The day you realize that your hymnals are beginning to lose their youthful appearance is a sad day. It may be minimal wear and tear that is starting to show, or you may have severely damaged hymnals.
Now you have to decide what to do.
One option is to continue using your books until they're no longer readable and then purchase all new books! However, this may not be the best option if these hymnals are being used regularly.
A little bit of repair usually goes a long way, and will renew your hymnals to their younger days.
Discover the Problem
You'll want to start with diagnosing the problem. Usually the hymnal cover and edges are the first places to be damaged. If the hymnal is older and has received a lot of use, then the spine is the next vulnerable area. Discovering where the problems are will help you figure out what you need to do. Spine repair takes a little more time than cover repair, but the process for both can be fairly easy to do when you have the right products.
Next, let’s talk about what products you’ll need.
1. Cloth Book Repair Tape
You have a few options when it comes to choosing a book binding repair tape.
Most hymnals are hardcover books with a cloth covering.
Cloth book repair tape is a really good option for most hymnals as it will preserve that timeless look. However, if your hymnal is a paperback or the cover is plastic, the vinyl BookGuard tape may be the right choice for you.
The good news is that the choice is yours. Both tapes will work equally as well on all book surfaces. But for right now, let’s talk about the cloth book binding tape.
Quick Facts About Cloth Repair Tape:
Protects books longer than other tape. This is because the tape is 13-mils thick. That’s a little over twice the thickness of masking tape. The thick material protects books against dents and scrapes for a long time.
It’s highly conformable, which makes it easy to wrap around corners. It won’t crack or become brittle over time. No cutting or measuring necessary.
The adhesive is permanent. The adhesive won’t fade or wear off over time.
Available in 8 different colors. The color is impregnated into the cloth material, so it will keep its vibrancy and won’t fade over time.
It looks professional. It won’t crack or become brittle, leaving an unpleasant appearance.
Easy to apply. The tape can be cut with scissors and the book wings don’t need to be cut at all.
The width of the tape you should buy depends on the size of the book you are repairing. Generally, you want to leave approx. ½ inch on either side of the book. If the spine of your book is 2 inches, then the 3” tape would be the best thing to buy.
2. Book Repair Wings
Repairing the edges and corners of your hymnal is a great way to add some extra protection to your hymnals and restore them to their stronger days.
Sure, you can take duct tape, scotch tape or any other household item and wrap it around your book’s corners. Unfortunately, that will not only look terrible, it will be a mess to cut and fit to the right size. These products aren’t made for book repair so there’s a risk that they will ruin your books.
These little strips of repair tape form perfectly around the top and bottom of the hymnal's spine.
- -They're made from the same material as out cloth repair tape.
- -They're available in 8 colors.
- -They come in 24 wings per pack.
3. Book Repair Corners
Just like book wings, book corners are also an essential item needed to fix up hymnals. They are made from the same material and they function the same, but they are shaped to fit the corners of books.
Although both the corners and wings are cloth tape, they will stick to cloth, plastic and vinyl books.
The corner edges are one of the most frequently damaged locations on the hymnal. They are handled and moved around by different people each week.
Adding an extra layer of protection will give extend the life span of your hymnals.
Once you’ve discovered the cause of your hymnal’s demise and you’ve found the right products to doctor them up, now you just need to get started!