I first used this cover when I was a child. At the beginning of school every year, the teachers would distribute textbooks, then hand out large sheets of brown paper printed with a grid of blue lines. We used the sheets to make protective covers for our books.
The form is reminiscent of the Regency letter fold I wrote about here.
The first step in making your cover is to measure your book. I have found that the most accurate way to do this is to use a strip of scrap paper. Wrap a strip of paper around your book, tucking the ends inside the front and back pages. Make firm creases to mark the edges of the spine and the fore-edge turn-ins.
You will need to determine how much turn-in you want, then trim the ends to that length. (Things look a little wonky in the picture below because I was holding the strip in place with my left hand and the camera with my right and trying not to block the minimal daylight while taking the photo.)
You will have a strip of paper that looks something like this.
Using the strip of paper as a guide, cut and score a sheet of paper. The horizontal dotted lines are established by measuring the height of your book block and adding a little bit of ease. You need enough ease so that a page of the book will slide into the end of the cover.
The red rectangles indicate card stock. If you are using a fairly light weight paper and want a stiffer cover, you can add card stock or thin book board where the rectangles are. It does not need to be glued in place as it will be held in position when the cover is folded.
Firmly pre-crease all your folds, then fold the top down, the bottom up, and the left and right ends toward the middle. Slip the front page of your book block into the pocket in the turn-in at the front and the back page of your book into the turn-in at the back.
This cover will also work for accordion/concertina books.
Tomorrow’s post will feature protective card stock wrappers.