How to cover school books using biodegradable materials

Environmental Disposal Best Practices

Our planet continues to relentlessly grow in population. A corresponding growth in waste products also occurs. Our society has an etiquette that separates waste products from our immediate living areas.

This waste creates huge environmental problems impacting the entire planet. Recycling is a method to responsibly deal with this problem. The goal of recycling is to separate waste products into two major categories, Biodegradable and Non-biodegradable.
How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials(Definition) Biodegradable materials are composed of waste from living organisms and the actual plant, animal or other organism when its life ends.

Examples of Biodegradable materials, often referred to as “bio-waste”, include the following:

• Human and animal waste
• Plant products, wood, paper, food waste, leaves, grass clippings
• Remains from the death of living creatures

It is very important to note that biodegradable waste can serve to support the future life of other organisms. This waste can be used to provide nourishment and a healthy environment condition for living organisms, which of course includes humans.

Changing biodegradable materials into something useful and nourishing is called bio degradation or decomposition. This process includes the help of other living organisms, such as bacteria, fungi and small insects. Other natural elements such as water, oxygen, moisture and sunlight also required to enable decomposition.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials
(Definition) Materials having properties that do not breakdown or decay are called Non-biodegradable.

Examples include:
• Glass
• Metals
• Plastics
• Electronic devices
• Medical waste

Non-biodegradable materials do not breakdown naturally. But, that doesn’t mean they cannot be reused. The key difference here is that the process requires time, energy and expense. Glass and plastic can be reused to make other products, but the waste must first be separated by type of material and then processed into a usable substance.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable MaterialsBiodegradable materials recycle naturally to a usable substance. However, they can still be a hazard to society. The methane gas byproduct from decomposition is harmful to the environment. There are methods to capture this gas to use as a source of energy.

Non-Biodegradable material waste creates more of a problem for society. Discarded computer parts, batteries,, used motor oil and medical supplies all contain harmful chemicals. Society must devise methods to encourage separation of these materials so they can be treated for reuse or safe disposal.

Recycling is a process to protect society from hazards of our huge volume of waste problems. Knowing more about the types of waste will encourage active participation in solutions.

  1. How to Stock up on Food
  2. What Are the Uses of Vermicompost?
  3. What Is Dye Made From?
  4. Advantages of Vermicompost
  5. Alternatives to a Styrofoam Cup

Kraig Scarbinsky/Photodisc/Getty Images

Biodegradable products or materials are naturally broken down by biological agents, such as bacteria and fungi, into raw materials. The goal of supplementing biodegradable products in your everyday life is to recycle our natural resources and keep the Earth clean and free of growing landfills. According to The Environment Today, not all products that claim to be biodegradable are safe or effective. Some products may produce harmful toxins as they break down while others can take more than 30 years to break down, or cannot break down in landfills. Read product labels and reviews when shopping for biodegradable items to add to your house, office or yard.

At Home

You most likely use more biodegradable products on a daily basis in your home than you are consciously aware of. Some of these items include food scraps and coffee grounds, paper towels, toilet paper, newspapers, junk mail, paper plates and cups, clothing and towels. The market for biodegradable household goods is growing fast and there are a number of various products currently being released. You can now find biodegradable dish soap, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, glass and multipurpose cleaners, diapers, pet waste bags, trash bags and eating utensils.

At School and Work

Similar to your home, there are numerous biodegradable products used throughout the majority of schools, from kindergarten to universities, as well as in the average workplace. These items include printer paper, paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates, bowls and cups, parts of textbooks and notebooks, paper folders and cardboard boxes. In addition, many school and office supply companies are responding to the growing demand for biodegradable products. According to, some companies are now producing biodegradable pens, mechanical pencils, rulers, pencil cases, page protectors and project folders.

In the Garden

It is outside, in your garden or yard, that you may be the most green. Almost all of the waste that comes from your garden or yard is biodegradable, such as weeds, grass and plant clippings, fall leaves, peat pots, plant stakes and plant-based pesticides. Purchase all-natural and organic fertilizers to grow your garden and buy biodegradable lawn trash bags to collect all the waste.

Using biodegradable and recyclable packaging material is part of green living. Finding environmentally frendly alternatives to traditional products is becoming increasingly easy these days. As more products become available, the more choices we have when it comes to combining green living with contemporary life.

In one way or another, packaging materials touch every part of our life. From food packaging through to the packaging of parcels and packages, our use of packaging materials is surprisingly extensive. The growth in the amount of packaging that we use in our daily lives has had an impact on the amount of waste that is generated. Waste that cannot be reused or recycled ends up in landfills where it is left to rot for many years or, in some instances, the packaging is made from materials that will never decompose. By seeking biodegradable and recyclable alternatives we help the environment.

Types of Biodegradable and Recyclable Packaging Material

Fortunately there are many biodegradable and recyclable packaging material alternatives available. These include:

  • Paper and cardboard – paper and cardboard is reusable, recyclable and biodegradable. There are a number of advantages to this type of packaging product, not least the fact that they are readily available. Many packaging manufacturing companies offer an environmentally friendly option which has been created using a high proportion of recycled paper.
  • Corn starch – items made from corn starch are biodegradable and are ideal for items which have a limited use, such as takeaway food. They are good options for all types of food packaging and also make good packaging ‘peanuts’ to protect and support items when sent through the post. Corn starch packaging biodegrades and has a limited negative impact on the environment.
  • Bubble wrap – this is widely used as a packaging material. Environmentally friendly alternatives include bubble wrap made from recycled polythene and bubble wrap which is completely degradable.
  • Biodegradable plastic – this is now commonly used in plastic bags and is also used in other items such as envelopes used for bulk mailing. This type of plastic starts to decompose when it is exposed to daylight and is a good alternative to traditional plastics.

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Making Your Own Environmentally Friendly Packaging Materials

There are a number of ways to make biodegradable and recyclable packaging items at home. Ideas include:

  • Shred newspaper and magazines – this can be used as protective packaging when sending items through the post or storing things at home. The shredded paper will both biodegrade and can be recycled.
  • Food packaging – instead of using disposable food packaging materials, consider using cleaned packaging from other food items. Clean ice cream tubs, for instance, have a variety of uses and reusing them in the home keeps the waste from landfills.
  • Reusable gift packaging – consider presenting gifts in a fabric bag which could later be used as a shopping bag.
  • Keep packaging to use again – for instance, keep large cardboard boxes or other containers for reuse. This is helpful to the environment as well as being a good way to save money.

One of the challenges regarding the use of environmentally friendly packaging isn’t so much the packaging that we use ourselves, as this is something we have control over. Instead it is the packaging materials used by manufacturers and suppliers. One way to address this is to continue to question and challenge manufacturers about their packaging policy and to encourage them to look for environmentaly friendly alternatives.

Before the Industrial Revolution, waste generated by our needs was low and mainly agricultural waste. Agricultural waste was further converted to either products like ropes, baskets, mats, roofing, fencing or animal feed and soil nutrients.

Industrial revolution and its requirements caused urbanisation, birth of cities and migration to cities. Growth in population in selected areas gave rise to excessive consumption, which in turn caused excessive generation of waste from factories which churned out products to meet our needs and from the work force employed to man factories in cities.

The huge quantities of waste generated over a period of time which could not be disposed has also been the cause of several epidemics.

Which leads us to ask several questions.

What is biodegradable waste?

Materials or Objects capable of being broken down or decomposed to smaller products by the action of living things (such as animals or microorganisms).

After being broken down they are easily absorbed into the soil to become nutrients or elements.

