The Book Apron




Keeps your cookbooks or other how-tos clean! Clear plastic, polyester ribbon and rickrack can be wiped clean of batter with a damp sponge. The components are sewn together, so there will be no issues with adhesives warping the polyesters or dissolving in water. And the apron can act as a bookmark when not in use.

Step 1: Assemble Ingredients

Clear plastic folder, Olfa knife and ruler, polyester ribbon, coordinating rickrack, coordinating thread, cutting mat (optional), awl (optional), scissors. The hardest part of this is finding a folder with enough "flop" to keep the edges down--tho the rickrack does help to weight the edges.

Step 2: Measure and Cut "apron" to Fit

The "apron" (cut folder) should, when closed, measure approximately 1/2" more than the width and 1/2" more than the height of the book. This catches more spills and allows room for the rickrack so it doesn't obscure the text. This margin isn't so large, on the other hand, that the apron will be shredded by sticking out when the book is closed.

A paper cutter is ideal for cutting the folder super-square, if you have access--if not, a ruler and Olfa knife will do the trick.

Step 3: Round the Corners

Round the corners of the apron with a pair of scissors. You don't want sharp points you could hurt yourself on, eh?

Step 4: Pierce Along the Fold

Pierce along the fold using an awl or a needle every 1/4" or so. Pre-piercing makes the sewing in of the ribbon a whole lot easier and more regular. Don't make the piercings too close together or too close to the edge, lest the plastic tear through.

Step 5: Prep the Ribbon

Cut the ribbon at a diagonal and long enough to extend 4" or 5" beyond the top and beyond the bottom of the "apron" when the ribbon is centered within the fold. Sear the poly ribbon's cut edges very carefully with a lighter to prevent fraying.

Step 6: Sew in the Ribbon With a Lockstitch

First, center the ribbon within the fold. Visually estimate where the first hole in the fold touches the ribbon, and make a square knot using your needle and thread in the selvedge of the ribbon at that point. Cut the tail of the thread close to the knot. Draw the thread through the first piercing, moving from inside the fold to the outside.

Next, push the threaded needle through the second hole in the fold and up into the ribbon at the very selvedge edge.

Push the needle back out through the same hole through which you entered. Pull the thread taut, being careful to not tear through the plastic.

Move to the next hole and repeat the process. This is your lockstitch--it allows the ribbon to move freely to the right or left and out of the way of the text you are reading.

End by pushing the needle back into the ribbon at the point of the last piercing in the fold, knotting the thread around the selvedge there, and cutting the thread close to this last knot.

Step 7: Cut Ricrack and Pierce Edges for Sewing

Cut two pieces from your rickrack, each approximately 1/2" shorter that the height of the cut-down folder. It is best to make your cuts either at a crest or a valley in the wave of the rickrack.

Close your folder and lay the rickrack atop the edges. Using a needle or an awl, pierce through the center of rickrack and through both edges of the plastic folder at each crest and each valley in the rickrack. This may be easier if you pin down both ends of the rickrack.

Step 8: Sew on Rickrack

Sew the rickrack onto each edge, using the same lockstitch as on the ribbon, but stitching just into the middle of the surface of the rickrack (at the crests and valleys) instead of into the selvedge.

The rickrack is sewn onto the inside edges--the ones that are exposed when the folder lies open inside the book. Start the lockstitch by knotting into the surface of the end of one of the pieces of rickrack and pushing the needle *out* of the folder --this will put the stitching on the outside of the folder.

Step 9: Finito!

Wipe off your fingerprints and you are all done!

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    11 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    A dry erase marker works on the plastic that I used, but I would test your materials to be safe.

    The vinyl that I could find was too thick, and would damage the spine of the book if closed in; and I couldn't figure out how to get a sewing machine to allow the ribbon in the middle to "flop" flat to either side. But then, I am not so good with the sewing machine.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    how about using the clear vinyl instead of the folder? and a sewing machine will sew thru the vinyl...even though it is easier if you have a roller foot or walking foot.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    have you tried using a sewing machine? you can adjust the stitch width quite wide and then just use the hand control to sew.


    GREAT idea! I always hate how I end up getting food stuffs on my nice expensive cookbooks! I second John Smith's suggestion- what happened with the dry erase marker?

    John Smith

    11 years ago on Introduction

    What about using dry-erase markers to check off ingredients? That is something I'd want it for.

    1 reply
    bunnstuffJohn Smith

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    ooh, I should get a marker and try it out. i did notice that the clear plastic is static-y--a piece of paper will stick to it, so a person could sort of underline where they are in the recipe just with a scrap of paper.

    oh yea I forgot she also takes note cards and cuts out recipes from like cereal boxes n stuff then glues them to the note card and laminates them


    11 years ago on Introduction

    That is a really good idea, especially for disaster prone cooks such as myself.