Capture a Character on a Book Cover


Favorite characters REALLY stand out in this presentation! Use Shaper Paper™ to make a 3-D book report cover that captures a favorite story!


1. What character especially intrigued you in a book you read recently? How could you represent that animal or person in 3-D to craft a report that is sure to stand out? Here is how the lion pictured took shape!

2. Start with a blank book as an armature, or cut your report covers from recycled cardboard. Measure the book to figure out how much Crayola Shaper Paper™ you need to cover the spine and covers, plus a little to overlap inside. Measure and mark the Shaper Paper in one piece. Fold crisp lines in the paper and gently pull the paper apart to make your book cover. Shaper Paper easily separates on folded lines.

3. Cover your craft area with newspaper. To apply Shaper Paper to the book cover, dip a brush in water. Dab your brush on a paper towel to remove excess water. Brush one side of the Shaper Paper with a small amount of water. Wrap the book with the wet side of the Shaper Paper facing the cover. Neatly tuck the edges inside and press down. Cut snips to go around corners.

4. Add color to your book cover with Crayola Watercolors, Tempera Paint, and/or Markers. Think about how color can enhance your presentation. If the character you chose is perky and excited, for example, what colors will help show that? Air-dry the paint.

5. Carefully tear or cut more Shaper Paper to form the 3-D character and decorative elements for your book cover. Shaper Paper sticks to itself and holds its shape when wet, so be creative with your design! What is your character’s personality? Where does your character live? Twist and form the Shaper Paper to create details—even pieces that go beyond the edges.

6. Press the 3-D pieces into place on the cover, dampening them slightly as needed. Give your cover sparkles with Crayola Glitter Glue. Air-dry the sparkles.

7. You’re ready to fill the book’s pages with details about the character, plot, setting, and other elements of the story. What can you show and say to encourage your classmates to read the book and enjoy it as much as you did?

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.


  • Use Shaper Paper to create the cover AND pages of a book. Research and experiment with different bookbinding techniques and cover shapes.
  • Use Shaper Paper to create and decorate a bookmark featuring your favorite character or scene from a story. Write a quote that speaks to you on the bookmark.
  • Create Shaper Paper puppets and stage sets to present an entire scene from the book. Use recycled boxes and other items to design your project.
  • Assessment: Is the character’s role and personality in the story accurately represented on the book cover? Were directions followed for using Shaper Paper? Is the book cover neatly crafted and uniquely 3-D?

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Colored Pencils
  • Markers
  • Washable Watercolors
  • Watercolor Brushes with Wood Handle
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
  • Shaper Paper
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • ruler
  • paper towels
  • notebook
  • container(s) of water



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes


  • Students recall personality traits of a character and events of a story to develop a book report cover that represents these details.

  • Students identify a character and use symbols, designs, and colors to portray important elements of that character.

  • Students write and illustrate a book report that encourages others to read the book.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards