Saturday, January 7, 2012

DIY: Open Book Surgery

I love books, don't get me wrong, but I've always wanted to make a secret hollow book to keep tiny treasures in. I have a fake one that looks like a book, but it's made out of wood and not very convincing. So when I was going through my room, I found a book that I don't know how I got, and was going to give it to charity when I realized it would be the perfect book to tear apart!

It's called Letters of the Century by Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler, and it's a good two inches thick. Perfect amount of thickness to hide things. Since it's a real book it will be disguised perfectly with my other volumes, and no one will be any the wiser. (Except, of course, anyone who reads my blog.)

Tools Needed:
  • A thick book, perferably hard cover
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Exacto knife or box cutter
  • Large clips
  • A plate (to put bits of paper on)
  • A cup for the water and glue mixture
  • Patience
  • Music (optional)
For help, I used How To Do Stuff and eHow.

The Steps:
1. Figure out where you want to start cutting into the book. I left several pages out at the front, so that if someone does pick up the book and opens the cover they won't see a hole with objects in it. But it's entirely up to you.

 2. Mix 70% glue and 30% water. I used an empty mini advil bottle. It should be white and liquidy.

 3. Using your brush, glue the sides of the book. I then put a couple yellow notepads between the pages I saved at the front and where I want to start cutting. Put something heavy on top. Wait 15 to 30 minutes.

4. Using your ruler and pen, draw lines for where you want your hole to be. I made 1 inch margins all around.

 5. Start cutting! At first, I used my ruler to keep my lines straight, but I quickly didn't need it anymore since the pages on top served as the ruler.

6. Keep cutting. Cut deeply, making sure the corners especially are cut. It'll be easier to take the paper out. If you make mistakes, like accidentally cutting the margins, don't worry because no one will notice later when it's all glued.

7. Change your song or take a snack break. The cutting part took me about two and half hours. Also, put any larger pieces of paper onto a plate. There will be little bits of paper everywhere, but you can clean it up later.  

 8. As time went on, it got harder to cut the corners, so I took large clips and flipped up the already-cut sections. Most of the pages stuck together from the glue, but I opened it where it wasn't glued.

As I went along, the margins got smaller, meaning the pages I was cutting away got bigger. The inch turned into half an inch, but I don't mind. It was probably from the angle I was cutting at.

 9. I left a couple of pages at the bottom instead of the back of the book, which was ugly cardboard. If you do cut all the way down, you could always glue interesting wrapping paper or wallpaper to the bottom.

 10. Glue the inside as you hold it down. Glue the outside again. Put something heavy on top.Wait 15 to 30 minutes.

Then glue the inside again, making sure any loose pages at the top stick.

11. Once it's all dry put in secret trinkets, like letters from lovers, a key to your heart, photographs of the past, and your most valuable jewels. Hide it away on your book shelf.

Here are the pages I cut away.

What do you think? Are you going to make your own secret hollow book?

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  1. This is so cool! I love how its made out of a real book. Holy crap it took you a long time though! but it looks awesome

  2. @LittleMonsterx14

    Thanks! I don't think I'll do it again for a long time. Maybe several years from now after I've forgotten how long it took. lol!

  3. That looks pretty awesome. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone where you hide your most valuable jewels. :P Now what are you going to do with all those cut out pages?

  4. @B.S.

    Thanks, I wouldn't want anyone to find my diamonds and pearls! My mom said she wanted them, but then when I asked her if she still had them, she said that she'd recycled them. :( I definitely would've give them to you. I guess this means I'll just have to cut out another book! lol

  5. I gave you another blog award! i just posted it! yay!


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Have a lovely day!
~Sara ♥

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