Identifying biodegradable waste

It is generally of plant, animal or mineral origin. It can be easily disposed by the action of microorganisms or animals. It can be broken down to base elements and is easily absorbed by the environment without damaging it.

Examples of biodegradable items

  • Food Waste
  • Animal And Human Excrement
  • Manure
  • Sewage
  • Slaughterhouse waste
  • Most paper products
  • Egg shells
  • Grasss
  • Flower/brush clippings

What is non biodegradable waste?

Materials or Objects not capable of being broken down or decomposed to smaller products by the action of living things (such as animals or microorganisms).

Since they cannot be broken down or decomposed they clutter the earth’s surface and and natural resources and are termed as POLLUTANTS.

Identifying non biodegradable waste

It is not of plant or animal origin or is of plant and animal origin but is processed and modified to change it’s basic natural composition. And hence cannot be broken down or decomposed to smaller products by the action of living things (such as animals or microorganisms).

Examples of non biodegradable items

  • Plastic Cups
  • Styrofoams Cups and Plates
  • Plastic bottles

What is waste management?

Waste management is collection, transportation, and disposal of garbage, sewage and other waste products. Waste management involves the process of treating solid wastes and recycling items that don’t belong to trash. It is about how garbage can be used as a valuable resource.
Reduce Reuse Recycle plays a very important part in waste management.

These are some of the things that can be recycled and reused.

  • Cardboard
  • Cooking Oil
  • Earth and Rubble
  • Electrical Appliances
  • Small Electrical Appliances and Electronic Products
  • Garden Waste
  • Glass Bottles & Jars
  • Household Batteries
  • Lead Acid (Vehicle) Batteries
  • Mixed Recycling
  • Mobile Phones
  • Oil
  • Paper
  • Pressurised Containers (gas bottles, fire extinguishers, etc)
  • Scrap Metal
  • Textiles
  • Tyres
  • Wood

Waste that cannot be Reduced, Reused or Recycled generally becomes a part of the environment and is around for 100s of years.

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Biodegradable products are those that can be decomposed by microbes and other natural biological processes. Exposure to moisture, air and the elements enhance that breakdown. Biodegradable products include those that consist of food waste, paper, wood and fabric. In the absence of moisture and air, decomposition slows and methane, a greenhouse gas, is released.


Although much of what ends up in landfills is biodegradable, it won’t break down if it is not exposed to air and moisture. This prevents the microorganisms from decomposing the garbage quickly, unlike what happens when biodegradable materials are composted. (See References 5) Composting is a process which consists of chopping up waste, stirring it and keeping it moist. It provides microbes with the correct conditions they require to break down organic matter.


When biodegradable plastics first appeared on the market in the 1980s, manufacturers made claims about them that could not be verified. (See References 4) This resulted in misinformation and skepticism in the marketplace. While some of these materials were actually biodegradable, many were not. Consumers had no way of distinguishing what was what, until the Biodegradable Products Institute certification program was created in 1999.

Biodegradable Products Institute

BPI is a nonprofit organization that sponsors a voluntary certification process by third parties. BPI certification means that a product meets the American Chemistry Council standards for compostability and that it will break down within a given period of time in a professionally managed composting facility. The product must also leave no synthetic residue. BPI is made up of members from government, industry and academic institutions that also collaborate with organizations in Europe and Japan. (See References 1)

BPI Compostable Logo

The BPI Compostable Logo varies depending on the product. The D6400 logo applies to plastic films and bags, while D6868 applies to packaging materials like plastic-coated paper and board. Products that bear the label have been tested in independent laboratories, allowing manufacturers to make marketing claims about biodegradability that are scientifically based. (See References 4) Products are tested for how well composting organisms can convert them to carbon dioxide, how effectively they break up into pieces and how the resulting compost supports the growth of plants.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Learning about biodegradable & non biodegradable materials seems difficult, but if build into real world learning, it takes not time at all.

There are moments when Miss Possum will ask me a question and I’ll step back and remember that her little mind is still filling up with information every single day. Today she picked up a leaf, examined it and asked ‘what happened to the leaf?’

To you and me, that leaf is just decomposing and becoming the earth, it’s biodegradable. To her, something devastating was happening to the leaf. It was no longer green and pretty anymore but dry, dead and broken. I can’t believe I hadn’t taught her about biodegradable and non biodegradable materials until now.

Learning about biodegradable and non biodegradable materials

Her question was the perfect learning opportunity to jump in and start the process of learning. It’s always do much easier when they take the first step.

So, on our way back home from our regular bush walk, we discussed what around us was biodegradable.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Biodegradable materials

First, we tried to find leaves that would show different stages of decomposition and then we put them in order of decay. We discussed that these leaves are biodegradable because it is capable of decaying through the action of living organisms. Having the series of decayed leaves right in front of her really helped her understand what biodegradable meant.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Then, we looked at sticks to see if they were biodegradable. Again, we put a number of sticks in order to see the stages of decay.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

I asked Miss possum questions like, what would help a stick or leaf biodegrade faster. I supported her by asking if weather, worms, bugs and fungi (as seen on the stick) would help organic matter biodegrade at a faster rate.

Non biodegradable materials

Once we came home, we looked at items that weren’t biodegradable or that took a very long time to biodegrade. We talked about plastic and why it doesn’t biodegrade like organic matter.

To see if Miss Possum understood our chat, I set her a challenge to find four materials around our yard that were biodegrade and four materials around our yard that weren’t biodegradable. She did really well.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Talking about biodegradable and non biodegradable materials was the perfect opportunity to bring up waste and how it’s affecting our environment but this time I didn’t. I could see that Miss Possum was starting to lose interest so I’m keeping that conversation for later time.

I don’t think we’ll have any problem with bringing up the topic again. For the last couple of days she’s been telling me what’s biodegradable and what isn’t around our house. It’s a good reminder to keep me on track to reduce the waste we use and replace, what I can, with items that a biodegradable. Stay tuned for the next waste post.

Do you have any other great ideas to help teach your child about biodegradable materials? Or any ideas on how I can teach Miss Possum about how non biodegradable materials affect the environment?

Meet Penny

Penny Whitehouse is a mother of three, with tertiary qualifications in wildlife biology and early years education and 12 years’ experience as an environmental education officer, she is a perfect storm of the passion, knowledge and skills required to get younger generations connecting with the natural world.

With back-to-school just around the corner, I’m refurbishing one of my very first posts. I’m putting on my Frugal Mommy hat and showing you how to save some cash on school supplies. Are you ready to make a DIY Paper Book Cover? (They are so much better than those crazy $4 book socks!)

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

My kids are required to put book covers on their school books, but I just can’t bring myself to buy a $4 book sock! And–have you actually tried to handle a book covered with a book sock? It makes the book slippery and difficult to hold. Back when I was a teenager, we made our own covers. All we needed was a paper grocery sack and a little bit of tape. Anyone else remember making those?

So, if you’re ready to get a little creative and have a little fun, I’ll show you how to upcycle butcher paper, a paper bag, wrapping paper, or any paper into a unique book cover with my easy tutorial.

Paper Book Cover Tutorial

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

  • A textbook (I bet you figured that out on your own!)
  • 1 large paper grocery sack or butcher paper (I’ll show you both ideas. My butcher paper came from a roll of drawing paper the kids use for coloring). You could easily do this with any paper. Tape together coloring book pages or drawings made by the kids until you have a large enough piece to cover the book.
  • Scissors and packing tape
  • Markers, paint, crayons, or colored pencils for decorating (permanent markers work well). Stickers would be fun, too!
  • Packing tape (optional)

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials
This first method uses butcher paper. You’ll find the paper bag book cover after this one.

