Adult Crafts / Back to School Ideas / DIY

DIY Book Cover Made From A Party Bag


This post is sponsored by HarperCollins. DIY book cover tutorial and all opinions are mine.

Make DIY book covers from party bags

First grade is such an exciting year! For all my kids, it’s been that year that they REALLY GET IT when it comes to reading. All the pre-work we did finally clicks and they get excited about books! I think that’s why I always get excited for friends and team members who have first graders.

I always recommend the I Can Read! series from HarperCollins for new readers. They are organized into easy levels (Level 1 works particularly well for incoming first graders!) and they feature familiar characters to make reading extra fun – like Amelia Bedelia, Fancy Nancy, and Biscuit!

My kids adored these books and gobbled them up and I have had so much fun sharing them with our team members. They are easy to digest for the kids and great stories that I don’t mind reading for all those read-out-loud evening hours you are about to commit to hearing.

Why do you need book covers on little kids books?

First grade is also that last year before my kids really started to think about things like washing the brownies off their hands before grabbing their books. Which is why I made an entire bookcase worth of decorative book covers to cover all their favorite reading books.

Using DIY book covers allows me to encourage all the excitement of reading whenever we have young readers around, without leaving a mess on all the books. They are like book jackets from the rain of 1st graders messy hands. ;)

So we took our new I Can Read! books and created decorative covers to keep them clean. Check out the tutorial below, and don’t miss the giveaway at the end of the post for your chance to win to your own I Can Read! collection.

Decorate book jacket paper
DIY book cover from a party bag supply list

To make the DIY book covers you will need:

  • Left over gift/party bags
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • Ruler

How to make an old fashion book cover

How to make decorative book cover paper from a party bag

Step 1. Cut the gift bag so it can lay flat. Any gift bag will do here and if you’re gift bag is smaller than the DIY book cover you are wanting to make, simply cut down one side and lay the entire thing out flat before beginning.

Step 2. On the back side of the bag (inside), lay the cover of your book toward the left side of the bag and trace around all four sides, then the spine, then the back side of the book.

Step 3. Using a ruler, draw an 1” outline around the traces book outline.

DIY Book Cover Step 1

Step 4. Using a ruler, draw a 90 degree line at each corner and at each point of the spine.

Step 5. Cut along the outlines.

Step 6. Fold along the inner pencil lines.

To finish off your DIY book cover from a party bag, place the book on the cover and tape at the inside corners.

*Tip: Because we are covering a few books at once that are the same size we used a paper bag to create a template that we then traced onto each gift bag so we didn’t have to measure multiple times.

DIY book cover step by step instructions

Why I’ve always loved I Can Read! Leveled Books

Widely recognized as the premier line of beginning readers, I Can Read! books are organized into color-coded levels. With hundreds of titles featuring award-winning authors and illustrators, and the most beloved character friends in the history of children’s literature, you can find books at every stage to engage and excite your child. Introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

HarperCollins also has so many resources on their website to make it even more fun for your emerging reader. Check out all the printable activities, and see 100 tips for beginning readers.

DIY book cover tutorial

I Can Read! Giveaway

We are hosting a giveaway so everyone can have fun reading without the mess! Be ready for school to start with this exciting prize! One (1) winner with a U.S. mailing address will receive:

  • A sampling of five I Can Read! books;
  • Plus a State Bags backpack!

To enter, leave a comment here or over on Instagram telling me what your favorite I Can Read! book is.

PS. For more party repurposing try making these wrapping paper envelopes.

(Photography ©A Subtle Revelry by Ashlyn Savannah Photo).


  • olga
    July 31, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    My little one loves to read Fancy Nancy.

  • Elizabeth Moeller
    August 6, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Our favorite I can read book is the Frog and Toad books.

  • Ashley B
    August 6, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Duck, Duck Dinosaur!

  • Nicole
    August 6, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    I love Pete the Cat Plays Ball!

  • mary chapman
    August 6, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Amelia Bedelia was one of my favorites as a kid!

  • Cathy B.
    August 6, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    My little one loves Pinkalicious.

  • Kelly D
    August 7, 2018 at 5:27 am

    I like the Splat the Cat: Good Night, Sleep Tight book.

  • Grant D
    August 7, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Charlie the ranch Dog

  • Meg S
    August 7, 2018 at 10:05 am

    First of all, I love these book covers! As for I Can Read books – have to go with Paddington’s Day Off as my favorite – too cute.

  • Pat
    August 7, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Berenstain Bears

  • Dana
    August 11, 2018 at 8:58 am

    My favorite is Fancy Nancy.

  • Kayla klontz
    August 14, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    I love Fancy Nancy!

  • amy guillaume linderman
    August 15, 2018 at 5:25 am

    i think my boys have every Berenstain Bears i can read book! i love them too

  • Anne Perry
    August 15, 2018 at 6:48 am

    A pet for Pete. Pete the cat book.

  • Abigail
    August 15, 2018 at 6:58 am

    I have always loved the Amelia Bedelia books!!!

  • Cassandra M
    August 15, 2018 at 7:09 am

    i like danny and the dinosaur and the sand castle contest book for my son!

  • Angelica Dimeo
    August 15, 2018 at 7:26 am

    My son loves Pete the Cat and the Cool Caterpillar

  • meghan
    August 15, 2018 at 8:08 am

    My daughter loves Splat the Cat!

  • maria gentry
    August 15, 2018 at 8:22 am

    We love Fancy Nancy!

  • Jennifer Cervantes
    August 15, 2018 at 8:38 am

    We love the pinkalicious and Amelia bedilia books the best.

  • Helen
    August 15, 2018 at 9:17 am

    My little girl loves the biscuit the cute little puppy i can read books.

  • Amber cheras
    August 15, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Splat the cat

  • angie w
    August 15, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Fancy Nancy!

  • Audrey Stewart
    August 15, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    We love Pete the Cat books.

  • Pamela
    August 15, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Biscuit and Pete the Cat books are favorites in our house!

  • Jana Leah
    August 15, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    We love the Amelia Bedelia books.

  • elizabeth miller
    August 15, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    My favorite I can read books are the Pinkalicious books. Her stories are so adorable. They teach a good lesson in too much of something is not good.

  • Trish
    August 15, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Amelia Bedelia is my favorite!

  • LeAnn Harbert
    August 15, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    My granddaughter has read Fancy Nancy.

  • Janet Boyanton
    August 15, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    I have never read these books, but I have a grandson who loves books, so I am sure he would like these also.

  • Stephanie
    August 15, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Since we have four cats, our favorite is Pete the Cat.

  • kelly woods
    August 15, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    Fancy Nancy yes, we love them!!!

  • Rennie D
    August 17, 2018 at 10:16 am

    biscuit finds a friend!

  • Heather
    August 17, 2018 at 11:27 am

    My daughter loves Danny and the dinosaur books


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