Book Cover


Butcher's Linen (Chap. I, Par. 42). Linen Crash (Chap. I, Par. 44).

1 piece of linen 1" longer than length of book and 8" wider than twice the width of the book to be covered, measuring from the edge of the book to the middle of the back binding.

Colored embroidery floss with Crewel or embroidery needle to correspond.

White thread No. 70.

Needle No. 8.

Introductory Statement

Everyone loves a nicely bound book, but the hard use to which books are sometimes placed, oftentimes destroys the beauty of the binding. A book that is used constantly may be protected by some sort of cover, either cloth or tough paper. Books which are carried back and forth to school and exposed to different kinds of weather may be made to last very much longer and retain their newness if properly covered.

The book cover presented in this lesson is made of cloth and may be constructed to fit any size book, the book of course being measured before the project is begun. When such a book cover becomes soiled it may be easily removed and washed.


Bookbinding, in Printing and Writing Materials, A. M. Smith. New International Encyclopaedia, Vol. III, pp. 224-226.

Suggestions For Optional Modification

Suggestions For Optional Modification 17

Cover For Story Book

No. 1. This book cover is made of linen crash to fit a book entitled, "The Story of the Three Bears." An original design is transferred with carbon paper and worked with the outline etching stitch in brown and dark green.

Cover For Cookbook

No. 2. This book cover is made of white linen, or Indian head to fit a cookbook. The design is worked with the outline etching stitch. White oil cloth also makes a suitable cover for a cookbook.

Book Cover For Christmas

No. 3. This book cover is made of linen crash to fit a book used as a Christmas gift, the season being indicated by the holly, blue birds, and Christmas wishes.

Book Cover For Textbook

No. 4. This book cover is made to fit a textbook on manual training. The design on the front cover of the book was copied by laying thin white paper over the cover and tracing the design on the paper, then transferring it to the book cover with carbon paper. It is worked with brown embroidery cotton using the outline etching stitch.

Working Directions For Book Cover

Preparing Material

If necessary straighten the shorter edge of the material (Chap. II, Par. 102). Straighten the adjoining edge of the material in like manner. If either edge is a selvage trim off about 1/4" of it to keep the edge from puckering when laundered.

The size of the book cover will depend on the size of the book which you wish to cover. The length of the book cover should be 1" more than the length of the book. This will allow for two 1/4" hems with 1/4" turnings. The flaps should be wide enough to hold the cover securely in its place on the book. Three to 3 1/2" is a good width for a moderate sized book cover. The width of the book cover should be twice the width of the book from the edge of the cover to the middle of the back binding plus 7 1/2" for the two flaps and hems.

Measure out on the short edge of the material the length of the book cover; draw a thread lengthwise and cut on the line. Measure down the long edge the dimension for the width of the book cover and draw a thread crosswise; cut on the line.

To Finish The Long Edges

The long edges of the book cover should be finished with hems before the flaps are turned, so they will lap under properly when the flaps are made to receive the cover of the book. On one edge make a hem 1/4" wide with a 1/4" first turning creasing it carefully on a thread. Baste with even basting (Chap. II, Par. 103). Try the cover on the book to see whether the 1/4" hem allowed on the other side will make it just the right size. The other hem should be just the same width as the first one; if there is extra material there, trim it off even with a thread. Make the hem on the second edge in the same manner as the first.

To Make The Flap

The raw edge on the end of the flap might be finished with a plain hem 1/4" to 1" deep, but a hemstitched hem is more attractive, so it has been Used in the cover shown in the illustration. It is to be 1/2" wide. Fold, pin crosswise, baste and single hemstitch in place (Chap. II, Par. 115). Prepare the opposite end in the same way.

To finish the first flap, fold the end of the cloth over 3" onto the wrong side of the material. Baste with even basting (Chap. II, Par.

103), and overhand (Chap. II, Par. 109) the ends onto the body of the book cover. Prepare the other flap in the same manner.

The Design

The initial to be placed on the book cover may be designed in the drawing class, or a commercial pattern may be used. The initial designed should be simple in form for it requires considerable practice to work an elaborate initial.

If a commercial pattern is used, transfer the initial by laying it rough side down in the proper place on the book cover and pressing it with a hot iron. To use the carbon paper, pin a piece a trifle larger than the letter in the place desired, place the initial over it and trace around it with a lead pencil. Remove the pattern and carbon paper.

To Work The Initial

The initial is to be worked with the satin stitch (Chap. II, Par. 131). Use embroidery cotton that will harmonize or contrast nicely in color and fineness with the material. The padding for the satin stitch may be done with embroidery cotton of appropriate color.

To Work The Initial 18