29 Oct 2012

DIY: How To Make A Hollow 'Secret Stash' Book

This week we're sharing how to make your own secret stash book!
I've always had a soft spot for hollow books; the idea of looking like a little angel whilst hiding something like a little devil has always appealed... perhaps because it's not far from the truth most of the time!
Be it hidden sweeties, jewellery or money inside... or perhaps even as a cute little planter, we're sure you're going to love your book after it's been reincarnated as much as we do :D 

For this tutorial you will need:
A pretty hard back book - one that you wont be sad (or told off) to cut up!
White glue (we used Mod Podge)
A stiff & thick brush
A pencil and ruler
A scalpel
Cling film 
A drill

To start making your hollow book, you'll want to save a few pages at the beginning and at the end of the book so it looks more realistic; you wouldn't want to give away your secret as soon as the cover has been opened!

So, go about 5 pages in (at the start and the end) of the book and cover them with cling film. You should wrap this so it covers the hardback cover fully too. This will stop your glue from sticking them together.

When you're ready, hold your book closed and brush the glue on all three sides of the pages as shown above. The best way to do this is to do a couple of thin coats so the pages can soak it in slowly. Gloop it on and the pages might go a bit wonky.

Pop it under several heavy books and let the glue dry. It will need about half an hour or so - enough time for a good cuppa :)

Once it has dried, open the book and draw in where you're going to cut the inside. We recommend you measure a good couple of inches in from all sides so you have a decent rim all the way around.

The easiest way to cut where all the corners meet is to drill holes in each; this will help act as a guide for your cutting lines too. Make sure to drill slowly and not too deep when pressing down. You only want to cut about 3/4 or so into your glued pages, otherwise you might have a book that's all hole and no secrets! 

Corners done, your next job is to join the dots and cut out the rectangle section of the book. Use your ruler and a sharp scalpel and only cut a few pages deep at a time when doing this step. Slow and steady wins the race here! Gently lift out these pages as you go...

...Until you've hollowed out 3/4 of your glued book pages. Doesn't that look amazing! 
Dont worry if it is a little messy as you cut the pages out as you can always trim any excess bist of paper that seem to be over hanging when you're done. 

Once you're happy, give the book another good couple of thin coats with the white glue. Using your brush, cover the inside pages, both where you have cut, around the frame and around the outside again. 

If you want to neaten up the top page and hide those corners, the best way to do it is to glue down one of your front pages that you were saving. Gently pull it out of the cling film and smooth it down over the top so it is glued closed. Pop the book under several heavy books and let it dry, then cut your new hole out of the first page. Lovely!

Let the insides dry a little longer (the glue will go clear when it's done) and you're ready to go!

We hope you have a lot of fun carting around your new secret stash book! We plan to use ours for Halloween candy ... and when we've eaten all of that, a super cute jewellery box!

Happy Making!

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  1. What a fun DIY! Now I just have to find the right opportunity for it...

    1. Thanks Claudia :D We hope you have a lot of fun making it when you get the chance

  2. This is really something that my boys have wanted to do for awhile, but I just can't part with any of our books! I'll have to find an old one that we can use so that they can try this. =0)

    1. I feel that pain! The best thing to do is to thrift one or get one from a car boot sale. It's best if you can find one that has a pretty cover but you have no interest in its story... but that is quite a challenging task! I hope they have lots of fun with it when you find the right books though :D

  3. Love it! Especially with eyeballs inside! ;-)

    1. Thanks Jamie! Couldn't resist hiding my favorite eyeball sweeties in there for halloween :D They're nearly all gone now! Mwah ha ha

  4. You killed a book.
    I am crying inside.

    1. To be fair, I read the book first and didn't think much of it! I love the pattern on the cover (which is why I bought it) so I didn't want to get rid of it. It's now something that I love and will get a lot more fun out of, so its better off recycled and reincarnated ;P

  5. What a great tutorial! I think I should raid my daughter's old book collection and make me one.

    1. Thanks Sheryl! I hope your daughter doesnt mind :) Make sure you ask her first! hee hee

  6. I should have read these instructions before starting the cutting on my secret stash book. No wonder all my pages came out torn and roughly cut. I didn't start out the right way. TY for the helpful tute...even though I found it too late for my first attempt. Maybe the next one will turn out better.

  7. Just keep trying Laurel! It's always tricking trying to work out what NOT to do, but another shot should get it sorted for you :)

  8. Helpful Tip: Change the blade of your knife before starting to cut pages. I had the hardest time cutting the first 20 or so pages. The edges came out ripped and I couldn't get a clean cut until I changed the blade. Now it's looking pretty good! :)