Friday, August 28, 2015

Fixing Scratches, Tears, Rips and Removing Stickers off Book Covers

I have used this for years and have never thought to write a blog about it. As with any child, my children have ripped books on occasion and some books that we really love, got used often and would get wear cracks in them from being opened and read so many times. 

Also, we have purchased may books on clearance and they have stickers they put on the front and sometimes, it is really difficult to remove those stickers or price tags off the fronts of backs of some of our favorite books. 

Over the years, I have figured the best way to get those off. I use mineral spirits or Kerosene to remove left over stickers on books or game boxes and other toys. 

You don't need much on a paper towel to get them off. If you watch the video at the bottom, near the end, I show how I got the sticky off the back of the book in seconds with no film left. It works wonders. I also used this to get tar off my car and trailer as well. Click here to read a post about that. Anything that is sticky, this will work on. If you get gum on a book, this would also work to take it off. Don't use lots of it at a time or it will saturate the book pages or cover and cause it to smell. Use the least amount possible and if you need more, then try more. Don't use a cotton ball as that holds too much. A q-tip would work as well. Paper towel works the best in my opinion. 

For gluing pages, if some of the page is ripped up but not ripped off, use a glue stick. I have tried Elmer's or another liquid glue in the past and it will drip down if you get excess and can glue pages together. If you use a paste, sometimes you will get clumps and it will leave a bump when it dries. Glue stick is the best in my opinion using a thin coating. Press it down with your finger starting at the non-ripped edge and smooth it towards the ripped edge gently as it will force any air bubbles out of the area creating a good seal, similar to moving the wallpaper paste towards the edge of the paper when you are wall-papering.

If there is some paper on the top of the page ripped off and the color is missing, if you know me at all, you will know that I am going to say, "Use Sharpies!" They are in so many different colors that you can usually find one to match closely to the color of the item you are trying to match.

 In this post here, I used Sharpies to repair the paint on my trailer before I waxed it. 

 Here is one where I use it to finish an antique chalk board

Here is one where we have friends sign the wall.

Here is one where I use Sharpie on Furniture.

Here is where I show how I smudge it on shiny furniture to fix scratches.

I just take the closest matching sharpie and try to recreate the direction of the original artwork. I show in the video at the bottom in the second half how I fill in scratches and then smudge it with my finger to make it blend in more.

I wouldn't suggest using a non-permanent marker as you wouldn't want the ink to come off on the kids hands when they are reading or playing with the book. 

When you look at the picture of my drawing green on the picture below, you can see where I filled in the cracks with a brown marker next to it. I probably could have used a tan color marker on the lighter area but one of my beautiful Princesses ended up with some of my more colorful markers which left me down on the tan colors. 

You can see the lines when you are a few inches away from the book as I am when taking the picture of the green marker but when you take the book back to reading length, you no longer see the brown lines as distinctly and at a quick glance, anyone reading the book won't look at length at the pictures either especially when you have finger puppets involved! ha ha

When you have a larger area that needs filling in, sometimes if there is a patter and several different colors, I do my best to draw the pattern and fill in as I can to make it the least bit noticeable as possible. 

I have used this technique for puzzle pieces that were missing in the past and you can hardly tell that the piece was made to fit a missing piece. Here is post one on that. Here is post two for that. I use Sharpies to do that as well. 

You can see on those two posts, that depending on the color, you can make it so you can't even tell, or if it is an odd color, it is a bit more difficult and I have had to match it with paints sometimes.

If you have a pattern going one direction, always try to go with that angle and pattern so it looks similar.You can see that on the bottom picture. The dirt had some scrapes on it and I used the brown to keep the texture look by not using it to fill in all the scrapes. You can also see me do that near the end of the video below.  

You can pick up books used on several online sites but I like looking on local sites by posting the book I may be looking for on the site to see if anyone local has it first. That way I don't have to pay shipping. 

If I can't find it online locally, you can also post on your facebook to see if anyone has one they want to get rid of. If that doesn't work, check local second hand stores and yard sales. Also, sometimes the local library replaces book that are popular or sometimes outdated books. 
One year at a library yard-sale, I got the entire "Nancy Drew" and "The Hardy Boys" sets for $25 and the "Clifford" hard back set for less. I got my "Dr. Seuss" set from a friends whose children were older. Sometimes people may not think about getting rid of their books until someone asks. Most people would rather see their things go to someone they know and that they see would appreciate it rather than just donating it to a store. They make some money or often times, they will just donate them to you. a few years ago, I gave away three banana boxes of books to a friend who was homeschooling. They were informative books but my kids were past that stage and I wanted the space for books more age appropriate for them. I was happy they would be used by someone who would appreciate them. 

Fixing up the entire book probably would have been about 2 to 3 minutes tops if I hadn't been making a video and talking about it. I didn't think of making the video before I had already fixed the worst page. By buying used books, I was able to have a large library that the girls could pick from for all the different stages they were in as at one point I have five children in five different school from preschool to high school. 

Acquiring the age appropriate books for all those ages could have been expensive but I paid $.25 to $2 a book rather than the $5-$15 for each book they sold in the school adds and book sales. I posted about my "home library" here. 

As you can see, we have a love of books. I am trying to whittle them down but somehow, I find another cute one and I think it has passed on to my daughter who married a man who LOVES to read and loves books. There are worse things. :-)        

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