Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hollow book

This is a project I've always wanted to make. I remember discovering that a particular little green book on my parents' bookshelf wasn't actually a book at all, but a hollow hiding place. My mom would sometimes take money out of it before church, for the offering plate. I thought it was the cleverest thing ever, and now I have one, too! A few weeks ago I bought a secondhand hardcover book, and today I followed this How To Do Stuff tutorial. (Let me say that I ordinarily don't believe in the defacement of books. I bought this one at a thrift shop -- a Reader's Digest version of My Ántonia, which I've read before -- and since it was unwanted, I consider this to be repurposing rather than vandalism.)


All you need is a book, white glue, a paintbrush, a ruler, a pencil, and a sharp blade. And some patience. Mine turned out better than I'd thought it would. Here's the finished inside:



I've always been a person who likes to have secret hiding places. (Probably everyone does. Why not?) This was fun, cheap, and easy to make. I can fit my passport inside, or cash, or whatever, and put it on my bookshelf with all my other books. (And two months from now, when I forget which book my passport is inside, well, that's what blog archives are for.)


I hope you're having a good weekend and a happy Valentine's Day! xo

23 comments:

LegalBecca said...

That's really cool! But now we all know your secret hiding place.....

Lady Euphoria Deathwatch said...

Hi Brainy Lady,

It's not a secret if you tell about it. I suggest you use a paper jacket over it to disguise it now that we all know what the book looks like.

A great idea by the way. I did it once a life time ago. But the kids wouldn't leave it alone once they found it. I kept finding small toys in it when I was cleaning the house.

Sincerely, Lady Euphoria

Sherry said...

My mother bought and resold antiques and collectibles. She was always finding "stuff" in books. She reminds her friends as they take care of their deceased parents belongings to check all books and sift through papers before throwing anything away.

The best thing she found in a book at a garage sale was an early 1900's baseball card...worth a couple thousand dollars! My brother has somehow latched onto it and has it in a safe deposit box. I told Mama to be sure to remind it that when she's gone - it's half mine. ;o)

Steph said...

Brilliant idea - they sell these at a local eco-store, but I've always thought, "Why buy what you can make?"

Now, if we knew where you lived, you might be in trouble. I think your secret hiding space is pretty safe.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

What a neat idea! I want to try to make one!

Rilana said...

I love the idea...of secret hiding places. Cool idea. I may just have to make one of these for my very own. Thanks for sharing. :-)

Anonymous said...

Love it! You are so crafty!!

The Belizean

Nell said...

Cool! Now to build that secret passage...

Carrie said...

This is so awesome! I want a secret hollow book now too.

Shaina said...

I hear you on the defacement of books. I'm "strongly encouraged" to mark my books for class and it kills me. Kills. Me. It's all I can do to faintly underline in pencil, it makes me physically nauseated to see people who have highlighted and written all over their copies. Maybe it's helping them get more out of it, but it really pains me. Gah. Great book, though! I've been meaning to do one for a while, but there's a store locally that has a copy of Das Kapital that has a metal LOCK BOX and I really want to do something like that. The other question is, how do you choose the book that is so boring that no one would ever take it off the shelf and look through it?

Woo, long comment! I have a lot of opinions on books!

souvenir kattunge said...

That's a great idea. We've got a bunch of books that we don't want and no one else would want (How to use Photoshop 7, anyone?).

ingrid said...

I love this idea. Hubby had one of those secret books when we first moved in together. I wonder where it is now . . .

knitthehellout said...

What a fun and clever idea! That would also make a great gift for someone.

Lisa said...

That's a great idea - I may have to make one just to keep some things away from the kids.

Seanna Lea said...

I've done this before with a couple of old law reporters that were getting tossed. Yours came out much better than mine, because it was hard to keep the pages from sliding once I got fairly deep into the book (the books were much thicker than My Antonia). Though I haven't tried it, if I do another one I will remove the front part of the cover during the process and then repair the cover part afterwards.

iddaa said...

very nice your blog..

Veronique said...

Great project! And very clever too :) Makes me want to hide my passport too.

Rebecca Gordon said...

But My Antonia? That's such a wonderful book! Why not some Robert Ludlum thriller?

Deb said...

Wow, does this bring back memories. I remember turning one of my Girl Scout Handbooks into a box like this after I finished with it. I don't ever remember putting anything into it, but it was cool to do it.

=Tamar said...

I tried it once but it was an awful nuisance trying to cut the sides straight. I think if I try again I'll clamp the pages shut and use a Dremel or equivalent tiny power saw to cut them.

My other project is to acquire all the leftover copies of Harry Potter books and glue them together to build a house.

gleek said...

such a great idea! also perfect for hiding stuff while on a trip!

Carolyn said...

duuuuude. so frakking adorable.

Amy said...

I love it! I've been wanting to make one of these, and even picked up a couple of books from the free shelf at the used bookstore. Then I made the mistake of flipping through the books and thinking, "I might want to read these first." I love how neatly yours turned out!!