Byopia Press 2018 Advent Calendar: Day Twenty and Protective Wrappers

Sometimes it’s a good idea for a book to have a protective wrapper. It may be because it does not readily lie closed on its own, like some accordion structures, or because it is an unusual shape which does not store easily. Wrappers can also be used as an inner protective layer when packing books for shipping.

I have used the four-sided wrapper shown above as protection for books, especially when shipping. I have also used a two-sided version as a cover books like Grid Road  which has a panel book structure with projecting pages.

The four-sided wrapper is easy to make. The image below shows a possible layout: the central area is the size of the book, the left flap is the size of the book, and the flaps at the top and bottom are large enough to provide a secure turn-in. The dotted lines indicate the approximate location of the scoring lines for the folds. The hinge between the dotted lines is the depth of the book for the horizontal hinges. For the vertical hinges it is the depth of the book plus the thickness of the card stock being used.

If your card stock isn’t big enough to accommodate the whole wrapper in the layout above, you can make the wrapper with several pieces. The hot pink dotted line indicates the size of one piece. The horizontal portion can be cut from one or two pieces. If you are working with a number of pieces to assemble the wrapper, there are extra things to keep in mind.

I made a wrapper with three pieces of card stock. I used two pieces for the horizontal section. I cut them the height of the book and longer than was needed. I then cut the vertical panel the width of the book and taller than required. I measured and scored the bottom end of the vertical panel, marking and folding the flap and the hinge. I glued the two parts of the horizontal portion to the vertical panel, butting their ends and placing them just inside the upper score line on the bottom part of the vertical panel.

Using the upper edge of the horizontal panels as a guide I then scored and folded the upper portion of the vertical panel, and trimmed it to match the lower portion.

I scored and folded the hinges on either side of the vertical panel and trimmed the left section beyond the hinge to the width of the book. I scored and folded the right hand hinge and cut the section to less than the book’s width before making angled cuts to create a blunt-tipped point.

Using the point as a guide, I marked and pierced holes on either side of the point and cut a slot between them. You can find another description of that process here.


You can make a printable template using your book’s measurements at Template Maker. You can use the site in different languages —change the language in the menu bar at the top of the page— and use either Imperial or Metric measurements.

If the template is too large for you to print out, you can opt for a measured version to work from, so you don’t have to make any calculations.

I opted for a printed version. If you have a plotter-cutter you can download an svg file.

The template was too long for my card stock, so I opted to lay it out like this. The black line marks the edge of the paper.

Here’s the printout.

Here it is cut out, scored, and with the slot pierced and cut.

The wrapper fit perfectly. If I had been thinking a bit farther ahead when deciding what portion to print, I would have laid the template out on the page so that the full left end printed. The whole book would have been enclosed, and it would have been easy enough to alter the point at the right hand end, and relocate the slot.

I was pleased with how the program worked and I recommend it.

Tomorrow’s post will be about card holders, which can be scaled to use as single page holders in books.




About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
This entry was posted in artist's books, book arts, bookbinding, instructions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Byopia Press 2018 Advent Calendar: Day Twenty and Protective Wrappers

  1. Pingback: Byopia Press 2018 Advent Calendar: Day Twenty-five and An Index | Byopia Press

  2. Pingback: The Frank Fold: a reduced version of Hedi Kyle’s Franklin Fold, with an optional cover | Byopia Press

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