We took this lovely book out the the library this week and it had quite a few tears in the pages. It has such cute illustrations and I thought it would be a shame to have tape all over it so I fixed them using a basic paper repair method that I learned in school. Not to worry! I told the librarian I was a bookbinder and asked if it was ok if I fixed some of the books if they were ripped. I got an odd look, but a green light on the repair work : )
I made this video so you could see how easy it is to do much better than scotch tape without that much effort AND with things you have right at home.
Tools and materials: white glue like Elmers, a tooth pick or very fine paint brush, your finger nail or smooth side of a plastic spoon (instead of a bone folder), wax paper or plastic wrap.
*Note: this is a basic repair that can be used at home on inexpensive books. This is not restoration or conservation. It is just a simple tool that one can use to keep the books they love looking nice and in useable condition. As most mom's know children's books are used over and over and over and over again. Once kids latch on to one you are reading it and reading it, and then they read it and read it, and then it gets passed down, you get the idea...
Steps for basic paper repair where the page still overlaps:
1. put a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap on the page below the tear to protect it from glue
2. most tears have parts of the paper that will overlap (otherwise it is generally a cut not a tear). align the tear back to it's original position, i.e. unfold little folded areas and smooth out if you need to
3. on the very edge of the tear AND on the sections of paper that overlap, place a small amount of glue with your tooth pick
4. put a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap on top of the tear and apply some pressure with your thumb. gently smooth over the tear with a bone folder if you have one or the back of your fingernail (or the round part of a plastic spoon)
5. put a fresh piece of wax paper or plastic wrap in place on both sides and close the book. put a weight on it for at least 15 minutes.
6. look at how you did. is there too much glue, too little glue? adjust accordingly and carry on.