Friday 29 August 2014

How to make a River Song Journal cover for your eBook on the cheap and with limited supplies

Long title. Sorry about that. This is your how-to guide (with photos!) on making a River Song Journal style cover for your eBook if you have little money and few supplies on hand. I'm currently working remotely from a guest house in The South and had some free time and the creative urge and a need for a cover for my new Kobo. I don't have any of my usual sewing or art supplies so I had to use what was available with one quick trip to the nearest Micheal's.
My version of the River Song journal book cover.
Please note that this is not super professional or amazing but for a few dollars and a few hours, I am happy with the result. There are other tutorials on the interwebs that have nicer end products and you can order some on etsy but I wanted to do something with my hands. So I thought I'd share. 

Remember that time we went to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff? Oh yeah, I'm really far behind on my travel blogging. I'll tell you about it another time. Bennywho, we saw this:

Photo by Evan Falk
With that and a Google Image search, I had my blueprint. (Get it? Blue?) Here are the supplies I ended up using:
  • sketch book
  • pencil
  • 3 cereal boxes (will depend on size)
  • scissors
  • pocket knife (X-acto would have been way better!)
  • cutting board
  • 1/2 pot of rubber cement
  • > 1/2 m blue broadcloth
  • clothes iron
  • ironing board
  • Sharpie
  • about 2' fabric elastic
  • bit of black thread
  • 3 sewing needles
I had a small sewing kit, pocket knife, pencil and scissors along and the guest house had the iron and board. We bought cereal since we're staying here for a month. I did pick up the sketch book, rubber cement, fabric and elastic from Michael's. It all cost less than $15 USD and still have left overs from everything. You may notice that there is no ruler on my list. Yeah, I eye-balled and traced everything. Allons-y!

My plan. I made the square by folding and matching up edges.
I traced my book to get the rough dimensions and round the edges. I added the bottom and top edge after.
More tracing on the inside of the cereal box.
There was a lot of cutting involved. You need both the inside square and the outside framework so you have to cut them out delicately and then trim all the edges to create the space for the inlay. This is where I used the pocket knife and a cutting board. Oh, and I labelled all the pieces.
I traced another cereal box for the outside base. (I also traced and trimmed for the inside base.)
I glued down the pieces. Notice that space in between the pieces; it's all just trimmed down.
This is how I measured the fabric.
Glue down the texture side. I never did measure the spin. Just cut it.
At first you can't see the pattern. We'll get to that...
While the glue dried, I measured out the elastic to hold the book in.
Did I mention I got a new Kobo Aura? It's awesome. Go Canada!
Nice and snug.
I marked a pattern to sew down the elastic with Sharpie dots.
I sewed the elastic down.
I used the tip of a hot iron to press the shape into the cover.
The inside panels are a bit smaller than the outside. I thought it would look best this way. Also, I set my book in the elastic before I glued that fabric to its cereal box so that I could adjust how it would sit. If you're not going to measure things, you have to triple-check everything!
Nice and straight.
Easy to hold.
Spin turned out to be the perfect size for the thickness of the book.
The glue spots have faded and I'm left with a nicely textured book cover. Yay!
If you are going to try this and I've missed a step, feel free to ask and I'll help you out. Geronimo!

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