  1. Using any materials you would like, decorate your butcher paper. (You could even use wallpaper or wrapping paper so that you don’t have to create your own design.) I created this one by drawing the design I’ve been doodling since I was in junior high! It looks kind of like wrapping paper, don’t you think? Nope. It’s just white butcher paper and markers.
  2. Wrap the paper around the outside of the book, folding the edges inside the book.
  3. (Third image is a close-up of step 2.)
  4. Make sure your overlap is fairly even on both sides.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

  1. Fold the corners in like you are wrapping a gift.
  2. Slit the bottom and top so that you can remove the overlap on the book spine.
  3. Fold in the sides and tape them down.
  4. Optional* Slide an extra piece of paper under the book cover.
  5. Fold the edges of the book cover in to make the edges look more finished.
  6. Not pictured (because the tape reflects funny off of the camera lens). Cover the entire piece of butcher paper with packing tape to create a protective, durable finish. *This step is optional. You can leave off the tape. The cover just won’t last as long.

Because the colors show up better, I prefer the butcher paper book cover. Paper bag covers are completely free, however, and a little more durable. If you’re not worried about color, I’d go for the paper bag.

Paper Bag Book Cover Tutorial

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

This cover is created almost the same way as the other design.

  1. Start by slitting open a large paper bag and removing the bottom of the bag.
  2. Flip the bag to the plain side and draw your design. (Or skip the design and just doodle all over it during class. That’s what I used to do! I’m sure all you teachers out there love that suggestion, right? Sorry!)
  3. Continue on with the same directions as above.

My original book cover was made from a recycled paper bag. It worked great, but Bear and I decided to make a new one because the vibrant colors she wanted didn’t show up well on the brown bag.

  • When I did this the first time, I forgot to decorate the bag first. I saved that step for last. (It works much easier to do the design first.)
  • You may notice that the inside of this book cover looks a little different. I put the extra paper over the folded edges instead of under (Step 6 in the picture).

So, what do you think? Will you give it a try? I’m a little biased, but I think the make-your-own book covers are so much more fun than the ones at the store! Have fun!

*This idea was originally posted in September of 212, but has been updated with new photos and ideas.

I’m so glad you stopped in today. Stick around and check out some of my other ideas. Have a great day! (Images below are linked.)

Making birdhouses is a fun activity to do with the kids, especially if you have a nice garden you want to see filled with color, life, scent, and chirping. Entertaining birds in your garden is healthy for the garden and the environment. The little critters feed on garden pests and add to the creation of the micro-ecosystem in your backyard. It is important for them to feel like home and stay protected from the elements. For this reason, you should learn how to make birdhouses from recycled materials.

Why recycled, you ask? Because you will also contribute to the health of the environment and teach your kids a thing or two about sustainability and recycle different materials. Therefore, without further ado, let us see how to make a birdhouse this summer and the cute projects you can enjoy with the entire family!

Pick the Materials Wisely

When we talk about how to make birdhouses from recycled materials, we mean that you should pick some that are safe for the birds. For instance, you need to consider answering the following questions:

  • Even if you recycle or upcycle some materials, are they safe for the birds? Do they emanate some toxic fumes? Were the materials previously treated with some chemicals that might harm the birds?
  • Will the materials rust, deteriorate, or harm the bird in contact with the elements?
  • Will the material keep the bird warm and will it warm up too much? How good is the material’s insulation?
  • Will you be able to clean the material/birdhouse once you built it?

Cute Projects: Making the Birdhouse

To help you answer the questions above and start building the birdhouse out of recycled materials, let us see together the fun projects we were talking about!

1. Milk Carton Birdhouse

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

A large tetra pack milk carton makes a great house for a small bird. However, you need to make sure the carton stays safe outside, so you will need some coating to protect it from the elements. Here is what you need:

  • Large, sturdy milk carton;
  • Enamel paint to coat the exterior of the house;
  • Scissors/knife
  • Glue
  • Acrylic paint, crayons, etc.
  • Washi tape, felt, recycled scraps of colored paper, etc.

How to Make the Bird House

  • Coat the milk carton with the enamel paint to keep it protected from the elements;
  • Use the scissors or the knife to cut a hole for the bird – make sure it is large enough for the bird to enter and keep its edges smooth so the bird does not hurt;
  • Paint the carton, glue paper or felt shapes on it, play around with the kids and use your imagination to decorate the exterior of the bird house;
  • Make sure you cut a “door” in the back of the house so you can have access inside for cleaning purposes;
  • Inside the house, add a handful of straw, grass, or thin twigs for the bird to make itself at home.

Hang the birdhouse in a safe spot in your garden and have fun with the kids watching the bird finding its way in its new house.

2. Wood and Stone Birdhouse

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

If you want to take things up a notch, get some wood scraps you have around the house and build a bird cottage. You will need some glue and nails. If you do not know how to build a cottage, take inspiration from the milk carton above. Four walls, a floor, and an inclined roof will get you started. Make sure the wood scraps you use do not present toxic paint for the bird, nails, splinters, or anything that could hurt the bird.

Next, pick up some smooth stones from your yard and start building a medieval stone house for the little critters.

  • Treat the exterior wood house with some weather and elements resistant coating. Recycle some paint or lacquer you have in the garage, either of them should do the trick;
  • Make sure you cut a large enough entry/exit hole for the bird and a “back door” for you to be able to clean the house.
  • Use the glue to cover the exterior of the house with the small, thin, smooth stones and pebbles. This is the part the kids will enjoy the most;
  • Use twine to cover the roof or wood twigs;
  • Fill in the house with straw for the birds.

This type of birdhouse is going to be very heavy, so it is better to put it on a flat surface in your garden or on your porch so you can enjoy the birds coming over and checking it out.

3. Plastic Bottle Birdhouse

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

There is nothing eco-friendlier than recycling plastic. For this cute project, you can save all the large soda bottles you have around the house, as they make the perfect materials for birdhouses or feeders. This is what you will need:

  • Large plastic bottles, with cleaned-off labels;
  • Cutter or scissors;
  • Colored paint you have around the house – a nice way to reuse leftovers;
  • Glue;
  • Washi tape, scraps of paper, twigs, twine, and other arts and crafts materials to use for decoration.

How to Make the Birdhouse

  • Cut the bottle in three parts, removing the midsection;
  • Cut out a large piece of the bottom side of the bottle to make the entry/exit hole for the bird;
  • Smooth the plastic edges with heat (a lighter would do);
  • Paint the top and the bottom parts of the bottle with colored paint and decorate as your imagination (or kids) allow and let dry;
  • Glue the top of the bottle (the bottle cap should stay on) over the bottom part of the bottle;
  • Add supplemental decorations to the house – you can decorate with plastic buttons, strips of plastic wrapping (another way to reuse and recycle plastic), paper cut-outs, and more;
  • Fill in the house with straw and other natural materials for the birds;
  • Use twine and rope to hang the birdhouses from the trees; alternatively, you can place the bottles on flat surfaces (porch, patio).

Other Recycled Materials You Can Use for Birdhouses

These were just a few ideas on how to make bird houses from recycled materials. There are more, however: you can try making them from recycled coffee cans, old boots (they work best for feeders than houses), large plastic containers (properly cleaned of liquids or other components), and old dishes like teapots. If you want to recycle glass into birdhouses, make sure the glass is sturdy and resilient, as you do not want it to break or harm the birds.

