Tutorial: Deceptive dust covers

Tutorial: Deceptive dust covers

I first came up with the idea for this project a number of years ago. I am a neat freak at heart, so color co-ordination sometimes gets the better of me. I created these simple dust covers to cover up the books we own that weren’t exactly in keeping with the look we were trying to achieve. So instead of banishing them to the back of the shelf, I came up with a sneaky and deceptive way of recovering them so they can be part of the team again.

What you need

  • Weighted craft paper (enough to cover your book)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Thin gold pen
  • Thick gold marker
  • Adhesive (to add another layer of paper to your covers, NOT to glue the dustcover to your book)

Step One

Lay your book flat on the paper — completely flat — ensuring the spine is flat as well, otherwise you won’t get a truly accurate width for your book. Align with the bottom of the construction paper; this way you don’t have to cut out the entire shape of the book.

Step Two

On the construction paper, roughly mark the height of your book. Make sure to leave sufficient space on either side of the book to fold the side flaps.

Step Three

With a ruler, draw a lovely straight line for the top and cut out. You will be left with a piece of paper the same height as your book, but wider on each side.

Step Four

Fold the construction paper template around the book cover. What I do next is put pressure along the edges to make sure the folds are defined, and I use my fingernail to define the edge of the spine.

Step Five

Using a ruler and your gold marker, draw a design down the spine of your cover. Here’s where your creativity comes in. I took inspiration from some of my favorite old books; alternatively, you can find images of old books. I also cut out a little label for added charm.

Step Six

With your pencil, lightly mark where you will place the text. Once you’re happy with it, go over with the thin gold pen. Affix any labels if you choose, et voila, you’re finished!

Finished piece:

Additional photos I took, showing my dust covers along side ‘normal’ books. See if you can find them!

Words and images: Alex Cobbe (original tutorial)

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