Today’s tutorial is a little bit unusual – a bathtub book cover. But first, a little back story. Remember when ebooks first came out? And people were all up in arms about how it would ruin the publishing industry and anyway who wanted to read a book on a device when new book smell or old book smell and turning pages was such an important part of the experience? Y’all, I was totally one of those people. And now, I have to admit, I do 90% of my reading on my iPad, even my magazine subscriptions. For me the big realization was that 1) I could pack so much lighter when I didn’t have to take up half of my suitcase with reading materials (because if you’re me one of your big fears in life is running out of things to read when you’re away from home) and that I could read until very late at night without disturbing my husband – change the colors to black screen/white text and turn the brightness allllll the way down, and the Coach can snooze away while I finish the latest page turner, unlike when I used to have to use a reading light, which, even in its smallest form, was still too much light for him. (Also, if you didn’t know that trick for some reason, you’re welcome).
But – there is still one place I don’t like to take my device to read, and that’s near water. So for beach, pool or bathtub reading, I go back to tangible books, because they’re easier to dry out. The bathtub in particular has always been a challenge with books. At the pool or beach I’m generally reading near the water, not IN the water. And inevitably while reading in the bathtub I have to touch something wet, like an itch on my knee, and then I have to remember to make sure to have a towel within easy reach so I don’t have to get up and disturb the bubbles, and I always forget that dang towel. So, while brainstorming gifts, I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if books were towels? and that is how we got to this slightly unorthodox book cover.
So, if you know a reader who still likes physical books and reading in the tub, might I suggest a bathtub book cover along with some books from their list and/or a selection of bath products asa gift?
To make this, you’ll need:
- Terry cloth or a towel. I just used a hand towel thats edges were getting raggedy. Raggedy edges got cut off, and voila, upcycled gift to myself. You’ll need 18 inches by 14 inches to make the hardcover size of this. For other book sizes, measure your open book and then add 1 1/2 to 2 inches to each side.
- 3 yards of bias tape (pretty and more time consuming) or an overlock/faux overlock stitch (faster)
- Velcro strips, about 1/2 yard of the sew on kind.
Begin by cutting your towel or terry cloth to these dimensions; this will fit the majority of hardback books and similar size paperbacks. Again, for other book sizes, measure your open book and then add 1 1/2 to 2 inches to each side.
Tip: to cut out the 2 inch indents, fold the fabric in half and cut out a 1 inch wide 2 inch long piece.
Next, apply bias tape all around the edges. See this post for help making bias tape, and this post for help with mitering around corners. Start sewing on one of the straight edges, and fold the end of your bias tape to the wrong side, then overlap that with the other end of the bias tape when you come back around.
Flip your bias tape to the other side and finish stitching it in place.
Next, cut two 4 inch pieces of velcro and 4 pieces that are 1 1/2 inches long.
Place the 4 inch strips on what you want to be the right side of the book cover, 1 inch away from each indent. The hook sides should be on bottom, face down, and the loop sides should be on top, face up. Stitch these in place, backstitching over each.
Next, sew the 1 inch pieces in place as shown above. That image has all the velcro pieces – 12 total – shown. Hook pieces go on the side edges, and loop pieces go next to the longer strips. This makes the cover adjustable to different size books.
To put the cover on a book, first fold down the top and bottom edges and secure the velcro.
Then pull the sides in and secure those tabs, and done!
Now enjoy a bath without ruining your book.