How to Repair a Torn Photo

Things You'll Need

  • Acid-free Tape

  • Cardboard

If a photograph is extremely old, rare or of archival quality, it's best not to repair tears; consult a photography professional. However, if the value of the photograph is primarily sentimental, follow these steps.

Step 1

Gather the pieces of the torn photograph on a flat, dust-free surface. Make sure your hands are clean and dry.

Step 2

Fit together the torn pieces on a piece of cardboard.

Step 3

Place another piece of cardboard on top of the photograph and gently flip over both pieces of cardboard with the photograph in the middle.

Step 4

Remove the top piece of cardboard.

Step 5

Apply acid-free archival tape to the back of the photograph. Acid-free tape, available at photography and framing shops, will not cause any yellowing or staining over the years.

Step 6

Use acid-free tape on the front of a photo only if the tape is designed for this purpose. If you do so, smooth out the tape carefully to avoid creating any air bubbles.

Tip

You can scan a damaged photograph onto a computer and use image-editing software to remove flaws, tears or signs of aging. If you want to display a delicate or an old photograph, it's best to use a copy.