At work I have a small spiral bound notebook that I take to meetings for notes and phone numbers and such. The notebook has lots of blank pages left in it so I don't want to get a new one, but with all the carrying around the top cover has torn off of the front, leaving nothing to protect the contents. I have the old cover but all its perforations along the top are torn through.

Is there a way to reattach the cardboard cover to the notebook or else a way to attach a new cover so I can continue to use this notebook?

  • Cut off the binding, get a big three hole punch and a binder? Or just remove the spiral and sew it instead through the holes with whatever you want as the cover. Or maybe remove the spiral, reinforce the busted cover with duct tape or something, then reinsert the spiral. Mar 11, 2017 at 6:39
  • Not a fix for the cover, but something that may help prevent any replacement tearing off: the addition of a rubber band, when I replaced the back cover of a notebook, held it shut and helped prevent the covers tearing off.
    – owjburnham
    May 23, 2018 at 16:49
  • @owjburnham Yeah I thought of that too and it's kept the notebook at least useable. probably the best solution even if not perfect. Thx
    – PJNoes
    May 23, 2018 at 17:13

6 Answers 6


I am having a similar issue - front cover is coming off but the back cover is in tact. My plan is to remove the front cover, flip the back cover aroud on the spirals so that it is before the front page, and glue a piece of cardboard (either the former front cover, or a different scrap) to the back page, making a new back cover (and losing use of the backside of the last page of the notebook).

  • I like the idea... Have you actually tried it?
    – L.B.
    Mar 27, 2018 at 20:09
  • Tried. Can confirm that this works.
    – owjburnham
    May 23, 2018 at 16:50

Inspired by your situation, I decided to repair the cover of my huge spiral bound notebook which had torn along the perforations splitting it into two pieces. It sounds like the same thing that happened to you. It worked out great and didn't take very long.

You'll need pliers, strong pressure-sensitive tape, a small hole punch to fit the notebook holes. I got a rotary paper punch at a stationery store for a few dollars. The 1/16 inch (1.5mm) size was perfect for my notebook. You could even use a needle to make the holes in the tape.

Here's how I repaired mine step-by-step:

  1. Use a paper clamp on either end of the binding next to the spiral so the paper block pages remain aligned and won't come free.
  2. Unbend the end of the spiral so that you can twist it free, out of the row of spiral binding holes.
  3. Place the broken parts of the cover together so that the torn halves' holes align with each other.
  4. Tape both sides (front and back) of the cover with strong tape. I used thick crystal-clear packing tape and wrapped it around the edge—half along the front and half along the back. Masking tape or any paper-based tape won't last very long in use. Make sure that the kind of tape you use bonds with the cardboard card cover.
  5. Use a hole punch to open the holes covered with the tape.
  6. Align the cover with the paper block and clamp the assembly so it remains firm
  7. Twist the spiral back into the paper block holes to hold the notebook together.
  8. Re-bend the end of the spiral wire so that it remains secure.

While doing this project, you might decide to add divider, move some pages around, or even add some different kind of paper such as graph paper for other projects.


You could cut out a new cover with scissors or a paper cutter (use something sturdy- plastic covers work much better than cardboard). Some binders have suitable plastic.

Use double-sided tape to stick two strips of masonite to the edge of the cover. Measure out carefully where the holes should be (a notebook I have to hand has 39 of them). You could use the good cover as a bit of template or to check your measurements once you free it.

Use an electric drill (or drill press if you have one) to drill through each hole location (in the one I have the holes would be about 3/16" in diameter. You'll need something like a 2x4 under the bottom to keep from drilling into the table.

Peel off the masonite, clean off any adhesive residue and you should have a new cover with a neat row of holes that match the original holes.

Use a pair of pliers to bend the dog leg at the end of the spiral and unscrew the spiral spring. Reassemble with the new cover and bend the spiral back to lock it in.


I read and was inspired. I pulled out the ripped piece that gets trapped in the spiral. I saved that. I then unbent one end of the metal spiral. I used two spring paper 'clips' holding all together to hold the book aligned. I unwound the metal spiral. Then, I carefully aligned the ripped edge to the front cover - using clear gorilla tape, I taped in lengthwise front and back.

I used a torch and a nail next. Lit the torch (I'm sure a gas stove would work fine) - I heated the nail and then pierced through the clear tape where the old hole was. I did this for each hole - took about 3 minutes... Re-installed the spiral and it works and looks great.

This was for an old cookbook that I've had for 40+ years. The results were perfect... Thanks for the inspiration and ideas.


You can use a binder by taking off the spiral and, if your notebook has three hole punches on each page, just insert it in the binder. If you a composition book or something that does not have hole punches, then it will be a long day for you.


I haven't actually used this way yet, but I'm, like, 99% sure it'll work. Flip the notebook upside down when the cover has come off and use the back as a cover, The back pages won't have been battered and will stick reasonably well until time catches up with them. Thanks!

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