Since I'm borrowing a textbook from a friend, I wanted to keep it nice and pristine for him. Looking around for something that would make a durable cover, I lit on the idea of using a cardboard cereal box.
So I decided to make a cover for one of my least favorite books (Heat Transfer) using one of my most favorite cereals (Grape Nuts).
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Step 1: Finish Your Cereal
You will need:
~Packaging tape or duct tape (clear works best)
~A large (4lb.) box of Grape Nuts or another cereal
Remove the cereal from the box by whatever means you posses.
Break the glue at the seams so you can lay the box out flat.
Position the book on the inside of the box so that you can start to imagine how everything will go together.
Step 2: Mark and Measure the Spine.
First, fold the Nutritional Information side of the box onto the inside of the front cover. You don't even need to crease it!
Now, mark the cardboard where the spine of the book touches. Stand the book up on its spine and mark on the back side of the spine.
Then cut the cardboard along these marks until you come just shy of the spine itself. There should be four cuts altogether in order to make two small flaps that we will bend back. Take the book out and tape these flaps down to the inside so they poke out a little from the spine.
Step 3: Crease That Cardboard
Depending on the size of your textbook and your cereal box, you will probably need to add some creases near the spine so that the cardboard can bend when you open and close the book.
Use the edge of your table or desk to put a couple creases into the cardboard, right where you marked for the cuts.
Step 4: Add More Cardboard for the Back Cover
Since the cereal box didn't cover the whole book, I had to add another flap of cardboard for the back cover, made from a piece of a FedEx box.
Lay the book out flat on the table to find the maximum size you need to make your cover, then add material until it is long enough. Tape it on good 'n solid.
Step 5: Trim and Fold the Corners
Trim any extra cardboard around the corners, then fold the top and bottom of the box to make corners, so that the book is entirely covered. I found it useful to stick some tape to the corner before folding it over, just so that everything stays put right off the bat.
Step 6: Now Go Study!
Add some more tape around the seams and creases for extra reinforcement, and you're done! Now you can go study, even if you have to set your book down on gravel or broken glass!