Wednesday, June 13, 2018

(updated) Book Safe DIY

Waaaaaay back in 2012 when I originally dreamed up this blog, Secret Book Safe DIY was one of my very first tutorials.

I loved the idea of carving out the pages from an old book and transforming it into a safe box.
 And, I wanted to share the process with anyone else who fancied the idea of having an unassuming little space to hide their treasures in.

Back then, the world of tutorial writing was entirely new for me, so the post was awkwardly written with a skimpy selection of photos.
photo from the original tutorial
Because I still love this idea, I'm sharing this updated, slightly less awkward post with a few more pictures and an easier technique to help you create the book safe you've always wanted.
You are so welcome.
Can you spot the secret book safes on the shelf?
I like to make book safes as gifts because - let's be real here - who doesn't have a secret stash of goodies they want to hide away from the rest of the world?
Literally, everyone needs one of these.
The safes I made for this tutorial are Father's Day gifts for my Dad and Father-in-law.
I filled them with Starbucks gift cards, kind notes, and other little treats.

I am using vintage DISCARD books from my library (librarian perks), but you can pick one up at a thrift store. The books I chose were about 5.5" x 8.5" and around 1" thick.

To make your own, you will need:
-  hardcover book, at least 1" thick
- box cutter or X-Acto knife
- metal ruler
- clamps
- writing utensil
- hot glue gun
- felt
Begin by opening the book and slicing out the center.
Like a book surgeon.
Cut along the seam where the cover and pages meet in the front and back of the book.
This cover-less section of pages with the binding attached makes me think of a brick of paper.
So, from now on, I'll refer to this as the "paper brick."
In this tutorial, we'll talk about how to cut a rectangular portion from the center of the paper brick, then glue it back into the cover.

When the cover and pages are separated, carefully tear off the front page and save for later.
Next, use the ruler to draw 4 lines on the page brick outlining the center section you will cut away. 
My ruler is about 1.25" thick, so that's how far I drew the lines from the edge of the pages.
Use the clamps to hold the ruler along the side of the paper brick and score the pages with your blade. I scored (or cut) the paper along the line about 7 or 8 times, then un-clamped the ruler, clamped it along the next line and scored again.
Repeat this process moving the ruler around your page brick until you have cut all the way through to the last page.
Pull the paper scraps out of the center as you go.
When you are finished, your paper brick will look something like this.
Notice that my cut edges are imperfect.
That's okay because you'll hide them with felt. 
Save the paper scraps for another project.
Glue the back page and spine of the paper brick into the cover.
To create the felt lining, I didn't use exact measurements at all.
I used a paper scrap to determine the size of the hole.
I suggest cutting the felt larger than you think you'll need.
Coat the inner edges of the safe with a layer of hot glue and line the space with the felt.
The felt lining adds some polish.
When the glue cools, trim away the excess felt.
Use the page you tore away to cover your pencil lines and hot glue smudges for a clean finished look.
Cut away the center of the page and glue in place.
Because my safe was initially a vintage library book, I glued the stamp card inside the front cover.
Have you made a book safe before?
What other clever places do you hide things in?

Are you looking for a project that will use up your book page scraps,
how about making these Recycled Paper Roses (another of my very first tutorials)?

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