This is the time of year my instinct is to sort, toss and donate. But sometimes memories put a snag in that plans to organize. Like when I found my copy of The Preppy Handbook.

That was my social and fashion bible in middle school. Between the pages of this book, I was introduced to gingham and monograms. The Preppy Handbook introduced me to my love for gingham and monograms.

But my copy, like myself, looked tired and worn down. The Preppy Handbook was ready for a few decorative book cover ideas.

And now? My books are ready for fresh covers. I want bright pink and kelly green color block book covers.


book cover ideas
Decorative Book Cover Ideas

Here are a few ideas for my assortment of books that deserve a seat on the shelf with a fresh makeover.


When I began my blog the trend was to cover books with brown paper. It was the farmhouse years. Now, a fun trend is to create a color block or shades of one color for your bookcase. White book covers are a neutral option too! Sometimes less is more.

With decorative coversYou are limited only by your imagination. Bold colors and floral prints are a fresh update for weathered books with tired spines.


To create the look I use either:

  • white wrapping paper
  • adhesive back white shelf liner from Target. The shelf liner has a bit of a shine to it, but it is more durable. If you want to kick it up a level look for a
  • textured white roll of gift wrap. It looks best against a wood grain or painted shelves.
Book Cover Ideas for a book shelf


Have you seen color-coordinated bookshelves like the one I shared on Instagram?

I sorted through my husband’s favorite business books to create these shades of blue books for my office.

I flipped the books around so only the front and back cover’s blue edges are on display versus the titles of the books. Subtle.

But it is tough to find a dozen books with pink book jackets for a highly coveted Pinterest pin. Instead, I bought three shades of pink gift wrap. Stay tuned.


I love blue and white so when I found these 12×12 adhesive sheets at the dollar store (I think it is the $1.25 store now) I snagged a few sheets. The adhesive back and swirly design make this a no-brainer for my skills and time.

I have a notebook binder of my go-to recipes. I covered the binders in this fun pattern and displayed them on the bookcase in the living room (where I love to read cookbooks).



Wallpaper: it’s not your mom’s wallpaper. Now it has an adhesive back and a huge assortment of designs. I ordered one roll because I knew I was going to love it!

Until it arrived and discovered buffalo check is not the same as gingham.

I used the adhesive back, easy-to-apply wallpaper on a few books in my office.

The 12×12 adhesive squares were a better value. I have also seen these squares at Target in the dollar-ish section too!


Yes, it turns out you can paint anything. To test this theory I painted two books. I spray-painted my paperback copy of Rugby for Dummies (the third book from the right).

Here’s a peek:

Painting book jackets, especially on tired-look covers, is fun because you can work with so many colors. If you have almost empty cans of spray paint this would be a fun way to dress up your books and clear out the garage!

And I painted one of my mothers-in-law’s 1980’s spiral cookbook (with a hardback cover).

This is the before…

I painted over the book cover.

It turns out spray paint or a paintbrush is an easy way to decorate a bookcase if you want to try to add specific (paint) colors to your books.

And if you still like brown paper packages tied up with string. Craft paper is still a classic for books. Or, good old school with a brown paper grocery bag!

Thank you for stopping by today! I hope this got y our creative side of the brain brimming with ideas or new pins for Pinterest! Would love for you to sign up for my Saturday-only newsletter (the Weekend Edit).

Before you go you may enjoy this fun craft with a bag of cement and water!

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One Comment

  1. Laura,
    Great ideas for sprucing up books!! Thanks so much for stopping by and your kind comment about my weight loss…I am waiting though to buy new clothes until I get down to where I want to be…I don’t want to waste money buying clothes now that hopefully will be too big in a few months from now…
    I hope you are having a great week!!

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