Saturday, January 2, 2010

Tutorial: book sleeve

Today I teach you how to make a book sleeve!

Between you and me, it is so easy that almost didn't deserve a tutorial. Almost. As I told you before, I've made this little project real quick, to wrap a book I was going to give as a present. Because we don't like disposable things, do we? Not at all! So let's make the wrap:

Start by measuring the object concerned - in this case, a book. You'll only need a little margin, since we're making an envelope that needs a little deep.

Materials listing:
  • Felt with approximately 3 times the book height
  • Pieces of green felt, if you want to decorate with leaves, like I did
  • Filling, also for the leaves
  • Embroidery thread (I've used green for the borders and brown for the leaves)
Cut a rectangle with more or less 3 times the book height, and 2 cm more on the width. In case the book is too thick, add more to the width. An easy way to find the measures is to wrap the book with the felt, as if you were going to use it as gift wrap. Really quite intuitive.

Set the flap size as you prefer and... embroider the borders! Yes, simple like that! I've used blanket stitch, and I must confess it got better in the end - I wasn't going all the way out to close it, and that's exactly the way it looks best! I'm not sure you can see what I mean, maybe it's not even possible to see this detail (it doesn't matter, no one needs to notice the little flaws, right?).

For the leaves detail, I've drawn one on a piece of paper, free hand, and then put it on the felt to cut. I've made the detail on the center using backstitch, and the leaves contour with blanket stitch again - leaving an opening to add the filling before closing it:

That's it! Quick and simple, perfect to replace gift wrap, and it will for sure cause a bigger impact on whoever receives it, because it shows how much you care!

If you don't know how to make blanket and back stitches, there are lots of sources available: videos on Needle'nThread and graphics on Méri's illustrated glossary - which also helps in case you need to find videos and other sources in portuguese or another language. I highly recommend them both!

You can make variations of this idea in many forms: using another kind of fabric (only felt has the advantage of not shredding), make the details with other shapes (flowers, circles, anything), put some kind of closing, like buttons or even velcro, and, of course, wrap other things besides books.

In case you have any question, feel free to add questions in the comments section or send me an email. If you use this idea to make anything, don't forget to send me pictures!

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