The goal of Bob Armstrong’s puzzle box repairs is a box that can safely hold puzzle pieces again and is strong enough to withstand “shelf life” stacked among other puzzle boxes. The goal is NOT to restore its former appearance.


  • Blocks of wood and weights
    • Blocks of wood to shape boxes and box lids
    • Weights to flatten out warped parts of cardboard boxes
  • Gummed Linen Hinging Tape for Box repair-Archival Supply – Lineco, Inc., University Products. Extremely sturdy and reversible
  • Acid-free tissue paper to line old (acidic) boxes


  • Remove old tape with heat of hairdryer, tweezers as best you can without pulling away box surface.
  • If any section of box is sagging or warped badly, “paint” inside with water, and weight with wood blocks. Leave over night to dry.
  • If any parts are missing, cut cardboard of matching thickness to match missing section.
  • Use Elmer’s Glue-all to glue all broken, separated seams and to attach cardboard replacement sections
  • Cut and fold Gummed Hinging Tape to fit into the inside of all glued seams and breaks. If box is white or if you are willing to color tape to match box color, cut and fold tape to fit on outside of seams and breaks where extra strength is needed (box bottom where puzzle pieces rest while stored). When working with corners, cut tape so that it folds over itself and doesn’t bunch up.
  • Dip prepared tape into can of water; then insert quickly onto seams and breaks; smooth with finger and screwdriver. If parts of tape do not want to stick after a few minutes, “paint” some Elmer’s Glue-all into opening and smooth tape in place.
  • Block box as repaired and leave overnight to dry
  • Taping badly damaged boxes with Gummed Linen Tape may have to be done in 2 or 3 sessions
  • Cut and fold non-acidic tissue paper to line the box and protect the puzzle from the acidity of the box, especially for old Pastime boxes.