If you put your mind to it, you can recycle plenty of things for your new guests!

Green Up Your Stationery With Seed Paper Sheets

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Seed paper gift tags and notecards are fun to make and to receive. You’ll use a simple papermaking process to make the plantable paper, then cut it to size and decorate it with rubber stamps. When it is finished, the recipient simply plants the paper and the seeds will grow.

The seed paper is produced using recycled paper pulp that is mixed with seeds before being pressed into shape. Use newspaper and junk mail (although this will give a gray finish), printer paper, cardboard from egg cartons or the inside of toilet rolls, tissue paper and most other types of paper––just avoid anything glossy as it is difficult to pulp.

This simple paper making process doesn’t require any special equipment. The end result is a textured paper with a more natural look than store-bought options.

Types of Seeds Used to Make Plantable Paper

Small seeds are best for plantable paper, particularly if you plan to write on it. Flower seeds, a wildflower mix, or even herbs and vegetables will all work just fine, but remember to add a note and instructions so the recipient knows how to use the paper and what will grow from it.

Supplies Required to Make Seed Paper

  • Paper, to make paper pulp
  • Water
  • Seeds
  • Mixing bowl and blender
  • Towels or cloths
  • Cookie cutters to make tag shapes, if desired
  • A piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper

This is a messy and wet process; therefore, it is best to work on a well-protected work surface. Summer is ideal for making paper using this technique as the hot weather helps the paper dry quickly.

Make Paper Pulp

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Tear the paper into small pieces and place it into the jar of the blender. Add twice as much water as paper––for example, if the paper reaches the one cup mark on the blender, add two cups of water. Blend the paper into a pulp, then transfer it to the mixing bowl. Squeeze the water from the pulp; all lumps should be removed at this stage and the paper pulp should be well-mixed.

Add a handful of seeds to the paper pulp. The number of seeds required will depend on the type of seeds used and the finished effect you are looking for. Mix the seeds well using your hands or a spoon. Do not use the blender or you will damage the seeds.

Press the Paper Pulp Into Shape

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

If you are using cookie cutters as molds to make plantable seed gift tags, place them onto a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and press the paper pulp firmly inside for even coverage. If you are not using a cookie cutter as a mold, press the paper into the desired shape. Do not make the paper too thick, as this will take longer to dry. Use a towel to press as much water as possible from the pulp.

Leave to Dry and Finish as Desired

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Drying the seed paper quickly is essential, otherwise, the seeds will start to sprout. Place the seed paper in a warm but not hot environment and ensure that air can circulate around it. Blowing the seed paper with a hairdryer on the cool setting will also help the paper to dry. When the seed paper is thoroughly dry it can be finished as required. Decorate the gift tag with a rubber stamp or two for an attractive finishing touch. Attach the gift tag with a ribbon or string.

I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been getting quite a few hits on my blog from Pinterest. from a really old post about some things I made for a craft fair! Ha! . it was such a long time ago, but the ideas are still quite cute.

Well, based on one of those crafts, I made a tutorial( a year or so ago) about how to cover a photo mat with fabric. Today, I’d like to show you how to cover an old book in fabric. similar to another craft on that ancient post 🙂

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

  • enough cotton fabric to cover the book you’ve chosen. I love using vintage fabric for old books
  • an old book, preferably one that has a blank cover, as some titles or illustrations can show through
  • spray glue -nothing beats 3M Super 77 found at Hobby Lobby or hardware stores
  • a scissor – one you don’t mind getting glue on
  • Mod-podge
  • small foam brush

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

1. Lay out your book and cut a rectangle of fabric larger than the size of your book. 1 to 2 inches larger on all sides (you might want to iron your cut fabric at this point if it’s creased or wrinkly).

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

2. Spray the back side of the fabric and the outside of the book with spray glue (not in the house!). Make sure you get a good coat. and don’t forget the spine of the book. It works well to clip the piece of fabric to a wire hanger with clothes pins and stand the book, spine up, like a tent to spray.

3. Next, carefully lay your fabric out (glue side up!) and place your closed book on one end. Press book firmly down, checking to make sure the fabric is smooth and securely adhered to the book cover.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

4. Carefully flipping the book over, while making sure the the spine keeps contact with the fabric, wrap the other side of the fabric around the front of the book. Once again, being careful to make sure there are no air bubbles or wrinkles in the fabric.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

7. Smooth the fabric over the edges of the cover on all sides. Pay special attention to the corners, making sure to pull the fabric tightly over the edges. Use Mod Podge if necessary to make sure the flaps are adhered completely.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

8. Add a very thing layer of Mod Podge to the left over tabs of fabric on either side of the spine. Then using a letter opener or a butter knife, push the tabs down into the little gap between the cover and the binding.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

9. Add a little Mod Podge to the the corners of the book and use your fingers to push down the fabric (if necessary) to make a clean looking corner and keep them from fraying in the future.

Let dry and display. 🙂 YOU’RE GOOD TO GO!

Fifteen years after launching his namesake collection, Nicholas Kirkwood has a new mission — to create the first biodegradable luxury shoe.

He’s well on his way: The designer’s spring ’21 collection will be 60% biodegradable and 20% chrome-free. A fifth of the offering will also use stock from the archive. The uppers — using organic silk, suede, hemp, wool and nappa leather — will be fully biodegradable. Recycled soles are part of the equation as well.

More from Footwear News

It’s a notable achievement for Kirkwood, who is backed by LVMH. And the designer believes the coronavirus shutdown fueled a significant tipping point for eco-friendly design.

Still, he’s candid about the challenges involved in creating a truly sustainable shoe. Here, he breaks down the process, from his original vision to stumbling points to the road ahead.

The Vision: “Shoes themselves can’t really be recycled — at least this type of construction. It got me thinking whether it would be possible to create a biodegradable shoe. If done correctly, it can be composted and turned back into minerals with biodegradable and natural components. The route I want to take is to try and make the product as natural, chemical free and biodegradable as possible. For me, that is trying to eliminate the use of any plastic. Within that, I want to try to eliminate — as much as humanly possible — chemicals within production. It’s to try and get to a root cause. It’s breaking down the shoe into every single component and working out what could be made in a biodegradable way.”

How It Started: “It’s been a couple years of testing individual components. At first, there was a limited choice. I started to notice some materials such as biodegradable linings. We tried experimenting with leather made from apple cores. It didn’t have the finish or quality I was looking for. It’s not purely choosing a more organic material. That is one element for the uppers. The architecture of a shoe is quite complicated with all the innerworkings — the sole boards, the padding, the backing, the stiffness, the heel. It’s been two years of research.”

Coming Together: “This is the first season I can put a lot of what we experimented and tested into practice in a meaningful way. It’s by no mean perfect yet — and I still have some major challenges with the heels. There are some promising techniques being developed by one of our suppliers. I’m trying to develop an even better sole. There’s no magic bullet. You have to be clever in how you work with the materials. There is a certain amount of collaborative effort.”

The Consumer Equation: “In luxury women’s shoes, there is little choice right now [with sustainable styles]. But there’s a title wave that’s inevitably going to hit. For me, if the sustainable cause is going to collect any sort of traction, the aesthetic can’t be dictated by the fact it happens to be sustainable. It can’t look like granola. Quality and wearability can’t be impacted.”

The Education “We’ll include the products and materials in the shoe descriptions now, and we’ll be training our internal sales team and our store team. It’s definitely not going to be easy, but we have to do our best when it comes to educating people, There is no sort of great grand plan. We don’t have a big advertising budgets. It’s going to be word of mouth for sure. I can get the message out there.”

