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View Full Version : Crafty, resourceful solution needed


cajunmommy
12-18-2008, 08:22 AM
I'm putting out a call to all you crafty, resourceful people who reside here on the Budget Board. I need to find something that will work as a durable book cover for my DS's school books.

What hasn't held up so far....
-school fundraiser paper book covers (like a heavy-weight wrapping paper with a waxy coating - kind of like some book jackets),
-paper bags,
-freezer paper.

We can't use book socks (the stretchy, fabric covers) per teacher's instructions.

I'm at my wit's end trying to find something that will survive being crammed into an overloaded desk & book sack. I'm about to resort to lining a paper bag or paper book cover with duct tape to see if that will last more than a couple of weeks without being torn to shreds.

Any ideas???

EthansMom
12-18-2008, 08:35 AM
When we used to make ours out of paperbags, I would decorate it and cover it with clear packing tape. They lasted MUCH longer than regular paperbag covers.

I'm curious why the teacher won't allow booksox? They seem like an excellent product from what I've seen.

Darsa
12-18-2008, 08:37 AM
Booksox aren't waterproof, according to my DD13's teachers. They're not allowed to use 'em either.

DD has a friend who has this "thing" for duct tape. She covered her books with the normal paper-bag style, then duct-taped the whole stinkin' thing, with different colored duct tape. It's apparently cool, and so far is indestructible! ;)

lindsmom
12-18-2008, 08:39 AM
Glad Press'n Seal? I don't know... but I had a box right here and thought maybe...

cajunmommy
12-18-2008, 10:01 AM
When we used to make ours out of paperbags, I would decorate it and cover it with clear packing tape. They lasted MUCH longer than regular paperbag covers.

I'm curious why the teacher won't allow booksox? They seem like an excellent product from what I've seen.

Booksox aren't waterproof, according to my DD13's teachers. They're not allowed to use 'em either.

covered her books with the normal paper-bag style, then duct-taped the whole stinkin' thing, with different colored duct tape. It's apparently cool, and so far is indestructible! ;)

We have used booksox in previous grades, and I love them. The problem we have is the textbooks are larger than the standard sized booksox, so the tighter-fitting sox tend to bend the corners & edges of the spine. (Not my reasoning...this is from school.) Not sure about the waterproof comment, as the paper products aren't much better.

I've used clear packing tape to reinforce the folds & edges, and it seemed to help. I do like the duct tape idea. Sounds like a project for over Christmas break. I'll even let the kids choose the colors so they can co-ordinate with their notebooks!

Oh, I just had a thought. What about clear contact paper? Not directly on the book, but like a sheet of laminate over the paper bag or freezer paper. Do y'all think that would be flexible enough to bend & fold into a book cover?

mom2travel
12-18-2008, 10:11 AM
Oh, I just had a thought. What about clear contact paper? Not directly on the book, but like a sheet of laminate over the paper bag or freezer paper. Do y'all think that would be flexible enough to bend & fold into a book cover?

I have used clear contact paper for years to cover the kids workbooks (some pretty thick) and have never had a problem with flexibility. I think it could be a great problem-solver for you

magik
12-18-2008, 10:13 AM
I have used clear contact paper for years to cover the kids workbooks (some pretty thick) and have never had a problem with flexibility. I think it could be a great problem-solver for you

This is what we always did when I was younger. Used either grocery bags or actual paper "book covers" and covered the bag or book cover with clear contact paper, and then folded and put them on the book as usual.

IluvKingLouis
12-18-2008, 10:15 AM
You could by the plastic table clothes (Walmart) that have a bit of felt on the back to keep from slipping. Then cut them to fit and use packing tape. I think you can find them in solid colors so they won't look like table clothes. :lmao:

BellyBaby
12-18-2008, 10:19 AM
How about meat-packing paper from the butcher shop? It can still be decorated, is water-resistant, and probably free if you ask nice and buy some beef at the same time.

