DIY Fabric Covered Books


diy fabric covered books

It’s time for another DIY Summer School session hosted by Beth from designPOST interiors!  This week’s theme is “craft store” so the possibilities were pretty much endless.  If you missed any of the previous weeks you can see those here:

Round 1 – IKEA Hack: DIY Faux/Real Flower Arrangement

Round 2 – Thrifted:  Thrifted Floor Lamp

Round 3 – Wildcard: DIY Marble Slab Desk

Parker has been hard at work on a project I asked him to help with.  He’s excited for me to share his work very soon. 🙂  I emailed him at work one day asking if he could create a version of the infamous IKEA Billy bookshelves hack.  A couple of my favorites are Gwen’s from The Makerista and Kristin’s from Bliss at Home.  I wasn’t looking for anything too “built in” because we are renting.  Long story short – I shifted the living room 90 degrees and we now have a huge blank wall.  I knew we needed something big and bold.

Parker’s first response to my request was no, but after he thought about it more he came up with a plan on how to pull it off.  More to come on that soon.

My role with the bookshelves is styling.  Obviously.  Styling bookshelves isn’t for the faint of heart.  A single item can make or break the whole thing.  Wrong colored book?  I’m doomed.

I haven’t finished styling the shelves but I’ve decided on a color palette that compliments the living room.  My single favorite item to decorate with is books, and I’ll just go ahead and say that most of my books are not read.  The design books are, but the rest of the books are cookbooks and random books from Goodwill.  I hoard them for the day that I have a giant bookcase that needs to be styled.  I love decorating with books because they instantly add height and layers which is the trick to styling any area.

So these Goodwill books…yes, they are cheap, no they are not pretty.  How to make them pretty and not stick out like a sore thumb?  Cover them in coordinating fabric.  It’s been done many times, but it’s a no fail DIY.  I decided to give it a try and if I’m being totally honest, I was dreading it.  I’ve seen many tutorials on how to cover books with fabric, but craft DIY projects are not my thing.  Do I do them to save money?  Absolutely.

So I gave it a whirl, and it turned out great AND it was so easy.  Not just saying that!  I think the key to pulling off this DIY without it looking “crafty” is to use solid colored fabric that looks like an actual book.  Hey, maybe some books are chevron print, but chevron print is a little wild for me.  I chose to use a yellow mustard solid fabric because that is one of the colors I decided to use for the bookcase color palette.  Have I mentioned how much I love mustard lately?  I can’t get enough of it.

DIY Fabric Covered Books:


– ugly/cheap books

– fabric (I used 1/2 yard of each fabric.  1/2 yard will cover 1 (maybe 2) books)

craft spray adhesive

– scissors

– hot glue gun (optional)

diy fabric covered books


1. Spray the adhesive on the outside cover of the book and apply the fabric.  Make sure there are no bumps when laying the fabric.  I started with the back cover and then moved to the spine and then to the front cover.

2. Fold the corners in the front and back covers.  You can get fancy with this and cut slants on the corners.  I didn’t and you can’t tell from the outside of the book.

3.  Now for the trick.  After you get the front and back covers taken care of, you will have tabs that have no place to go on the spine.

diy fabric covered books

Use a knife to push the tabs under the spine.  This will give you clean folds.

diy fabric covered books

I’m so happy with how they turned out!

diy fabric covered books

diy fabric covered books

Please ignore those holes that have not been covered.  I’m trying to learn Photoshop right now and if I knew how they would be GONE.  They will be gone in real life too, it just hasn’t happened yet.

diy fabric covered books

Only a few weeks left to go in Summer School!

August 6th – Tool Store

August 20th – Found in nature 

diy summer school

See what the crew is up to today:

Beth, designPOST interiors

Jennifer, Dimples and Tangles

Sarah, Life on Virginia Street

Mallory, Charming in Charlotte

Kevin, Thou Swell

Lindsey, Lindsey Brooke Design

Laura, Avery Street Design

If you have a craft store DIY (and I know you do because ALL DIYS come from craft stores, right?), you can link up below.

Inspiring Business Owner: Christenberry Collection
How To Style a Bar Cart in the Living Room

6 comments on “DIY Fabric Covered Books”

  1. Can’t wait to see how you do yours Claire 🙂 I love a bookcase in a space, it just adds so much interest and you can style it up. I restyle mine all the time…it’s a disease 😉 xo Oh, and TYSM for the shout out! Feeling the love 🙂 xo

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