- Styrofoam sheets or blocks
- Styrofoam cutter or electric knife
- Craft knife
- Paper book cover
- Craft glue
- Weight (real book, bag of flour, canned goods, etc.)
If you need books for display purposes, consider making books from styrofoam or other insulating foam instead. Make a library appear more full to enhance your decor, stack big "spell book" tomes up for Halloween displays or carry foam book props instead of real ones during stage productions. They are easier to dust and keep clean and are a fraction of the weight of real book, making them a practical alternative. Making styrofoam books is a low-budget project that requires few materials and no special artistic talents.
Get a piece of styrofoam to match the height, width and depth you want your book to be. If you need to cut down the height or width of your foam, measure it and mark the cut line with a pencil, then cut it with a styrofoam cutter or electric serrated carving knife along the pencil line. If you need your foam sheet to be thicker, cut two or more pieces to the same size, stack and hot-glue them together. These will be the inside "pages" of the book.
Measure the height of your book and add 1/4 inch. This will be the cover height. Jot it down on scrap paper.
Measure the width of your book and double it. Add to that number the height (depth) of your book. Add an additional 1/2 inch. This will be the cover width.
Cut a piece of cardboard the cover width and height. Wrap it around three sides of the styrofoam like a book cover. If your cardboard is very thick, use a ruler and craft knife to score light lines where it will fold around the edges of the styrofoam.
Make a book cover out of paper that is slightly larger than the cardboard in all directions. This can be a blank piece of paper, or you can scan, resize and print a book cover that you like. Alternately, you can design and draw your own book cover on the paper.
Lay the book cover face down on the table. Center the cardboard on the paper, fold the top edge of paper down over the cardboard and crease it. Glue it in place. Fold the bottom edge up, crease it and affix it. Don't attempt to affix the left and right edge when the book cover is laying flat.
Put the cover back around the styrofoam. Fold the two remaining edges of the paper around the cardboard when it is wrapped around the book. If you try to do it when the cardboard is laying flat open, it will not close properly around the styrofoam. Fold over and glue the paper to the inside of the cardboard covers.
Spread white craft glue on the entire inside of the cover. Wrap it around the styrofoam pages. Put a weight on it, such as a real book or a bag of flour and let it sit overnight.