Fabric Covered Books for Cozy Home Decor

Fabric Covered Books for Cozy Home Decor

I think it’s high time I create another flannel project, don’t you? The weather is finally feeling like Fall and I am craving all the cozy plaid. And today’s project also has a special twist: All of my project materials came from thrift stores that benefit an animal-based charity! And to get in a cozy frame of mind, I decided to create some fabric covered books with flannel shirts.

To get this animal-charity-thrift-shop party started, I headed up to Asheville, North Carolina to hit a couple of my favorite stores.

First, I went to Animal Haven of Asheville and purchased a few hardcover books. I specifically looked for books that were (for whatever reason) missing their dust jackets in order to be less wasteful.

thrift store books

Then, I went to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue’s thrift shop where I found a flannel shirt or two.

I, admittedly, already had some shirts in my stash but definitely needed more for my upcycling idea.

used flannel shirts

And with that, I had what I needed to make some fabric covered books, which I just think will be wonderful for some cabin-style autumn (and winter) decor. 

upcycling books from the thrift store

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Upcycling Books with Flannel Shirts

To create some flannel covered books, I opened up one freshly-laundered shirt and selected one of the thrift store books to cover. 

First, I laid the book near the hem of the shirt.

making a decorative book set

Then, I carefully rolled the book (cover – spine – cover) up the shirt to “measure” the flannel fabric I’d need.

Basically, I “walked” the book along the fabric to determine how much flannel I would need. 

covering books with used flannel shirts

Next, I cut out the rectangle, giving myself a 1.5”-2” margin of error all the way around the book.

I didn’t need to be precise; I just wanted to make sure I had plenty of flannel fabric for the project.

making the fabric covered books

After ironing my flannel rectangle, I then brushed on a healthy coat of decoupage medium to one cover of my book. 

covering books with fabric

Then, I laid it back on the fabric (glue side down), then did the same to the spine, and then to the other cover.

decoupaging fabric on used books

Doing each of the three exterior surfaces (cover – spine – cover) separately allowed me to press the fabric into the ridges. That gave my fabric covered books nice definition along the spine, etc.

Fabric Covered Books with Flannel Shirts

Next, I brushed some decoupage glue on the inside of each cover and smoothed the flannel fabric over it.

upcycling books with decoupage

After that, I cut angles on each top and bottom cover “flap” of flannel fabric. Then, I brushed decoupage glue on the inside cover of the book and smoothed the flannel flaps down.

making the fabric book covers from thrift flannels

At this point, I was left with a “tongue” of fabric at both ends of the spine.

covering the spine of books with fabric

First, I trimmed off any excess (leaving just ½” – ¼” of fabric flap), and brushed a wee amount of decoupage glue onto the flannel fabric.

Then, I used a toothpick to tuck the fabric between the cover spine and the bound pages. If you open the book a bit, you’ll see the opening in which to tuck!

finishing the fabric book covers

And that was it! The first of my fabric covered books was all done.

fabric book cover

Fabric Covered Books for Cozy Home Decor

As you can see, I made several of fabric covered books from different flannel shirts. 

decorative book set

I love how my fabric covered books turned out, and are the perfect cozy home decor to add during the colder months.

fabric book covers for cozy home decor

Settling down by the fire with blankets and hot tea is the quintessential definition of a hygge home. And this upcycling idea thrift store books and flannel shirts is an easy and inexpensive way to get that cozy feeling.

fabric covered books for cozy home decor

I even made upcycled versions of these for my book, “Crafting with Flannel”. That’s just how much I love these fabric book covers!

flannel covered books from crafting with flannel

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for cozy home decor, I think you may also love how I made these thrift store dishes look like Hudson Bay Point blankets!

DIY Cabin Decor with Hudson Bay stripes on white dishes

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Those are so nice! I love that idea! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is so cute! I love this idea of using old shirts. I have totally done this in the past with thrifting a shirt just for the fabric! ha Thanks so much for the idea. saw your post at the vintage charm party. pinned:)

  3. Linda Nelson says

    Fab flannel covered books! Pretty(new) profile picture, too!

  4. creationsbycindynefcomnet says

    TOO CUTE! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  5. Super cute, and my daughter might like this for her high school text books (minus the craft glue). She would love that you had an Eclipse book in the mix as well 😉

  6. Amanda Lake says

    I love the flannel covered books. They really cozy up a room.

