How to Repair a Torn Page in a Book
Fixing a Torn Page Is an Easy Repair to Make
One of the most common disasters to befall a book is having a page torn or ripped. Thankfully, this is one of the simplest book repairs that you can do yourself.
Children, and even some adults, can be hard on books and sometimes damage them accidentally. Yes, a lot of you might read books digitally on a Kindle or other e-reader, but most of you secretly still love to hold a real book in your hands. I have several books that I have saved from my own childhood. If you take care of them, these precious books can last a lifetime or more.
The Peter Spier book about Noah's Ark that you see to the right was enthusiastically loved too much by my young grandson. Scroll down to see how I fixed this book using an appropriate glue and waxed paper. It was easy and you can make this repair easily, too. Please note: several pages were torn in this book, but I only make only one torn page repair at a time.
All images belong to me, Mickie Gee, unless otherwise stated. You may use with attribution.
**Note: For antiquarian/old collectible books, you'll need specialist advice that is NOT covered by this article**
What You Need
Torn pages in picture books occur quite innocently. Little children can love a book so much that they accidentally cause damage. Yes, sometimes anger can hurt a book, but mostly it is too much love.
To fix a torn page you will need:
- A thin paint brush or a toothpick
- Adhesive or glue that dries flexible (it will say so on the label).
- Separate container for your glue. I like to use a small paper plate to squeeze a dime-sized dab onto so I can dip my brush. This way, I can keep the glue in the jar or bottle from drying up. A jar lid or even a piece of waxed paper will do just as well. Just use what you have on hand.
- 2 sheets of waxed paper torn to a size that you need to fit the book.
- Other books to act as weights
Yes, this glue is on my shelf. It is a relatively new product from Elmer's that states on the label that it is pH neutral and remains flexible after it dries. The word "flexible" is important since pages in a book need this attribute.
I have used this glue to repair many books. Elmer's is a name that you have trusted your whole life, isn't it?
Tools to Apply Your Glue
A thin, detail paint brush or toothpick is essential to apply the glue to a torn page. It is OK to buy inexpensive brushes for a book repair project.
Remember to clean the brush with mild soap and warm water when you are finished applying the glue.
1. Examine the Torn Page and Pay Attention to the Details
Carefully examine the tear and make sure you can match up the edges and the details of the page. This will be your "dry run" for gluing the page back together. Pay attention to the details so the page will appear "like new" after you apply the glue and let it dry. Line the words or pictures up as best as you can.
2. Put Waxed Paper Behind the Torn Page to Protect the Other Pages
Put a sheet of waxed paper behind the page that needs the repair. You do not want to glue the pages together, just the torn pieces of one page.
3. Apply Glue to Torn Edges
Using a thin brush or toothpick, carefully apply the glue to one torn edge. Turning the brush as you move it along the tear helps in the application. See a helpful video below to watch this method for making this kind of repair.
Simple Book Repairs on Video
I find the method used to apply adhesive to a torn edge of a page quiet interesting. The "artisan" uses a "repair stick" to apply the glue instead of a brush. The video also has instructions for tipping in a page and a signature of a book that has come loose. The last repair is for a tear on a page. The instructor is a pro and has some special equipment - like a real book press!
4. Apply Gentle Pressure
Gently press the torn edges together. You can use a soft cloth to wipe up glue that oozes out, if you want.
5. More Waxed Paper!
Place your second sheet of waxed paper on top of the glued torn page.
6. Close the Book and Apply Weight
I use other books to apply the needed pressure to hold the repair in place long enough for the glue to dry. Sometimes 30 minutes is enough, but I like to let the glue sit for a day just to make sure. See, you do not need a professional book press to make this simple repair. See the Peter Spier book that I just repaired above?
The other books in this picture have been repaired and are drying, too. I used my tool tub on top of the books to add weight to the top repaired book. You could even use a can of soup.
The Glue You Choose Should Dry Flexible!
The most important quality of a book repair glue!
You want your pages to be a natural as possible.
Read the label of the adhesive you are thinking about using.
Thank you for visiting this tutorial about how to repair a torn page in a book. I used a child's picture book for this lesson, but you can apply the method to other books as well.
Are there any other book repairs you would like me to show you how to make? I will be glad to try to help you if I can.
© 2013 Mickie Goad