How To Repair a Book Binding

Repairing a tattered book requires the right skills. You need to do cutting, measuring and pasting by hand. Usually, you can repair a book yourself. But if it's a valuable book, let the expert do it for you. The materials you need for book binding are a knife, glue, a brush, a bone folder, wax paper and book binding cloth. Here are the steps to repair a book binding:

  1. Set up a well-lit workplace with your bookbinding materials ready.
  2. Look at your book closely to see what you need to repair.
  3. Re-stitch any slack pages before reattaching the cover.
  4. Get your special bookbinding glue and spread it along the spine edge of your book's pages.
  5. If the cover along the spine is tattered at the top and bottom, cut it in the center using a knife. Then take a portion of a bookbinding cloth. The new bookbinding cloth should have the same color as the old one, and the measurement should have the same length as the spine flap.
  6. Elevate the book cover lightly using a palette knife. It should be elevated ¼ inch from the spine.
  7. Remove the cardboard residue with a cotton cloth, then clean any threads protruding from the spine flap.
  8. Get your special bookbinding glue and your clean brush. Glue the portion of bookbinding cloth you just cut to the rim of the cardboard.
  9. Use the bone folder or ruler to flatten the bookbinding cloth, then brush with the special bookbinding glue the remaining uncovered part of the front cover. Gently press the newly glued portion of bookbinding cloth with your fingers. Then use the bone folder or ruler again to flatten this part.
  10. Use the wax paper to remove any excess glue and load it with piles of books until it's dried out. 
  11. Get the slack spine above the new flap and determine if they perfectly fit together.
  12. Get the special bookbinding glue and spread it onto the replacement portion and flap the slack spine over with your fingers.
  13. Allow the book to dry for 24-48 hours.

This little bookbinding project can help you restore your favorite book and extend its existence. You can do a simple book binding yourself in most cases. Generally, the materials you will need such as glue, wax paper, a brush, bone folder, scissors and bookbinding cloth are cheap and are mostly available in major bookbinding stores online and offline. There are several types of book binding repairs you can do, such as spiral book binding, long stitch book binding, Coptic book binding and hardcover book binding. You can even change the covers of your books with leather, cloth and ornamental paper.

If you enjoy working with your hands, book binding may not only be your hobby but may also be your future career. Whether it's a keepsake or a priceless book, you need to take good care of it. Books help us to understand who we are, where we came from, and our purpose in life.


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: