Turtle Wrap book cover instructions

Finally, DS is on the train back to Uni.  So, FINALLY, here are the instructions for the Turtle Wrap book cover.

Although it is designed to be completely without adhesive, I think a line to hold the cover inside the wrap is maybe needed.  It stays in place set on a shelf, but handling the book, it’s perhaps not as secure as it could be. You don’t want someone flipping thru it and being mortified if the cover slips off. On the flip side, without the adhesive you can pull out the centre bit and replace it with a blank one – if you used it a bit like a Smash book, sticking in collected ephemera or jotting down daily thoughts, you may want to be able to do that.  Mine is meant to stay intact, so I think the line of adhesive is needed.

What you need: 

  • accordion folded inner pages – it is essential the FIRST and LAST page point in the same direction.  Doesn’t matter so much if that is forward or backward, as long as they match!


  • two boards – cut about 1/2 inch bigger than the accordion, so 1/4 inch bigger on each side (mine is 5 x 5 so the covers are 5 1/2 x 5 1/2)


  • 2 Gelli prints at least 2 inches bigger in one direction than the cover.  Nothing too heavy, 90-120 gsm, so heavier weight printer paper to lightweight cardstock is ideal.  NOT watercolour paper of HEAVY card.  Deli paper is perhaps too thin and certainly too sheer.


a bit about that – Ideally, because when the cover papers are wrapped the BACK of the print peeks very slightly into view, a print that has something on the back may be preferable. I also like to drag a  pen or some paint along the edges, just to hide the white core of the cardstock where it’s cut.


1. Decide on the orientation of your print.  If it has direction (like text or a masked or stenciled figure) decide if it matters to you if it is sideways.


2. Cut the prints.

 Front cover:  Two prints  Back cover: Two prints

  • one print cover width x cover height + 3 inches 
  • one print cover height x cover width + 3 inches


I’m showing the two pieces with the boards so you can see the orientation, but you need one of each  size for EACH cover. The print with the flaps top and bottom will be the INSIDE of the Front or Back cover

3. Lay the print face down and place the cover centred on it.  Score along the top and bottom of the coverboard and fold flap A and flap B to wrap.


Crease this well with a bone folder.

4. I snip flaps C and D just to make inserting them to wrap a little easier.  Laying the second piece face down, with the longer measurement side to side, score and crease the same way


5. Slip one of the side flaps into the gap – it goes between the full front and the board.


6. Slip the other side flap in on the opposite side, securing the wraps around the board


To add the accordion insert, simply slip the first page into the gap between the INSIDE of the front cover and the board.  Slip the last page into the gap between the board and the INSIDE back cover. The bulk of the cover should be to the OUTSIDE of the “stack” – once you do it, it will be very clear, I promise!


You can make the a double-sided book because the back of the accordion is completely usable as well.


For my vellum pages version I did NOT make it double-sided and slipped the accordion in like above.   When standing up, and extended, the FRONT and BACK covers can be seen along with the inner “pages”  because it is meant to be displayed, backlit, like so:


If you add a spine, that will both hold the book closed and provide a place to stick the tie-closure ribbon/twine/thread/whatever.


Cut a piece of a print as tall as the accordion and just wide enough to cover the folded book plus 3 – 4 inches. A single accordion is thin, so an overall measurement of height of coverboard + 4 inches is more than enough. I showed this yesterday with the ribbon stuck to the spine


but I am now thinking two small slits and the ribbon threaded thru is a better option as it’s more secure.   Just make a slit that is as wide as the book is thick. Thread the ribbon thru and wrap to tie.

Slip the side edges of the spine into the gaps between the cover and the book. With the spine in place, you can flip the pages of the book, and if you remove it, you can extend the book for display! Just looking back at the vellum version, here the spine is in place – the book stays closed and the pages turn like a normal book.


So I hope that explains it well enough.  Any questions, ask and I’ll help if I can.