Decorating Paper Bag Book Covers

On Wednesday my older daughter started middle school.  And if I didn't think that I'd bore you to death, I would probably write a wistful, ten page post detailing my thoughts and feelings on the subject.

But given that her week was okay (and I'm emotionally spent from thinking about it) I'd like to focus on an aspect of middle school that we've both enjoyed (and possibly the most random topic ever): covering her textbooks.

(Look, it involves cutting up brown paper bags.  As a craft blogger (sorta, kinda), I'm obligated to get excited over this stuff.)

Anyway, when I found out that she would be needing to cover her books, I thought back fondly to those days of yore when my mother and I would sit down on a September evening, a stack of paper bags in front of us, and cover my textbooks.

But then I remembered something!  These days you can buy book covers.  (Spoiled 21st century children!)  And those covers come in all kinds of cool colors and patterns.  Surely my new sixth grader would want those over brown paper bags.  (Wouldn't she?)

Well, it turns out that my kid is ten-kinds-of-awesome because, no, she didn't want those pre-fab covers.  In fact, when I told her that she could have those or the ones that my mom and I used to make, she chose to go old school.  (And I'm pretty sure she didn't do it just to humor her poor, nostalgic mother, either.)

Now if you've never covered a textbook with a brown paper bag, I'm going to direct you to Youtube where there are numerous how-to videos that you can watch at your leisure.

Because what my daughter and I really enjoyed was the decorating.  (I might have begged to help.)

We used all kinds of fun items including Washi Tape, Sharpies, Stamps, jewel stickers--anything we had lying around, really.

Here are some books that she decorated:

And here is the back of one that I did.  (I obviously have a thing for Washi Tape Buntings these days):

Thanks for indulging this mama at the end of a difficult week.  I'll be back to share some more first-world problems real soon!  ;)



  1. Elena, don't fret over your daughter being in middle school....save it for high school...and boys! These are cute and it reminded me of my brown bag book cover days. Oh if only I'd had sparklies then!! Your girl may be wanting her own craft blog soon!

  2. How sweet that your creative and talented daughter waned to express creativity with her mom, in her own way, by making her book covers. What a sweet memory. Math is my favorite cover...not subject :)

  3. I love that your middle school daughter went old school. Oh, and I can fully relate to whatever you're going through with a middle school girl. I have one of my own. It's an up-and-down-can-I-please-put-her-on-happy-pills? kinda existence over here ...



  4. What a great idea! Love that she added her own touch to the covers! FUN!

  5. That is awesome! I wish I had thought of that when I was a kid...we always just had the plain paper bag cover. Megan

  6. So cute! I remember covering my books and all we have to decorate them were markers and photos cut out of magazines. Thanks for sharing at my Our Favorite Things Link Party.

  7. You are obviously an incredible mom to have such a creative family! I love the book covers (especially the one with the flags)!

    Have a blessed and wonderful day!

  8. I'm so glad that I'm following you! What a cool daughter you have. Love this idea, thanks for sharing.


  9. This is such a good idea and I love rhinestones and washi tape! Thanks for sharing. Also, wanted to let you know that I've awarded you the Sunshine Award! Thanks, Anna http://beanbugcrafts.blogspot.com/2012/09/sunshine-award.html

  10. wow I love this, you have some really awesome stuff!!


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