How to Make Soft-cover Picture Books & Paperbacks Last for Years…

During my years teaching and tutoring, I accumulated thousands of picture and chapter books.  In my first teaching job, I was fortunate to work in the elementary school I attended.  I’ll never forget finding my very copy of The Diary of Anne Frank, with Niki on the inside cover, 15 years later, still in mint condition, minus my graffiti.


Our reading specialist covered each and every book with a secret weapon, what I dubbed on my own blog as “faux lamination”.

Recently, my oldest son has been chewing the corners of much of the book collection I mentioned earlier.  Our most beloved books have been purchased 5 times over for this very reason.

I had forgotten the tip from my very first school, until the other day!

Here’s the secret weapon from my other site:


Yup.  Clear contact paper.  A teacher and parent’s best friend.

Kids can’t rip {or chew} the covers.  Oils and dirt from sticky fingers are no match.

Basically, wrap the book like it’s a gift.  Just take care.  I’ve rushed a few and ended up with a few no-so pretty covering jobs.  So, read the tips below and learn from my mistakes.

Here’s a few tips when covering your softcover picture book or paperback collection with contact paper:

1.) Be sure to miter the corners, and also snip near the binding in the center.  It makes for easier folding.


2.) If any air bubbles occur, use a pin to make a miniscule hole and smoosh out the air.

3.) Go slowly with the clear contact paper.  If you pull too quickly, creases and cracks can form.


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Now go forth and make your hard-earned book collection student & kid-proof.


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3 Responses to How to Make Soft-cover Picture Books & Paperbacks Last for Years…

  1. LUCY says:

    seriously my dad has been doing this for us ever since we were little kids..I always thought it was such a ‘ghetto’ thing to do…but now after having kids,I realize how wise he was…thank you for sharing xo

  2. Dana-Lynn Ballou says:

    Thanks for the reminder! I just became a school library tech. this year so I have much to learn :)


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