Craft DIY

How to Make Decorative Covered Books

Cheap Decorating Ideas


I remember reading somewhere that the biggest mistake people make in decorating their homes is that they tend to make it either too pretty, or too practical.  I definitely fall into the latter, and have been trying in the last couple of years to add a bit of “pretty” to my home.  It definitely doesn’t come easy for me.  I’m a practical person and just see all the extra things that will need dusting.


How to Cover Books to decorate your home - before photo



This is a small bookcase in the lounge room that has been looking rather neglected for a while now.  Last year I painted the bookshelf and sanded back the edges to give it an aged look but never finished “styling”.  I keep 3 boxes on the bottom shelf which holds some kids toys, and added a plant, a few books and some bargain ornaments.  But that’s as far as I got.  I grouped some books we had of the same colour, but it just looked bare and half done.  I tried to find inspiration from the internet but found the images over styled with things that just aren’t me.  I don’t want my house to look like everyone else’s.  What I really wanted to see on the shelves was more books, but I didn’t want to buy new ones just to decorate a bookcase.  I have 4 boxes of well-loved books in my linen cupboard but they are really old and tattered.  My solution……….. cover them!


I went to Officeworks and bought a 15m roll of brown paper for $5, and spent an hour covering a stack of books.  The paper is just folded under the covers, and I’ve added a strip of scrapbooking paper which I had in a craft box to add some colour.  The strip of paper is wrapped around the book and sticky taped at the back.  Bargain decorative book makeover!


You could choose any colour paper you want, even a nice wrapping paper.  You could also wrap the books in ribbon, lace, twine, beads or use scrapbooking embellishments like paper flowers, gift tags etc.  The possibilities are endless.


How to Cover Books:

Lay the book along one edge of the paper and mark its height.

What you'll need to cover books


Cut along this mark all the way across the paper.

How to measure and cut paper correctly


Fold the paper over the book so it sits roughly in the middle, and lightly crease where the edge of the cover is.

How to fold Paper to cover books


Open the paper out, and line up the bottom of the paper together, and firmly crease up its length.

How to cover books


Tuck the front cover of the book in this crease, and repeat for the back.

How to use Brown Paper to cover books   How to decorate books with Brown paper   How to cover Books using Brown Paper


With the scrapbooking paper, I cut a strip approximately 5cm wide (pick any width you like, depending on the size of the book).

How to Cut Ribbon to Cover Books


Wrap around the book and secure at the back with sticky tape.  I also wrote the title of the book on the back for easy reference.

Completed Book Covered


Completed Beautiful Bookcase



This is the ultimate budget makeover.  I didn’t purchase anything except the $5 roll of brown paper.  I used ornaments I already had, and moved some from other parts of the house to fill in the gaps.  Now I love it.  To me it looks practical and pretty and I love every single thing on it.


Tip.  The picture in the square frame is actually a birthday card.  I’ve just popped it into a frame that lost its glass (thank you children).


Beautiful DIY Picture Frame


Don’t forget to check out the video on How to Make Decorative Covered Books

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Or if your looking for more tips and ideas on how to decorate on a budget then don’t forget to also check out our post on the Power of Paint. You’ll be surprised how much a little paint can change the look of your home and furniture.

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