May Arts Ribbon Blog

Easy (and Thrifty!) Book Makeover

Welcome back to the May Arts blog!  Are you a cookbook or craft book collector like I am?  Do you shove your books full of recipes that you cut out or ideas that you find only to have them fall out every time you pull out that favorite book or do you dog ear your book corners to keep you place when you find a great recipe or craft?  Or do you scramble to find a pen to scribble notes in your cookbooks?

Well, I’ve found a quick and easy solution that is the perfect remedy for both of those issues.  If you like to give books as gifts, your recipient is sure to appreciate this helpful addition as well.



This project also falls into our Thrifty Gifting category because it costs pennies, it’s beautiful, and it’s creative.  One way I save money on books it to hit my local clearance store or thrift shop frequently.  I found this adorable craft book for only $5.00. 


Here’s what you need to complete this makeover in minutes.


  • Book of your choice
  • 1 (12×12) sheet of designer paper to match the book cover
  • 1 Pentel ballpoint pen
  • I large manila envelope
  • Strong double sided tape
  • May Arts Ribbons to match your book – I chose PR-46, DD14, and KB14



1.      Remove the cap and ink refill from the Pentel Pen.  Cut 3 ¼ inches of May Arts ribbon, roll it into a cylinder then slide it into the pen barrel.  Replace the ink refill and cap.  A designer pen in seconds!


2.     Measure the inside back cover of your book.  Cut the envelope if necessary to fit inside the book’s cover. 




3.     Cut the designer paper to fit the front of your envelope.  Adhere the center of the designer paper to the front of the envelope.  Place the front and back of the envelope together evenly.   I chose to sew my envelope together but you can also seal with strong narrow double sided tape, if desired.  Set aside.


4.      Cut a piece of May Arts ribbon 7 inches long.  Wrap it around your pen and mark it so that you can pull the pen out easily but it won’t fall out.   Place strong double sided tape up to the pen’s barrel on the wrong side of the ribbon.   Press the ends of the ribbon together.    Remove the pen, attach another piece of strong tape to the right side of the ribbon and press firmly onto the middle of the inside back cover.



5.      Cut 3-5 (17 inch) lengths of ribbon.  This will vary depending on the side of your book.  You want you ribbon long enough so that the ends will show when the book is closed without pulling.   Attach 3-4 inches of strong double sided tape to the right side of one end of each piece of ribbon.  Press it firmly onto the top of the book’s back cover.



6.     Use strong tape to attach the completed envelope over the ribbon ends.  That’s it!  A thrifty, creative and beautiful way to present a book or organize your own books. 


A thrifty book makeover and Thrifty Gifting idea thanks to May Arts Ribbon!


Blog post by: Charlene Driggs

  1. Regena

    Great gift idea! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Gloria Westerman

    What a adorable idea….and great gift idea….thank you for sharing….

  3. Darlene Gabriel

    Love the idea. This looks gorgeous – TFS.

  4. Susan (rainy)

    What a fabulous idea, Charlene.

  5. erin t

    What a great idea!

  6. Kristie Maynard

    What a great idea!!!! LOVE it!

  7. Kim H

    wonderful idea, great project. I see some of those under my tree this year. thanks!

  8. Barbara

    Great idea! I believe I’ll have to scraplift it!

  9. Carole Hepburn


  10. jennifer reynard

    Gorgeous! Love the ribbons you chose to decorate.

  11. Melinda Wilson

    Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing!

  12. maria soto

    love the project and idea – love those ribbons too!

  13. Jingle

    What a cute idea! This is great!


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Welcome to the May Arts Ribbon brand blog. May Arts Ribbon is known for its superior quality and classic design.

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Ribbon lovers can shop the ribbon seen on the blog at our retail site Ribbon Resource is May Arts' retail store, a fun play off our tagline "The Ribbon Resource".