Here is a step by step to a mini project I was working on today. I was looking for an easy way to add some bold color and pattern to our display shelves, and decided on using that old stand-by of recovering books with more interesting sleeves.
THEN I stopped in to Fabricland to grab some fabric adhesive for the project and got sucked into the button section…..
A button is such a timeless adornment, and the styles available are endless! My brain is still spinning with all the things I could use buttons for, besides their intended use. It was then that I decided to include them in this project. What could be cuter than button embellishments on the spine of a book?
All you need for this project is:
-fabric of your choice
-as many old books as you’d like to cover!
-fabric fusible tape
-hot glue gun
1. Lay your book, opened, on top of your chosen fabric which is placed good side down. A hardcover book works best for this project (yes, this was my book….it was a phase…)
2-3. If your book already has a sleeve (as most hardcovers do) simply lay the sleeve out flat with the inside panels folded out and trace.
4. With a ruler measure a second tracing 1 1/2 times the width of your fabric fusing tape. This will give you your ‘ seam ‘ allowance. Once you have your sleeve tracing bordered with your seam allowance cut it out.
5. Follow the instructions on your particular fabric tape. My tape instructed me to lay it in position, paper side up.
6. Iron tape to fabric. My instructions said to set my iron to ‘ silk ‘ setting. This was not hot enough to melt the tape so I had to move up to the ‘ wool ‘ setting, which ended up working perfectly. I am working with lighter upholstery weight fabric, so I needed more heat for better adhesion.
7. Once you’re reasonably sure the heat from your iron has melted the sticky side of the tape to your fabric, you can peel away the paper. It’s hard to see in this photo, but it’s obvious when the tape is adhering, because you can see that the paper is clean of sticky and the fabric is covered in it.
8. Fold your fabric over the width of the tape (in my case 5/8th of an inch) and press with the iron again. Keep pressing until the sticky part (yes, that is the technical term) has adhered to both sides of the fabric, holding your seam in place.
9-10. Repeat this process all the way around your fabric so you end up with the image shown above #10.
And that is all of STAGE ONE, pretty easy, right? This is my first time using fabric tape. I usually just use the sewing machine, but not everyone has one, and I really wanted to try this product out so I could see just how easy it is. I am not disappointed, it definitely is quick and easy. I do think if I were making sleeves that were meant to be more functional than decorative, I would use the machine. The tape doesn’t seem to have the strength to hold up long term on moving parts, but for this project it does the trick.
Now to make the pockets for the cover of the book to tuck into:
As shown above, fold the fabric around the book as you would a paper sleeve.
7. Line up your pockets so they are the same depth on each side.
8. Mark where your pocket will fold to.
9. Cut a length of your fabric tape in half. Remember when you were tracing and measuring for your new sleeve? You should still have that extra 1/2 width of tape to create your pocket.
10. Line up your marks and fold. Iron FIRMLY. This was the most difficult area to get the tape to adhere properly. I had to hold the iron on for a long time to get the glue hot enough to stick properly. I also ended up using a dab or two of hot glue on the corners that the tape was just not holding.
11. VOILA! And there you have your fabric sleeve! One more small pointer. After placing the sleeve on for the first time I decided to remove it and iron the folds along the spine. It creates a more fitted looking sleeve.
Repeat on as many book as you would like! I just finished two….for now! I am pleased with the result. Give it a try! let me know how your new book sleeves turn out.
If you like it, pin it!
UPDATE: I forgot to mention! I added the buttons down the side in true ‘no-sew’ form and used a hot glue gun. I’m tellin’ ya, those hot glue guns are magic……