl fabric flat on a table (with the inside- duller side- face up). Measure and draw a rectangle using your ‘total width’ and ‘total length’ measurements. Carefully cut the rectangle out and discard of the remaining fabric.
Step Three: Return to your measurements. Take your width of your book cover and divide by two. Record that number as “inside flap.”
Step Four: Return to your piece of fabric. At each end (width wise) of the rectangle measure inward the measurement of your “inside flap.” Mark each end.
Step Five: Around your entire rectangle, fold the fabric down 1 inch and pin.
Step Six: Thread your needle and put on your thimble. Vinyl can sometimes be hard to sew and I wouldn’t recommend trying without protection for your fingers. A thimble is necessary. On the shorter sides of the rectangle carefully sew the 1 inch fold closed leaving approximately ½ inch between the seam and the corner of the fabric.
Step Seven: On each side where there are ‘inside flaps’ marks, fold the fabric at the marks. Your marks should create the crease. Sew starting from the corner and working inward until you get to the end of the fold. Do not sew any further. Repeat at each of the three remaining sides.
Step Eight: Now you should only have two areas left that have not been sewed. They should be at the top and bottom of your stretch vinyl book cover. Just as you did before with the 1 inch folds, sew them down leaving approximately ½ inch between the seam and the corner of the fabric.
Step Nine: Now starting at one of the corners where the ‘inside flaps’ meets the seam you just sewed pull through the .25 inch elastic cord. Go the entire way through the edges of your ‘inside flaps’ and the remaining 1 inch folds.
Pull the elastic as tight as appropriate for your book measurement and try on your new stretch vinyl book cover!