Picture: Pixabay

When Christmas and New Year draw to a close, it marks the start of the back-to school buzz when stationery shopping, uniform buying and the hassle of covering school books commences.

In 2018, green initiatives like the #StopSucking movement urged people to say no to straws and ‘eco baby’ styles of parenting grew steadily in popularity with the rise of environmental awareness.

So, in the new school year, do the earth a favour and skip on the conventional, pre-cut styles of book covers and opt for eco-friendly alternatives instead.

Funky eco friendly ideas for covering school books:

1.  Recycle present wrapping paper

If you’re the kind of person who delicately peels the sticky tape off wrapping paper and carefully folds it into a neat squares before stashing the paper away in a draw (filled with wrapping paper from Christmas and birthdays past), this hack is for you. Wrapping paper can easily be repurposed for the use of covering school books - so long as it hasn’t been torn to shreds. However, if all you have leftover from Christmas are crumpled pieces of wrapping paper paper, it’s the perfect opportunity to get crafty with it. Cut out shapes and patterns from the recycled paper to decorate books - the various colours and patterns are bound to create something fantastic in the end.

2. Brown paper bags

You know those brown paper grocery bags? They can be transformed into fun DIY book covers. Although they’re often thought to be a bit plain and boring, this is actually what makes them work well for book covers. They’re the perfect canvas for adding paint, stickers, sand art, photographs or anything else you fancy.

Follow this online tutorial for inspiration:

3. Magazines

From stunning wildlife and breathtaking scenery to your favourite celebs on the red carpet - magazines have a broad range of pictures that can be recycled into cool book covers. Simply cut them out, and stick them directly onto your books, or, if you’re feeling really creative, make a collage of your favourite pictures.

Here's a DIY tutorial for inspiration:

4. Newspaper

Broadsheet newspapers offer the length and width of store bought wrapping paper, making them ideal for book wrapping. Wrap your school books with newspaper in the same manner you would with wrapping paper, once this is done, the DIY fun can begin. Watercolour paint stains newspaper in a way that allows the text and pictures to still show through, making for a rustic, yet artsy book covers that are both unique and eco-friendly.

5. Fabric

Old shawls, scarfs, tablecloths and even saris can be used to cover books. The material is a lot stronger than paper and offers a more permanent way of protecting books as it won’t easily tear or disintegrate with use. Opt for something with an interesting pattern, or, if you prefer, go for plain white and decorate it yourself with fabric paint.

Watch this online video that explains how: