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Back To School Tip - Cover Your Books the Green Way

Make the most of a dreaded back to school regime with the following 7 Inspiring ideas to cover books in an environmentally friendly way.

1. Leftover Christmas Wrapping or Gift Bags

Instead of throwing away used gift wrapping, consider whether if any of it could be reused. When you have young children, this may prove to be quite difficult because most of the wrapping paper will inevitably be ripped up during the excitement of present opening time. In this case you may have leftover gift wrapping or gift bags to repurpose.

wrapping paper

2.  Brown Paper Bags

Brown paper bags are often under estimated and thought to look boring. There however are a number of reasons why brown paper bags make excellent book covers. The texture of brown paper is great, and because it has a neutral colour, it is suitable in many occasions, not to mention, brown paper is usually stronger than other wrapping paper. Brown paper can also easily be painted or decorated with glitter, sand, shells etc. Here’s a video that your kids can watch to get the hang of things on their own so that you can sit back and supervise (or relax!).

3. Book Sleeves – Good for Reuse

Book sleeves are a great solution to book covering since they can be reused each school term or even each year. You can purchase book sleeves at stores such as PNA or Book Sox, an online store that manufactures book sleeves. Book Sox offers a range of eco-friendly products including Cotton Book Sox, Notebooks made with recycled paper, and Cotton Canvas Eco-Bags. Book sleeves can also easily be made at home if you have access to a needlework kit or sewing machine.

Book Sox

4. Magazines

Instead of leaving old editions of magazines to hoard up in your garage, use them to make book covers. Magazine book covers are a great way to get your children involved with the book wrapping process since they can select their own images to be included on the book covers – be it their favourite sports stars, cartoons or animals.

book covered with old magazines

5. Painted Newspaper

A cost effective method to create beautiful wrapping paper for books is to paint old newspaper. In this case it is important to use paint that does not smear or flake off as it will leave a nasty mess when the books are used. Another point is that newspaper is quite weak or thin. Use more than one layer of paper when wrapping books with newspaper.

Painted Newspaper 1

painted newspaper 2

painted newspaper

6. Recycled Plastic

If you’re planning on or are required to cover the books with plastic, try to get your hands on PVC that has been made from recycled plastics. Another thing to remember is that PVC sleeves may be better purchase decision than rolls of PVC because sleeves can be reused.

7. Fabric

Covering books with fabric is a classic and more permanent means to protect books. Use scraps of fabric or buy fabric from your local fabric shop at an inexpensive price. The images below demonstrate the steps required to cover a book with fabric.

Fabric book cover

Fabric book cover

Fabric book cover

The start of a new year can be daunting after enjoying a long and relaxing holiday. We hope that you’ve found these tips useful in preparing for the new school year. We also hope that you get your kids involved in the book wrapping process, as it makes for a wonderful opportunity to learn the value of repurposing and recycling. wishes all students the best of luck for the new year.


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