How to Rebind a Book or a Bible

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Rebinding a book or Bible requires a pointed attention to detail.
Rebinding a book or Bible requires a pointed attention to detail. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Even hard-cover books, like Bibles, are subject to the wear and tear more frequently associated with soft-covers. It's common for the adhesive to degenerate causing the cover to peel away from the spine, or for the binding to deteriorate and tear. Your should consult a professional book binder if rebinding requires an expensive material or if you prefer to have intricate detail done. Rebinding a book is certainly a meticulous process, but the task can be accomplished by anyone with a little patience and persistence.

Things You'll Need

  • Craft knife
  • Rasp
  • Binder's board
  • Ruler
  • Book canvas
  • Jade glue
  • Heavy object

Remove the old book cover from the book block. Cut through the paper connecting the spine of the book to the cover with the craft knife. Slice away any excess paper still attached to the spine with the knife, and shave off any remaining bits of material with the rasp.

Trace and cut the new front and back book covers. Place the naked book block face on the binder's board. Add a quarter-inch onto the top and bottom height of the book block and trace a front and back cover. Cut out the two rectangles using a ruler for accuracy.

Measure and cut the spine of the book cover. Draw a rectangle on the binder's board with a height equivalent to the newly cut book covers and a width equivalent to the spine of the book block plus the longer edges of the front and back newly cut book covers. Cut-out the rectangle using a ruler for accuracy.

Cover the book covers and spine with canvas. Line up the front cover, spine and back cover side-by-side on a single sheet of canvas with 1/4-inch between them. Trace around each individual rectangle to make a template. Add 1-inch to the total height and width of the layout and cut out the entire template on the single piece of canvas. Apply glue to the front book cover and press into the appropriate place on the canvas. Do the same for the spine and back book cover. Turn the canvas over and use a heavy object to remove air bubbles by pressing down evenly. Allow to dry.

Apply glue to the remaining 1-inch canvas edges and fold into the inside of the book one at a time. Remove air bubbles by pressing down on the glued canvas evenly with a heavy object. Allow to dry.

Attach the new cover to the book block. Place glue on the book cover spine and adhere the aligned book block spine. Place glue on one end page of the book block and press the corresponding cover firmly onto it. Repeat for the other cover. Remove air bubbles with a heavy object by pressing down evenly. Allow to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Insert a piece of cardboard into the first few and last few pages of the book if the spine of the book block fans out when removing from the old cover. This will straighten out the spine and allow for accurate measurement.

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