Print your own book cover 

Seasalt print designer Sophie Chadwick shows us how to print our own mid-century inspired artwork to create a cover for a favourite book

The playful, abstract shapes and interesting textures used by the Cornish Modernists, artists who lived and worked in St Ives in the first half of the 20th century, have inspired our print designers this season. Luckily these simple forms are easy to recreate at home, so you can turn any book you love into a work of art. Sophie shows us how.  

You will need: 

  • The book you want to cover
  • A book template (download ours here)
  • Pencil and scrap paper
  • Scissors or craft knife & a metal ruler 
  • Matte paper – 160gsm works well
  • Potatoes & a small sharp knife
  • Kitchen paper
  • Paint or printing ink
  • Flat paintbrush, sponge or small roller
  • Glue


1. Roughly sketch out your design. I used simple geometric shapes. Even with these, you can create endless patterns. 

2. Cut out your book jacket shape using your template. 

3. Cut your potatoes in half with a straight, neat cut. If it is uneven, your potato won’t print. Blot dry on kitchen paper. Draw the shape you want to print onto the potato – a water-soluble pencil works really well for this.  

4. Cut around the outline of your shape with a small sharp kitchen knife or craft knife to create your stamp. Blot again. 

5. Apply paint or printing ink to the stamp with a flat brush, sponge or a small roller. Test by printing onto a scrap of paper to check that you are happy with the shape, gauge the amount of ink to apply, and the pressure to use. 

6. Ink up your potato again and stamp your design onto your book jacket. Experiment with regular and irregular patterns. I love to overlap the shapes and colours, but make sure they’ve had time to dry in between.  

7. You can add to the design by printing finer lines with found objects, like cardboard tubes and pen lids. The simplest things can give you a surprisingly good effect. I also like to draw over and around the patterns with fineliner pens.  

8. Wait for the design to dry, then turn over the jacket and fold along the dotted lines. Glue the flaps down at each end of the spine. 

9. Insert your book, folding the paper around one side of the cover, then the other. You can leave corners loose, or glue them down where the paper overlaps. 


We’d love to see your book covers. Show us with #SeasaltArtsClub