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Making Book Covers

Book covers encourage students to take pride in their written work. Many teachers have students complete assignments that involve writing stories or poems. Book covers are a way to add a sense of importance to projects. The published book can be given as a gift for Mother's Day or Father's Day. At Conestoga Elementary School, Conestoga, PA. the PTO buys the supplies and makes hundreds of covers each year.

Book Covers Directions


• Cardboard cut in 9" x 12" or 6" x 9" We use cereal box weight cardboard. In fact, we use cereal boxes for the 6" x 9" size.

• Contact paper or prepasted wallpaper - Ace Hardware site bulk contact paper

bookcover illustration


1. For 9 x 12 book covers: cut contact paper in 21 inch lengths. For 9 x 6 cut paper in 11 inch lengths.

2. To find the center of the paper: fold in half and crease it lightly.

3. Cut off corners of the contact paper as shown above in the illustration.

4. Remove paper backing to expose sticky side of paper.

5. Position cardboards centered on contact paper. NOTE: leave a space about the width of a #2 pencil between the cardboards.

6. Fold up the bottom. Then fold down the top. It helps to start folding at the center, working your way out to the sides.

7. Fold in the sides. It may be necessary to adjust your corner cuts to get a nice corner.


open book If you use cereal boxes, be sure to use it with dark contact paper. Some lighter papers let the graphics on the cardboard show through.
open book End papers are a very attractive finish for the insides of the covers. We use a simple sheet of paper.
open book To keep the pages inside the cover you can staple, glue, or use plastic book binding rings. Our school has a machine which makes it easier to mount the book using the rings.
open book

The PTO coordinator solicits volunteers to build the books from parents who can't get into school to volunteer.

It is a wonderful way to give them a chance to be a meaningful part of their children's education. A cover kit of precut cardboards, contact paper and written directions are sent home via the student. We ask for them back in a week or so. There is a collection box for the finished covers in the main office.

open book The PTO budgets $400 for book covers per year. (We are making about 900.) This covers the expense of the contact paper. We make every effort to buy the contact paper on sale.
open book The chairperson sends out a form to the teachers at the beginning and the end of the school year. She asks the teachers how many covers they will want. Doing this allows her to plan the budget and to delegate the work to have the covers available on time. We have found that Mother's Day is a high use time.
open book We also try to accommodate special paper requests like dinosaur paper for dino reports. This takes some preplanning on all our parts. In fact, we have not been able to find the dino paper. So we are using a plain paper and applying small dinosaur stickers.


ivy rule

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©2001 Cynthia O'Hora All Rights Reserved. Updated 7/2004