Filling paper losses

I’ve been using this concept for repairing holes in sewn signatures. We don’t do a lot of sewing as it’s time consuming, but I wanted to keep this article for a close reading later.

Torn page

This is an easy fix and I think it’s important to restore children’s books as much as possible. I was able to color photocopy the final end pages. Then I sprayed the copy lightly with matte acrylic spray to give the page a little more strength and dirt resistance.








Trim the page

Trim the page


Trim the page to a 1/4″ stub using a self-healing mat or other protection.




Dry fit the page on top of the stub. You can trim the top and bottom of the page now, but leave the edge of the page till later.

Insert waste paper under the stub.

Insert waste paper under the stub.

Insert waste paper under the stub and apply glue. Attach page, protect with waxed paper on both sides and set a flat board and weights. After drying the right edge of the page may need trimming.

A satisfying repair as it is invisible unless you inspect the back of the page!


What is it ? #2

I was at the library needing one of these one of these last week. I had finally figured out that I have to use a hair dryer to remove tape, but then I still had a sticky residue left over. Knowing that no one in the library would have one of these, I went on a hunt in dusty corners to see if I could find an old rubber cement bottle because in the past I have used dried up rubber cement to remove sticky crud.

Wa-a-ay in the past (before we had computers on every desk) when laying out a page for publication we had to physically paste the parts together before it was photographed.  We used rubber cement or sometimes wax to glue the parts of a newspaper page together.

Rubber cement oozes and thickens so sometimes there’s a little cleaning to do. The best tool for that is the rubber cement pick-up.

Little rubbery thing

Little rubbery thing

Removing tape

Don't do this!

Don’t do this!

This book was lovingly and neatly repaired with clear ADHESIVE TAPE! Unfortunately it stiffens the page, adds bulk and fails to fix a book for more than the short term.
I’ve wrestled with removing tape: peeling, solvents, swearing and finally tried a hair dryer. The best yet, but all that blowing around-I felt as though I was using a leaf blower. The noise! The chaos! And not having enough hands! The AHA! moment came when I realized that weight and plywood could be my third and fourth hands. And the weights that I use for drying books could anchor anything.
Using the hair dryer is a little hot on the hands while trying to pull up a corner, but tweezers work nicely after that. Keeping the tape close to the surface (peeling it back on itself) while aiming the dryer is the best strategy. The tape leaves a residue some of which can be removed with a rubber cement pickup (do a search for a picture.) Or if you still have jar of rubber cement around you can make it into a ball as it dries.  I’ve thought of using talc on the very last of the residue, but I don’t know if it’s a good idea and it’s difficult to get a small amount of talc without excessive scent.
I since have tried an embossing heat tool (used in scrapbooks), but it is too hot for the majority of tapes-I had hot little gelatinous puddles.

Before and after: spine label fix.

before and after

I have a full artist’s studio with so many materials stuffed in, I’ll never be able to move, but it comes in handy for trying out stuff. I wanted to clean up this label without making it too new. I cleaned the label with alcohol to remove grease and oils and then I used acrylic gold paint, but not too heavy a coat, just stroking with a soft brush into areas that had the most losses.

Spine Repair part 1 and 2

I spent a little time the other day introducing spine replacement. I had intended to have several books partially repaired so I could show the steps, but I wasn’t that organized. (I guess I’m waiting for a writer and production crew.)

Aran Galligan has posted excellent videos. I have scrutinized them many times. Keep in mind that there are different details on other videos (and we have come up with some of our own), but the process is similar.