Bookish Creativity – Making A Book Sleeve

It´s time to unleash the bookish creativity!

It´s time to (re)start my book sleeve project! 

You know what a book sleeve is, right? Those functional fabric pouches that protect books? The ones with all kinds of stylish designs that are mainly seen on Instagram or Pinterest? Yeah, those. Now, some claim these book sleeves are a must-have for every book lover. Personally, I think book sleeves are nice to have but they´re definitely not a must-have item. Especially for the prices they´re being sold for. 10 – 18 Euros for a book sleeve is not in my book-ish budget. I also don´t really feel the need to protect my physical books. But I still see the appeal. Book sleeves are cute. Sometimes a tad expensive but adorable.  

This is why I started making my own. I wanted to see for myself if the prices for these book sleeves are justified. I was curious to find out if these book sleeves could be easily made at home by someone who´s totally incapable of using a sewing machine ( like myself ). So, I started my book sleeve project.

The only things I needed were:

  • fabric
  • sewing machine

I have fabric. I have a sewing machine. So I began. And the end result wasn´t so terrible.

Not bad, right? All I did was take old shirts and an old comforter, cut them to the right size and sewed in semi-straight lines. Voila! Yes, I know it´s not perfect but I did the job. A book fits in each sleeve and that´s all that matters. I saved money! I didn´t save much time, though. Sewing these book sleeves took me almost 3 hours.

But this time I wanted to take things a little further. I wanted to see if I could ditch my sewing machine and use a different, easier technique. Cause let´s face it, I can´t handle a sewing machine. Not only am I terrible at sewing straight lines ( which you can see in the right picture ) I´m also afraid my finger will slip under the needle. I´ve heard sewing machine horror stories from people who knew people who also knew people, you know? Can´t be too careful.

It took me weeks to find an alternative- Hemming tape. So, I ordered a roll ( 4 Euros for 5 meters ) and when it arrived I went straight to work!

As for the fabric: I went for something simple again- Jeans and cotton. An old, last worn in 2001 jeans shirt from the hubby and an old pair of shorts I used for garden work.

The reason for the two fabrics is because I need something smooth and soft that acts like a puffer on the inside and something rougher on the outside. We don´t wanna harm our books, right?

After I cut the fabric to the right size ( which size that was, I don´t know. I go by eye measurements ) I cut some of the hemming tape and placed it on 3 edges.

( NOTE: The third pic has hemming tape on the top and bottom. I had to remove the upper stripe to create a pouch, which I didn´t take a picture of )

I used a paperback book from Devney Perry as it´s one of the larger paperbacks I have ( 22cm x 15cm ).

With everything cut and in place it was time to whip out the iron. Hemming tape is nothing more than ironing tape. It needs to be ironed between fabric. The heat from the iron melts the tape and glues the fabric together.

I know I´m not fooling anyone. I´m not trying to. My eye measurement skills suck just as much as my sewing skills do. That won´t stop me from continuing, though. The idea is to see if I can save money. Not to win the book sleeve of the year award.

This is the left side of the book sleeve. The part that gets flipped. No one will see my errors. I can totally live with that.

The next part was the easiest and most satisfying: cutting off the excess fabric around the parts I didn´t glue together and flipping the fabric inside out.

The hemming tape did its magic! The fabric held together. The only problem I noticed after having flipped the fabric was that I needed to do something with the opening. That meant I had to flip it back to the left side and use a little more hemming tape.

I´m happy to announce that the book sleeve project was a success! It may not be as perfect or as beautiful as the book sleeves offered on Etsy but it still works. I´m proud.

So, what did we learn today? You don´t necessarily need to buy a book sleeve. You can easily make one yourself with older shirts/towels/blankets/older pillowcases. Also, you don´t necessarily need a sewing machine to make a book sleeve.If you´re as talented as I am with a sewing machine then go for the hemming tape!

Time invested: 40 minutes

Cost: 4 Euros

All in all, think if anyone wants to pay good money for a handmade product that “protects” books then they should. If the quality of a handmade product is great then there´s no reason not to want to invest. Because that´s what´s valued. Personally, I value handmade products but it´s more of a “Do I really need it?” issue for me.


QUESTIONs OF THE DAY

Do you own a book sleeve? How many do you have? Have you ever made your own book sleeve? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat ❤

Dear bookish Padawans, I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Be sure to stay tuned for the next DIY bookish-project!

Much love,