fabric covered books square

As I started styling my new mini bookshelf in the guest room I wanted to use books I had just collecting dust elsewhere to decorate it. Books are awesome when styling shelves, tables, mantels, etc. 

They are readily available, inexpensive, and great to add height to other decorative pieces. But sometimes the bright blue or yellow spines just don’t work for your color palette. 

Fabric is an easy option to use to update the books themselves or just the spines to add that pop of color. 

No need to run out and buy books that you won’t read just for the color. Just cover them in what you have in your stash.

fabric covered books 2
Pin It


  • Fabric
  • Spray adhesive
  • Scissors
  • Hardback book
  • For just covering the spine I use a rotary cutter, mat and ruler as well
  • Tape measure
  • Fray Check

How To Cover a Book

1.  Cut your fabric about 3” wider and taller than your book. 

With proper ventilation spray the wrong side of your fabric with the spray adhesive. 

Starting with the back of the book wrap it around making sure to tuck the fabric in at the creases.

fabric covered book

2. Clip all four corners to make a nice fold and then wrap the ends on the front and back of your book making a cut at the top of the spine.

covering a book with fabric

3. Stick your scissors into the spine to try and loosen the glue and separate the book spine from the outside cover a little so that you can tuck that piece  in using your scissors to shove it in there.

fabric covered book 2
book spine

You also have the option of just covering the spine if you don’t want to take the time to cover an entire book

If you take off the dust jacket of a hardback book many times the spine itself has a different color  than the book.  See the example below.


To cover just the spine measure the width of the spine and then the length of how much overhang you want. 

Cut your fabric to size and then coat the edges with some Fray Check so the edges don’t unravel.

Then use the spray adhesive on the back of your fabric and then adhere the middle to the middle of the spine and then slowly wrap the fabric over the front and back of the book.

fabric spine book

I added a few pops of coral, one blue and another gray and cream just to give pops of color throughout the shelf and to brighten up the space.


Did you miss the transformation process? 

If so click here to see what I did to change an end table into a mini wall shelf.

roadkill rescue end table to shelf

Similar Posts


Comments are closed.