DIY Project - Covering Books In Paper To Make Them Look Pretty

Yesterday I read a interesting post on decor8 about colour palettes, and colour theory  – and it got me thinking about the colour palette in our Nest. I was inspired to choose the colours in our house to match this lovely abstract painting that was painted by my artist Grandpa:

You can read more about this painting here.

So to coordinate with this painting, our Nest has a colour palette of blues, browns, creams, and ivories, with splashes of red in the kitchen and the home office. You can peep into our Nest and see these colours in action here.

Anyway, I am very particular when it comes to colour. I can’t stand yellow, for example – Andre once bought a pair of kitchen scissors on eBay, which upon delivery turned out to be yellow, and as a consequence of which were immediately banished and a new, silver pair procured in their place.

Diversion - I also insist that all our technology (and we have a LOT of technology in our Nest) has to be white or silver. Have you ever tried to find a silver flat-screen TV? There are not many to be found, believe me! Oh, and I can’t stand having visible wires lying around the place either. So the super-pretty wireless Apple keyboard and mouse that we just bought for our home office please me excessively.

So, getting back to my insistence on colour-coordination – our little living/dining room is decorated in a lovely, muted palette of blues, browns and creams:

The overall effect is very relaxing. So you can imagine how painful it would be for me to see the following items displayed on the coffee table:

Ouch. But the thing is, I have to keep my French dictionaries on display. Part of our Five Year Master Plan to move to France (which you can read more about here and here) is for both of us to improve our French.

So I’m working my way through a French translation of The Da Vinci Code (c'est Saunière lui-même qui est l'auteur de citte mise en scène!), reading French blogs every day (including my favourite, La Méchante, which has today changed its name to Éléonore Bridge, I think because this is an anagram of her name, and after four years of being le méchante she doesn't feel like a mean girl any more), sticking lists of verbs and vocab to the fridge, speaking French to my colleagues (I work with a global team), and so on.

Which means that the dictionaries have to sit on the coffee table, because otherwise it’s all too easy to forget about them. But the jarring colours and lettering were getting on my nerves, so my solution was to use some of the lovely paper left over from my Ikea box customisation project to make them look all pretty:

Covering books in paper is simple. You need paper, scissors, and glue (as shown above). First of all, cut a sheet of paper so that it’s around 3cm larger than the book on all four sides. Then, paste glue directly onto the back cover and spine of the book, and carefully press the sheet of paper onto the glued part of the book, smoothing as you go:

Paste glue onto the front cover, and smooth the paper down, pulling it tightly. You may prefer also to paste glue onto the paper, rather than onto the book – either will work.

Next up, fold the paper round the three sides of the front cover. You will have to snip paper next to the spine to achieve this. Once you have folded the edges nice and neatly, unwrap them again, paste them with glue, and stick them into place. Repeat for the back cover:

The final step is to fold and glue the paper along the spine. Due to the way the dictionary was constructed, I was able to fold it under between the spine cover and the leaves, but you can also just trim it neatly if this isn’t possible:

The final product:

Much prettier, no? Here's a before and after:

Writing this post has made me feel all motivated to do some more French reading right now. À bientôt, et bon weekend!