How to Make a Four Flap Wrapper

flap wrapperWrappers and boxes are other ways to protect books on the shelf. In a general library collection, they might be used to protect Reference books that cannot be repaired or replaced.  A modified four-flap wrapper (separate post) can be used to house fragile items or loose pages inside a binder.

The four-flap wrapper is constructed from two pieces of folder stock which can be obtained from book supply sources or specialist stationers.

  • Use the technique of measuring with a piece of paper explained in an earlier post to measure the height (A), width (B) and thickness (C) of the book or papers.
  • Label each measurement.

Cover Piece 1

  • Cut a piece of folder stock the height of the cover material (measurement A) and about 3 times the width of the material (two covers, two spines and about 4” extra). The grain of this piece of folder stock should run parallel to the short side of the folder stock.
  • Position Measurement C (thickness of the item) on the right edge of Cover Piece 1; then mark, score, and fold.
  • Add Measurement B (the width of the material) to the fold; score and fold
  • Add Measurement C to the fold; score and fold.
  • Add Measurement B to the fold; score and fold.
  • Add Measurement C plus 3 – 4” to the fold and cut

Proceed to to cut and score Cover Piece 2.

Cover Piece 2

  • Cut a piece of folder stock the width of the material (measurement B) and about the equivalent of the measurement for the height of three covers and two spines.
  • The grain of this piece of folder stock should run parallel to the short side of the strip.
  • Center the Measurement A (the height of the book or papers) on Cover Piece 2; mark the height; score and fold.
  • Add Measurement C to each fold; score and fold.
  • Add Measurement A to each Measurement C.
  • Trim Cover Piece 2 if necessary.

Attaching Cover Piece 1 and Cover Piece 2

  • Place Cover Piece 1 inside Cover Piece 2.
  • Place the book in position and fold the flaps from Cover Piece 2 over the book. Each flap does not need to cover the entire cover, as long as the two flaps together cover the entire cover.
  • Trim the flaps shorter if necessary.
  • Wrap Cover Piece 1 around the book.
  • The four-flap wrapper should be a good fit without being too tight or too loose.
  • Tuck the last flap (C plus 3 – 4”) between Cover Piece 1 and 2 at the right edge.
  • Trim the tuck-in flap shorter if it resists tucking in.
  • Trim the top and bottom edge of the tucked-in flap diagonally. 
  • Remove the book and separate the Cover Pieces.
  • Apply PVA adhesive to the left quarter of the center A measurement on Cover Piece 2.
  • Replace Cover Piece 1 and dry under weight.

When the glue is dry, put the book into the wrapper, fold over the flaps from Cover Piece 2, then wrap Cover Piece 1 around the book.
Label the spine with the title and author (space permitting).

Place on your shelf.