PART TWO: Making a Book!
Step One: Supplies!
- Your embroidered fabric (plan fabric or fancy paper will also work!)
- Modge Podge, matte finish ($7 for a large jar—but a small jar would be plenty)
- Wide paintbrush
- Masking tape
- Mat board (found in the framing section of craft stores like Michael’s—$3 for a large sheet)
- Scrapbook paper (50 cents for one sheet)
- Wax paper
Now things will get complicated, and my pictures aren’t the best, but I’ll do my best to explain things clearly and hopefully it will be coherent!
I didn’t get any good pictures while I was making my recovered Blue Castle, so I took supplementary pictures of me pretending to recover another book—I didn’t actually do any gluing, however, so you’ll need to use your imaginations to picture the modge podge :P
Step Two: Cutting out the cover pieces!
Cut pieces of mat board for the front and back covers, and the spine. The cover pieces for the front and back should be a quarter inch narrower than the width of the book, and about an 8th of an inch taller. The spine piece should be the width of the book’s original spine, and also an 8th of an inch taller.
The fabric or paper that you use for your cover need to be at least two inches wider on every side than the mat board pieces that you just cut out, so that there’s plenty of overlap to be folded over.
Step Three: Attach the fabric to the cover boards
Brush each piece of cut mat board lightly with modge podge, and then carefully smooth the fabric down onto it. (if your fabric is thin, like mine was, use a spray on adhesive for this step instead, because the modge podge bled through and I had to brush additional modge podge on top of the fabric, so that the spots would all blend in. This worked out and looks fine, but did darken my background fabric). On the embroidered pieces it may take a little stretching and pressing to work out air bubbles and waviness in the fabric, so just work slowly and carefully.
On the spine piece, fold the fabric over at the top and bottom, using modge podge to glue it down. For the front cover fold over the left side, and for the back cover fold over the right side (the sides that would be toward the spine). I gave everything a little while to dry, so that things wouldn’t get skewed with handling.
Step Four: Attach the new cover to the book!
Put a piece of wax paper in your book to protect the page from glue drips! This step is very important.
To attach the new cover to the book, I started with the spine, using small pieces of masking time to hold it in place. Don’t put any modge podge on the original spine—you don’t want the new spine to actually be stuck down, it needs to move freely when the book opens and closes. Brush the back cover of the book with modge podge, making sure that the wrapped around edge of the spine fabric is well saturated and stuck down, and then lay the new back cover down on that, with the folded over edge about a quarter of an inch from the edge of the spine.
Fold the raw fabric edges of the new cover over the old paperback cover, coating them with modge podge and making them as flat as possible, and then (with the wax paper in between the back cover and the book pages!) closed the book, and flip it over to repeat the process with the front cover.
Once both covers were on, I laid another piece of wax paper on top of the closed book, and put a heavy book on of it for 24 hours, so that everything would dry nice and flat. (Confession: I use the Compact Oxford English Dictionary way more often as a weight for craft projects than as a reference book). Modge Podge dries quickly, so 24 hours was probably excessive, but I didn’t want the boards to warp while they were damp from the glue.
Step Five: Ending with endpapers (…sorry)
The finishing touch isto add endpapers, to cover the raw fabric edges folded over to the insides of the covers. I just used an ordinary sheet of scrapbook paper, cut rectangles slightly smaller than the cover, brushed the inside of the cover with modge podge, smoothed on the paper pieces, and (again with the wax paper protecting the book pages!) closed the book and put the Oxford English Dictionary on top of it again for an hour or two, to make sure everything dried flat.
And then it was done!
This is a really easy way to update any paperback into a new hardback, and you can cover your book with fabric (which you can embroider) or paper (which you can stamp, paint, draw on, etc). The possibilities! they are endless!