Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How to Make a Hollowed-Out Book

We have all seen the movies where the characters are discussing something hidden "for all time" and suddenly someone pulls out a book, opens it, and there is the missing object! Not everybody wants this really cool hiding place, but many would love to know how to make their own hidden book hole for their secret stash of favorite items. Luckily, we also wanted to do this super cool project, and you can learn from our mistakes!

Step One: Acquire a large hardcover book.

For this step, we found a copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare at the thrift store (don't use an expensive book if you are just going to cut it up anyway). It was huge, and the pages were thin so it was easier to cut. However, it was harder to glue because of the type of paper in the book.

Step Two: Gather your supplies.

Now you will need an Exacto knife, Modge Podge (we used the Gloss kind because we had it on hand, but Matte would work better), a brush to spread the glue, wax paper, and something heavy.

Step Three: Begin the gluing process.

Yes, process. First, decide where you want your hole to start (ten pages in should do it) and where it ends (do you want it to go to the back cover or leave some pages free?). And glue the inside of the pages at random intervals. Close the book, being careful with glue, and put something heavy on top. Wait for it to dry before you continue gluing. Once your glue is dry, separate the pages you want free from the glued pages. Use the brush to spread glue on the sides of the pages. Make sure to apply the glue liberally here to avoid the pages coming apart too much (if a few do that is fine). Place a piece of wax paper in on top of the pages you just glued and put something heavy back on top. DO NOT close your book! Wait for the glue to dry completely before moving to the next step.

Step Four: Cutting a hole which should be easy, but it is not.

This step is surprisingly difficult. Not only can you not cut all of the pages at once, the deeper you go the harder it becomes to keep the cuts even with the previous ones. This part is messy, so learn from our mistake and put your book on newspaper first and keep a garbage handy. Try to leave about an inch of space on each side of the page while you are cutting to prevent the pages from coming apart. Make sure you have a very sharp blade, again learning from our mistake with a slightly used blade, and begin cutting. Keep cutting until you have a nice, rectangular hole in the pages you have already glued.

Step Five: More gluing!

Once you are done cutting and are satisfied with your work, glue the inside of the hole and glue the pages to the back cover or back pages if you left extra. Put another piece of wax paper over your hole and close the book. Put your heave object on top of the book and wait for it to dry.

You now have a finished hidey-hole book! Make sure to keep your secret chocolate stash in there and give the book an inconspicuous place on your shelf.

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