Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Make Your Own Bible Cover (Sewing Tutorial)

My Bible is larger than the typical size which made it a pain to find a cover for, especially since I’m picky anyway. Many Bible covers have a strap coming out of the spine end which means that the Bible is resting on its pages when being carried by the strap. For stiff Bibles or those w/ hard covers this probably doesn’t make a difference, but since mine’s soft and I want to keep the pages in good shape, I want the Bible to be resting on its spine while being carried by the straps instead. So I’ve designed it according to that requirement. I also placed a generous sized hidden pocket in it to accommodate my pencil case for underlining, as well as a couple outer pockets b/c it’s nice to have a place to stash a few papers. 

After two previous attempts that were decent but not quite ideal, here is my final Bible Cover project! Instructions are written so you can make the pattern for you particular size Bible. And this is one of the projects that is a lot nicer to do if you have a serger... but you CAN do it without, you’ll just have to adjust the instructions accordingly, hemming fabric under instead of serging. I'll also mention that a serger requires extra seam allowances in order to make a thick seam and to cut off fabric as it serges. So if you're sewing this case rather than serging it, you'll want to take my measurements in a bit to compensate for that. If you plan to make this bible cover, see the tips and answers to FAQ at the bottom of this post. 


Here are some pictures I've received back from my lovely readers who have used the tutorial to make their own bible covers:

Katie P used this tutorial to make a bible cover for her daughter in law! I love how the embroidery looks on it too! She says she'd like to make another one in the future. 

Elizabeth T. from Missouri used this tutorial to make her own bible cover. Not only did she not have a serger... she didn't even have a sewing machine. She did this entirely by hand!! I think she has much more patience than I do! Didn't it turn out nice? 

Shona Mason used my Bible Cover sewing tutorial to make two pretty bible covers using an assortment of recycled fabric pieces! She didn't use a serger so she cut extra lining and folded it around the inner seams and hand-stitched them for a smooth finish. Here they are:

And here is another pretty one from Mary G in NC... 

Here's one from Linda who made it for her daughter... 

Here's one from Amy H. in Texas who made a cover for her four-year-old son... 

And here's one from Mary who made a cover for her niece... 

Thanks for sharing ladies!!!

  1. Use sturdy fabric! This is especially important if you have a heavy bible. If your bible is too heavy for your fabric it will pull at the seams where the straps connect to the case. 
  2. If you're sewing this case on a sewing machine rather than a serger, you will have to take in the measurements some. When in doubt, cut it a bit on the generous size because you can always trim the excess later on. After the first step on page nine, you can do a "fitting" by pinning the pieces in place and placing your bible inside with the wrong/raw sides OUT. Take it in as needed, cutting the pieces smaller if you need to, then go back to following the directions again. Keep in mind when doing a fitting that you want it to fit your bible with wiggle room... you don't want it tight. 
  3. How did I find such a long zipper? The only one I could find long enough for this project was not a delicate or pretty zipper... it was a super heavy-duty one that actually separates on both ends. I just sewed right over the end of it so it wouldn't come apart. 
  4. If you take the time to make this project using my tutorial please send me pictures afterwards!! :D  


  1. Thank you for this tutorial. I have been wanting to know how to make one for months.



  2. Revisiting this tut I'd sure like to hob knob with Shona Mason as I'll be making this sans serger and I'm such a photo-learning nut. Pics are my preferred method of learning. Looks like I'll simply need to allocate a muslin or two until I get this right and can cut into fashion fabric for my cover.

    Can't thank you enough for sharing this hard work with the www, Ms. Tracy.

  3. How do I sew the corners of the zipper close on page 12 of the poka dot Bible Tutorial

    1. Refer to the last step on page 11... you'll turn the bible case inside out and form it in to shape, and the ends will be sticking out (as in the last picture on page 11). Then you sew a straight line where the corner of the case is and it closes up the corner.

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  5. Good evening Tracy!
    My browser had not been able to open your last pap Case for the Bible, but today I got it. Thank you for sharing. Now there'll translate every little thing with the Google translator assistance, because I am a Brazilian who does not master anything well your language ... lol Kisses!!!

  6. I am really interested in trying to do this with my daughter but I can not get the pdf to download.

  7. Came across this on pinterest and would love to make, but am having difficulties with the download. It says it's not a valid pdf document. I know this is an older post, but is there any way you could email this to me? My email is jessb0206@gmail.com. Thanks so much!

    1. I just now clicked the link to download it and didn't have a problem. I did email it to you though.

  8. I just completed mine but am unsure how to submit you a picture. I'm really happy with how it came out.

  9. Hello, I would love to try and make one of these, but I also cannot get the PDF to download. Is there anyway you could email to me also? My email is: annab7890@gmail.com

    I so appreciate it!!

  10. Thank you so much for this tutorial.
    I finally finished mine - literally took me 16-17 hours sewing by hand, though granted 2-4 of those hours were taking out mistakes and resewing things. Tweaked your tutorial a bit and improvised with some parts (no serger, no iron, no sewing machine; just had a needle and thread) but it turned out okay, I think. Will have to keep in mind what worked and what didn't for the next one I make.

  11. Am I missing an instruction somewhere? I don't have a serger so, according to the materials list, I need either elastic or bias tape. But I'm not sure why! Could you help me with that part, please? Thanks so much! Looking forward to making some for my two boys who got new bibles for Christmas!

    1. I wanted to comment in case you haven't gotten an answer yet.....I came here for the same question. I found out on another tutorial that the bias tape is to cover the seam along the inside.

  12. Has anyone come across a video that might help?