Book Repair Basics

There are a number of repairs you can do to help lengthen the life of your favourite books, and like any trade, there are a myriad of terms and tools that you don’t come across every day.

To help you through this maze, I have listed here (with links) all the information on this site that I have categorised as Book Repair Basics. It covers everything from how to decide if you should repair your book, what tools you might need to step by step instructions for simple repair tasks.

Repairing Book Hinges

Hinging In Detached Pages

Hinging-in is generally used when the text block is sewn and the pages open flat, or when reattaching a plate that ...
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book corners

Hinging In Multiple Pages

The exact number of pages that can be successfully hinged-in will vary from book to book. Remember, when pages are hinged-in, ...
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Hinging In Plates or Illustration Pages

Plates (illustration pages) can be attached to a text block in several ways. Some plates are printed on folded sheets ...
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flap wrapper

How to Make a Four Flap Wrapper

Wrappers and boxes are other ways to protect books on the shelf. In a general library collection, they might be used ...
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How to Make a Punch Hole Jig

Punching sewing holes in folded signatures can be tricky. Using a punching jig and a signature punching cradle (instructions in ...
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clam shell book box

How to Make Clam Shell Book Boxes

A simple corrugated clam shell box can be constructed from a sheet of single wall acid-free corrugated board. These boxes are faster to ...
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How To Measure a Book

Measuring books accurately can be a challenge since books are not always square or flat. It’s standard practice in book ...
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Paperclip in book

How to Remove Paperclips

Staples and paper clips need to be removed when they are rusty, when pages are photocopied or sewn into a pamphlet ...
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Removing staples

How to Remove Staples

Staples and paper clips need to be removed when they are rusty, when pages are photocopied or sewn into a pamphlet ...
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Finding the Grain

How to Test for Grain in Paper or Book Cloth

All paper and book cloth has a dominate grain. It's important to know the grain direction before you start your ...
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Is My Book Worth Repairing?

To Repair or Not? Before you rush in and prepare to work on repairing your book, ask yourself a few ...
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Japanese repair tissue

Japanese Repair Tissue

Japanese repair tissue is sometimes called “rice” paper, but this thin paper is made from the fibers of the mulberry ...
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Planning and Preparation

Where to start?

Is my book worth repairing?

Which repair method should I use?

Planning your repairs

Designing specific book repair work

Complex book repairs

Using bookshelves correctly

How to measure a book

How to test for grain in paper or book cloth

Book repair tools

Book repair sewing needles

Book repair thread | Linen thread

Preparing thread for book repairs

Tying knots

Drying book repair work

How to make a punch hole jig

Punching cradle instructions


Techniques and Methods

Cleaning pages of a book

Repairing paper

Simple or complex paper tears

Japanese repair tissue

Heat set tissue

Document repair tape

Clear plastic tape (sticky tape)

Repairs with document tape

Book repair – glue or paste?

Book repair glue

Wheat paste recipes

Repairing cut paper or pages

Adhesives and repair tissue

Repairing holes in book pages

Missing page corners

Replacing missing book corners

Re-attaching loose pages

Hinging in detached pages

Replacing missing pages

Flattening Rolled Paper

How to make clam shell book boxes

How to make a four flap wrapper

Modified four flap wrapper

Plastic book jackets

Binding pamphlets and booklets

Reinforcing spiral bound books

How to remove paperclips

How to remove staples


If the specific technique or problem you want is not listed here, please check both the Hardcover and Paperback Book Repair pages for more techniques that are designed for these types of books.


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