How to Make Spine Labels for Books

Written by shannon buck
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How to Make Spine Labels for Books
Old books may be worn so much that the author and title are not readable on the spine. (old books in bookcase image by Lansera from

There are a few reasons why a book may need to have a spine label. Perhaps the book has needed a spine repair. It will likely come back to you without the title and author on the new spine. In some instances, when the cover of a book needs replacing, the spine will not be able to be repaired at all. A new spine label will allow you to place the book back on the shelf and help you to identify the author and the title easily.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Card stock
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Clear glue
  • Sticker labels

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    Create Labels by Hand

  1. 1

    Measure the spine width and cut the card stock to size. Measure length only if you will need a label as long as the spine. Cut the paper to the desired width and length.

  2. 2

    Write the book title and author on the label. Decorate the label with a border if desired.

  3. 3

    Flip the label over and, with a small tipped brush, spread the glue evenly over the back side. Be sure the paper does not get too wet or the ink will bleed.

  4. 4

    Place the glue side of the paper over the spine of the book. Be sure that it ends up where you want it on the first time, or you will have a sticky mess.

  5. 5

    Use sticker labels instead of card stock, if you prefer. Write the title and author on the label before peeling it away from the backing, then attach the label to the book spine.

    Labels on the Computer

  1. 1

    Locate a site that provides book spine label templates, such as Burris Computer Forms. Read the printing directions and print off however many labels are required to complete the task.

  2. 2

    Write the book information on the label template. Cut it out and attach it to the book spine.

  3. 3

    Use an art program, such as PrintMaster, to create your own templates. Fill them out and print the labels onto stickers or card stock. Stick these to the spine of the book.

Tips and warnings

  • Look for archival safe products to use for these projects whenever possible, as they will not deteriorate the book.

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