A leather/metal wrap to protect a paperback book.
When I commuted to work on a train I enjoyed reading but my books got damaged whilst in my ruck sack. Here I describe my solution, a leather and metal book wrap.
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Step 1: Materials
- Sharpe knife for cutting leather
- 2mm drill bit Amazon link - Fine bit for making holes to sew though in the metal.
A set of sticking hole punches makes sewing leather easier.
Leather punching tools How to make leather tooling punches!
The leather came from Amazon had some bits at around a handy 210mm x 295mm so mine didn't need much cutting to size. A sturdy pair of scissors was used to cut the leather, depending on thickness a knife can be cleanly run along the edge of a metal ruler to give a clean true cut over a longer distance.
I've made a couple of covers like the one above and think that leather of at least 2mm thickness works best.
I've used aluminum sheet for the one pictured but anything flat will do! The aluminum is a couple of millimeters thick and has held up relatively well to the abuses of being in my bag.
Can be home made from a nail, instructable here!.
Step 2: Measure & Cut
Measure your books
The majority of my paper backs are around 110mm - 130mm wide and 180mm - 200mm tall. Cut your metal backing piece so that it is ~10mm taller and 5mm wider than the biggest book you're likely to want to carry. This overhang will hopefully protect the corners of your books.
With the metal of the correct size cut the leather. I've left 5mm top and bottom.
The width of the leather depends on how thick you like your books. Mine is 570mm, but this was mostly determined by the leather I had available. This goes around a good sized book one and a half times.
Step 3: Drill & Sew
Mark holes for drilling
You could glue your backing plate to the leather but I prefer to sew it on. Mark one edge of the metal every 7mm, my aluminium sheet was soft so a small nail and a firm hammer were used to mark the point and provide a centre for the drill.
I find leather much easier to sew when the holes are made with drill or pierced with a nail. Forcing a needle through two thickness's of 2mm leather runs the risk of snapping a needle and stabbing a hand. So mark holes 7mm apart and drill or pierce.
If you have a drill press or a steady hand you could clamp and/or glue the leather and drill through the whole lot.
Sew the bits together and you're done! I used strong cotton thread doubled and something approaching a saddle stitch.
Step 4: Tool the Leather
With a nail punch I've added an oak leaf, acorn and mushroom pattern to the leather to make the join a little more attractive.
This kind of embellishment is quite basic but it can be done fairly quickly and cheaply and I like it :) To make something like this, wet the leather with water, hammer the punch, repeat until happy.
The leather punches are home-made, the idea came from an old book I used to have, I did a full intractable on them here!