Iris Folded Book Covers

1 Material
1 Hour

I came up with a school craft project that incorporates brightly colored paper. After all, a long school day could certainly use some sunshine! I created fun book covers using the technique called Iris Folding!
iris folded book covers
Begin by cutting your paper bag open as shown, and then cut off the bottom flap, so that you have one large sheet of paper.
iris folded book covers
With printed side of the grocery bag up, place the book on top and fold down the top and bottom edges of the paper to match the top and bottom of the book.
iris folded book covers
Fold one end of the paper and slide the front cover of the book into the open end until the edge of the cover meets your fold.
iris folded book covers
Close the book and crease the other end of the paper where the edge of back cover meets it.  Slide the back cover into the open fold.  Your book cover is now complete.  Well, your boring bookcover is complete.  Now let’s spice it up some with colorful paper!
iris folded book covers
This is the Iris Folding Pattern that I am using for this project. You can get this free pattern along with several others by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post!
iris folded book covers
Choose a color and cut a strip of paper that is wider than your numbered section when folded.  Fold it lengthwise and place over the section, starting with section number one.  Be sure the fold is towards the center and is facing up.  (We are working from the backside of the project).
iris folded book covers
Cut another color strip and fold lengthwise, placing it over section number two, tacking the two strips together with glue stick.  Repeat this process going around, being sure to do the sections in numerical order. (Do not glue it to the pattern).
iris folded book covers
Continue around, in numerical order, using a glue stick to glue each strip in place.
iris folded book covers
The final piece is a simple square glued to cover the center.
iris folded book covers
Flip your project over and you will be thrilled at the effect!
iris folded book covers
For the apple cover, I drew a apple on the cover of the book that is just a bit smaller than the finished Iris Fold. Unwrap the book and cut the shape of the heart out of the cover. Glue the Iris Fold onto the inside of the cover using tacky glue with the front side of the Iris Fold against the inside of the front cover.

Not so boring now, is it? Let your colorful creative ideas go wild!
iris folded book covers
For the free patterns for this project, be sure to click on the link below!

Suggested materials:

  • Paper

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Susan Myers

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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2 of 39 comments
  • Barbara Fortin
    on Oct 3, 2017

    We were taught in school [1960's] how to cover our books. You can also put a clear plastic o ver the book cover, decorate in differewntg ways, drawing the design on it and color in, dried flowers! I still do this with my books! My latest wads a 1949 cookbook!
  • Karen
    on Oct 14, 2017

    This is the way i did my books back in the later 70's early 80's. Mom said it was a waist to pay out good money for pricey book cover already made. So she showed us how to use grocery bags, back then thats what we had alot of. LOL. Nice to see it's still around. Some kids laughed at it some acted like that way to cool, can you make some for me. Really nice.
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