How to Cover Exercise Books for School (With Ideas)

Any teacher or parent worth their salt knows that school exercise books will go through the wars before they’re filled up. Covering them up in wrapping paper provides that bit of extra defence against mud, spilled drinks, or the rough and tumble of being carried about all day in a backpack. 

Covering exercise books is also a good way for kids to immediately identify their own books in a pile of their classmates’. Not to mention covering exercise books is a fun identity-building craft activity. 

Any wrapping paper can be used to cover exercise books; it’s completely up to you! Some laminated wrapping papers are more water resistant than others but don’t forget these are usually not recyclable and could complicate things when getting rid of old exercise books

We stock a Giant Koloroll, just £14.99 for multiple large sheets of coloured paper, which is ideal for classroom book-covering activities.

Step-By-Step for How to Cover an Exercise Book

Here are some instructions for how to keep your exercise books neat with paper covers.

  1. Start by unrolling your paper with the design face down. Lay your exercise book on the paper and carefully draw around the book using a ruler leaving a space of about 1” all the way around. 
  1. Fold the paper in half widthways to make it easier to line up the spine. Then lay it out flat.
  1. Lay the exercise book over the paper and line up the spine. Use a glue stick to apply glue to the front of the exercise book. Holding the book in place, turn the front cover over and press it down on the paper. Ensure there are no bubbles or creases. 
  1. Close the book over, so the back cover is facing upwards and repeat step three. 
  1. Open up the exercise book with the paper attached and snip the corners of the paper off taking care not to cut the actual exercise book.
  1. You will now have four tabs of wrapping paper that need to be folded in. Fold the two outer tabs into the book’s front and back and glue them down. 
  1. To fold in the top and bottom tabs, open the exercise book again and lift the pages slightly at the top by bending them to the side, this will expose the whole length of the exercise book cover. Fold the top tab of the paper over and glue it down.
  1. Repeat step seven on the bottom edge of the book.

Exercise Books Delivered to Your School 

Order exercise books directly from Springboard Supplies. We stock books in the following formats and sizes

Browse our exercise book range for all colours available. We also offer a personalised exercise books service where we can print your school logo, crest or name on exercise books. We also stock book bags in a range of colours with reflective strips.

How to Cover Exercise Books in Clear Plastic

Adhesive clear plastic film can be used to make exercise books splash-resistant—almost destruction-proof! It can be a bit tricky covering books in a plastic film so here’s a sure-fire, easy method. Unless children are a bit older, they might need the help of an adult to do this. 

  1. Unroll the sheet of plastic film with the backing paper on the top.
  2. Lay the exercise book on the paper.
  3. Ensuring a space of about 1” perimeter around it, use a ruler to draw an outline of the exercise book in the same way you would using normal wrapping paper in the steps above. 
  4. Choosing either the left or right edge of the plaster film, peel away the backing paper by about 3”. Fold the backing paper back, so it’s flush with the surface you’re working on.
  5. Slide your closed exercise book onto the sticky part of the plastic film. It should now be covering some of the sticky plaster and the folded-back backing paper. Press down firmly so the plaster sticks to the exercise book.
  6. Holding the exercise book in place, pull the backing paper away, underneath the book, pressing down as you go. This will ensure no air bubbles get between the plaster and the book cover. 
  7. Once you’ve completed one full side of your exercise book, flip everything over and continue on the other side, pressing down as you go.
  8. Finish off using the same steps as above, by cutting the edges of the plastic and folding them in.

How to Decorate Exercise Books

Decorating is the best part of covering exercise books! You could have a book decorating session during class and provide students with craft supplies to give their books a splash of unique identity. 

If you plan to cover exercise books with sticky plaster film, it’s a good idea to decorate them first so all the additional pieces can be sealed in but ensure nothing 3D gets stuck to the books as the plastic won’t cover them well.

Here are some ideas for exercise book decorating.

  • Use old maps and magazines to create fun collages.
  • Use paper mosaic pieces to make pictures and abstract designs.
  • Create 3D decor with sequins and gems or add googly eyes to funny characters.
  • Use a glue stick to draw out shapes and cover them with glitter or coloured sand. Tap excess off, and then cover with plastic film. Try to be sparing with glitter or sand, and don’t go near the edges to ensure your plastic film sticks down enough.
  • If kids are struggling creatively or if they are very young, you could use holographic stars or precut paper shapes.
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