plastic book jacket

Plastic Book Jackets

plastic book jacketReplacing damaged or soiled plastic book jacket covers is a fast way to make books look new and inviting. The best kind of plastic book jacket cover to use is the type with two parts: a clear, plastic front and a white paper backing.


  • Choose a size of plastic book jacket that is long enough to cover the entire length of the book jacket.
  • Slide the book jacket in between the plastic front and the white paper backing.
  • Turn the book jacket over and fold the clear plastic front over the white backing paper.
  • Tape the plastic front to the backing paper. Do not put tape on the book jacket itself. Since the tape does not touch the book jacket, it cannot stain or discolor. The book jacket remains safe and clean.

When the plastic jacket is soiled or torn, simply replace it and the book jacket will look new again.

Warning! Some plastic book jackets do not have a paper backing. The plastic is taped directly to the paper book jacket. Unfortunately, the adhesive in the tape can migrate to the paper jacket and cause stains. In addition, the paper cover is often torn when the plastic cover is removed. All in all, it is best to avoid this type of plastic jacket.

Attaching Plastic Jackets to Bound Books
The most common way to attach plastic jackets to a book is to tape them down. Be careful about the type and amount of attaching tape used and where it is placed.

  • Try to use a tape that is pH neutral and stable. Since the adhesives used in many plastic tapes are not stable, they can stain the cover cloth on a book or the adhesive can transfer to the cover of the book so that the cover remains sticky even after the tape is removed.
  • Use as small a piece of tape as possible, and try to put the new tape in the same place each time it is replaced. 
  • When a plastic book cover is taped onto a book, pay special attention to the endpapers. If there is no special information on the endpapers, tape the turn-ins of the plastic jacket down to the book cover as in Method 1 below.
  • If a map or chart is printed on the endpapers and the turn-ins of a plastic book cover are taped over it, someone will undoubtedly tear the tape or cover to have access to the image. To prevent this, attach the plastic book jacket to the book so that it opens to show the entire end sheet following the instruction in Method 2 below.

Taping Jacket Turn-in To The Cover Board

Method 1: 

  • Use a piece of tape approximately 1 l/2 – 2” long
  • Attach one half of the tape on the turn-in area of the plastic cover. Try to place it so that no information is covered.
  • Fold the tape over the book cover and press it in place. The tape can be attached to the outside of the plastic cover or to the front of the book cover.
  • Tape each turn-in at the top and bottom.

Method 2:

  • Use a piece of paper tape the height of the book and attach it to the very front edge of the book cover. Try to apply the tape so it covers as little of the end paper as possible.
  • Carefully fold the tape back onto itself.
  • Position the plastic cover on the book.
  • Gently fold the turnin over so that it is in contact with the tape.
  • Press the tape to the book jacket.
  • Repeat for the other turn-in.