Decorative Repair


Repairing a torn book page at The Cardboard CollectiveRepairing the torn pages of books with decorative paper at The Cardboard Collective

…some experiments in repairing books in a way that adds something.

Wouldn’t it be nice to add a little poem to a torn page, or a note saying something like…

It’s O.K.

Don’t worry.

Nori: Japanese rice paste at The Cardboard Collective

I used Japanese rice paste, (called Nori) and some pretty paper scraps. It was a hard choice sometimes between colors that follow the mood of a book and others that contrast it.

Washi paper book repair at The Cardboard Collective

I also tried to fix a glass apothecary jar I use for things like buttons. It broke in a way that created a large hole, but no cracks, so washi tape was enough….

Washi Tape apothecary jar repair at The Cardboard Collective

Decorative Papier Mache basket repair at The Cardboard Collective

And lastly, my basket for thread. The edges of the basket were cracked and the whole thing was falling apart. The colors of the paper always brighten my mood, and I can still see my thread peeking through patches of the basketry.

Organize Yourself: Cardboard Library Pocket

I started gluing these library pockets in my sketch books and travel guides and quickly became addicted. They are a great addition to a Moleskin notebook too. I particularly like to use them on the front of the little cardboard covered notebooks I get from Muji. These notebooks are just the right size, inexpensive and great for sketching out ideas while the girls are playing on the playground every morning. My to do list stays front and center in the cozy little pocket and I can pull it out without having to delve into my sketchbook.

Cover them with interesting magazine pages, manga, paper bags, or other junk mail ephemera, and you’ve got a very classy place to keep your grocery list. No more forgetting the soy sauce!

For this project I recommend using the lightest weight cardboard you can get your hands on. Think “bone china” of cardboard. Re-purposed manilla folders would work great too.

To make the fabric covered pocket pictured at the top, I first traced the template onto cardboard and cut it out. Then I simply glued a scrap of kimono fabric to the pocket with watered down white glue and then painted over the top decoupage-style with the white glue  and water mixture so the fabric was entirely smooth and saturated. I let it dry overnight, cut off any remaining fabric, and then glued the pocket together and affixed it to the notebook. Easy.

Last minute stocking stuffer?

Click on the picture below for two sizes of free downloadable library pocket pdf templates.