DIY: Book Covers

A couple of weeks ago I received this email from One King's Lane:

I love this idea, so cute and personal! I particularly like the ones where the image runs across a set of books. As I was lusting over the email, I thought, "I can do that!" I was tempted to just copy the "I heart books" covers, but I figured I should do something to make it a bit more me. 

It was definitely harder than I thought it would be to recreate (it's not easy to make the text line up), but I am really happy with the results! Now I just have to decide where I want to display them.

Here is how I did it:
Start by collecting discarded or thrifted books (I wouldn't do this with books you like or want to read). I selected 6 of varying height and width and arranged them in height order. Once you have your books, measure the total width and height. Then measure the spine width and height of each individual book.

If they already have covers, you should measure those too.
Next, you want to create a photoshop file based on the maximum width and height of the books together (the total width of the spines added together and the height of the tallest book).

Leaving a little room on either side of the document, draw lines to mark the width of each individual book spine.

Then add lines to mark the various heights of the books (some of mine were the same height).

Using your square marque tool, highlight the spine of each book and fill with your color of choice.

Once the color is added, it should look something like this.
Now you can add whatever graphic or text you like (just make sure it's centered).

Once you have the art and text you want positioned, it is time to make the template for each individual book cover. Begin by creating a new file that is the height and width of the unfolded book cover. Then, go back to your composite layout and, using the square marque tool, select the spine of just the first book. 

Drag that selection (by holding down your mouse) to your other file and center that selection. It should look something like this:

Once you have the spine positioned, you can fill in the rest of the document with the color of your covers. Repeat this process for each book!

To print the covers, simply save them as jpgs and have them printed at a local office supply store (like Kinkos, Office Depot, etc.). I think they look best on thicker glossy paper. If you want to print them at home, you can use 11" X 17" photo paper, you just need to make sure the length of your book cover isn't longer than 17" when unfolded (all of mine were small enough to print at home).

What do you think?
I think it is a really cute idea and a great way to repurpose old books no one wants. It would also make a cute present! 

PS - How cute is this blanket I found at Home Goods for 15 bucks? Bonus, it is super soft!

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