Picture of Book protector
A leather/metal wrap to protect a paperback book.
When I commuted to work on a train I enjoyed reading but my books got damaged whilst in my ruck sack. Here I describe my solution, a leather and metal book wrap. 

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

  • Leather
  • Metal
  • Needle & thread

  • Sharpe knife for cutting leather
  • Drill
  • 2mm drill bit

  • Leather punching tools
  • Hammer


    The leather came from ebay and was a handy 210mm x 295mm so mine didn't need cutting to size. A sturdy pair of scissors could be used to cut the leather depending on thickness but a knife can be cleanly run along the edge of a metal ruler to give a clean true cut.
    I've made a couple of covers like the one above and think that leather of at least 2mm thickness works best.

    I've used aluminium sheet for the one pictured but anything flat will do! The aluminium is a couple of millimetres thick and has held up relatively well to the abuses of being in my bag.

Leather punches
    Can be home made from a nail, instructable to follow.

Step 2: Measure & cut

Picture of Measure & cut
Measure your books
The majority of my paper backs are around 110mm - 130mm wide and 180mm - 200mm tall. Cut your metal backing piece so that it is ~10mm taller and 5mm wider than the biggest book you're likely to want to carry. This overhang will hopefully protect the corners of your books.

With the metal of the correct size cut the leather. I've left 5mm top and bottom.

The width of the leather depends on how thick you like your books. Mine is 570mm, but this was mostly determined by the leather I had available. This goes around a good sized book one and a half times.

This looks very nice!
A nice idea I wish I had one when I travelled to work by train all the time, sharing a bag with a laptop & all my cables & other paraphernalia did not do my books any favours at all.
When I first started to work with leather I would score my stitching line with the back of a butter knife then use the sharpened tines of a steel fork to mark my holes I still use this method occasionally but now have a wheeled stitch marker for the job. If you are going to do a lot of leather work you may find something like this useful. It helps to keep the stitches straight & if you score the line deeply enough your stitching will be flush with the surface of the leather.
I still carry books in my backpack when I know I will have a long wait for an appointment or I am travelling so I will probably make something similar, I like the idea of velcro but I may substitute the aluminium for a thin steel plate & use a couple of hard drive magnets for the closure.
Phil B4 years ago
Could you add a Velchro closure?
cbm104 (author)  Phil B4 years ago
Yes, velcro could be a handy addition. I used an over sized wrap because it works for books of any thickness or multiple books, with velcro fastening you might strip vertical on the inside edge and one horizontal on the outside.
Phil B cbm1044 years ago
I was looking for something like this about a month ago. I finally settled for making a slip case from some nice wood. It allows me to include a companion volume in the one slip case.  Click on the link above to see is as an Instructable.  It is serving me well, but I still like your leather cover.
Phil B Phil B4 years ago
Correction to my comment above: "to see IT as an Instructable..."
seolfor4 years ago
Very nice!
cbm104 (author)  seolfor4 years ago
Thanks :)