Lately I've been using a lot of little journals and sketchbooks to keep track of work notes and my secret lists of x-mas gift ideas. I also have a lot of faux fur scraps that aren't big enough to make another plush or wearable item, but aren't really small enough to be thrown away guilt free. Since I like to Monsterfy everything anyway, a solution was born!
In this Ible I'll show you how to make an easy faux fur monster slip cover for a hardcover book, with a tongue that can be used as a bookmark. The slipcover is fitted but removable. Keep a menagerie of monsters on your bookshelf or just make one sleeve you can transfer to a new book when an old one is filled or used up. The whole project takes under an hour per monster, making this is a great activity for craft parties or an idea for handmade gifts.
Step 1: You Will Need....
Hardcover book/ journal/ sketchbook --This can be any size, but hard cover is preferred so that the book won't flop out of your slip cover.
Faux fur -- The piece you use needs to be at least 1/2 inch taller than your book cover. If you've got a small book, this is a great project to use up some scrap fur, when you don't quite have enough to make anything else, but you don't want to throw it away either. *Use faux craft fur with a thick, solid backing. "Minky" fur (like for baby blankets) is very appealing but also slippery to work with due to the thinner, knit-type backing. I don't recommend it for this project unless you want to spend extra time making a very precise fit to accommodate the material's quirks.
2 Colors of Felt --I suggest white for the teeth, and any color works for the tongue as long as it contrasts your fur color.
Fabric Scissors -- I've also pictured a craft blade, because that's the proper way to cut faux fur. However, scissors are easier and for this project it don't matter so much how our ends look, since they'll be turned under.
Marking Pen or Sharpie
E6000 or other fabric friendly adhesive
Pins, Needles, and Thread that matches your fur.
Plastic Wiggle Eyes
Cutting Mat with grid (optional) -- The grid guide is helpful when measuring your cover dimensions, even though you may not need the surface protection.
Step 2: Measure
The height of your slip cover piece should be approx. 1/2 inch taller than the height of your book. I happened to have a fur scrap that was just about right already. If you are cutting from a larger body of fur, simply measure your book cover and add 1/2 inch.
To get the length of your slipcover piece:
Measure the width of your front cover, then multiple by 2.
Remember to measure the width of your book's spine as well. Add that number to your total.
Place your fur, good side down, on your workspace. Mark 1 inch in from the right edge, using a sharpie or marking pen. This extra inch will be part of the excess that forms the flap your hard book cover tucks into.
Starting at that pen mark, measure over the total number of inches that make your book size. Make another mark at the end of that.
Add one extra inch to the left of the second mark.This is your other flap.
Cut straight up from that final marking. Use a ruler and the guides on your cutting matt to ensure you make a straight line.
Step 3: Sew to Fit
Fold over one of your "flap" areas, using the pen marks as your guide for where the crease should be.
Pin on each end to secure.
Repeat on the other end of the slip cover.
Using thread that reasonably matches your faux fur, do a quick overhand stitch to sew up your pinned areas. Remember to pick the seams with your needle, to free up any fur that may have gotten suashed or looped during stitching.
Repeat on the other end.
When you're finished, you should have two shallow pockets. Now is a good time to test the fit on your book before proceeding with the details.
Simply slide the back cover into the right side pocket, then lift the left side pocket up and over the edge of your front cover. Open any close the book to be sure your fabric will stay on during use. If you find you have too much slack, just go back and tweak with a little more hand stitching. Shaggy furs are very forgiving and nobody will ever know!
If you are victorious, you'll end up with something that looks like a furry sandwich.
Step 4: Teeth
You don't need much felt for this project, so this is another good opportunity to use up some scraps. There's a simple breakdown for cutting pointy teeth, which I've shown here.
Cut a rectangle of felt. The height of this rectangle should be at least 1/2 inch more than you want the total height of the teeth to be, so that there's somewhere to put the glue. Length should be no longer that that of your book's open edge.
Once you have your rectangle, make a diagonal cut on each end.
Now cut small "V"s all the way across.
*This is a monster, so you can make any size or shape teeth you like. Consider rounded teeth, square teeth, two pointy fangs, or some big buck teeth. Your monster's look is entirely subjective and you can extrapolate from the example here. The main thing to keep in mind is always leaving that extra 1/2 inch for gluing.
Once you have your teeth shaped, apply a line of E600 to the top edge where you've left extra room.
Smooth the fur on the left edge of your slip cover (the front of your book). Smoothing the fur down will help ensure your teeth are installed evenly and securely.
Flip the teeth glue side down and press in place on the edge of your slipcover's front pocket.
Allow at least 5-10 dry time.
Step 5: Tongue
The length of the tongue piece should be the same as the width of your hardcover book, plus one inch.The extra inch is allowed so you can fold the tongue over into the book to serve as a bookmark.
Measure and mark out the length using your closed book as a guide.
Tongue width is entirely up to you. I rather liked the width of my ruler, so I just traced that.
As a final touch, choose a shape for the end of your tongue. I cut a simple V to make a forked tongue. You could round it off, leave it blunt and sure, or even cut so fringe into it. Your monster's eating habits may influence your decision.
Apply glue to the non-shaped end of your tongue.
Flip over and press in place on the back pocket of your slip cover. You can center the tongue as I did or bias it to one side, just keep it perpendicular to the book so the bookmark function is most effective.
Allow 5-10 minutes dry time.
Step 6: Eyes
Simple plastic wiggle eyes will be what brings this monster to life. Play with different sizes and arrangements until you settle on something that appeals to you.
When you have your eyes figured out, apply a dot of E600 to the back of each plastic piece.
Press in place on the fur above your teeth.
Step 7: DONE!
Your monster is ready to go wherever your scribblings take you! Need to mark your place? Just flip the tongue backwards into the pages and close the book.
If you enjoyed this Ible, please send a vote over for the Book It contest or show me your monsters in the comments below.