How to Cover School Books Step by Step
August 29, 2018

The summer is here and school still seems like a distant dream - but the first days of the new year will be here before you know it. The summer holidays give you lots of time - and inspiration - to get creative and to adapt your style, so why not channel some of that creativity and turn it into book covering joy when you turn your bog standard school exercise books into something more suited to your personality?

Read our handy guide for covering plain, boring school book covers and a few ideas for how to use the new products in our book covering range .You’ll surely feel inspired after reading this handy guide - so grab those books (or your children’s) and get busy with the craft box!

Keep your own style by covering your books

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 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.

Here’s why:

1. Most schools hand out the same colour and style exercise books, workbooks and textbooks - covering your book makes it easier to keep yours together with the rest of your things.

2. Being the same as everyone else can take a toll on our creativity - and creativity makes you more motivated, happy and enthusiastic. Covering your books gives you a chance to express your individuality, and therefore do better at school.

3. It’s just really nice looking at something lovely you made yourself rather than a dull exercise book in a weird faded grey colour that the school must have found in a box from the 1950s.

4. It keeps things neater. Books - especially text books - are handed down from year to year (oh the joy when you’re handed a new-ish text book!) and they are inevitably going to have scuffs, scribbles and weird marks on them. Cover them up to clean them up - and give them a chance to live for a few more years after you’ve used them. Sustainability at its most creative!

How to cover books with Ryman Glitter sticky back plastic

Sticky back plastic (plain or patterned), brown paper, wrapping paper, wallpaper, stickers, washi tape, photos, pictures from magazines, scraps and postcards are all handy materials to help you up your book covering game. This term, we just love Ryman's new range of glitter sticky back plastic. It comes in 3 colours - teal, dusky pink or silver. It’s so easy to work with and feels great.

Dusky Pink:



Here’s how to cover a book with it.

With a pencil, measure out the size you need to cut, allowing 5cm around the edges to fold over the back and front covers.

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

Hold the book with the spine on the plastic and slowly unpeel the backing. With the back of the book touching the plastic, slowly move the whole book to touch the plastic, smoothing out any bubbles as you continue to peel the backing.

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

Then gently peel away from the top edge and smooth over, and then the bottom and finally take the backing paper off all together to fold the side down.

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. The glitter book covering feels nice to the touch and is so beautiful that you will want to use it for every book!

Here we've made some simple labels the off-cuts. Now the exercise books are covered, they feel sturdier and of a higher quality, but they also look really pretty.

Cool Ideas for Book Covering

If simple is not your style then why not turn to your trusted friend the washi-tape to really personalise the look?

Feeling fruity?

Froot Washi Tape:

Or will this school year be out of this world?

Space washi tape:

Whatever mood you’re feeling - there’s lots of ways to add those vibes to your school books with our selection of washi-tape.

Terrarium Washi Tape

Take advantage of the latest trends - leaves and geometric shapes are everywhere just now. We love the balance of green and pink, and this botanical washi tape looks amazing with the dusky pink.

Add coloured card to create a more robust cover after covering it with plastic. We love the combination of teal with gold - and for extra security, a few lines of washi-tape will keep things stuck down for the whole year.

And if glitter isn’t really your thing, you can get some really great results from using brown paper and stickers or washi tape.

Go for it! However you decide to express your individuality this year, we know your books are going to look fab. So why not show them off?

Scroll down to see how you can win a Ryman book covering and craft bundle when you share your book covers with us.