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Let’s be completely honest: we all judge books by their covers.

(I’m totally calling myself out here because I do this all the time.) But judging books by their covers isn’t an entirely bad thing to do, especially because humans are very visual people, and book covers can be absolutely stunning sometimes. It’s always fun to look at all the artwork featured and see how everything comes together!

So, if you haven’t guessed already, today’s post is going to be a collab with the lovely El @ Elated Books where we recreate our favorite book covers!! El is so sweet and funny and I’m so glad to have found her in the book blogging community. 🥰 Check out her wonderful blog and post here!

This post’s idea was inspired by May @ My 1st Chapter’s post recreating The Lunar Chronicles book covers. May did an absolutely amazing job, I’m obsessed with her art skills! You need to go check out her post asap as well!!

Since we did all the art by hand, El and I decided to recreate just 2 of our absolute favorite book covers, and we’re so thrilled to reveal them…

Before I get started, please use these resources to support everything going on in the world right now; remember to always show your support, even when social justice isn’t “trending.”

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Book Cover 1:


The Henna Wars The Henna Wars

(original cover on the left, my recreation on the right)

The moment El asked me what book covers I was thinking of doing, my mind instantly landed on The Henna Wars. It’s a gorgeous book both inside and out, and I love that two girls of color are featured on the cover! The medium I chose for this book cover was Prismacolor colored pencils (colored pencils that are very soft and easy to work with).

While it was definitely difficult to get the proportions of both girls and their skin tones right, the hardest part would probably be their henna / mehendi. Henna is truly beautiful (I have the fondest memories of eagerly awaiting to get henna on my hands when I was younger!!), but it was difficult to recreate the intricate designs on The Henna Wars’s book cover. 😅

I’m most happy with how the title and author text turned out, though! I added it digitally on my tablet using the app Paper.

Altogether, this book cover took me quite a while to create, as I worked on it during multiple sittings whenever I had time… but it was worth it in the end!

♡ You Might Also Like: My Review of The Henna Wars

Header and Divider (1)

Book Cover 2:


Book - Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson IMG_3152 (2)

(original cover on the left, my recreation on the right)

This is a recent book I read and enjoyed as well, and I absolutely adore how beautiful the cover is! Like I’ve talked about before, I’ve been loving watercolors lately, and thought it would be fun to take up this project with them.

I’m proud of myself for barely sketching out an outline and trusting myself to create the entire background—including the silhouettes and title—with watercolors: it was such a fun and therapeutic process!! 

After the paint dried, I went on to add the author’s name on top of the silhouette with Prismacolors. (I did this without an outline, so the proportions ended up looking a bit off, haha!)

I also used gel pens to create the swirling butterflies at the top, as I thought the sparkles would add a magical touch. I had… quite a few issues with the gel pens smearing, though, but I think it came together in the end as well!Header and Divider (1)I’m very critical of my art, but I’m happy with how these two turned out and hope you enjoyed reading about my creative process! I had so much fun working on these and doing this collab… just a reminder to go check out El’s post because she did an amazing job recreating the covers of Descendant of The Crane and The Enchanted Wood! 

Let's Chat

do you judge books by their covers? have you ever tried this? how do you think El and i did with our recreations??


107 responses to “Recreating Our Favorite Book Covers! // a collab ft. El @ Elated Books”

  1. […] El @ Elated Books and Ash @ Starlight Strands collaborated on a post which has two parts, they both recreated some book covers and I am just in awe of how amazing their drawing skills are. Here’s El’s post recreating some book covers and here’s Ash’s post recreating some book covers! […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aria Avatar

    These are both so amazing! I especially love your recreation of The Henna Wars cover 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you so much, aria!!! 😭🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. July Recap // ft. Lots of Reading, Sunsets, & Folklore (+ Ask Me Questions for a Q&A!) – Purely Olivia Avatar

    […] recreated book covers and her talent is…so amazing, I’m still […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] and El recreated their favorite book covers and they turned out stunning! Some of them I even prefer to the original ones. They are so […]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. July Wrap-Up! – Sophie's Corner Avatar

    […] Ash @ Starlight Strands showcased her beautiful recreations of book covers. […]

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  6. June + July Wrap Up // in which i pretend like nothing happened but i’m actually more accomplished than ever before – Starry Sky Books Avatar

    […] 🌟 Ash @ Starlight Strands: Recreating Our Favorite Book Covers! // a collab ft. El @ Elated Books […]


  7. ahaana @ Windows to Worlds Avatar

    I love these recreations! They look so good, and the idea for this post is so creative!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you so much, ahaana!! 💖 (also sorry i just saw your comment 😭)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. my favorite bookish creators // part 3 ~ book bloggers ! – moon child don't cry Avatar

    […] blog posts by them: so firstly, her recreating book covers with el from @elated books (because the first time she did this it very much inspired my #sincerelycreated […]

    Liked by 1 person

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