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Glassine Book Covers

Martha Stewart Living, February 1997

Jackets are required -- to protect important books. Translucent glassine covers can replace missing or torn jackets, or can be layered over jackets you want to preserve. To make one, open a book flat on a sheet of acid-free glassine (available at archival supply houses). Trace around the outside, adding to each side a flap nearly as wide as the cover; add 1 1/2 inches to the top and bottom. Set aside the book. Fold the top and bottom edges over, and crease sharply, then wrap the book snugly.

Glassine sheets available from:
New York Central Art Supply
62 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10003

Comments (12)

  • DomesticDiva 15 Mar, 2010

    I like your idea about putting a strip of glassine on top so dust can't settle onto the pages. Great thinking! :)

  • kitchencartsromona 14 Mar, 2010

    I use old wallpaper books that I get from the paint department of hardware stores. They have worked so well for covering older books with worn covers. Also many of our children's favorite books had damaged covers and now we successfully have recovered them. No glue needed because they already have the glue on.


  • susan1947 12 Mar, 2010

    You can use your favorite gift wrap paper to cover text books. Cover the gift wrap with clear contact paper (you will need a helper). After finishing, proceed with the instructions stated in the original article. My grandchildren LOVE to choose the paper which can be "zany" and fun, metallic, solid with stick on lettering, etc.---- and their books are ALWAYS "a hit" at school !

  • lishakaye 12 Mar, 2010

    to cover the tops of books to prevent dust from settling into the pages I think you could use the glassine paper on top. just tucking it in behind the front cover and in front of the back cover. That might be tedious to do for all your books but if you are making the jackets at the same time you would have well preserved, dust-free books!

  • bknrd 12 Mar, 2010

    As a book dealer, the simplest way to keep the tops of books clean is to use a light brush on them. Unfortunately, there is no good way to keep out the dust!
    Also, regarding book jackets... there are mylar jacket protecters available from various school supply and book supply companies. Just don't buy the ones with white liners. The white liners may make it really easy to put them on, but they will over time cause the spine to splay and widen.

  • Tearose11 12 Mar, 2010

    I use the clear self-adhesive cover from either Contac or Kittridge (which are now merged) to cover my books. While it isnt removeable, I find that it strengthens the covers--particularly of paperback books. I carried books covered this way all through college, and mine always looked new at the end of the semester.

  • psueve 24 Aug, 2009

    I have always used transparent shelf liner paper- you can find it at most stores. It's clear, affordable, stays in place, and also easy to remove if needed.

  • carabau 23 Aug, 2009

    Any ideas on keeping the tops of books clean from dust and dirt other than brushing them? Some books I will cover the top with mat board, but it looks terrible.....

  • melissamrock 23 Aug, 2009

    If you google "acid-free glassine", you will find a lot of places on the internet that sells it. I had no problem finding it.

  • melissamrock 23 Aug, 2009

    If you type in acid-free glassine, you can find a lot of places on the internet that sells them. I had no problem locating it on line.

  • vatterpa 23 Aug, 2009

    I used contact paper on all my school books, My School didnt mind and I could tell which one was which. I think that would be a good I dea for in the kitchen for cookbooks too.

  • EllenCO 23 Aug, 2009

    I appreciate the inclusion of a source of supplies. This makes implementing ideas much more possible.