How to Cover School Books: An Easy Step-by-Step Guide
August 16, 2021
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The summer holidays are still here, but the new school year is fast approaching. Summer holidays give you plenty of time - and inspiration - to get creative and to adapt your style. We have the perfect activity to get those creative juices flowing and turn your average school book into something magical.

At Ryman, we can show you how to sticky back plastic an exercise book. It’s quick, easy and will keep those school books looking fresh for the entire school year and beyond!

Keep your own style by covering your books

Flatlay photo of school exercise books in green, blue and purple.Flatlay photo of school exercise books in green, blue and purple.

After a summer of running wild and free it’s not always easy to get into the new term. Stiff new shoes, early mornings and having to get back into the school routine can take their toll after the free spirited nature of the holidays. Covering school books with sticky back plastic is one way you can really show off your individual style - as well as keep your books neat and tidy for the whole year.

School book covering has been a long standing tradition in UK schools. Some of us will remember the joy of covering books with lovely wrapping paper, newspaper and even wallpaper (some 80s kids will even remember using woodchip wallpaper to cover books!).

Nowadays, some schools don't insist on books being covered - but that's no reason not to do it. We think it's a great idea! It’ll allow your child to show off their unique style, prevent school book mix ups and keep the book looking neat and tidy for longer.

How to Back a School Book

A flatlay photo demonstrating the first steps on how to sticky back plastic an exercise book. Displaying scissors, a pencil, pen and grid paper.A flatlay photo demonstrating the first steps on how to sticky back plastic an exercise book. Displaying scissors, a pencil, pen and grid paper.

Sticky back plastic, wrapping paper, stickers and washi tape, are all handy materials to help you up your book covering game. This term, we’ve got simple and easy to use sticky back plastic at Ryman for all your exercise book covering needs.

Follow our step-by-step instructions on how to sticky back plastic an exercise book and you’ll be away!

1. Measure the size you need to cut on the back of your chosen paper, allowing 5cm around the edges to fold over the back and front covers.

2. Draw a line down the centre. 

3. Using a sharp knife or scalpel score down the line so that the backing paper cuts but the plastic is untouched.

4. Hold the book with the spine on the plastic and slowly unpeel the backing. 

5. With the back of the book touching the plastic, slowly move the whole book to touch the plastic.

6. Smooth out any bubbles as you continue to peel the backing.

7. Before the backing comes off completely, fold the backing paper back over the page (so the edges stay covered).

8. Gently peel away from the top edge and smooth over, and then the bottom and smooth over. 

9. Take the backing paper off all together to fold the side down.

10. Repeat with the front of the book.

TOP TIP: If you get air bubbles after applying the sticky back plastic, use a hairdryer to soften it and smooth the bubbles out before it tightens up again.

Sometimes the best idea is to keep things simple. You can leave the current Ryman sticky back plastic as it is or get even more creative and add some imaginative drawings using Posca pens or Sharpies.

Alternative Ideas to Cover a School Book

If simple is not your kids style, then why not turn to your trusted friend the washi-tape to really personalise the look? We have washi-tape that comes in a variety of colours including green, pink and blue. If a pattern is something you think your child would prefer, we have washi-tape with vibrant patterns. Our striped washi-tape is sure to make a statement in the classroom. We have a fun bubbly pattern available with our pool orange washi-tape. However your child wants to cover their school book, Ryman will have what you need.

Our Fabric Bundles are most commonly used in textile crafts. But you can absolutely use them to cover a school book too. Why not have an enchanting exercise book for maths work? It’ll certainly be different to what everyone else has in the classroom.

Add coloured card to create a more robust cover after covering it with sticky back plastic. At Ryman we have a variety of different colours and sizes available. You don’t have to stick to one colour either, why not create a collage of colours on an exercise book?

However your kids decide to express their individuality this year, we know their books are going to look fab. So why not show them off?

Now you’ve got the fun book covering done, it’s time to get the rest of the school shop done. All of your back to school essentials are here at Ryman, grab them while we still have our brilliant offers available!

You can find all of our book covering materials in one easy place. So get decorating!