Introduction: No Tape Book Cover

Picture of No Tape Book Cover

Here's an easy, durable book cover you can make that requires nothing but a paper bag and scissors.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

This is easy, you only need a couple things:

1) Paper bag
2) Scissors
3) A book

Step 2: Cut Apart the Bag

Picture of Cut Apart the Bag

To start out, cut out the bottom of the bag and make a cut down the length so you have one big rectangle.

I prefer to cut down the seam in the middle of one side (see other pic) so that it won't be visible when you're done.

Step 3: Cover Length

Picture of Cover Length

To get the proper length of the cover, lay the book on the paper and fold over the first edge around the inside of the front cover so that it's an inch or 2 away from the binding. Then fold it around the back of the cover in the same way. You're gonna have some extra, so mark where it's a inch or so from the binding when the book is closed and cut off the excess.

Step 4: Cover Height

Picture of Cover Height

Now you need to fold the top and bottom to the size of the book. I used an existing fold along the bottom to start out. Then I use the book as a guide to mark the height. Line up the book with the bottom of the cover. Then fold up the top overlap. Do that the whole length of the cover and then fold it down.

Tip: if the bag has a label on it, make sure it's on the inside.

Step 5: Put It On

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Slide the paper cover on so that book cover is inside the folds. It'll be a tight fit so wiggle it on if you need to.

Step 6: You're Done!

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That's it! Now you have a blank canvas to decorate your books. You also get a handy pocket in the front & back where I tended to stuff my syllabus & notes. I found markers & pen work best. But feel free to use stickers, paint or whatever you want to make it your own. Enjoy!


Shalifa (author)2017-01-14

right before I found these instructions. College student renting a new book. I do not wish to pay more than my rental fee. tonight

jen5gray (author)2016-09-07

Awesome forgot how to do this!! Work Great!! Just waiting for daughter to decorating it!!

Fish-A-Majig (author)2016-08-30

I know this indestructible is no tape, but I like to reinforce my edges and corners with duct tape bit makes it look more diy too!

love it106 (author)2016-04-07


the go pro man (author)2016-03-12

pretty good!

musicaddict85 (author)2015-01-13

I bought some that are stretchable but they either bent the cover, or didn't fit really well and i can do this and it won't mess up the cover :D, thanks for this easy idea

tf717536 (author)musicaddict852015-11-19


marimini (author)2014-02-07

Brings me back to middle and high school. Those were the only ones I would use, unless the teacher was handing out free ones.

ahab_jr (author)2013-08-21

I've done this before as well. I've found that FedEx envelopes are GREAT for this.

bytenix (author)2011-09-06

Cheers! This is great--I used it last year for my classes and went to it again for this year. Thanks!

quengilar (author)2010-09-03

This is pretty awesome!

Harkle (author)2009-11-19

Cheers dude. I make my own journals using cereal boxes and printer paper normally covering the spine with masking tape but this makes a great alternative (looks better too).

Your instructions were really clear and precise. Only took me about half an hour to do (was using a really big paper bag!).


shreeyachawan (author)2009-09-04

good one I will try it ok

AwajiMan (author)2009-09-03

I had that textbook! :D

bruno13069 (author)2009-08-30

This is how we did it back in the 70's and 80's Make sure you take the cover off the book before your use magic marker! It might bleed through and stain the book. Great I-ble!

iglesia777 (author)bruno130692009-08-31

Maybe I should have titled this a "retro cover" then ;) That would have sounded cooler.

bruno13069 (author)iglesia7772009-08-31

I think your title works just fine, mate. :-)

Grathio (author)2009-08-31

Ah, ya snooze ya lose. I've had an Instructable sitting around for a month on just this topic. Well done!

(Whew, now I don't have to finish it!)

If you don't feel like decorating it yourself you can always buy interesting paper from your local art store or craft center. Here's one I did recently from an old map.

iglesia777 (author)Grathio2009-08-31

Ah yes, I love the map cover. I work along with the GIS department here, so I'm kinda biased towards maps. I've also done this with cereal boxes to great effect.

firefighter1333 (author)2009-08-31

TY MAN only find a PAPER bag now.....

I had to specifically request them from the grocery store. Most still carry them, even Meijer/Walmart. They just hide em under the counter.

bilham (author)2009-08-31

Some department store bags are a glossy colored paper. They would serve well and look classy.

piratequeenfaber (author)2009-08-30

This type of cover works well on paper backs. Unlike stretch covers this isn't too loose or cause the cover to curl. It also means no tape getting accidently stuck to the cover.

uberinsane (author)2009-08-30

I have been doing this for years, except with packing tape, which can make it last 5x as long if applied along the seems.

codongolev (author)2009-08-30

I did this, but I added tape anyway... and you can doodle on your book without ruining it.

Yerboogieman (author)2009-08-30

This is great, my old science teacher wasn't good at explaining how to do this.

Your Average Guy (author)2009-08-30


Groxx (author)2009-08-30

I made this style of cover for my school books for years. Lots better than the taped ones, and they tend to last longer too, as the edges / corners are effectively reenforced. Highly recommended for anyone who needs to return their books :)

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