Step 1: Materials...
2. duct tape
5. tape measure (not necessary, but helpful)
Step 2: Preperation...
Step 1. Measure your book (HxW) My book is 91/2 inches tall by 17 inches wide.
To find the width you will need, you need to open your book about halfway. This should
lay both the front and the back cover on the table, along with the spine. The covers
on my book are both 71/2 inches, and the spine is 2 inches. Voila, 17 inches.
Step 2. We need to decide the size of our sheet. First I added 4 inches total to the height
and 10 inches to the total width. It's apparent to anyone who's covered a book
before why we need this slack, but if you haven't, just trust me. That makes our total
about 14 x 27 inches.
Step 3. Preperation: Clean off your work surface. Gather your supplies.
Step 3: Sheet!
Since our total height is 14 inches and our roll of duct tape is 2 inches wide, we'd need 7 strips to make the height. 7 strips at 27 inches long.
To make this easier I took my tape measure and measured a spot 27 inches from the edge of the table and put a small piece of tape there as a measurement guide. Make sure you are not doing this on a good piece of furniture, as duct tape WILL pull the finish off of some wood.
Next I pulled 7 strips off the roll each about 27 inches long. Remember, you get NO points for perfection here.
I laid each of these strips (STICKY SIDE UP) out edge to edge making a 14 inch by 27 inch series of strips. I call these the 'field strips.'
To hold them together You will need 8 more strips 27 inches long. I call these 'binding strips.' Start by placing the first binding strip half on the first field strip and half on the second field strip. Make sure these are STICKY SIDE DOWN.
Continue this with five more binding strips and you should have 1 inch of sticky side showing on the top and bottom.
Then take the last 2 binders and place one sticky side down, half on the first field strip, half on the table, the last one goes half on the last field strip, half on the table, sticky side down.
Take a straight edge and make a line along both side edges and cut along the line to make a nice straight rectangle.
Then you're going to flip the sheet over. You should have 1 inch of sticky side showing at the top and bottom. Fold both sticky sides inward to make a nice folded over edge on both the top and the bottom.
There you have it: a 14 x 27 inch sheet of duct tape.
Step 4: In the Fold.
Anyone who has successfully covered a book can figure out the next few steps, but for those that haven't:
This is where all the slack comes in. Lay out our sheet. Mark 2 inches up from the bottom, and 2 inches down from the top. I used the book to make a nice straight line. Be careful not to mark the book, they are VERY expensive.
Then remove the book and fold the sheet on the lines you just made.
Set the book back down to hold the folds in place.
Step 5: Lit. Book, Side Pocket.
Now close the book and open only the front cover. Fold the left side of the sheet along the line, and insert it into the pocket that is formed by the flaps. Push it in all the way to the fold, then close the book so that the back cover is facing up.
Take this opportunity to stabilize the flaps by placing a piece of duct tape on each flap, taping the flap down to the sheet where the spine will sit. This helps to keep the flaps from unfolding during prolonged or rough use.
Now open the back cover only. Fold the right side of the sheet inward on the line. Duct tape is flexible enough that you can insert the back cover into it's pocket with little trouble. Then push the cover all the way into the pocket to the fold. Then close the book.
Next, take a couple pieces of tape and fold them over the edge of the cover to hold the pocket firmly against the cover (front and back, top and bottom).
Step 6: Labels!
You could go writing all over this cover. The one you just spent an hour on. Or, you could write on a separate sheet of tape and place it on the cover and the spine, thereby making this cover RE-USABLE!!!
*It takes very little reconfiguration to reuse this on smaller books, and only the addition of a couple strips to reuse it on a larger book!
Believe me, it's worth it. These covers age like a good concert t-shirt.
Step 7: Book Tail!
This is everyone's favorite part of this cover.
Here's what you do:
Take a strip of duct tape, about 5 inches longer than your book is tall. Mine is about 14 inches. Next, two inches in from one end make two marks. If the strip is laying in front of you left to right, you will make your two marks vertically, one coming down from the top 1/3 of the width of the tape, and one coming up from the bottom 1/3 of the width. SEE PHOTO. This is very important. Each mark is only 1/3 of the tapes width.
Now, cut along those marks. This releases the edges of the strip, leaving the two inch by two inch piece attached to the larger piece, by only one third of the strip. Fold the bottom third of the long piece up, then follow by folding the top third down. This makes something like a tape-on tail.
Next, take your 'tail' and tape it to the lowest part of the spine of the book by the 2 inch x 2 inch sticky part leaving the slender portion to dangle.
Lastly, take a piece about six inches long and tape over the 2 x 2 sticky part, for added support.
Start by putting two inches of it on the front cover, next to your tail attachment point, and then wrap it around pressing firmly all the way to the back cover.
Step 8: Enjoy!
When they come to school the next day with one, tell them to stop copying you, and stick out your tongue.