How To Make Your Own Book Cloth
When creating a handmade book with hard covers, book cloth is a durable option. While there are many great pre-made book cloths on the market, they are only available in plain colors. Why not pick a favorite fabric from your stash and create one-of-a-kind covers with your own book cloth?
** This tutorial is an example of the bonus content you’ll find in the Handmade Book Club **
- Tightly woven cotton fabric, ironed
- Sumi sketch paper or other lightweight paper, such as mulberry or copier paper
- Non-stick surface, such as plexiglass, teflon/silicone mat or freezer paper
- Large piece of cardboard
- 2 Glue brushes (I use inexpensive 2” bristle brushes)
- Batch of wheat paste (see separate YouTube video)
- Craft knife
Free Downloadable Instructions
Click on the link below to download and print the instructions for this project.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.
January 16, 2020 @ 5:59 pm
Hi Ali, thanks for this tutorial. It’s been a long while since I made book cloth and I used an iron-on adhesive at that time. So, I gave this a try. It worked fine for me except that when I peeled off one of my paper-cloth pieces from the cardboard, some of the cardboard was adhered to the cloth and peeled off with it. I realize it could be that my cotton quilting square was a little thin for the job, and also I think next time I will do this on glass or freezer paper, but meanwhile I’d like to be able to save the book cloth! Do you have any suggestions for removing thin layers of cardboard from book cloth. It’s not that much, just in one small area, but I would like to fix rather than start over if at all possible.
May 30, 2020 @ 12:10 pm
Hi Ali, what would make The book cloth archival? I love the easy way of course, but after a while does the sticky stuff come away from the cloth.
June 1, 2020 @ 12:00 pm
I don’t generally worry about keeping things archival I’m afraid, but I believe you could use an archival spray from a conservation supply company like University Products. This has never happened to me personally ie the fabric pulling away – I wonder if heating the fabric and adhesive for longer would help?
June 7, 2020 @ 6:50 pm
Thank you for your tutorial. I have made book cloth this way before but sometimes when I go to paste the cloth to the board the paper comes away from the cloth. I use quilter’s cotton that has been washed without softener. Could this be a problem with my paste or the paper I use, I use Kozo? Thanks for the help
May 8, 2021 @ 9:56 am
Thank you, Ali, this has been very helpful. I love the idea of using my fabrics…my understanding prior to this was book cloth was made by putting bits or sheets of decorative paper on muslin so I’m happy to know I can reverse that process!!