How to Sew a Custom Bible Cover

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You can make a cloth bible cover to perfectly fit your own bible. This article includes a how-to video, taking you through the entire process.

You can make a cloth bible cover to perfectly fit your own bible. This article includes a how-to video, taking you through the entire process.

When you make your bible cover, you can use contrasting fabrics, or all the same fabric. It is really up to you and what you want yours to look like.

In the image below, the cover on the right was made entirely of ticking striped duck cloth. The pocket was made of sunflower patterned cloth, similar to a muslin.

The cover on the left was made of the same sunflower fabric on the outside, and the ticking fabric on the inside. (I have another cover example at the bottom of this post.)

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To Make the Bible Cover You Will Need:

  • fabric & matching thread
  • measuring ribbon or yardstick
  • fabric scissors
  • pinking shears
  • sewing machine
  • iron & ironing board
  • sewing pins
  • bible

Watch Me Make the Custom Bible Cover in this Episode:

Custom Bible Cover Instructions

The first thing you will need to do, is measure your bible. Using a measuring ribbon, line the end of the ribbon up with the edge of the cover of the bible (the opening side.) Wrap the ribbon around the spine and to the edge of the other cover. Make note of that measurement.

I had a new bible that I was making a cover for, and so I am using it to demonstrate the method. Your measurements will likely be different, so be sure to measure your bible carefully!

(Note: This can also be done with a yardstick if you do not have a measuring ribbon. See the demonstration in the video.)

measuring the bible

Measure the height of the bible, top to bottom. Make note of that measurement.

measuring the height of the bible

The bible that I am making a cover for, measured 9 3/4 inches tall and 15 1/4 inches wide. Again, that width measurement includes the front cover, spine and back cover.

To those two measurements, add an inch to each.

Example: 9 3/4″ + 1″= 10 3/4″ tall and 15 1/4″ + 1″ = 16 1/4 wide for my bible.

You will need two pieces of fabric that are the size you just made note of. (The measured dimensions plus an inch both ways.)

For my cover, I am using sunflower fabric for the outside, and the striped ticking fabric for the inside.

Inside Cover Flaps

To create the pockets that holds the cloth cover onto the front and back bible covers, you will need two more fabric rectangles.

Measure the width of the cover of your bible.

Take that measurement and subtract 1/2 of an inch.

That will be the width of the rectangles.

The height of the rectangles will be the same as the height of the other two rectangles.

measuring the bible width

Example: My bible is 6 1/2 inches wide. 6 1/2 – 1/2 = 6″

My two rectangles for the flap/pockets will be 6 inches wide and 10 3/4″ tall.

Making the Pocket

For the optional pocket, you will need two more rectangles of fabric.

The size will be determined by what size you want your pocket to be. Whatever size you want the pocket to be, add an inch in each direction.

Example: If you want the finished pocket to be 3 inches wide and 4 inches tall, the rectangles will be 4 inches wide and 5 inches tall.

fabric for the pocket

To sew the pocket, place the two pieces of fabric, right sides together.

Sew all the way around, giving a 1/2 inch hem. Leave an opening at the bottom, at least 2 inches wide.

Trim off the corners using fabric scissors, make sure you do not cut the stitching!

sewing the pocket

Turn the pocket right side out.

Fold the raw edges of fabric to the inside, lining the edge with the stitching. Iron them in place.

(As seen in the video, I added a piece of ricrac to the top of my pocket since it was made of the same fabric as my cover.)

ironing the pocket

Place the pocket on the cover, where you believe it will be centered. This is only the outer piece of fabric. You do not need the inner fabric yet.

I find it easiest to fold the cover fabric in half, like a book. Then place the pocket in position.

positioning the pocket

Pin the pocket in place.

Sew the pocket onto the cover, sides and bottom. (Leaving the top open, of course.)

Sew as close to the edge of the pocket fabric as you can.

Sewing the Inner Flap/Cover Pieces

Take one of the inner flap rectangles and place it right side down.

Fold the side edge over 1/2 inch. Iron into place.

Fold it over a second time, and iron it once more.

Repeat with the other inside rectangle.

ironing the inside flap edge

Sew the folded and ironed edges in place. Sew as close to that inner fold as you can.

Putting All the Pieces Together

Place your inner cover fabric right side up. (The large rectangle of fabric that does not have the pocket.)

Place the inside cover flaps right side up on the first layer. The hemmed edges should be towards the center and the raw/cut edges should be lined up. Match the corners up well.

Place the outside piece of fabric (the one with the pocket) right side down, again lining up all of the corners and edges.

Pin the layers in place.

pinning the bible cover pieces

When you sew the layers together, you will leave an opening at the bottom that is not sewn. Just like sewing a pillow (or the pocket, earlier) that opening is so that you can turn the cover right side out after sewing.

leave an opening

Sewing the Bible Cover

Sew all the way around with a 3/8″ hem.

Note: Make sure when you sew the edges, that the inner cover flaps are sewn. The opening should be where there are only the two layers of the cover.

It should not include the cover flaps on the sides, or it will be difficult to finish the edges later.

Using pinking shears, trim the excess fabric from around the edges, making sure to not cut your stitching.

Do not trim the bottom where the opening is. Stop just to each side of the opening.

trimming the excess

Turn the cover right side out. Iron the fabric smooth.

Tuck the raw, unsewn edges into the opening, folding them even with the stitched hem.

Iron those in place.

(You can pin them in you want, but I find that ironing does the job for me.)

finishing the bible cover

Sew the opening closed, stitching as close to the edge of the fabric as you can.

sewing the cover

Your bible cover is done!

Simply put it on your bible, and enjoy your custom bible cover.

How to Sew a Custom Bible Cover

Above is a cover that I made for a friend.

She liked the owl fabric that I had in my fabric stash, but the piece I had was not big enough.

So I got creative and pieced it together with some more of that ticking fabric on the sides, sort of like a quilt. Then I cut them to the needed rectangle size and made it that way.

If you make a bible cover using these instructions, I would love to see it!

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