Introduction: Protective Cover for Spiral Book (or Any Other Book) From Amazon Packaging (free, 10 Min.)

About: I like to make / fix / improve "things"...
  • Protects spiral from bending
  • protects cover from scratches or spills
  • sturdy
  • splash-proof
  • free / repurposed
  • time to invest: about 10 minutes

I use spiral books as sketch or note books. What I like about them is that you can flip over the cover and used pages and have no "obstacles" while sketching or noting compared to back bonded books or blocks.

Drawbacks are that they are not that cheap and the spirals tend to get bent if you stuff them into a full backpack or bag. This might be tolerable for a cheap collegeblock which you throw away or burn after you finished your classes / exams. But not for somewhat costly blank spiral sketch books which might happen to contain nice personal drawings or your next big business idea.

The last time I ordered a new one from amazon I noticed how nice and flush it fitted into the (temporarly) packaging and instead of throwing the package away I decided to convert it to a longer lasting (and absolutely free) cover.

I´ve been using it for several month now, made two more and it works so well I had to share.
Pages filled, but cover and spirals look like purchased today. That´s the way I like it and I hope you will too.

(Nope, I´m not sponsored by amazon, the packaging just seemed to be optimal for my purpose...)

Step 1: Materials and Tools

  • (amazon) cardboard packaging (preferably the one in which your book / block was shipped to you, this should fit in most cases ;) )
  • a book to cover
  • some sort of tape, (clear, coloured, reflective, packaging tape, duct tape, whatever meets your personal preferences, I used reflective tape for the version on the cover and clear tape for the step-by step)
  • scissors
  • glue (paper glue, hot glue or double sided tape)

Step 2: How to Do

Remove adress labels.
Optional, you might as well leave them on the packaging in case you loose the book or prefer the original look of a freshly delivered online order.

Remove leftovers from "tear-apart" opening design.

(Still found no way to not rip off the outer layer of the cardboard while doing so, maybe putting it in an oven for a while or using a hot air gun might work...)

Step 3: Adjust the Cover Height

Put in the book you would like to use the cover for and adjust the cover height.
You might want the cover to have a little spare height and the book easy to put in and pull out.

This step is especially important if you tend to add sticky notes, additional pages or photos. It should fit well even after you added some "content" to it.

Note the little grooves that are already prefabricated into the flaps, you can use them easily to adjust the final heigth of the cover.
Prefold the flaps to the desired height, optionally (but recommended) use some cardboard or alike as placeholder for glueing.
I used a piece of (~3 mm) cardboard placed on top of the spiral book to get the right height since I normally only draw or write into them. Consider adding a higher placeholder if your book will gain height over time.

Step 4: Glueing

Close the flaps over the book and placeholder and apply some glue to them. Close the cover and press it down until the glue settles.
1-2 minutes using hotmelt, instantaniously using double sided tape, other glues as described on their packaging. In the latter case you might add a weigth to the cover until the glue settles.

Step 5: Preparing the Flap

Preparing a rounded flap for the spiral.
Render some grooves into the cardboard in the area where the spiral will be in closed position for easier bending / handling. You can use your fingernails or the rounded end of a pencil or brush for this job. After doing so the flap should align to the curvature of the spiral easily without creasing or denting as shown in the last photo.

Step 6: ​Folding the Sides

Fold the sides down with the book and placeholder in the cover. Do so from the upper and the lower side of the cover.
Once taped, the triangular shape of the sides will allow you to easily slip your book into even the most jam-packed backpacks or bags.

Step 7: ​Taping

Taping the whole cover supports and strengthens its structure, makes it more rugged, even splashproof to a certain degree and lowers friction for easy packing.
I used transparent packaging tape because I had it at my hands and also wanted to keep the look of the original packaging. You can use whatever tape you want for this.

Start at the side of the rounded flap, make sure you get the sides triangular and wrap the tape one way around.
Next layer should overlap the first a little.
Starting at the rounded flap side also makes sure the layers overlap in a (scale-like) way so that no edges (of stuff in your bag) can rip the edges of the tape when stuffing the cover into a full bag.
Final layer should be applied centered over the bottom and overlap previous layers. Cut off excess tape at the sides and place some short strips of tape over them to protect the edges.

Step 8: Cutting the Flap

Cut the flap according to the markings in the picture.
Keep edges rounded to avoid ripping of the cardboard when stressed.

Step 9: First Test

Nice and tight fit.

Close the cover by simply inserting the flap into the cover.

Optionally you might add some velcro or magnets to keep it closed, just as you like.

Step 10: ​Taping the Flap

Continue to cover the outer side of the flap with tape.
Make sure the flap is a little bended when applying the tape, otherwise it might be difficult to close it after taping.

Step 11: Done and Ready to Go

No more bent spirals, scratched covers or creased / ripped pages.

Random stuff in a crammed bag can be really thuggish, but now your (sketch) book is well prepared for those encounters.

Hope you like it!
If so, I would really appreciate your vote in the cardboard contest!

Thanks a lot for viewing!

Cardboard Contest 2016

Participated in the
Cardboard Contest 2016

Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Participated in the
Maker Olympics Contest 2016