Creating colorful bookcovers for Back to School!

With school time just around the corner, 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 bookcovers / suzys artsy craftsy sitcom

The plan was to revamp the old version of the book cover.  You know, the one that is made from a grocery bag?  I used to make them all the time for my kids when they were in school.  Anyway, I decided to use a technique called Iris Folding with the bright colored papers to make those boring bookcovers exciting.

For this project I used:

Several sheets of different colors of bright colored cardstock
A paper grocery bag
Glue Stick
Tacky Glue

Are you a subscriber of Suzy’s Sitcom?  Go to the MEMBERS ONLY page for the free patterns for this project!

iris folding pattern

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!

Now lets create some beautiful Iris Paper Folds!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jada Hollister March 22, 2018, 1:01 pm

    Mua Mua!! Thank you so much for this amazing idea. I love your site so much. ❤️

    • Heidi Clarke March 22, 2018, 1:03 pm

      Indeed she is amazing!!

      • Elena Reed March 22, 2018, 1:07 pm

        Hi Paula,

        Thank you so much. This information really helped my kids. At least now I don’t have to worry about messy and torn covers any more. Really love the abstract design by the way. Very Unique.


        • Elena Reed March 22, 2018, 1:09 pm

          Hi Suzy*

  • Jada Hollister March 22, 2018, 1:00 pm

    Mua mua. Thank you so much

  • Paula August 17, 2017, 2:13 am

    Just found your site. ow!! I love it. Someone asked what kind of gourds you used for your adorable gossiping chickens. I couldn’t find the answer so could you plz tell me what kind they are. I love them. Thx again for such a wonderful site

    • Susan Myers August 17, 2017, 7:13 pm

      Hi Paula!

      I use kettle gourds from a farm in Arizona. You can find them in all regions of the country, usually at gourd farms. I buy mine already dried. I just have to clean them and they are ready to go!


  • Anonymous August 24, 2016, 7:34 pm

    I’m am confused about the folding part can u help me?

    • Anonymous August 24, 2016, 9:06 pm

      Never mind I figured it out

  • Lena Mroweh July 24, 2016, 4:37 am

    So creative

  • jyotsna July 15, 2016, 10:59 am

    hi suzy i am jyotsna from INDIA . love your ideas a lot they are so attractive . they always make my projects eye catching and amazing . keep uploading more ideas and we will give you more love.

    thanks a lot

  • Anonymous May 23, 2016, 3:33 am


  • Merry January 16, 2016, 4:27 am

    I can’t wait to do this with my granddaughter. She’ll love it! Thank you for a wonderful idea.

  • Babak July 8, 2015, 4:20 am

    I’m babak in iran. I love you’r site. Thank’s…

  • Pershy June 2, 2015, 7:47 am

    Wow! I love it! It looks very cute! This is idea is very colorful and creative!, but may I ask if instead of printing the template for the design or another way like, is there a specific measurement for the strips of colored paper that we are going to use. Thanks! 🙂

  • Kimi March 5, 2015, 11:07 pm

    So cool. 😀

  • Fiffie December 28, 2014, 11:00 am

    This is so creative,it’ll be quite nice to change from my usual covering with brown and black covers

  • John October 25, 2014, 1:45 am

    That’s the same algebra textbook I used almost 10 years ago! I cannot believe we still haven’t made any advances in mathematics.

  • Doris September 7, 2014, 2:29 pm

    Used this design for the cover of my art book and my teacher loved it! I am so happy with it!

  • Naznin Azeez September 4, 2014, 12:42 pm

    Extremely creative!!

  • Tracey Mallaghan June 19, 2014, 9:30 am

    I just love this, so vibrant and happy and a great project for all my leftover trimmings 🙂

  • maryam May 14, 2013, 11:44 pm

    thank you suzy….i will visit you every day…your ideas are wonderful

  • michelle August 30, 2012, 10:21 pm

    This is amazing I’m going to have to show my students how to do this 🙂

  • Heather - Dollar Store Crafts August 30, 2012, 9:22 pm

    Wow, these are really impressive… but then, all of your crafts are impressive! Great use of the neon paper!

  • Tracey August 29, 2012, 8:42 am

    WOW, those came out great. And what an awesome idea to brighten up boring old book covers. I would love for you to share this on our made for or by kids linky

  • Ruff House Art August 28, 2012, 3:57 pm

    How neat! I wish I could’ve spiced my bag books more when I was in high school!

  • Alyssa August 25, 2012, 11:08 pm

    These notebooks are awesome! I’m featuring them on my blog today, Clever Nest. It’s part of a Back to School DIY roundup. Come on over to check it out, and say hey :).


  • ToniK August 25, 2012, 4:02 pm

    Neat idea and I love the colors, but I would have to put a layer of clear Contact type material over the front to keep the folds from getting caught and torn by other book edges when placed in the backpack. I loved the patterns and am want to use them for an inspiration board for a quilting project.

    • Suzy August 25, 2012, 9:33 pm

      Hi Toni!

      The clear protectant might be a good idea for this project. I love the texture of the paper layers and just hated covering it up with anything. I’d love to see your quilt project when it is complete! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Heather @ Life as we know it... August 14, 2012, 11:37 am

    I recently featured this on my blog, such a great idea! I sited you, but recently fixed it to feature you a little better. Hope this works for you, sorry about any confusion it caused!

  • Anonymous August 7, 2012, 12:28 pm

    I love Iris folding but what really caught my attention was the sweet little face on the
    “BIG BAD GUARD DOGGY!” Probably would lick you to death. LOL. D*

  • Steph @ The Silly Pearl August 5, 2012, 9:38 pm

    I love this! Forget the kids, I want this for myself! Thanks for the diagram!

  • Debra August 3, 2012, 1:23 pm

    Those are bright and pretty.

  • Megan August 3, 2012, 12:14 pm

    That is really cool!

  • Summer August 3, 2012, 10:10 am

    That is awesome – great job!

  • katie August 3, 2012, 9:49 am

    gorgeous and creative project!!!