Made-in-Italy Is Key: “I want to go all the way up the supply chain, not just to our direct suppliers but all the way to their suppliers to try and find the best solution. The new components are being developed in Italy. There are a lot of government incentives to make this happen as well as development funds that Italian government is supporting. For me, this will be the new luxury. And so it’s Italy that should be at the forefront.”

Persistence Pays Off: It’s about hunting out companies. Say there is the type of material you love using. Instead of it being grandfathered in, try to look for the alternative. For example, satin is always in the collection, ask whether they have a 100% organic version of this. Test it out — how does it look, how does it act? Does it act? Can certain things be challenged? It’s easy enough to switch materials that will look the same, act the same and essentially cost the same. I’ve been trying to do this for the last couple of seasons. I’m not saying everyone can do a huge jump from one season to the next, but I think there needs to be a commitment and a priority to develop new things. My approach is now, I won’t use certain materials at all in the collection until a more environmentally conscious version becomes available — velvet for example. I love velvet but it’s pretty toxic, and the natural versions that are available don’t have the look I want.”

The Future: “There’s still a huge amount to do. This is the first step to it. I’m very aware that there’s a lot of holes that can be poked in it. For me, it’s about being honest about the things we can do better on. I’m not saying I’ve come up with the perfect solution. But it’s a huge step in the right direction.”

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How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

From Grocery Aisles to School Hallways

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

If it’s been a little while since you’ve covered a textbook, allow us to provide you with a refresher course. Spoiler alert—it’s so easy! So whether you’re gearing up to help your kids with their back-to-school needs or you’re covering a set of books with a neutral paper to help them blend better with your décor, you’ll love how simple this technique is. Don’t you love it when a craft project is this easy to complete?

Gather Your Supplies

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

If you’re a DIY aficionado, you’ll appreciate how minimal this supply list is. And the beauty of this project is that it’s an easy way to recycle.

  • Brown paper bag or colored wrapping paper
  • Clear tape
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

Don’t worry if the bag has handles or writing on the outside. You can easily flip it, so the writing goes on the inside and you won’t even see it.

Prep the Bag

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Start by removing the handles if there are any. In most cases, you can simply peel them off carefully with your hands.

Find the seam of the bag and cut down till you reach the bottom. Then carefully cut off the entire bottom of the bag. Lay the bag, label side up, on your table.

Measure Your Book

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Place your book in the center of the paper bag. Draw a line with your pencil across the bag, where the top and bottom of the book are.

Remove the book from the bag and then fold the top and bottom of the bag where the pencil marks are.

Place the book back on the bag, right in the center, and line the edges of the bag up with the edges of the book.

Cover the Book

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Fold the bag over the book so that the edges of the ends line up and the book is in the middle of the bag.

Fold the ends of the bag back to where the ends of the book flaps are. Trim down the excess so that you’ve got several inches of paper bag on the inside covers of the book.

Place the flaps of the book inside the pockets that form on the inside of the bag. Depending on how snug the fit is, you can just leave it like that or you can secure the flaps with tape. If you’re covering a schoolbook and it will be getting a ton of use, definitely don’t skip the tape step. If the book is serving more decorative purposes, then you can probably get away with not taping the flaps.

Decorate Your Book Cover

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

This step is completely optional and depends on what you have on hand, but it’s nice to give the books a little decorative touch. You can cover the spine or corners with pretty washi or duct tape (you’ll be surprised how many colors they’re available in)!

And just like that, you’re done. How easy was that? Minimal supplies that you already have on hand and you’ve protected a book from the inevitable damage it can be exposed to rustling around in a backpack. Or maybe you’ve been looking to streamline that busy looking bookshelf—your favorite collection just got more monochromatic.

Construction of 3-layered ENF sandwich structures. ( a ) RC-based structure (RC-PLA-RC), ( b ) PLA-based structure (PLA-RC-PLA), and ( c ) schematic of stitching.

SEM images of as-spun ( a ) CA and ( b ) PLA membranes fabricated on copper foil.

FT-IR spectra of cellulose acetate (CA) and regenerated cellulose (RC) membranes.

SEM images of as-spun ( a ) CA and ( b ) RC ENF membranes fabricated on copper foil.

SEM images (1000×) of the RC ENF membranes collected on different collectors: ( a ) copper foil and ( b ) 30-mesh copper gauze. Inset images are fibers at a higher (10,000×) magnification. The histograms below the images, ( c , d ), represent the corresponding fiber distributions.

SEM images (1000×) of the RC ENF membranes collected on different collectors: ( a ) copper foil and ( b ) 30-mesh copper gauze. Inset images are fibers at a higher (10,000×) magnification. The histograms below the images, ( c , d ), represent the corresponding fiber distributions.

SEM images (5000×) of the PLA membranes collected on different collectors: ( a ) copper foil and ( b ) 30-mesh copper gauze. The histograms below the images, ( c , d ), represent the corresponding fiber distributions.

Typical stress–strain curves of ( a ) CA, ( b ) RC, and ( c ) PLA monolayer nonwoven ENF membranes collected on different collectors.

Static water contact angle of the ( a ) RC, ( b ) PLA cu foil, and ( c ) PLA ENF on 30-mesh copper gauge.

The distribution of polar and dispersive components of surface energy in ( a ) RC-based ( b ) PLA-based structures.

Wetting envelopes of the layered structures of ( a ) RC and ( b ) PLA membranes.


How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Construction of 3-layered ENF sandwich structures. ( a ) RC-based structure (RC-PLA-RC), ( b ) PLA-based structure (PLA-RC-PLA), and ( c ) schematic of stitching.

SEM images of as-spun ( a ) CA and ( b ) PLA membranes fabricated on copper foil.

FT-IR spectra of cellulose acetate (CA) and regenerated cellulose (RC) membranes.

SEM images of as-spun ( a ) CA and ( b ) RC ENF membranes fabricated on copper foil.

SEM images (1000×) of the RC ENF membranes collected on different collectors: ( a ) copper foil and ( b ) 30-mesh copper gauze. Inset images are fibers at a higher (10,000×) magnification. The histograms below the images, ( c , d ), represent the corresponding fiber distributions.

SEM images (1000×) of the RC ENF membranes collected on different collectors: ( a ) copper foil and ( b ) 30-mesh copper gauze. Inset images are fibers at a higher (10,000×) magnification. The histograms below the images, ( c , d ), represent the corresponding fiber distributions.

SEM images (5000×) of the PLA membranes collected on different collectors: ( a ) copper foil and ( b ) 30-mesh copper gauze. The histograms below the images, ( c , d ), represent the corresponding fiber distributions.

Typical stress–strain curves of ( a ) CA, ( b ) RC, and ( c ) PLA monolayer nonwoven ENF membranes collected on different collectors.

Static water contact angle of the ( a ) RC, ( b ) PLA cu foil, and ( c ) PLA ENF on 30-mesh copper gauge.

The distribution of polar and dispersive components of surface energy in ( a ) RC-based ( b ) PLA-based structures.

Wetting envelopes of the layered structures of ( a ) RC and ( b ) PLA membranes.

Try this artistic science experiment to show your kids how shade protects us from the Sun’s ultraviolet rays.

What You’ll Need

  • Colorful construction paper
  • Clear plastic wrap, or a large piece of plexiglass
  • Leaves, flowers, or other flat items
  • Small rocks to use as weights

Here’s What to Do
How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials
1.В Send your child outdoors to collect leaves, flowers, and other natural items. Tell them to look for flat objects with interesting shapes.

