Napkin turned Book Cover | Occasionally Crafty: Napkin turned Book Cover

Monday, May 21

Napkin turned Book Cover

Have you seen The Shops at Target?  If not, Target is featuring products from cute boutique shops around the country.

I kind of love the stuff from Privet House.  They produced some home decor items just for Target.  I saw these napkins and fell in DIY love.  I really just adore the color combination of neutrals with coral/tangerine/whatever you want to call this color.

We don't use cloth napkins in our house.  Maybe we should.  But we don't.  Still, I knew I could make this into something else.  So I bought one.
After some deliberation, I decided I would use it to make a scripture cover for my LDS scriptures.  I used it for my triple combination (which is three books of our scriptures combined into one.  You could certainly use it for any book or bible.

Now, I kind of made this up as I went along, because I had no idea what I was doing.  So I'll tell you what I did, and what I should've done!

1 Cloth Napkin or Towel
A book to cover
Sewing staples- machine, thread, scissors, etc.

Time:  30 min or less
Skill level:  Beginner

1.  Measure the length of your book from cover, around the spine to the other cover.  Do this when the book is closed so it is as accurate as possible.  This is measurement L.  Mine is 11.25 inches.

2.  Measure the height of your book (from the top edge to the bottom).  Add 1/2 inch for hem allowance.  This is measurement H.  Mine is 8 inches.  

2.  Decide how long you want the ends to fold over.  Multiply that by 2 and add it to the length in #1.  For example, my cover length was 11 1/4 inches.  I wanted my flaps to come over 3 1/2 inches.  3.5x2= 7 +11.25= 18.25 inches total. BEFORE YOU CUT-  Now, I got lucky.  My napkin was 18.5 inches wide, so I didn't have to cut the beautiful finished edges off.  If you have to, you'll need another 1/2 inch for any hem allowance.  Most likely you can definitely keep one finished edge, so if you have to cut the other one off, make sure you leave 1/2 inch extra so you can hem it.  

So my cut piece measured 18.25 in L x 8 in H.

3.  WHAT I SHOULD'VE DONE NEXT:  I wanted to use the contrasting side of the napkin as a ruffle embellishment.  I wanted it to go across the outside of the cover, not on the inside flaps.  If you'd like to add any kind of sewn embellishment, do so now, BEFORE you sew the flaps. 

4.  For my ruffle, I cut an inch off the extra napkin fabric, ran it through my sewing machine using the longest stitch possible and the highest tension on my machine, and I had a quick little ruffle strip.  If you are making a ruffle, it needs to be 1 1/2- 2 times the length or height of your cover, depending on how full you want your ruffle.  I sewed mine along the width of the cover. 


5.  Pin and sew your embellishment on.  I sewed my ruffle straight down the middle.  The edges will fray so it has a nice shabby chic look to it.  Trim any extra fabric and loose threads.

6.  For the flaps.  Hem any unfinished edges by rolling over 1/4 inch, pressing, then rolling over another 1/4 inch.  Sew in place.  

7.  Fold over the flaps to the length you chose in step 2.  Press in place.  Sew the flaps down across the top and bottom, as close to the edge as possible.

8.  Insert your book by placing one cover in each flap.  That's it- easy peasy!

What I did wrong:  I waited until after I had sewn my flaps to add my embellishment- not realizing that if I sewed it on, I would sew my flaps closed.  Duh.  There was lots of unpicking and seam ripping going on.  Not my favorite things.....

Anyway- there are lots of cute napkins in the world.  Go pick one up and give this a try!  I'm sharing this at some of these parties this week:

Have a great one!

Pin It


  1. That's such a great idea & it turned out really cute!

  2. very cool I will seriously need to give this a try. Just have to figure what the average size of my books are!

  3. Such a creative idea!!! Love the geometric pattern in orange with the floral pattern combo. I'm always excited to find other sewers out there and I'm happy to have found you gals over at Creative Itch. Consider me your newest follower!
    I'd love for you to come and check me out too :-)

    Take care,

  4. Super cute! I've been looking for a project to make for our vicar who is leaving in July for her own congregation. She loves to read, so this will make a perfect gift for her. In fact, I might make a couple - one for her Bible and one for the book she's currently reading.

  5. Very nifty! I love the colors =)

    Visiting from Southern Lovely

  6. I featured this on my blog today:

    :) Sarah

  7. What a great use for a napkin! We are not cloth napkin users either. Thanks for sharing at Terrific Tuesdays.

  8. Love this!! Thanks for the inspiration! And for sharing at Show & Share! Featuring this in tomorrow's party!

  9. Great idea! I have highlighted you on my Facebook page. :-)

    I hope that was okay!

    robin :-)

  10. Very cute idea. I like this. I have a link party on Wednesdays, and I would love it if you would link this and any other posts. It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party. It runs from Wednesday to Sundays.
    I hope to see you there. I am your newest follower, and I would love for your to follow me also. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above


Thanks so much for stopping by! I try to answer all valid comments as soon as possible, but you can also email with an urgent question. Have a great day!