Easy Apple Printed Book Covers from a Paper Bag

One of the first homework assignments many kids need to complete is to cover their books. Why not have a little fun doing it? Using some paint, a brown paper bag or freezer paper, an apple, and a potato, you can make beautiful book covers! I see book covers at office supply stores all the time, but it’s so much for fun (and less expensive) to make your own. It doesn’t get any more frugal than an apple and a brown paper bag!!

First, cut an apple in half to use as a stamper. Emily dipped the apple stamper in some red paint and then stamped the design on the paper.
Next, cut a leaf shape stamp from a potato. Your child can add green leaves to the apples they already stamped.
Using a paint brush, fill in any spots with a little more paint. Emily was so pleased with how her book cover was starting to look! Allow the paint to dry completely. Now it’s time to cover the book!

With the apple-printed side down, fold the bottom edge of the bag over about 3 inches.

Lay your book to be covered on top of the bag and mark the top of it with a pencil.
Using your pencil mark as a guide, fold the top edge to make a sleeve for the book cover.
Insert the front cover of the book into the sleeve. Repeat with the back cover. You may need to trim your bag a bit, depending on the size of the book.
… and you’re done! Have fun!!


  1. Dear Valerie,

    I hope that wasn't the last apple, because I was going to eat that one when I got home.


  2. @ Mark — You're in luck… there's one more left! You better get home soon, or it might be gone. It's looking mighty tasty.

  3. I remember when my oldest was in elementary school and she would make her book covers. That was the in thing then. By the time she got in high school she wanted the cute store bought ones. I always made sure I'd find them on sale though!

    I really like the apple decorated one though. Your daughter is going to be a crafting queen. Oh wait, that's you. She's crafting princess now. 🙂

  4. I love apple prints. Fun! It bothers me that it is more common to buy book covers now. When I was a kid (here we go!) everyone used paper bags for book covers!

    I hope you shared that last apple! Hee hee!

  5. Night Owl Mama says

    LOL I remember doing those as a kid Super fun and super cute. WTR
    Way To reycle

  6. What a cute idea. I have to say that I just stumbled across your site and was really taken by the cute idea to have kids cover their books like this. I have never heard of doing that! I love doing interactive projects with my kids. I have been focusing most of my energy on my baby lately-I have been really getting into Carol Casey's Active Reading Series- Has lots of fun board and picture books/games that teach babies several things including how much you love them. However I have been looking for some bonding activities to use with my older kids and am going to make a book cover… Thanks for the great tip!

  7. i was surprised when i started teaching that kids didn't know how to cover their books!

  8. @ Night Owl Mama — Doesn't it bring back such great memories? And the book covers always end up with doodles ALL OVER THEM anyway, but it's still fun to dress them up a bit.

    @ dana — It's true! I remember showing some of my friends in college how to cover their books. It's a good and useful skill!

  9. @ Becky — Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I hope to see you back here again soon!

  10. @ Christy — I know what you mean. When I see book covers at the store, it bothers me too. The paper grocery bags work so well and I love giving them another purpose before sending them to the curb for recycling.

  11. Another great way to use apple prints! I used to cover my books with left-over wrapping paper, I don't think our local shops used paper bags much.

  12. @ MaryAnne — Leftover wrapping paper is a great idea!

  13. Stephanie Griffith says

    So cute!

  14. the Magic Onions says

    So cute… I love how the apple makes an apple… K would love this, so would T… we'll have to cover some books soon.
    Thanks so much for sharing on Friday's Nature Table.
    Blessings and magic.

  15. Ah yes, covering books. As a teacher I used to require it..as a student I loved doing it. I am a doodler so my cover would fill up fast! I love the apple print idea 🙂

  16. Ah yes, covering books. As a teacher I used to require it..as a student I loved doing it. I am a doodler so my cover would fill up fast! I love the apple print idea 🙂

  17. Very frugal but they look great!