Old Fashioned Paperback Book Cover Crochet Pattern
My Nana always had fabric paperback book covers for her novels. She liked to have them on her books when she took them with her to her appointments – that way when she was reading her book in the waiting room no one else knew what she was reading! She was normally reading a romance novel with some ‘racy‘ image of a couple on the front and she found it very embarrassing for anyone to see the covers. She was very proper and it was just not appropriate behavior. She felt the same way when family was over and her books were left out – so I truly never saw her reading a book without her paperback book cover. I have been meaning to make a crochet version for years! and here it is:
OLD FASHIONED PAPERBACK BOOK COVER
- Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (Color: Mirage). (10 oz/ 283 g; 482 yds / 440 m).
- Hook: 3.75 mm (F) Clover Amour
- Button: 1 inch
- Scissors, Yarn Needle, Stitch Marker (optional)
Before Assembly: 15.25 inches long by 7.5 inches wide
After Assembly: 9.25 inches long by 7.5 inches wide; ends folded over 3 inches on each side
Strap: 14 inches long by 1 inch wide
23 sts = 4 inches
22 rows = 4 inches
US Terminology used
ch – chain
R – row/round
rem – remaining
rep – repeat
sc – single crochet
sk – skip
sl st – slip stitch
st/sts – stitch/stitches
* – Repeat the instructions between the asterisks the number of times indicated. This repeat will contain of multiple instructions.
() – Repeat the instructions between the parentheses the number of times indicated.
 – at the end of the row – the total number of stitches
This paperback book cover is sized to fit books measuring approximately 6.75″ by 4.25″. It is not necessary to add the strap or the button. The cover works perfectly without these extra bits – and I actually prefer mine without – but I thought I would give you the option just in case you want it!
You do have a little ‘wiggle’ room in the design if you want to try to use variegated yarn and make a color pooled cover too. If your variegated yarn repeats work better in the opposite direction you can check out the color pooling repeat sections and try to reach the length 15.25 inches instead and then work to a width of 7.5 inches.
The best information I have found for color pooling can be found in this post: A Quick Guide to Color Pooling and you will find this Video Series from Marly Bird very helpful too:
Pattern InstructionsOld Fashioned Paperback Book Cover - A Free Pattern - Perfect for Gift Giving to Book Lovers
R1: Ch 44. Beg in 4th ch from hook and work 1 sc. The skipped 3 chs count as 1 sk ch, 1 ch1sp and 1 turning ch. *Ch 1, sk 1 ch, 1 sc in next ch**. Rep from * to ** across. [21 sc, 21 ch1sp]
Note: You will be working in the ch1sp only; skip all sc sts.
R2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 turning chain and 1 ch1sp), 1 sc in the ch1sp, *ch 1, sk 1 sc, 1 sc in the next ch1sp**. Rep from * to ** across; remembering to work the final sc in the space created by the skipped chs at the beginning of R1. [21 sc, 21 ch1sp]
R3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 turning chain and 1 ch1sp), 1 sc in the ch1sp, *ch 1, sk 1 sc, 1 sc in the next ch1sp**. Rep from * to ** across; remembering to work the final sc in the ch1sp (created by the ch 2 at the beginning of the previous row). [21 sc, 21 ch1sp]
R4-R79: Rep R3. At the end of R79, finish off and weave in ends.
After you have completed your 79 rows you will have a rectangle measuring approximately 15.25 inches long by 7.25 inches wide.
If your rectangle is slightly larger (or even smaller) do not worry – you have some wiggle room here!
The way my Nana used to make her sewn book covers is by folding over 3 inches on each end to make the pockets to hold the book inside. So if you have a rectangle measuring 17 inches long instead, just fold over 4 inches on each side instead. It will make the pockets 1 inch wider on each end but it won’t be a problem you will still be able to slide the book cover inside.
Once you have folded the sides over 3 inches I suggest you pin them in place at the corners and then you will seam up the edges like this:
I used a running stitch (basically) and worked along the edge of each 3 inch section shown above. At this point you can simply insert your book and you are done!
If you want to add a strap though I have included instructions for one. I also have a ribbon sewn on to use as a bookmark (as an option) but it is not necessary because you can actually just slip the pages under the pockets you created to use as a page marker. Like this:
If you would like to add the strap, here’s how I did it:
R1: Ch 68. Beg in 4th ch from hook and work 1 sc. The skipped 3 chs count as 1 sk ch, 1 ch1sp and 1 turning ch. *Ch 1, sk 1 ch, 1 sc in next ch**. Rep from * to ** across. [33 sc, 33 ch1sp]
Note: You will be working in the ch1sp only; skip all sc sts.
R2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 turning chain and 1 ch1sp), 1 sc in each ch1sp across; remembering to work the final sc in the skipped chs at the beginning of R1. [33 sc, 33 ch1sp]
R3: Rep R2
R4: Rep R2 and then ch 8. Sl st to join to the first skipped ch of R1 (basically just to the other corner of the strap).
Finish off and weave in the yarn ends securely. This small ch 8 loop is forming the loop to feed the strap through (kind of like a watch strap).
I also added a small slip stitch edge to the end of the strap (on the opposite end from the ch 8 loop).
Join yarn with a slip stitch (see photo below) and work 6 slip stitches around the edge, finish off and weave in ends.
Assembly of the Strap
Now, make 2 loops:
Ch 12, finish off. Repeat for a second loop.
Thread the ch 12 around the band and sew the two ends together securely to form a loop. Weave in the ends.
That was my Nana’s book. 🙂 She was almost done that book (I marked the page) when she passed (she loved to read) – one day I am going to read those last couple chapters out loud in case she is listening, but right now I can’t do so without balling.
Sorry I just wanted to comment on the book in the picture showing the book cover. Lol great choice😁
You are very welcome Joy 🙂 I do miss my paperback books. I hope you have time to read and enjoy them all ♥
Thank you for this pattern. I’m anxious to make it! There are indeed still paperback books going around -😊 I have about 200 of them to read and I’m sure I’ll get to all of them if I live to be 115.
I love this book cover pattern. It isn’t complicated, and it appears to be easily adjustable for different sized books.
Oh, duh! I was thinking in the opposite direction. In other words, what you say as long, I was thinking of as wide.
Thank you. Can’t wait to make it now as a gift for someone.
Hi Barbara! That’s perfect! 44 should give you 7.5″. This project is worked across the width of the piece so this is your measurements before assembly: Before Assembly: 15.25 inches long by 7.5 inches wide. So if you have 7.5″ you are spot on for gauge!
I can’t get this to work right. If I chain 44, and follow the directions, I end up with a row about 7.5″. What is the correct foundation chain count?