~ Make a “Mylar” cover for books without dust jackets

“Mylar” covers for books without dust jackets

Why do you want a “Mylar” cover for your hard cover book? If the hinges are weak or there is a decorative element that could get destroyed by rubbing then protecting it from rough handling is a good thing. I have seen many such covers on books and there are two major problems:

First regarding the thickness:  The best thickness to use is .005. because it keeps its shape and doesn’t wrinkle. (On the video I call it 5 mm. but I do mean .005 mm) Many times people use .004 or even .003 and frankly these are just a waste of time and energy because the new cover is doomed to wrinkle, crease and even just fall off the book.

Second is that they only employ a single folded edge. Especially combined with the thinner kinds of films this single fold lets the book fall out of the cover because it isn’t gripping the book. The double edge, when done tightly enough is actually gripping that edge and keeping the book inside the protective cover. This is especially important when someone pulls it off the shelf. You don’t want your book to fall on the floor!

Just a couple of other notes:

The actual brand name: “Mylar” is not automatically archival. Some forms of it are such as type D. Instead use a polyester film such as Dur-a-lar .005 mm or other archival polyester films. This should be available at local art or craft supply stores. For a large roll of the highest quality polyester film go to www.talasonline.com.

Tools you need to make a cover: Self-healing cutting mat, long ruler, bone folder, Teflon folder, Exacto knife, weight.

Make-do substitution solutions would be: Instead of self-healing mat use corrugated cardboard, any straight edge rather than specifically a ruler, instead of a teflon folder or bone folder use the edge of a wooden spoon or other item that won’t scratch the film.  A knife is a knife and a weight is a weight.

Keeping everything straight and square is the key to making a nice cover. It gets easier with practice!


Book Repair Expert Get expert help with your book repairs and restorations.