How to Make a Reversible Fabric Book Cover

How to make a reversible fabric book cover with video tutorial!

I love sewing these fabric book covers. They can make a boring looking book or folder more colourful and attractive in no time. This easy sewing project would also make a great back to school project!

And of course, I’ve created a full video tutorial to make it as easy as possible for you to understand the instructions. The video is the next best thing to me standing next to you and showing you in person.

Edit: I filmed this video a while ago, so the video lighting is not great and it’s a long video too! I’ve improved my video quality and length since ?

Transform Any Book or Folder With Your Favourite Fabric

How to sew a fabric book cover comparision 700

Sewing machine in need of some TLC? See my tutorial for Sewing Machine Maintenance

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Materials and Tools You Will Need:

  • Main fabric – used for one side of book/folder cover and sleeves (quantity will depend on size of book or folder)
  • Coordinating fabric – used for other side of fabric book/folder cover
  • Sewing machine thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Tape measure
  • Pins
  • Pencil and paper
  • Cutting tools – ruler and rotary cutter or marker, ruler and scissors
  • Hand needle
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Chopstick for pushing out corners

Video for How to Sew a Reversible Fabric Book Cover

Or watch it here on YouTube

Photo Instructions for How to Make a Fabric Book Cover

Step 1

Gather your tools to measure up your book or folder. You will need a pencil or pen, paper, tape measure (preferred) or ruler and the book or folder you are making the cover for.

Step 1 gather your supplies

Step 2

Open up the book. Measure the long side of the book and be sure to include the spine as well. That’s where the flexibility of a tape measure is very useful.

Add 1” to the length to allow for a 1/2” seam allowance on both ends.

Add another 1/4” to allow for movement, crooked sewing, shifting of fabric, etc.

step 2 measure the book

Step 3

Measure the short side of the book. Don’t forget to add the 1” for seam allowances and 1/4” for additional fabric to allow for error and movement.

step 3 measure the short edge

Step 4

Measure up for the sleeves of the book cover. Measure how wide you want the sleeves to be in your book cover. Double this measurement, then add 1” for the seam allowances.

step 4 measure sleeve size

Step 5

Use your measurements to cut 2 pieces of fabric for your cover, one from your main fabric and one from your coordinating fabric.

Use your sleeve measurements to cut 2 pieces also.

step 5 use measurements to cut pieces of fabric

Step 6

Lay one of the cover pieces with the right side facing up.

step 6 place cover piece right side up

Step 7

Fold one of the sleeve pieces in half with right side facing out. Iron or finger press to form a crease on one side. Line up the raw edges on the folded piece of fabric with the raw edges on one end of the cover fabric. Repeat with the other piece of sleeve fabric and place on the other side of the cover fabric.

Step 7 place sleeve pieces on top

Step 8

Lay the other cover fabric on top with the right side facing down.

Step 8 place cover piece on top right side down

Step 9

pin layers together ready to sew with a 1/2” seam allowance all the way around. Leave a 4” opening for turning right side out.

Tip: Use 2 pins to mark the beginning and end of the opening

Step 9 (10) Place pins to hold layers in place

Step 10

Sew around the outside of the fabric cover using a 1/2” seam allowance. Reverse stitch at each end of the opening so the stitches don’t unravel when turning the fabric cover right side out.

Tips: Reverse stitch at the point where you sew over the beginning of the sleeve. Have the needle down in the fabric when you go to pivot at each corner of the fabric book cover.

Step 10 (11) sew around outside edges leaving a gap

Step 11

Trim the corners of the fabric book cover and trim the excess of the seam allowance to approximately 1/4”.

Step 11 trim corners

Step 12

Turn your book cover right side out and use a chopstick (or something similar) to push out the corners.

Press the book cover with the iron. This will give you a good guide when sewing the opening closed.

step 12 turn cover right side out

Step 13

Use a ladder stitch to stitch closed the opening so there is no visible hand stitching. It’s a great stitch. Trust me!

Check out my step by step video tutorial for how to do a ladder stitch

How to do an invisible stitch how to do a ladder stitch featured image with more photos

step 13 use ladder stitch to close up the opening

Step 14

Slide the book cover onto your book and you are finished!

step 14 slide book cover on


Until next time, happy sewing!


How to make a reversible fabric book cover video tutorial


Posted on

27 May, 2015

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