How to Apply Book Binding Tape

Written by deborah jones
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How to Apply Book Binding Tape
Treasured books can be given a new lease of life with a new cover or reinforced spine. (open book image by MAXFX from

Story books, picture books and photo albums are treasured possessions in most families. Keeping books in good repair is not always easy, especially a child's favourite and much-read book. Fortunately, it is easy to extend a book's life by make a quick repair. Book binding tape is a speciality tape specifically for the binding and repair of books. It is archival and acid free, will not crack or discolour and is available in various widths and colours. It has the added advantage of being self-adhesive making most repairs mess-free.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Ruler
  • Book binding tape
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Measure the height of the book and cut a length of tape 1 inch longer. Make sure the tape is wider than the width of the spine as it needs to overlap on both front and back by about a 1/2 inch.

  2. 2

    Place the tape face down (sticky side up) on a flat surface, then carefully lay the closed book on the tape so that there is an overhang at both top of and bottom. If the book spine is very wide it may be easier to apply the tape directly to the spine, again keeping the overhang at top and bottom and at both sides.

  3. 3

    Smooth any air bubbles out of a wide spine, then fold the sides of the tape over the edges of book onto the front and back covers. Smooth and press the book binding tape securely to the covers, removing any wrinkles.

  4. 4

    Trim off the excess binding tape at the top and bottom. For hard back spines, the tape should be tucked behind the spine for a neat finish and for paperbacks or thin booklets the binding tape can be trimmed level with the edges of the pages.

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