2. Place colorful construction paper in the sunlight on a driveway, sidewalk or table.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials
3. Ask your child to create designs on the paper using the natural items they found.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials
4. Help to cover the items with clear plastic wrap (or plexiglass) and weigh the edges down with rocks, so that the plastic lays flat and won’t blow away.В В

5. Leave your project in the sun for two or three hours.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials
6. After a few hours, have your child remove the plastic wrap and decorative plants from the paper to see the designs they created.

The Science Behind the Fun
How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials
Some of the Sun’s energy travels to Earth as light waves. Certain light waves, called ultraviolet waves, have enough energy to break the bonds of chemicals, like the dyes in construction paper. This changes the color of the paper.

In this experiment, you’ll see that the construction paper shaded by leaves and flowers didn’t change color. That’s because the ultraviolet light waves were blocked out and couldn’t damage the paper.

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light can damage skin too. That’s why it’s smart to wear UV-blocking sunscreen, or stay in the shade when the sun is strong.В

You can find more experiments like this one at, and in my books Kitchen Science Lab for Kids (Quarry Books) and Outdoor Science Lab for Kids (Quarry Books).

В© Quarry Books, 2016/Outdoor Science Lab for Kids
Featured Photos Credit: В© Quarry Books

Have you ever wanted one multi-purpose item that takes the place of many handy household items but doesn’t contribute to landfill waste at the end of its life? Did you think that one, healthy life hack can take the place of cosmetic wipes, sieves, food preparation and more? Something as baby-soft as it is aesthetically pleasing? Muslin cloth is the age-old, healthy, eco friendly solution that ticks all these boxes.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

What is Muslin Cloth?

Muslin is a plain-weave cotton cloth known for it’s soft and filmy texture. The word muslin derives from the French Mousse because of its soft, foamy feel. Different types of muslin cloth have differing degrees of delicacy and open weave and some have a course texture more akin to calico.

Muslin originated in the Indian subcontinent and was the perfect textile for use in the high humidity due to its open weave. Like lots of new, ground-breaking things, it was introduced to Europe in the 1600’s by the English and Dutch East India Companies.

In the eighteenth century, muslin was used for petticoats, aprons and kerchiefs and became popular for children’s clothing. The popularity of muslin has endured due to its versatility.

How to Use Muslin Cloth Around the Home

Muslin is a versatile, multi-purpose cloth used in dressmaking, furniture polishing, theatre sets and even medicine. It is a healthy, organic fabric and can be put to good use around the home without spreading chemical residue and, most importantly is reusable and stops the cycle of waste.

Here are our waste-saving suggestions for using this soft, durable cloth:

1. Muslin is a baby’s best friend

Because it is soft, breathable and natural, it is the perfect cloth to be near baby’s sensitive skin. A large muslin square can be used to swaddle your newborn for sleep. Perfect for hotter climates and summertime when you don’t want to overheat baby. It is also great as a cover to drape over baby when you are breastfeeding and for mopping up any little spills. It can also be used as a light cover for your pram to keep the sun off your baby’s skin. Place on top of your change table to keep it clean and then toss into the wash.

2. Sieving jam

Homemade jam is the best. The yummy, fruity texture and natural sugar taste is unbeatable. It is so noticeably different from the store-bought variety and not as difficult to make as you might think. Use the muslin cloth to strain the mixture and remove large lumps of seeds.

3. Cheese making

This Mad Millie butter muslin cheese cloth here is perfect for straining the curds from the whey and is washable and reusable. Some cheesecloth is not as soft and versatile and has to be discarded after each use. Muslin is the superior choice for easy cheese making and Mad Millie are the experts at helping you to make your own.

4. Bouquet-garni

This is essentially a herb bag and is a great way of infusing your cooking with homegrown herbs without leaving the stems behind. A nice blend could be: sage; peppercorns; parsley; thyme; bay leaves and rosemary. Simply place the herbs into a muslin cloth and tie the top with string. You can then pop into your favourite soup, casserole or stew for lovely, homegrown flavour. Especially good for larger herbs and spices like bay leaves, cinnamon quills and lemongrass.

5. Squeezing Citrus

How does a muslin cloth take the place of a squeezer? You simply cover the citrus wedge with the cloth and squeeze! This method naturally catches the pips and strains the liquid. No need to buy a plastic citrus squeezer that ends up in landfill at the end of its life! Green Living’s muslin cloth is a wonderful option. Find that one here >

6. Skin care

When cleansing your face or applying a face mask, you can use a length of muslin to tie around your tresses and keep them clean and shiny. Muslin is also a good alternative for removing makeup and gently exfoliating and cleansing the skin. It is much more gentle than some exfoliators on the market and helps to prevent broken facial capillaries that can occur from some traditional harsh exfoliants.

7. Dusting your furniture

Due to being completely lint-free, muslin doesn’t leave a residue when cleaning and is perfect for dusting furniture and surfaces. It is also heaven-sent for windows and glass.

8. Room freshener or pest control

Take a muslin cloth and fill with pot-pourri then tie at the top. This can be hung in bedrooms and wardrobes or can sit in drawers to nicely scent and freshen the air. You could also soak a cotton ball or two in peppermint oil and put into a muslin cloth to repel creepy crawlies. Great for keeping moths out of wardrobes.

9. Shabby-chic gift wrap

Save on paper and make your gift wrapping on-trend ad reusable with muslin. Tie with chunky twine or a pretty ribbon for the gorgeous shabby-chic look. Make your gift stand out from the crowd!

10. Shine those shoes

Muslin is very good for shining shoes as it doesn’t leave any residue and can be reused. Used regularly it keeps shoes shiny without the need for harsh chemicals.

As you can see, muslin is a versatile material to keep around the house. Such a nifty, natural living hack that will biodegrades at the end of its life and doesn’t contribute to landfill, reduces chemicals in your home and looks great!

If you have any creative ways of using muslin cloth, please let us know in the comments section below.

Free Ebook Cover Creator/ Book Mockup Generator

Two tools in one. The online software that is both an excellent book mockup generator and ebook cover creator that thousands of authors and entrepreneurs are using to instantly create free ebook covers, 3d book mockups and book png files.

Ebook Cover Creator

More people use our free ebook creator than any other on the internet! Use the same software as the pros! To gain maximum interest and impact when selling ebooks, products or even when offering a free report, it is important that your product look valuable. The truth is that 98% of ebook covers created by authors do not compete well in the market place.

We polled groups of experienced book buyers by showing them the front ebook covers of self-published books that the readers did not know were self-published. An overwhelming majority of these readers said that they would not purchase the covers that they were shown because of the quality and design being subpar.

So the question is can an ebook cover creator actually design a book cover that readers are willing to get excited about? And the answer is absolutely. Our ebook cover creates has rave reviews for making amazing ebook covers for books from all genres.

Why Use Our Free Ebook Cover Creator

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable MaterialsUse our ebook cover creator to make an amazing book from scratch or use one of over a hundred professionally designed and pre-built templates to customize and make your own. If you don’t have a cover yet then you will have the option to create one using our simple software. Super easy and free to use, our free ebook cover creator is the key to a great product launch or successful giveaway. Our creator has these awesome features:

  • Easy to use design interface
  • 130+ pre-built templates perfect for 30+ genres
  • Ability to save an editable design onto your computer so you can upload it and change it in the future

Book Mockup Generator

Our book mockup generator takes even less time than our ebook cover creator. Use it to create mockups that instantly look like a paperback book, hardback book, ebook, dvd cover and more. To create a mockup of an existing book just select the template you would like your book to look like and then upload your cropped front book cover. This takes just less than 30 seconds from start to finish.

