How to Hollow Out a Book to Make a Secret Book Safe
Arguably, “vintage” is anything 50 years or older while “antique” is considered anything that is 100 years or older. The difference between the two always confused me, so naturally I Googled it. I tend to Google everything that I am unsure of (which is a lot of things). That didn’t help, because everyone and their mother has a different definition of the two meanings. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, I inherited boxes full of “antique” books. I had so many and in my diyinspired head, I wanted to do something creative with them.
I know what you’re thinking… so FIRST I tried to see if anyone else would enjoy them before I altered them. I took them to three different antique book shops and none of them would take any of them because they were in poor shape and were “not worth anything”. I put them on Craigslist three different times and only sold a handful. So now I am left with two plastic bins of beautiful antique books in my garage waiting
to be repurposed and given new life.
I recall writing a few blog posts on recycling old books, so I used my own site for reference and decided to tackle the book safe challenge. How hard can it be to hollow out a book? Here is the hollow book safe how to.
Time: 1-2 Hours
- thick hardback book
- decoupage medium (affiliate link) or glue and water mixture
- paint brush
- sharp knife
- metal straightedge
I wanted to keep a few of the front pages in tact to show the copy-write date and an illustration. I covered the front cover and those pages plus one page with plastic wrap.
I used Mod Podge, a decoupage medium, and a paint brush to seal the three edges. Make sure you saturate them with approximately three coats. Allow the Mod Podge to dry (about 15 minutes), meanwhile set something heavy on top of the book to create pressure.
Next, using a straightedge and a pencil, I marked the area I wanted to cut out.
Using a sharp knife and a metal straightedge, I carefully cut out a few pages at a time, making sure to remove small bits and pieces along the way. Take your time while doing this step.
After I reached the desired depth, I sealed the inside edges with applying Mod Podge with a paint brush and allowed it to dry completely.
I then used Mod Podge around the top edges and glued the extra front page on top. After a few minutes, I used the knife to cut out the center. This top page gives it a nice clean look.
Save the book pages for other craft projects. Also, consider using ribbon to cover the inside edges or decorative paper to cover the inside back for a more finished look.
Here are more recycled crafts you may enjoy:
- Recycled Book Page Butterfly Wreath
- Easy Coffee Filter Paper Flowers
- How to Make Paper Mache Bowls
- Brown Paper Bag Gift Wrapping
Update: I originally published this article on September 12, 2011. This was just five moths into my blogging journey. I still have this book safe today.