Want a perfect project to go with your Holiday Decorating. Why not repurpose some old books lying around. Or if you haven’t anything to fit the bill – try the local second hand book store. From Drab to One-Of-A-Kind Enchanted Decorations direct from your Fairy Godmother or Wicked Witch (Depending on your preference).
If your a book purist and can’t handle the thought of repurposing them – This Post Is Not For You! Turn away while you can.
Okay then, Let’s get started.
Exacto Knife, Ruler, Mod Podge, Paintbrush, Decorative paint (I used acrylic), and some old Hard covered books. I also used some ribbon, Mulberry Paper, and an old cracker (food) box. Say What? It will make sense later.
Most of these I found at my local Second Hand Bookstore. And I paid no more than $10 for the lot of them. I wanted the old beat up look as you can tell.
One of the books had it’s front cover completely ripped off. So I repaired it with black duck tape. Yes, I was going for functional and not archival. Plus if you use little strips of the tape it kind of blends in. I used way more of it on the inside (non-visible side) of the book.
Then using a fine paint brush and some acrylic paint I changed the names on the books. Sometimes by only replacing a couple of letters in the books Title.
World Famous Paintings became World Famous Potions.
The Practical Reference Library became The Magical Reference Library.
The Joy of Words became The Joy of Wands.
And a Study in poems became ‘A Pocketbook of Spells’.
The Book titled the Joy or Words already contained some wonderful poems so I just added a few sketches and more handwritten poems or quotes, to the more blank pages in keeping with the books title.
The World Famous Potions book I ended up adding a glitter finish to the cover. Did you know they made Mod Podge with a glitter finish, and a glow-in-the-dark effect. Can I say I Love Mod Podge.
But it’s what I put inside the two larger books that made them magical.
I’ve made these Hollow Books or Book Safes before - years ago. So when I found this Wiki How tutorial online I had to give it another go and add a few of my own touches to boot. Check it out for some wonderful tips.
First you need to decide on the depth of your hollow book.
Then generously apply Mod Podge to those outside pages of your chosen book, that you want to be stuck together.
Then I put page protectors in between the glued pages and non-glued pages to keep them separate and weighted the whole book down, using what I could find around the house, until the Mod Podge dried.
Once that was done. I used a ruler to mark where I was going to be making my cuts. They say to leave at least a 1/2 to 3/4 inch border. Then go to it with your exacto knife and carve away. After every go around with the knife, you can withdraw a few more pages.
No your pages are not going to have a super clean cut and polished look. But they will add to the effect if you are going for a rustic look. Once you have reached the desired depth then, once again, apply the Mod Podge. Inside and out of those pages. Why on the outside? Because sometimes they become a little loose when your cutting the inside of the books pages. Lay one dry page on top of all the wet ones, add a sheet protector and weigh your book down again. Wait until dry. Once dry, cut through the final page to reveal your secret compartment.
I happened to end this books cut on a picture. If you don’t like the raw edge look then line the edges with ripped pieces of some of the pages you’ve cut out using Mod Podge. Or try this.
Add compartments or shelves to your secret book. Just use a cut up cereal or food box; while making sure the width of each is the same as the depth of the hollow in your book, and…
Mod Podge comes to the rescue again when you adhere the shelves to the sides.
I added a couple of ribbons using, can you guess…
Mod Podge - Who’d have thunk? Why ribbons? I used them on the outside of the larger compartment to help hold the magical ingredients in place.
Now it’s functional but rather ugly so go ahead and add something eye pleasing. Rip some Mulberry Paper into thin strips with that magical stuff I keep mentioning start layering it all over the inside of the book.
Layer it thick to cover the words on the shelves or dividers. The bonus is that it adds to the stability of the compartments. I loved using the Mulberry paper because once you are finished you don’t see the seams they blend together and seem made for the space. Once you have it where you want it all one last layer of Mod Podge and let dry.
Then add your magical ingredients. In this case it was
Glitter Fairy Dust and Potions. Now how’s this for magical?
I helped my brother make one of these babies a few years ago and he used it to propose to his sweetheart. We hollowed out the book. I believe he then lined it with velvet and secreted an engagement ring into it. The title of the book? ‘Go Forward With Faith.’
Then he recruited the local librarian to give the book a reference number and quietly snuck it onto the library shelf. When his sweetheart met him at the library for a supposed study session he had her help him look up some books he supposedly needed for class.
The rest is history.
Don’t want to bother with the tedious exacto knife method. Then use your scroll saw. Click HERE to see Rolling Hitch and a How To ‘Make a Book Safe’ Tutorial. I think I definitely want to give his method a try. But instead of hiding a revolver I think I’d hide the remote control and not tell the boys about it. Maybe I could find a book called, ‘Turn off the TV and Get A LIFE!’
Have fun making your magical books. Now I'm off to find out how many more magical things Mod Podge can do.