  • Large selection of mock-up formats
  • Great for authors who already have a cover
  • Perfect for showcasing a realistic image of your book on your website or social media

Making your image look like a tangible product goes a long way in convincing casual browsers to become customers.

Our easy to use software creates free book mockups in less than 30 seconds. Don’t believe me? No fuss, no Photoshop just beautifully rendered free book mockups. See for yourself right above this text.

Why Use Our Free Book Mockups

Some people love cracking open Photoshop and feeling like they put hard work into something, but other would rather focus on all the other things that need to be done, like:
marketing your book

Our free software easily and elegantly creates realistic mockups whatever you are trying to promote. We’ve spent thousands of dollars to create the fastest and most professional mockups we’ve ever seen. They are high resolution and ready to download within seconds of uploading your cover image. These are just some of the great mockup templates you can select using our mockup software:

  • paperback book mockups
  • hardback book mockups
  • kindle mockups
  • Ipad mockups
  • mobile devices mockups
  • dvd case mockups
  • spiral bound mockups

Alternatives to Using Our Free Book Mockups

Unfortunately our free book mockups do not allow you the ability to add a spine image to any of your books, we purposefully chose angles and renderings that make the spine unnecessary, but if you would prefer to have a product shot that highlights your book’s spine image then we also have these great Photoshop mockups that you can use for free.

How To Use The Free Book Mockups

Unless the book spine is an issue for you I am certain you will love the free book mockups created with out software. To

  • Step 1: Select the mockup template you would most like to see your book cover rendered as.
  • Step 2: Upload a high resolution book cover cropped to the front only. Also make sure that your book cover uses a RGB color profile and is not saved as a CMYK color profile.
  • Step 3: Submit your cover and download your high resolution mockup on the next page.

Need a Book png or a Book with a Transparent Background?

If you are an author, publisher or product creator the chances are that you are always running into the need for your book without a background. Our mockup generator creates high-resolution book png files that are perfect for your product pages, social media and advertising efforts. Grab one of our 10 book png files with your cover image right inside!

Writing a book and sharing it with the world can be scary, it seems that everywhere we look there is someone out to judge us or leave us a poor review. Use our ebook cover creator and mockup generator to make sure your book looks amazing!

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Pretty and practical—who said utilitarian items needed to be boring? Give your standard office supplies an upgrade by personalizing a plain notebook to suit your tastes without spending a fortune. Store-bought office supplies can get pretty pricey after all. This simple project lets you add a stylish touch to a tool you use every day.

Bold colors, a vivid pattern or metallic fabric all make fantastic choices when you’re DIY-ing this project. Go bold! A more playful take will be a surefire smile inducer—even when you’re hard at work.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Oversized paper clips


  • Fabric (make sure you can’t see the cover through the fabric)
  • Plain notebook
  • Aleene’s original tacky glue
  • Spray adhesive


Prep the Fabric

Start out with a piece of fabric that is large enough to cover the size notebook you’ve chosen. Cut the piece down to size so that there is roughly a two-inch overhang around the entire notebook. Iron your fabric piece gently to remove any creases that might be on the fabric.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Add a Little Adhesive

In a well-ventilated area and on a protective surface, gently spray the surface of the notebook with the spray adhesive. Don’t spray too close to the surface. Just a light even coat on the outside of the notebook will do. You’ll want to avoid the edges of the notebook. After waiting a few seconds, place and gently press the outside cover in the middle of the fabric. Open the notebook’s cover and gently press along the surface to make sure the fabric is lightly sticking to the cover.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Cut the Fabric to Size

Cut the down the fabric slightly so there’s less excess around the edges of the notebook. Working like you’re wrapping a present, go around each edge and fold the outer piece of fabric over itself, so it’s touching the edge of the cover (your fabric will now have a flat edge). Glue the fabric together.

Now fold the fabric over again and glue so the fabric is now attached to the book. For non-bulky corners, fold the edges in like a triangle before gluing. Where the spine is, cut the fabric down so it’s flush with the edge of the spine. Put a bit of glue on it to help it adhere and to prevent fraying.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Let It Dry

Slip oversized paper clips around the edge of the notebook to hold down the fabric until it’s dry. Wait to use the notebook until it’s completely dry, then place it on the top of your desk to catch any notes or to-dos that pop up.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Enjoy Your Notebook

Not only will you revel in your own resourcefulness, but each time someone asks where you got your notebook, you’ll have the pleasure of responding that it’s one-of-a-kind. Plus, you can choose from any of your favorite fabrics or even better, you can use scraps from previous crafts. This simple project will take less than an hour to do yourself and will save you from overspending on pricey store-bought office supplies.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

From new and used textbooks, to reference books, academic journals and classic literature, find all of your textbooks for back-to-school at affordable prices.

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Besides a compelling story, the book cover is one of the most important elements of your book. It needs to be crisp, clear, and colorful to attract potential readers’ potential. Many graphic designers use Quark or Photoshop to create a book cover file. After it’s completed, you save the book cover as either a TIF or PDF file, and then you send it on to the printer. But what if you want to be the printer, and print out your own book cover? This article will teach you how to do just that.

Size your book cover to produce a 5.5 x 8.5 or 6 x 9 inch book when you create the design. This is because most glossy card stock papers that you will find at a copy store will max out at 11 x 17 or 12 x 18 inches in size. The finished, laid out book cover will come out to about 9 x 12 inches (back cover, front, plus spine). You will have to allow space for what is called the “bleed,” which is discussed in the next step. Open your finished book cover file in Adobe Photoshop or Acrobat.

Place 1/8 inch bleed (trim) marks around the edges of your cover. The bleed is the part of the book cover that is trimmed off to make sure that that cover does not have a white border around the edges. The process for creating your bleed marks is different depending on your program. In Photoshop, you can set these bleed marks through the “Print Preview” command, and in Adobe Acrobat, you must create a “TrimBox” under “Crop Pages.” Keep in mind that you must add 1/8 inch to each side of your document to come up with the finished book size (for example, it’s best if you lay out a 5.5 x 8.5 book as 8.75 x 11.75, which includes front cover, back cover, a 1/2 inch spine, and the 1/8 inch bleed on each edge of the cover).

Print the book cover on cover stock paper sized at either 11 x 17 or 12 x 18 inches as described earlier (whichever size will comfortably fit your finished book cover layout). The most common paper used for book covers is 80# white paper (glossy on one side). It is highly recommended that you have your book cover printed at a professional copy shop unless you have high quality, wide format printing equipment (see an example under “Resources”). Be sure that you set the printing settings for a full color output, and that you load the paper into your printer so that the cover will print on the glossy side.

By Gail Ellis

30 September 2014 – 11:09

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What makes illustrated storybooks such a good resource for teaching young learners of English? The British Council’s Gail Ellis, co-author of a storytelling handbook for primary English language teachers, explains. Listen to an interview with Gail in our podcast and register for her webinar taking place on Thursday, 2 October.

Illustrated storybooks provide an ideal resource for helping children learn English. This is because children love listening to stories. Storybooks present language in familiar and memorable contexts, and high quality illustrations help children understand as they match what they hear to what they see. In this way, children develop their visual literacy and appreciation of art. They also discover different styles of illustration and learn about the culture of the illustrator.

Why use storybooks in the classroom?