If the brown bag look is too plain, you could also buy some large white envelopes, the ones that look water-proof, have a mottled-thread look to them and feel waxy (office store will know what you're talking about). Cut it apart and that should be pretty indestructable. :thumbsup2

Disneefun
12-18-2008, 10:37 AM
I used to use wallpaper (which is really thick and durable) or shelf paper (if using shelf paper, you'll have to stick it to a paper bag or something b/c the back is sticky right off the roll).

Darsa
12-18-2008, 11:27 AM
Not sure about the waterproof comment, as the paper products aren't much better.


Yeah, I kinda thought the excuse from the school was kind of a "blow-off", but we were new there and I wasn't about to make waves for something so minor ;)

If I'm able to find the time I'll take a picture of one of DD's books so you can see what she did with the duct tape. She had a lot of fun doing it :)

Luv Bunnies
12-18-2008, 12:11 PM
You could by the plastic table clothes (Walmart) that have a bit of felt on the back to keep from slipping. Then cut them to fit and use packing tape. I think you can find them in solid colors so they won't look like table clothes. :lmao:

This is what I was thinking - cut vinyl table cloths to fit the books. They are waterproof and won't rip very easily.

sunstress
12-18-2008, 12:20 PM
This is what I was thinking - cut vinyl table cloths to fit the books. They are waterproof and won't rip very easily.

Sometimes the fabric store around here has inexpensive vinyl on the roll -- I suspect it's designed for tablecloths? It comes in different designs, some of which are really fun, and some of which are just solid colors. I bought some to make a "seat cover" for my bike (it rains a lot here in Seattle...)

PrincessKsMom
12-18-2008, 12:23 PM
I also use the clear contact paper. It's wonderful. I usually find mine in Rite-Aid in the housewares aisle.

perriwinkleblue
12-18-2008, 01:53 PM
Know anywhere to get some scrap Tyvek paper? It's pretty strong.

EthansMom
12-18-2008, 02:44 PM
We have used booksox in previous grades, and I love them. The problem we have is the textbooks are larger than the standard sized booksox, so the tighter-fitting sox tend to bend the corners & edges of the spine. (Not my reasoning...this is from school.) Not sure about the waterproof comment, as the paper products aren't much better.


I'm not sure that that makes much sense since there are Jumbo-sized booksox available (www.booksox.com). Seems like the school could've assessed a book cover fee and ordered a lot of jumbo booksox, but I guess you've got to live within their rules.

Reading the other posts helped me remember that I've also made book covers out of contact paper (shelf liner) in the past. Personally, I preferred paperbags with tape all over the exterior because it was easier to handle (folds and refolds easier).

cajunmommy
12-18-2008, 08:15 PM
I'm not sure that that makes much sense since there are Jumbo-sized booksox available (www.booksox.com). Seems like the school could've assessed a book cover fee and ordered a lot of jumbo booksox, but I guess you've got to live within their rules.


Funny thing, the school's equivalent of the PTO sells booksox alongside the paper book covers. And I know the jumbo booksox exist, because I've purchased some from Office Depot. For some reason, however, this year's group of teachers have decided no booksocks on the larger sized textbooks.

What a brilliant set of ideas....Tyvek - indestructible indeed! I'll have to put out some calls to source that one...or hang out at a construction site to grab some leftovers from a house wrap!:rotfl: The office envelopes would work as well if I can find one big enough.

Vinyl tablecloths....genious! WM always has leftover seasonal ones reduced, and I could get a bunch of covers out of one tablecloth for just pennies a piece! Of course, finding a pattern that DS9 finds acceptable might be a challenge.

Thanks for the wonderful ideas! I might have to borrow the vinyl / tablecloth suggestion as a fundraiser project for next year's craft fair.

blackforest
12-18-2008, 08:22 PM
Funny thing, the school's equivalent of the PTO sells booksox alongside the paper book covers. And I know the jumbo booksox exist, because I've purchased some from Office Depot. For some reason, however, this year's group of teachers have decided no booksocks on the larger sized textbooks.

What a brilliant set of ideas....Tyvek - indestructible indeed! I'll have to put out some calls to source that one...or hang out at a construction site to grab some leftovers from a house wrap!:rotfl: The office envelopes would work as well if I can find one big enough.

