I Love to Create Recycled Denim Book Covers

Recycled Denim Book Cover Margot Potter for I Love to Create Copyright 2009
When I asked my daughter if she needed to make book covers for her school books she looked at me what that, “Are you daft?” expression on her face. Yes, it’s official, I’m daft and I’m old. Undaunted by these facts, I was certain that book covers hadn't gone the way of record albums and After School Specials and then we saw some ready made stretchy covers at our local Big Box store.

A ha! Maybe I'm not so daft after all!

I thought we'd try and make some recycled covers instead of buying ready made. Back in my day, we whipped up covers to protect our school books using brown paper shopping bags. Those brown bags aren’t as easy to score these days. No worries! I have a huge stash of recycled jeans from a class I taught last year and that’s where this project was born. I got these jeans for pennies at my local Goodwill. You can do this for school books or for any books that get a fair amount of use to protect them. I love the little pocket for your pencils and pens or anything else you want to take along with you. Teens can personalize these any way they like and make a different one for every book.
Recycled Denim School Book Covers
Margot Potter for I Love to Create Teen Crafts
Copyright 2009

Pair of recycled stretchy jeans (You’ll be using a pant leg and a pocket)
Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue
Aleene’s Patch and Applique Glue
Tulip Fabric Spray Paint Emerald and Fuchsia

Tulip Soft Matte Fabric Paints in Azalea, Ebony and Glacier White
Tulip Pearl Dimensional Fabric Paint Clover Green
Tim Holtz idea-ology Mini Masks Regal

Star Stencil
Hero Arts Writing Stamp

Stencil Brush
Fabric Scissors
Foam Brush

1. Cut a leg from a pair of old stretch jeans. Cut a pocket off of the back of the jeans, leaving the backing so it’s still a pocket.

2. Place your book on the jeans and determine width and length of your material. You want the material to be able fold over on both sides about 2.5” and to be able to overlap the edge of your book cover about 2.5”. The fabric when folded top and bottom should hit at exactly the width of your book. Measure twice and then cut to size.

3. Run a bead of glue along the top and bottom edge of your folded fabric, stop gluing approximately 2.5” from each edge. Allow to dry.
4. Slide the front of the book cover into each side of your folded and glued fabric, creating protective sleeve.
5. Adjust the fabric tension and glue the edge down on each side. Repeat for the back cover. Allow glue to dry.
6. Glue pocket on front of cover with Patch and Applique glue. Allow to dry.7. Decorate the pocket using a variety of fabric paints, stencils, rubber stamps and splatters. I used the Tim Holtz flourish mask with pink and green fabric spray paint, the Tim Holtz flourish stencil with the azalea paint, smeared and flicked on the green paint on the pocket with my pointer finger and stenciled the stars on with the stencil brush and black paint. 8. Use a foam brush to apply fabric paint to a rubber stamp with text and stamp on the center of the pocket. Allow to dry.


Jennifer Perkins said...

How cute and clever are these! La, la, la love it!

Mandi said...

Too cool for school! I love it :)

Shelle Cain said...

I love it! My Grand-daughter Sarah loves to make things like this. She and I will have fun. I've been saving old jeans to make jean purses, so I have a huge tub full! She keeps a journal, so this would be the perfect project for her. She'll be 12 in Oct. and she's very crafty like her G-ma!! :D
Thanks for sharing!

Margot Potter said...


Thank you!


Margot Potter said...


Thank you!


Margot Potter said...

Shelle Cain

This is perfect for a 12 year old, that's my daughter's age too. Isn't it cool how crafting brings us together? I love that.


Sharon said...

That is so creative. Wouldn't that make a great Christmas stocking stuffer for any budding young diva! It would be a great way for preteens to make gifts for their BFFs as well. Love it.

dena miller said...

Very cool!!!! I love it! This would be a fun project for my daughter and her friends. They are 13 and would probably be really into this!

Margot Potter said...

Thanks Sharon and Dena! I'm so glad you liked the project. My daughter loved it too, which means it's Teen Approved!


pomly said...

Fabulous Margot! Great idea!

Cyndi L said...

Love it love it love it!!!

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

What a fantastic idea! I love how you decorated the pocket and how handy that could be on front of a book.

Sherri said...

What a fun project, and I especially love your personal touch on the pocket! Lovely...

Margot Potter said...

Hi Nancy

Of course! Thanks for the link!


Anonymous said...

so cute