If you’ve been following along, you know we’re big Harry Potter fans in this house. I wanted to create a Harry Potter Inspired Library as part of my son’s room makeover. Creating the covers was a challenge I was ready to take on! See the Harry Potter Room Reveal from the One Room Challenge.
- Books to Cover (I used 18 for covers, 3 books open with interior pages)
- Various Scrapbook Paper
- Modge Podge + Foam Brush
- Downloads (see below for links)
Where to Find the Books
I thrifted books for this. It’s a good idea to figure out which thrift stores have discount days, or weeks where specific “color tags” are discounted. Thrifted books are already cheap, but my goal was to only spend $1.50 or less because it requires quite a few.
Because the titles for this project were going to be the highlight of the Harry Potter Inspired Library, I had to consider choosing sizes where the spine would be big enough for the cover to be seen–even across the room. I wanted books in similar sizes, but not exact. I hadn’t figured out where I would display them, but consistency was important. *Spoiler Alert: I did a floating book wall.*
You’ll be removing the dust cover if the book still has it, so be aware of the color of the actual hardcover. I looked for books in certain colors: moody, vintage-like. I chose navy blue, mustard, deep purple, burghandy, black. You get the idea. I didn’t want anything too modern.
Find or Create Your Covers
For the covers, I started with a bunch of the free printables found on Paper Trail Design.
For some of the titles, I either made them up, or I found them on a Harry Potter book list. Then, I used a font that fit the look I was going for. The trick to this is to get the size right to match the width of the spine, centered on the paper. It might take a couple attempts on blank paper.
The most fun–or frustrating part–comes with printing the titles on specialty paper. You can cut down larger scrapbook paper, or go to the store, like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, to find printer-sized papers that fit the “mood” of your books. I actually used older scrapbook paper for many of mine, and then I shopped for a the last few. You can also use images if you have an app like Photoshop, then type right on the image.
Sizing the Covers
The cover doesn’t need to be the same size as the entire book. The spine is really all that matters. I chose to do most of them as if they were partial covers, covering the spine & 2-3 inches of the book on each side, but then letting the blank hardcover be the rest of the cover, for a two-toned look.
*Check the size by placing it on the chosen book, slightly pressing it in place to make sure it fits to make sure it looks appropriate once glued in place. Then, you can make cuts to fit.
Attaching the New Covers
Place the new cover onto the book, just pressing it in place, creasing all the areas that will be folded. It creates a mold of the shape, so you can make some cuts.
You’ll want to cut the top and bottom portion so they extend above and below the centered title by a few inches. On each end of the spine, you’ll want to cut it more shallow so you don’t have much to fold over.
The edges of the cover above and below the spine can be wider because you can actually open the cover and glue those inside.
Get your Modge Podge & foam brush.
Spread a layer on glue across the entire spine. Press the book cover in place so the spine is exactly where you want it to be. Smooth it out. Then, using your fingers, check the folded parts to see if everything is still fitting correctly. You still have time to cut off excess if necessary.
Once the outside is glued, open the cover and glue the tabs inside the cover, so when the book is closed, the new cover is completely fitted in place.
The last part is to glue the edges of the spine in place. Add a little glue to them, and then gently fold in place.
Chances are, they may not stick inside the end of the book, but as long as there is a clean fold, it will look great.
What About Interior Pages???
I didn’t get too far into this, but I did create a few books for the Harry Potter Inspired Library that were meant to stay “open,” and if you’ve seen the floating book wall, you know what I mean. I chose pages of spells, since I could make the size big enough to read even standing away from the wall. The “interior pages” of the open books on the wall from More Than Thursdays. I sized them to fit, printed them off, and then glued them in place. These could even be done on a book that’s just lying open. Or you could make the whole spell book!
The Harry Potter Inspired Library…
What do you think? Are you ready to try to make your own Harry Potter book covers? It was such a fun project making these–and even making up my own titles! Come visit me over on Instagram for more fun projects!