Vinyl tablecloths....genious! WM always has leftover seasonal ones reduced, and I could get a bunch of covers out of one tablecloth for just pennies a piece! Of course, finding a pattern that DS9 finds acceptable might be a challenge.

Thanks for the wonderful ideas! I might have to borrow the vinyl / tablecloth suggestion as a fundraiser project for next year's craft fair.

You might even be able to sew these together, so they will last longer!

angeleigh
12-19-2008, 04:58 AM
When we used to make ours out of paperbags, I would decorate it and cover it with clear packing tape. They lasted MUCH longer than regular paperbag covers.

I'm curious why the teacher won't allow booksox? They seem like an excellent product from what I've seen.

The reason we were given for no book sox is that they break the binding of the books.

englishteacha
12-19-2008, 08:02 AM
7th grade teacher here....I'd almost rather my textbooks go uncovered than be covered by those fabric things! They don't fit well, they pull at the binding, and when the kids doodle on them, it goes right through the fabric onto the book. I have dozens of literature books with graffiti on the covers. We haven't "banned" the fabric covers, but they certainly don't protect the book well. I have "banned" Glad Press and Seal. It left an awful sticky residue on the book. Now I wonder if I want it on my food...

Here's a thought, OP. Perhaps your child will be more gentle with his books if he has to be the one to recover it? As a kid we used paper bag book covers, and I was pretty hard on mine, and my mom made me recover them after the first time they needed to be redone. As it turned out, I started being more careful, and my book covers lasted ages! We also had a teacher that would make you stay in during recess to recover your book if the cover was too tattered. Nobody wanted that, so we tried to be careful! I usually had to patch with some tape after a few months, and when I got tired of the exisiting doodles, I'd recover them. :)

I covered some book dust jackets in contact paper, then put them back on the books, and they are holding up quite well in my classroom. Perhaps make the book cover and then cover it in packing tape or contact paper? The clear paper is expensive, but I know you can sometimes find generic contact paper at places like Family Dollar pretty cheaply.

Matt'sMom
12-19-2008, 08:31 AM
I need to find something that will work as a durable book cover for my DS's school books... that will last more than a couple of weeks without being torn to shreds.

Any ideas???

How about the clear, polyester book covers used for archival purposes? I purchase these to use for preserving my antique and vintage book collections... but they could just as easily be used on text books too. They are very inexpensive (cheaper than book sox, even), and hold up extremely well while providing excellent protection. A lot of libraries use just this sort of cover to protect their books too. Minimum purchases tend to be in quantities of 25... but you could certainly share among other students/parents, or donate any 'extras' to your child's classroom. :wizard:

http://www.shopbrodart.com/site_pages/bjc/

blackforest
12-19-2008, 12:11 PM
How about covering them with several layers at one time? I used to do this in school. Work on covering them with 3-4 (2-3) layers of brown paper bags (if they still exist!). That way one one is tattered, tear off a layer and a fresh one is revealed. Unless it is a big, gaping tear there should enough layers to last for a while!

NotUrsula
12-19-2008, 01:08 PM
I'm a librarian, and I was going to send you to Brodart, too. Those are professional acid-free polyester library covers that we use on our books, and unless you take a knife to them, nothing is going to tear them. DS' school also banned the socks, so I brought some of the professional covers home from the office and put them on DS' books. They are still as lovely and shiny as the day they were issued, LOL.

One thing to note when using these: Library covers assume that you are preserving a book jacket, so the covers have a hinged white backing paper that is meant to hold the jacket inside the clear plastic. When using them for schoolbooks, I have the kids either draw some artwork on the liner to identify the book, or I have them put some colorful gift wrap paper or cut-down posters inside the sleeve before putting it on the book. That personalizes it and means that you needn't remove the white backing paper if you don't want to. (It's harder to apply the cover neatly to an unjacketed book if the backing is removed.)

To put them on in a secure manner, you'll also want to buy a roll of 2" clear book tape, regular packing tape is too thin and brittle to hold up.