An easy step-by-step tutorial showing how to cover a book with Kraft paper to protect the book, but also give it a decorative look!

Recently, I’ve been working on a Halloween project.  (I know, it’s a little early, but we *love* Halloween at my house!)  Anyway, I needed some “filler” pieces for one of my displays and came across a great image from This Little Sparrow showing stamped Kraft paper books.  Then and there I decided that DIY stamped kpaper-covered books would be the perfect addition to my Halloween vignette! See below for full tutorial for how to cover a book with paper!

Tidbits&Twine DIY Stamped Kraft Book Covers

The only materials I used were a roll of brown Kraft paper, wooden letter stamps and black ink.  You could also use brown paper bags instead of Kraft paper, which would make this project almost entirely free!  The downside to the paper bags, though, is that they have folds in them and are also thicker, so they don’t lay as flat and tight as the Kraft paper.

Tidbits&Twine Kraft Paper Book Covers

How to Cover a Book with Paper

How to cover a book with paper to either help preserve the cover or to make a decorative stamped book for display

Step 1

  • To cover the book, you first need to open the book flat and cut the paper so that it is about 2″ wider on the top and bottom, and about 4″ wider on each side.

Step 2

  • Next, crease the paper along the top and bottom edges of the book.  So long as you crease both top and bottom at the same time, it doesn’t matter whether the book is straight on the paper.  (Sorry about the photo – it’s hard to take a picture using only one hand!)

Step 3

  • After you’ve marked your creases, follow them to create folds in the paper.  Your paper should now be folded to the exact size of your book.

Step 4

  • For the front cover, folder the left side of your paper with a 1 1/2″ fold.

Step 5

  • Then insert the front cover into the edges of the fold.

Step 6

  • For the back cover, it is very important the you hold the book up at a 90 degree angle before making your crease on the right side.  The angle is important because it allows the spine to lie flat, which will ensure that you allow enough space for the book’s spine; otherwise, when you try to close the book the cover will be too short and will rip.

Step 7 – Finished!

  • Insert the back cover into the edge of the fold and you are done!  If you want the cover to be stable and last a long time, you can use a small piece of tape at each corner to tape together the top and the folded edges.

Once your book is covered, you’re ready to stamp!  Be sure to test out the stamps on scrap paper first so that you know how hard to press and how to space the letters.  Inevitably, some letters will be a bit crooked, but that’s part of the charm.

Tidbits&Twine Kraft Paper Book Covers Step 8

Since I was making Halloween-themed books, I chose titles accordingly.  Also, since I just needed the books to be filler in a larger vignette, I kept the stamps very simple, but you can be as simple or as ornate as you want!

Tidbits&Twine Kraft Paper Book Covers Finished

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial for how to cover a book with paper! Happy crafting!

You might also enjoy this post about how to cover books with fabric!

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  1. Thank you! It’s been a long time since school and I needed a refresher 😀

  2. Thanks for this, I just did this with with a book and while I didn’t have a roll of brown Kraft paper, I did have an old whole foods paper bag, and just used that. :)

  3. stephanie cremeans says:

    Step 4:use a ruler and measure 1 and 1/2 inches or guess about 2 inches.. from end of paper fold over at the book ( but don’t go the 12 inches to the book.) ( this is the part that the book cover goes into.) Make your fold then press down to make it a straight line. ( best that you can)
    step5 : the fold you just made is the pocket for the book cover frount and you will do step 4 for the back cover of the book. Then close the book.
    Note: Every time you open the book the cover will be lose enough to come off. That is okay you will get used to it or add tape to the inside cover to help hold but only when you have the book fully open so you don’t rip the cover off. It has to give a bit so you can open and close the book. Again will get used to it … takes about a week but trust me well worth it.

  4. I did this with my school books (back in the 70’s) and the paper wore very well! I could write & draw on them to make them my own. Not only that, they were in same shape when turned in as when I received them.

  5. I got so lost at the 4th step,, can someone explain it a bit more?

  6. Hello.
    Id like to ask, does the kraft paper trap in moisture?

    1. Hi Rozaline,

      I don’t actually know. I haven’t had this issue at all, but I live in a climate with almost no humidity so I don’t know what it might be like in other climates.


  7. Dollar Tree also has hardcover books for ….. a dollar. If you take the jacket off, the actual books often are very pretty – cream with contrasting light color binding – if you are looking for books to display.

  8. Cute. I bet this is a great addition to your Spooky Vignette. Thansk for sharing.

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Thanks, Sarah! I’ll be sharing my Halloween mantel soon!

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