How to Cover a Paperback With Junk Mail

If you like books, you'll also like them to stay in good condition despite frequent use. And if you're the type to borrow books from many sources, you mightn't realize just how dirty borrowed books can be as you're holding them (librarians in well-patronized libraries often wear gloves when going through large batches of book sorting, to spare their hands from the grime).


Moreover, with paperbacks the risk of heavy wear and tear, staining and dog-ears is very high if you're toting them about a lot. This tutorial shows you a very easy, inexpensive way to protect any of the paperback books held in your collection or to deal with dirty borrowed paperbacks, using simple recycled advertising material!

Steps

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    Assemble the items needed to complete the project. These are listed below under "Things You'll Need".
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    Open out the advertising leaflet. Use the leaflet's center crease, if there's one, to align the paperback with the leaflet.
    • When making folds, the upper fold is done offhand but always keep the folds right-angled and let the creases overlap.
    • Use your nails or a cheap biro (pen) to make folds neat and crisp.
    • Be careful not to cut yourself with the sharp edge of paper. Paper cuts, while minor, can sting for days after.
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    Leave a 5mm (0.2 inches) extra margin at the top fold. This is essential to get the measurement accurate for the sheaths (these are the "pockets" that will hold the front and back covers). It will allow you to slip the paperback into its new protective cover easily.
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    Now do the down part of the cover. Using the paperback as a pattern template, mark a long crease across the top and base of the leaflet. Don't forget to keep in place the extra room needed at the upper fold (from the prior step). Fold up the base and down from top along each crease (see photo in next step).
    • A pencil/biro might come in handy to mark the line of the down crease.
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    Once both of the lengthwise folds have been made, center the paperback along the first crease and fold along the side of paperback. This makes the fold for the front cover of the paperback.
    • Remember! The paperback front cover must be face down.
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    Briefly pull the book aside to see how the new cover is taking shape. Make any adjustments needed at this stage.
    • Slip the front cover of the paperback into the sheath or pocket you've just created.
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    To make the back sheath or pocket, turn the whole folded leaflet around.
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    Fold the back cover side neatly as with the front cover. The back sheath is ready.
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    Slide the back cover into its new sheath or pocket.
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    Here's the end result. Your paperback is nicely protected for the time you want it to be.
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    Now you can take your paperback anywhere without a worry!
    • When you don't want it covered anymore, simply slip the paperback out of the cover, recycle the cover (or reuse on another paperback) and return the paperback to the shelf or your local library.

Tips

  • This can be made anywhere at anytime to protect a paperback, making it ideal for traveling, commuting and vacation time.
  • Teach children how to make this at home or in class; it's a simple and useful lesson in the benefit of using recycling paper. They can even select advertising material with images of their favorite characters or things.

Warnings

  • Take care not to cut yourself with the sharp edge of paper when folding.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper to cover (advertising leaflets, unwanted wrapping paper, recycled paper from the recycling bin, etc.)
  • Paperback

Article Info

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