Sunday, January 13, 2013

How to Turn a Book into an iPad Cover

I've been wanting a new cover for my iPad .  The one  I have is fine - black pleather that is functional but not very exciting.  Boston Daughter has a cover like this for her Kindle  Fire - it looks like an old book. (Being her mother's daughter, she scrubbed it up a bit to tone down the gold and ramp up the vintage).  I decided to find an old book and make my own cover.

It took some time to find a book that would work.  First problem was size - the iPad is not a common book size, plus I didn't want one with too many pages as the iPad is pretty thin.  Then came the aesthetics - I needed a hard cover book with an interesting cover.  That leaves out most new books that have great paper covers, but the actual book covers are just plain.
I found just the thing at a great used book store in Maine.  This is not your usual musty-dusty place - the proprietor told me every page of every book is wiped down with a special solution before it goes on the shelf .  There were old - really old books here,  books fro collectors with prices for collectors.
 Boston Daughter in the stacks.  She's standing in front of several thousand dollars worth of very old books.
I found this beauty for $20.00   Size - perfect.  Cover art- perfect - score!
 WARNING !!  If you're the kind of person who thinks it's sacrilegious to cut up books, you should probably stop reading here because the next picture will send you into a tailspin.
Started by carefully cutting out the book pages by cutting  along the spine - being careful not to cut through it.  See?  Nothing bad happened - no fire, no smoting, just the book guts separated from the covers.
I cut a piece of cardboard the size of the back cover and glued some mulberry paper over it.  Then glued down some black elastic to hold the iPad in place.  Then I added a small loop of elastic that will become part of the closure and glued the whole  thing onto the inside back cover.  I used E6000 to glue this down - any really strong glue should work.  This is what holds the iPad in the book, so no wimpy glue for this step.
 The Captain drilled a small hole in the front cover for the button closure.  This fuzzy picture is a side view - I threaded some embroidery floss through the button holes, then tied a knot under the button to lift it off the cover a bit, pulled the threads through the drilled hole and glued them down to the inside of the front cover.

The inside of the front cover was blank, so I had already glued down a small opened file folder to add  interest.
I glued a decorated envelope over the file folder and threads .  This covers and secures the button threads and gives me a spot to stash papers.
This shows how the elastic cord holds the tablet in place.

Love my new cover!


  1. I just made hand designed iPad cases one from a book cover and one from my pillow cover with embroidery on it. They both looked amazing. Will share the pictures as well :)

  2. Before Christmas I bought a book by Annie S Swan with a lovely Victorian hard cover with lovely pansies and 'carving'. Now I know what to do with it!

  3. Maya - looking forward to seeing pictures of your creations.

    Maureen - good luck with your book and congratulations on finding a beauty. I believe in the reincarnation of lovely books.


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