Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Secret Compartment Book

Secret Compartment Book

First off, you’ll want to get a book, (you are going to mutilate a book, so make it one that won’t make you squeamish about destroying.) I recommend the D.I. for used hard cover books. You may want to choose the book with the recipient in mind - Dad may appreciate a book safe made from an old car manual or history book, while Mom would prefer to stash her cash in a sewing book or romance novel. If placed on a shelf with similar books, the altered book safe will fit right in and no one will ever guess its true purpose. (Although, this is not necessary, it makes it more fun!)

What you will need.

Hard cover book of sufficient size, to allow a cut-out of 1" or deeper, depending on your desired outcome
Exacto knife or surgical blade
Non-fraying fabric or felt for lining (optional, you can leave it bear.)
Strong craft glue, book glue, or Mod Podge.
Scrap cardboard


Exacto knifes or other blades can be very sharp. Even though the instructions for this craft are relatively easy, it does involve deep cutting with a knife and may be dangerous for some people to do.

1. If your book has a paper cover, remove it and replace it when you are finished making the secret book.

2. Open the book and decide how deep and how large you want the hollow opening. Measure and mark the width and height of this rectangle on a page that is at the depth that you have chosen, measuring the depth from the inside of the back cover. The cut side near the center of the book should be far enough from the center to allow use of the ruler as a straight edge for cutting; usually this means at least a ruler width away from the centerline. (I didn’t do this, and trust me… it gets hard to cut strait without a rulers help!)

3. You may need to support the side of the open book that you are not cutting, so that the other pages lie flat as you work. You could use a rubber band to hold the loose pages to the front cover and away from your work area, or binder clips.

4. Begin cutting with the Exacto knife, using the ruler as a straight edge on each side of the rectangle, cutting down through about a 1/4" inch of pages. Take particular care with the corners to ensure each cut meets the cut that joins it. (The corners are crucial, and the hardest part of cutting, besides rounded sides.)

5. Remove the cut out rectangle that you just created and discard.

6. Lay down the pages that now have an opening cut in them, and draw around the inside of this rectangle, on the page directly below, so that you may repeat the cuts exactly. (When I did mine, the instructions were in a different process, you glues all the pages before you cut the whole, It seems that it’s easier to do it as directed here.)

7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 until you reach the back cover. Place a piece of scrap cardboard inside the back cover as you work on the last section, to avoid scoring or cutting the back cover with the knife. (That’s Smarts!!!)

8. Cut fabric or felt to fit the bottom of your rectangle (if desired). Measure the depth, and cut one or more strips of fabric to this size, with enough length to cover all four sides of the rectangle.

9. With glue, place enough glue in each corner of the rectangle and up the sides to secure the pages in place, forming your "book safe." This will be covered by your fabric lining.

10. Use glue to secure the side strips of fabric (again, the fabric is optional if your not doing a fabric lining, skip this step and the beginning of step 11) all around the rectangle; being careful that the fabric does not extend anywhere above the opening or the book will not close properly.

11. Finally, use glue to fasten down the bottom-lining fabric. Cut away any glue "strings" once the glue has dried, and close the book. If you have one, replace the paper book cover. Your secret book is now ready to hide money, valuables or keepsakes in. Enjoy!

(Just a note, the pages can be cut out any way you prefer, I just did mine different which is just fine! You can cut them individually, or you can bind them all together and then cut them. Or you can cut them in groups… just remember, for whatever way you decide to cut, go slow, and make sure that you cut the papers carefully on the corners. The slower you go with that step, the better the book will look!)

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