Covering School Books

December 15, 2010

All the parents are talking about it but why do you need to cover school books?  That’s what I thought when my first child went to school.  Some say it’s because the books last longer.  This may be true; however, most exercise books will easily last the year uncovered.  I think the main reason why parents cover their children’s school books is it allows the child to experience a personalised touch and books are easy for the child to identify.

When it comes to covering school books, there are a few ways to do it.

1. Contact: My contact experience hasn’t been a positive one.  I tried SOOOO hard to get a smooth finish but NEVER could.  I tried the pin in the bubble, the pull back and try again and the rub it out method but the contact would not bend to my will. Jolly thing.

2. Book cover: Clear and coloured plastic book covers are a great idea and can be purchased from stationery stores.

3. Paper: Wrapping paper or brown craft paper can be used to cover books.  This is  my preference because it’s easy, cheap and can be customised for each child.  I use brown craft paper and the children use stickers and drawings to personalise their books.  I then write the child’s name on the brown paper with permanent marker and place a clear book cover over the top. All done!

I’ve detailed below how to cover books with paper or contact.

how to cover school books

1. Place open book down on the paper and cut to size allowing at least 5 cm around the edges.

2. Cut a triangle on each corner down to the corner point of the book.

3. Cut a 1 cm rectangle where the spine of the book will be.

4. It should look like this.

5. Fold in the sides of the paper and stick with tape on the inside of the book cover.

6. Decorate with stickers or coloured drawings.

7. Cover with a plastic book cover.

Covering school books

Note: Rolls of brown craft paper can be purchased from Officeworks, Kmart, Target, Woolworths, Coles and specialised stationery stores.

Be A Fun Mum Links

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

lifeinapinkfibroNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 7:24 am

Great post. I’ll be coming back at the end of January, when I’m in a rush to do them overnight…


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 7:43 am

LOL. I post about it now but I’ll be in a rush too. I’m moving and don’t know where my children will be going to school yet. For me it will be a mad rush to organise three children for school the week before school starts. Can’t wait. Yipee! NOT!


Peta WrightNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 7:34 am

Hi Kelly.
That’s a fabulous idea! Much more parent and even child friendly as it allows them to be involved in this super exciting and fun process!!! Love your ideas, they are always so practical Enjoy the school holidays. Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Blessed New Year to you and your family.


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 7:41 am

You’re exactly right Peta. I’ve tried many different ways to cover books and this is by far the best way for me and the kids.

Merry Christmas!


TrishNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 7:56 am

Hi Kelly!
Covering school books is one of my most favourite jobs ever…it is so much fun…for my daughters i have also tried the character contact with much failure i might add and much frustration too- so we like the same as u…either brown paper or white paper or even coloured paper- i have even used left over Christmas wrapping paper turned inside out then we stick pictures, tags off clothes like cool labels etc, pictures of herself doing activities eg- rollerblading, etc etc any fun , interesting designs to the books …but i do find they do last longer if then contacted with clear contact after the decorating stage…working in a school myself i see some books not covered – covers rip off as they r throw into desks quickly etc etc…so i do think covering them is best. (Also helps the teacher to see quickly whose book is who)
One of fav book covering stories was many years ago i was covering books for a close friends daughters and in the middle their small dog walked across the brown paper therefore leaving footprints across her book – well i was horrified but the young girl thought it was FABULOUS so the design stayed …LOL…


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t do contact! I thought of you when I wrote this because of how much you like to do this! Thanks for your perspective as a teacher’s aide.


JadeNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 8:00 am

This is how i love to cover our kids books too. We often put photos or pictures of them or their favourite things. Love it! :)


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Photos! YES! I actually didn’t think of that. Thanks Jade. x


suburpNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 10:36 am

i used to be the Queen of contact foil, going to pimp up furniture and stereo speakers etc.. i always have some transparent foil at home for all kinds of projects.
this said, when i was in highschool, i covered books in posters of bands i liked (or NOT. to scribble them ugly) or used pages of big photo calendars that my mum had every year. i really think the protection factor was secondary, it was all about making your history book looking cool. :)


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 6:06 pm

lol… I too, remember in high school scribbling all sorts of things over the covers for that “cool” look. As for the Queen of Contact… well that would make me a servant for sure…


Michelle Dennis EvansNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 1:49 pm

cute video :)
Another thing I love about homeschool…. I haven’t covered a book for 3 years! I might cover some this year … just for fun :)


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 6:08 pm

You are making me quite envious of homeschooling! But yes… it is kinda fun… especially for the kids.


Veggie mamaNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 8:39 pm

What an awesome diagram! i love covering books, I even covered the ones I used at uni. #nerd


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar December 18, 2010 at 12:31 am

lol. Love it!


Kathryn RoddaNo Gravatar December 19, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I LOVE covering books, so much that my sister-in-law pays me a block of chocolate per child’s books that I cover each year. She hates it. She reckons I should charge her friends for it too, as they all complain about it! I used to do my brother’s uni books that cost a fortune because Mum can’t do contact. When I was a kid though, it was always brown paper, sometimes decorated, and covered with thick plastic (before contact). My now adult cousin one year saved all the comics out of the papers and covered her books in them.


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar December 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm

lol you know you could start a business or something!


StylingYouNo Gravatar January 7, 2011 at 10:22 pm

I’ve long been a big fan of the brown paper covering. And then sometimes I would add clear plastic on top (not contact!). The best years were when I friend of mine at my old work place insisted that give her all my kids’ books to contact because she LOVED doing it!


ChristieNo Gravatar January 8, 2011 at 8:28 am

Great visuals, I love your ideas, so timely too, I’ve nearly come to terms with the fact that I have to go and purchase from the school list. Nearly.


Hear Mum RoarNo Gravatar January 8, 2011 at 10:36 am

I love contact! I find it helps if you have a flat, clean, shiny surface (eg, not the bed or carpets!). Pull your hair back so it doesn’t end up in the contact, and gently roll the book onto the contact. I also smooth it carefully with a ruler.


elNo Gravatar January 13, 2011 at 8:10 pm

does anyone know where i can buy coloured contact for books .
eg red, blue green


SharonNo Gravatar October 27, 2011 at 8:56 pm

If you are short on time and still want great looking school books try this site good on the environment too :)


DebbieNo Gravatar January 24, 2012 at 10:05 pm

when putting contact onto book always use a ruler to push the contact on and 90% of the time no bubbles ….I love covering book but just need to find something as my boy is going into highschool and he is my 1st one to go so unsure what to put on them….Thinking of finding pictures of cars .,……


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar January 25, 2012 at 10:48 am

Great tip! Thanks Debbie.


forsythiaNo Gravatar January 28, 2014 at 9:04 am

Thanks for posting this. I was getting VERY frustrated before I saw your directions.


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