Teachers can use storybooks to complement an English language course or as the main teaching resource. Storybooks can act as a springboard for a wide variety of activities to develop children’s English language skills and bring other areas of the curriculum to life, through the theme or content of the book. They are also very motivating as they exercise children’s imaginations and appeal to different interests and learning styles. Storytelling is a shared social experience and provokes a response of laughter, sadness, empathy, excitement and anticipation, all of which encourage social and emotional development. Another important benefit is that storybooks encourage children to enjoy language learning and foster their appreciation of literature.

Storybooks can meet a variety of learner needs

The expansion in the teaching of English around the world to ever younger ages, and the variation in policy from one country to another, means that teachers are finding themselves teaching classes of children with diverse learning needs and varying levels of English. Storybooks help teachers meet these various needs, as all children can understand the overall meaning of a story with the help of the teacher’s storytelling techniques and the beautiful illustrations. Each child can respond according to their linguistic level and cognitive ability.

Selecting the right storybook

The key to successful storytelling is having the right story for the linguistic and cognitive ability of the children. They may have limited knowledge of their second language but still have ideas, concepts and aspirations relevant to their developmental age. Teachers need to be aware of the criteria they can use to choose storybooks, such as level, subject matter and motivation. (The storytelling handbook Tell it Again! lists these criteria in full to help teachers make informed choices).

Once you’ve picked a storybook, you need to analyse its potential for the class and prepare a sequence of tasks which incorporate preparation activities, mid-storytelling activities and follow-up activities. It’s important to tell children at the start of the lesson what the outcome will be: a presentation of the story, a project, making something, designing their own book, and so on. This gives children a purpose for their work and keeps them motivated and on task.

What to consider when reading a story aloud

Reading a storybook aloud requires preparation. You need to familiarise yourself with the book, its layout, the illustrations and the story. Practise reading it aloud several times before you read it to the class so you can deliver the story confidently, making use of a variety of storytelling techniques such as pointing to the illustrations, commentating, asking questions and encouraging children to predict and repeat. Other techniques include pausing at the right time, varying the volume or tone of your voice, and using gestures, expressions and sound effects.

Discovering new storybooks

For me, the wonder of storybooks is that I am always discovering new titles, and not just recent publications but old classics as well. The discovery of new titles is always an exciting moment! My colleagues and I have shed many a tear as we share our favourites – such is the power of storytelling to provoke emotional responses. My latest discovery is a book published in 1949 called The Important Book. There is something almost surreal with this storybook that appeals to me greatly – its way of finding something special, even in the simplest of objects such as a spoon!

Storybooks are contagious and once you start using them, you’ll find it hard to return to the more conventional ELT materials.

Download the new edition of Tell it Again!, a storytelling handbook for primary English language teachers, by Gail Ellis and Jean Brewster.

Register for Thursday’s webinar presented by Gail Ellis in which she will demonstrate how storytelling can develop children’s English as well as encourage social and emotional development.

How to Cover School Books Using Biodegradable Materials

Many graduate students find themselves at the head of the classroom, first as teaching assistants and later as instructors. However, graduate study often doesn’t teach students how to teach, and not all grad student instructors first serve as TAs. Instead, most graduate students find themselves instructing a college class with little to no teaching experience. When faced with the challenge of teaching despite little experience, most grad students turn to the techniques they have experienced as students. The lecture method is a common teaching tool.

A poor lecture is painful for both students and the instructor. Lecturing is a traditional method of instruction, perhaps the oldest form of instruction. It has its detractors who argue that it is a passive means of education. However, the lecture is not always passive. A good lecture is not simply a list of facts or a reading of the textbook. An effective lecture is the result of planning and making a series of choices — and it need not be boring.

1. Don’t Cover It All

Exert restraint in planning each class session. You will not be able to cover all of the material in the text and assigned readings. Accept that. Base your lecture on the most important material in the reading assignment, a topic from the reading that students are likely to find difficult, or material that doesn’t appear in the text. Explain to students that you won’t repeat much of the material in the assigned readings, and their job is to read carefully and critically, identifying and bringing questions about the readings to class.

2. Make Choices

Your lecture should present no more than three or four major issues, with time for examples and questions. Anything more than a few points and your students will be overwhelmed. Determine the critical message of your lecture and then remove the adornments. Present the bare bones in a succinct story. Students will absorb the salient points easily if they are few in number, clear, and coupled with examples.

3. Present in Small Chunks

Break up your lectures so that they are presented in 20-minute chunks. What’s wrong with a 1- or 2-hour lecture? Research shows that students remember the first and the last ten minutes of lectures, but little of the intervening time. Undergraduate students have a limited attention span — so take advantage of it to structure your class. Switch gears after each 20-minute mini-lecture and do something different. For example, pose a discussion question, a short in-class writing assignment, a small group discussion, or problem-solving activity.

4. Encourage Active Processing

Learning is a constructive process. Students must think about the material, make connections, relate new knowledge to what is already known, and apply knowledge to new situations. Only by working with information do we learn it. Effective instructors use active learning techniques in the classroom. Active learning is a student-centered instruction that forces students to manipulate the material to solve problems, answer questions, examine cases, discuss, explain, debate, brainstorm, and formulate questions of their own. Students tend to prefer active learning techniques because they are engaging and fun.

5. Pose Reflective Questions

The simplest way of using active learning techniques in the classroom is to ask reflective questions. These are not yes or no questions, but those that require students to think. For example, “What would you do in this particular situation? How would you approach solving this problem?” Reflective questions are difficult and will require time to think, so be prepared to wait for an answer. Endure the silence.

6. Get Them Writing

Rather than simply pose a discussion question, ask students to write about the question first for three to five minutes, then solicit their responses. The benefit of asking students to consider the question in writing is that they will have time to think through their response and feel more comfortable discussing their views without fear of forgetting their point. Asking students to work with the course content and determine how it fits with their experiences enables them to learn in their own way, making the material personally meaningful, which is at the heart of active learning.

In addition to the educational benefits, breaking up a lecture and interspersing it with discussion and active learning takes the pressure off of you as the instructor. An hour and 15 minutes, or even 50 minutes, is a long time to talk. It’s also a long time to listen. Try these techniques and vary your strategies to make it easier on everyone and increase your likelihood of success in the classroom.

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Definition of material

Definition of material (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from material

Synonyms & Antonyms for material

Synonyms: Adjective

  • concrete,
  • physical,
  • substantial

Synonyms: Noun

  • making,
  • raw material,
  • stuff,
  • substance,
  • timber

Antonyms: Adjective

  • immaterial,
  • nonmaterial,
  • nonphysical

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Choose the Right Synonym for material

material, physical, corporeal, phenomenal, sensible, objective mean of or belonging to actuality. material implies formation out of tangible matter; used in contrast with spiritual or ideal it may connote the mundane, crass, or grasping. material values physical applies to what is perceived directly by the senses and may contrast with mental, spiritual, or imaginary. the physical benefits of exercise corporeal implies having the tangible qualities of a body such as shape, size, or resistance to force. artists have portrayed angels as corporeal beings phenomenal applies to what is known or perceived through the senses rather than by intuition or rational deduction. scientists concerned with the phenomenal world sensible stresses the capability of readily or forcibly impressing the senses. the earth’s rotation is not sensible to us objective may stress material or independent existence apart from a subject perceiving it. no objective evidence of damage

synonyms see in addition relevant

Examples of material in a Sentence

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘material.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of material

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

1556, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for material

Adjective and Noun

Middle English materiel, from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French, from Late Latin materialis, from Latin materia matter — more at matter