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DIY paper bag schoolbook covers

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix th...

A reason to take care of their books!

Many schools require kids to use book covers to protect their textbooks during the school year. If your child hates the lame covers they get at school but you're not willing to drop money on a pricey Bieber cover, make your own at home using paper grocery bags and a little creativity!

A reason to take care of their books!

These DIY paper bag schoolbook covers will delight kids with a one-of-a-kind cover for their textbooks. The best part is, if they outgrow One Direction (or ladybugs) during the school year, all they need to do is make another cover — no money wasted!

DIY paper bag schoolbook cover


  • Paper grocery bag in decent condition
  • Textbook
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • 1 (4-1/2 x 3-1/4-inch) composition notebook
  • Precision knife (i.e., X-Acto)
  • Ribbon
  • Rubber cement or spray adhesive
  • Clear tape
  • Craft and scrapbooking supplies



Cut your paper bag

A reason to take care of their books!

Open and cut the paper bag up one seam. When you get to the bottom, turn the scissors to cut the bottom out. You should end up with a perfectly rectangular piece of paper.


Measure the book

A reason to take care of their books!

Place your bag (outside up if it has print on the outside) on a flat surface. Place your textbook open to about the center in the middle of the rectangle of paper, making sure that it's as square as possible. Use the pencil to mark where the edges of the book are. We like drawing a full line the whole way down the edges to make it easier to see where the fold should be.


Fold the cover

A reason to take care of their books!

Start by folding the long edges down, using the pencil lines as a mark. Then do the short edges.


Insert the book

A reason to take care of their books!

Place the front cover of the book into the pocket created by the folding. Then insert the back cover into the other edge. Use the scissors to cut a bit off either short edge if necessary.

A reason to take care of their books!


Add the extras

You could call it done there, but at SheKnows, that's just not how we roll!

A reason to take care of their books!

Give your child a convenient place to jot down homework assignments. Take a small composition book and open it to about the center. Use the utility knife to carefully cut the book in half down the spine (you could use the whole notebook, but that would prop open the book too much).

A reason to take care of their books!

Place the book on the inside front or back cover where you want it positioned, and use the pencil to mark where the spine is. Remove the flap from the cover of the textbook and use the knife or scissors to carefully cut through only the one layer of the paper. Use tape on the reverse side (the side that won't show) to reinforce the slit so it's not likely to tear. Replace the cover and slide the cardboard into the slit.

A reason to take care of their books!

You can also give your kid a bookmark. Remove the front or back cover. Measure a length of ribbon 1-1/2 times the length of the length of the cover. Using a ruler, place a hash mark in the middle of the book cover's spine (halfway between the top and bottom of the book. Use glue or tape to secure the ribbon to the inside of the cover about 1 inch above the hash mark with the long half of the ribbon coming over the top of the book. Replace the cover.


Secure your cover and decorate

Use tape or glue to secure your book cover without taping it to the book itself.

A reason to take care of their books!

Then get to decorating! We used these stylized ladybugs from the SheKnows kids' activity center, but you could also find high-quality images of your kids' favorite celebs and print them on photo paper. Cut them out if desired. Use glue to secure the images where you want them. Leave the back cover blank for your child to add his or her own fun doodles!

A reason to take care of their books!

Don't forget to label the front and spine of the book with the name of the class and put your kid's name and your email address or phone number inside the book in case it gets lost.

More back-to-school crafts

Back-to-school crafts for kids
Handmade teacher gifts for back to school
DIY lunch chart

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