Book covered in paper bag colored with pink and black checks

Check This Out!

This 2022 trend prediction from Pinterest took me on a trip down memory lane!

When I was a student in elementary and high school, we took our school textbooks home at the beginning of each school year. Our first assignment was to cover them to protect them from who knows what throughout the year.

Our book covers were cut-up paper bags folded to wrap around the book with a perfect fit. We could then decorate the covers however we pleased, and refresh them multiple times throughout the year if we got tired of the design we created.

I still remember how proud I was of the first checkerboard design I drew on one of my bookcovers all by myself as a youngster. I thought I was something else, let me tell you!

By the time my own kids were in elementary school, book covers were made of stretchy fabric and could be found for cheap at the local dollar store in a multitude of different designs.

And now? Many local schools don’t even bother with textbooks anymore! It’s cheaper to send the kids home with electronic tablets loaded with e-textbooks than to repeatedly replace actual hardcover books.

Where’s the fun in that??

Here’s what Pinterest has to say about Checkerboard design in 2022:

All checkered everything

Check, please. Checkers are having their moment in all areas of people’s lives—from nails and rugs to funky flooring. As men upgrade their wardrobes, they’ll embrace the tiled pattern, too. Millennials and Boomers in particular are driving this checkered trend.

Pinterest Predicts

At the end of this post I’ll show you how to create your own paper bag book cover to color with a checkerboard pattern.

But first, a quick thought about patterns.

Patterns are everywhere. The checkerboard design is just one of an infinite number of patterns you can see if you’re looking!

Morning, afternoon, evening, night, morning, afternoon, evening, night . . .

Winter, spring, summer, fall . . .

Leaves attached to a stem follow the pattern of each particular plant — alternate, opposite, spiral or whorled.

The water cycle.

The Fibonacci Sequence as seen in pineapples and pinecones (to name only two of a gazillion examples).

Life cycles of plants and animals.

Does it seem odd that humans seem to love patterns if we were created in the image of a God who put patterns into Creation itself?

Perhaps the next time you see a checkerboard design it will remind you of the One who created the first patterns along with everything else, including you!

How to Make Your Own Bookcover

If you’re near my age at all, this might either make you roll your eyes or take a trip down memory lane with me.

Get a paper shopping bag from a trip to the grocery store. Our town has a plastic bag ban, so this was an easy step for me–paper bags are the only choice!

This is the book I chose to cover: the Bible I’m reading through this year.

Cut along one side fold from the opening down to the bottom of the bag. Then cut out the bottom of the bag completely so that you can lay the rest of the bag down flat on the table.

Lay your book on the outside of the bag, which will become the inside of your bookcover. You want the plain brown side to be on the outside of your book. Tuck one end of the bag around the front cover of your book, pull the bag tight at the other end, and trim off the other end leaving a few inches beyond the back cover of your book.

Take the book out of the bag. Fold up the bottom of the bag where it was already folded before from the store. Turn the bag so the folded flap is at the top. Put your book on top of the flap, a bit below the edge of the fold. Mark a line a bit beyond the bottom of your book. This will be your other fold line.

Great progress! This is how the book looks on the bag at this point:

There’s just a little bit of wiggle room beyond the height of the book to account for the thickness of the cover.

Fold the left side of the bag over the top of the book, and around the top cover. Pinch along the edge of the bag to crease it. Open the book and tuck the top cover into the end flaps. Close the book, turn it over on its back, and repeat for the back cover.

There you have it! A blank slate book cover, ready to design on your own!

Pink and black checkerboard paper bookcover

For a checkerboard pattern, use a ruler to measure out equal distances along each edge of the cover. Take out a marker and draw a grid using the straight edge. Color away!!

Now it’s your turn!

What is one of your favorite patterns found in nature?

Did you ever have to cover your school textbooks? What was one of your favorite ways to decorate them?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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