  7. I really like this idea to include in Fall, Winter, and Christmas vignettes – the possibilities are endless! Pinned

  8. Great idea! Some buffalo check books would be so cute in a Christmas vignette.

  9. Love this idea! Flannel shirts and helping animals -win win!

  10. Since I am a fall girl through and through, this is right up my alley! Oh, plus the repurpose aspect too!!!

  11. Carol Claremont says

    Love this! A few years ago, I covered 30-40 books that we already had with plaid wrapping paper in reds and greens. We turned our living room into a library so have wall to wall – floor to ceiling custom bookshelves that are painted white – completely filled a couple of shelves with the plaid books and it looked so good. Maybe this year I will try flannel. Love thrift stores for clothes for projects.

  12. Shay Moore says

    I absolutely love these ! Great idea.

  13. What a great idea. They look so nice.

  14. I love this idea. They make great covers and are so colorful.

  15. What a great idea! I love anything covered in flannel in the fall. What a fun idea!

    Nancy @ Slightly Coastal

  16. I am so lovin this. These are amazing.

  17. I love these! And you knew I would.

  18. Love this idea! You did such a great job they look like they were originally flannel. Pinning.

  19. What a great idea or should I say ideas. Love your flannel covered books Sarah and the fact that animal-based charities are getting some exposure. I popped around to our local SPCA to see if they have a thrift store, which they don’t UGH!!, and almost came home with a whole bunch of new fur babies. I wish we had more space to adopt a few more, but I did get to spend a few hours cuddling with the purr babies and taking a very energetic little dachshund cross for a long walk.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you so much, Michelle!! We feel the same way about wanting to adopt more…we just don’t have the space. Someday, though!

  20. Such a clever and cozy redo! Love this for Fall!
    Was such fun being part of this wonderful benefit

  21. Excellent work Sarah! I love flannel specially during fall and winter! I am thinking to transform some books also and this is such a good idea!


  22. great idea especially FLANNEL! LOVE it! 😀

  23. amberlyonferguson2017 says

    I have been loving all these flannel shirt upcycle projects! I am definitely going to try to make some of these book covers. Now to check out some of the other posts in your link up! I would enjoy being a part of your blogger group of thrift store “upcyclers” in the future if you are ever wanting other bloggers to collaborate! Fabulous post! Pinning away!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Definitely!! Contact Jeanette at Country Design Style (she’s in the link-up)…she puts this group together every year. 🙂

  24. What a great project! You can’t go wrong with plaid!

  25. So really neat! I love anything plaid and the covered books would add to any decor arrangement and vignette.

  26. I love how cozy these look! Thanks for sharing @Vintage Charm!

  27. I feel like I am always making the same exact comment on every post but I LOVE THESE!!! Your creativity is super inspiring!

  28. this is so creative. I invite you to share at the TFT party this week. Hugs!

  29. How cute are these. I like how they can be color coordinated with your decor.

  30. This is such a wonderful idea! I have wanted to include books in decor arrangements (we are a house of bookworms), but the spines don’t look very pretty. This idea solves that! Would love to see you share Friday at The Ultimate Pinterest Party!

  31. Sandi Allen says

    Love, Love, Love these! Thank you for sharing your tutorial with us!

  32. Adorable and perfect for fall and winter. Thank you for sharing at Snickerdoodle.

  33. Have never covered books before but think will be doing that. Will go thrifting to look for some great plaids as you found, your books looks quite charming in their winter covers.
    Time to clear off couple of my collections for winter. Love flannel covered books and other items kept under wraps for too long, Sarah. Have done several of your projects. good stuff.
    Have great Sunday

  34. Karen Kautz says

    Great Idea. But. . . . Now ~ “what the name of the book , the title.?”

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      LOL…well, we lived an awful long time without remotes for our TVs and caller ID- now you just need to open the cover to see what it is. And besides, I made these for decor more than anything else. 🙂

  35. Love this! Thank you again for such a beautiful tutorial!

  36. Barbara Booth says

    Love your Book Covers. I have some Photo Albums that are really Blah. I’m thinking I’ll try this craft on those and see if I can bring a little life into them. Thanks for sharing. Love your site. You have such great ideas.

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