How to Make an Embroidered Book Cover

embroidered book cover

Project by Ashley Warren; Embroidery by Angela Atherton

Create a custom book cover for yourself or someone you love! This Sew Beautiful project designed by Ashley Warren makes a quick, heartfelt gift for Mother’s Day or any day of the year (bonus points if you include a book inside!). The tutorial will show you how to create the cover and embellish it with machine embroidery. Use the featured embroidery design, or make your cover unique with a monogram or other design of your choice. The inside of the cover features a built-in bookmark and inside pockets to hold a pen or highlighter.


  • Fabric
    • 1/2 yd white piqué
    • 1/4 yd black and white microcheck gingham
    • 1/4 yd yellow and white microcheck gingham
  • Embroidery design
  • Thread
    • Thread to match fabric Sulky® 40 wt rayon threads in the following colors:
      • 1317 Poppy- book cover
      • 1023 Yellow- flower center, saucer
      • 1179 Dk. Taupe- coffee
      • 1560 Marine Aqua- cup, saucer
      • 1001 Bright White- flower petals, book pages
      • 1223 Baby Blue Tint- shading on pages
      • 1220 Charcoal Gray- detail
  • Supplies
    • Sulky® Sticky™ lightweight tearaway stabilizer
    • Floriani® Stitch and Shape™
    • 1-inch bias tape maker
    • Sulky® KK2000™ temporary spray adhesive (optional)
    • Wash-away basting glue (optional)
    • Fray Block™ (optional)

Cutting and Preparation

1. Select the book you want to cover and measure the front width, spine width and back width and add measurements together. Measure book height. (The example measures 9-1/2- (H) x 14-3/4-inches (W)). Add 1-inch to each measurement. (The example would now measure 10-1/2- (H) x 15-3/4-inches (W).

2. From white piqué, cut two rectangles using previous measurements.

3. From Stitch and Shape™, cut one rectangle using previous measurements.

4. From yellow gingham, cut two pieces that measure 4-inches wide x previously determined height (example height is 10-1/2-inches) for pockets.

5. From black gingham, cut enough 1-7/8-inch strips to make binding and one 5- (H) x 2-inch (W) piece for pen pocket.

6. Cut one 18-inch piece of ribbon for bookmark.


1. Using a wash-away marking pen, mark 1/2-inch from outer edges on one piece of white piqué. This line is drawn to determine embroidery placement only, not to stitch. Mark lines for spine and mark center front on right hand side of piece. This will designate embroidery placement (fig. 1).

2. Stabilize, hoop and embroider design according to stitch order in machine. Tear away stabilizer and trim any loose threads.

3. Layer embroidered piqué, the Stitch and Shape™ and other piece of piqué (KK2000™ may be used to hold pieces together) (fig. 2).

4. Stitch a double folded 1/4-inch hem on one long edge of each yellow gingham pocket.

5. Hem top edge of black check pen pocket in same manner. Turn under remaining raw edges 1/4-inch and place onto one of the yellow side pocket pieces. Topstitch along three edges, leaving top open (fig. 3).

6. Place pockets onto back side of created piqué “sandwich” (KK2000™ may be used to hold pieces together).

7. Prepare binding by sewing black bias gingham strips together end-to-end if necessary. Run strip through bias tape maker, pressing as you go. Fold bias tape in half lengthwise and press again (be sure to press one half slightly wider than the other).

8. Beginning at bottom spine (bottom center), wrap and pin (or use wash-away basting glue) folded strip over raw edge of cover so that wider half of bias tape is facing back (or inside of book). Stitch  along tape edge, mitering at corners (fig. 4).

9.  When you reach the end, trim away excess tape and fold under 1/2-inch and lap over the beginning of the tape (fig. 5). NOTE: Binding edge will not meet previously drawn 1/2-inch line; again this line was drawn to determine embroidery placement only.

10.  Add bookmark by folding one end of ribbon under 1/2-inch then another 1/2-inch and stitching to inside top of book cover back (fig. 6) . Cut end at an angle to prevent fraying. Apply Fray Block™  to end if desired.

Want to build your machine embroidery collection? Be sure to check out our Internet Embroidery Club!

Discover more quick sewing project ideas in our online shop:

This Sew it In Minutes ebook delivers beautiful handmade projects such as ornaments, photo frames, appliquéd terry cloth bib, book covers and flower pins. Inexpensive to make and easily completed in an evening or less!

Make quick gifts with Martha Pullen on this episode of “Martha’s Sewing Room”! Martha makes a machine embroidered silk ribbon guest towel, a book cover, a lace top box, an embellished padded satin hanger, a handkerchief envelope and more.

3 thoughts on “How to Make an Embroidered Book Cover

  1. Shirley Phillios

    Thanks a lovely Gift for any family or friends.
    I wish you a Happy Mothers Day.


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