DIY Book Cover with Khatam Design

Hey there! We're here today to share a lovely idea we came up with! If you read our last post, you are probably familiar with Khatam & Khatamkari. We now want to make a DIY Khatam book cover! For those of you who haven't read the last post (which btw you should! Isn't there a rule about reading all posts of a blog when it's this AWESOME?), I'm gonna explain a bit about Khatam art. Khatam is an Iranian woodworking craft; It is made from the tiniest bits of wood and bone, assembled and glued together. These small pieces are primarily shaped as triangles, which form larger triangles, hexagons and stars when glued together. The whole work is then used to ornament decor pieces, rooms, doors and more. Here is a Khatam artwork:

Khatamkari Sugar Bowl
Khatamkari sugar bowl - if you like it, you can find it here.

Still not sure what Khatam is? Go read our previous post!

Making a Khatamkari piece is quite hard, and it takes a really, really long time. Not the best entertainment if you have only a couple of hours. But who says you can't make those gorgeous designs on Khatam with something OTHER than bones and wood?!

You can make them with the one material that is always there, cheapest one on the market, and the easiest to use. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: The good ol' paper!

We want to make a book cover with Khatam design! You remember that ugly book you never read because its cover doesn't make you feel like reading? Yeah, that's the one we want to cover today! And yes, this is a drawing DIY. But a fun, easy, and practical one. Cause it's the means to a greater goal: beautifying ugly things in the world. Think about it this way: You'll be giving a poor, ugly book a reason to feel good about itself!

Did you feel bad about the book? Should I keep going about all that dust on the poor thing? Or how the only use it ever had was to be your clipboard when you write the shopping list? I hope you're starting to feel guilty now! That's the spirit! Let's get started then!

Craft Supplies

What You'll Need

  • A Khatam design (Download one here)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Brown Kraft paper
  • Cutter
  • Colored markers (White, black, green, red, and gold)
  • A glue stick
  • Glue gun (optional; you can use a lighter if you don't have a glue gun. Practically anything that can warm the glue stick is fine)
  • And of course, the lucky book that's getting all the makeup!

DIY Khatam book cover instructions

First things first. We have to measure our book to see how much Kraft paper we need. Open the Kraft paper roll on a flat surface, and open your book down on it.

Ruler and Cutter - DIY Khatam Supplies

Measure the width of the ugly cover, multiply it by two, and add the width of the spine. When you get this done, go measure the sides too.

We need to add four inches to each of the two measurements (two above, two below, two on right side and two on left). These are for the parts that we later fold inward and glued inside. If you ever covered schoolbooks, you already know how to do this. I'm explaining for the ones who let their poor moms do it.

DIY Supplies - Pencil and Book

Cut the rectangular paper with the length and width you measured (with extra four inches).

When you're done, grab your pencil and draw a diagonal line from the point where the spine starts to an inch further on the left edge. See the picture:

DIY Khatamkari Instruction 01

Do the same thing on the extra space below the book. Now cut out the two trapezius shapes you just made above and below the paper. We won't be need them anymore. But don't throw them away! You can use them to make teeny tiny origami! It's so fun to make miniature origami, and really challenging too!

DIY Khatam Instruction 02

Put the book on the Cover-to-be and Fold the extra sides on the old cover. Make sure you fold only two inches on each side and no more.

DIY Khatamkari Book Cover Instruction 03

Fold the two other ends in as you did with the sides. Folding helps us mark the area we'll be painting later, without having to draw visible pencil lines that make our work look ugly. Now unfold them all. When you open all the folds, this is what it should look like:

DIY Book Cover Instruction 04

Turn the paper over. It's time to start copying the Khatam pattern on our cover. Carefully draw the tiny triangles. You'll notice that although most of triangles are equal in size, some are exceptions to this rule. The assembly of tiny triangles forms bigger shapes, so it's easier if you start by drawing bigger shapes and then divide them to smaller triangles. Remember not to push your pencil too hard when drawing the primary pattern, as it might show after coloring and ruin all your hard work!

DIY Khatam Instruction

Here comes the fun part! it's time to make it colorful! With your gold sharpie, redraw all the lines you made with pencil.

DIY Khatamkari Bookcover

Color the triangles according to the pattern.

DIY Khatam

This is how it should look when you're done:

Khatam kari Pattern

Fold the extra inches on the creases you made before. Glue them all inside.

DIY instruction 06

It's all done! Take a moment to admire the beautiful work you created. Your book will be so proud! It'll love you so much that it won't mind when you don't read it. But you'll read it Now, won't you? What else is there to judge a book than its cover?

DIY Khatam Book Cover

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