Book Safe

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Introduction: Book Safe

I've always wanted to make one of these, and nothing's more painful than an itch you don't scratch.

Edit: Holy crap! 50k views and 500 favorites? You guys must love book safes and/or hate Twilight! Thanks, everyone!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

- A hardcover book. The bigger, the better, but it NEEDS to be hardcover for strength.
- A knife or razor. You'll need this for various trimming and cutting jobs.
- Glue. You could probably get by with just white glue, but I used three different kinds.
- A brush for applying glue. Try using something you're willing to toss, not your nice painting brush
- (optional) A bandsaw. This makes cutting out the hollow much easier.
- (optional) Lining material. I used leftover art paper, but fabric and other such materials will work too.
- Weight. Anything will do, so long as it holds things down during gluing.

Step 2: Acquire a Book

Another author included "a book you don't value" in the list of materials and tools. I'd say this qualifies.

Step 3: Remove the Cover

You could just cut out the inside with a craft knife, but I decided to try the method where you remove the cover and use a bandsaw later. In this book, I found some kind of plastic webbing and surprisingly sticky glue that I had to cut with a sharp knife.

Step 4: Glue the Edges

You might want to do this before cutting the cover out, but I diluted some white glue with water at a ratio around 1:5. I painted it along the outer edges to try and keep the pages together. While it dries, leave some weight on top and go play some Minecraft in the meantime.

Step 5: Cut the Pocket

I used a bandsaw for this part, which gives you a cleaner cut than a craft knife would. But getting those 90° corners on the inside means you need to cut across and give yourself some room first.

In either case, a wall thickness of about 1/2 inch should be enough.

As usual, be sure to leave the blade guard no more than 1/4 inch above your material. Safety First!

Step 6: Glue the Back Cover Page

I used three different kinds of glue for this: white glue to attach it to the end cover page, (very smelly) epoxy to harden the insides, and some Gorilla Glue to patch up some spots along the edges I thought looked loose.

Give the whole thing an hour or two for the glue to set.

A note about Gorilla Glue: remember that it expands quite a bit. I used it sparingly here because of that.

Step 7: Glue and Trim the Front Cover Page

After gluing down the cover page, I had to cut open a window to the inside. Kind of papered over the thing.

Step 8: Line the Interior

That ugly inside just won't fly, so some lining is in order. I just happened to have some nice marbled red paper that needed using up.

Step 9: Admire and Use

And that should just about do it.

In retrospect, I should've picked a less conspicuous book. I wouldn't normally be caught dead (or even undead) with anything by Stephanie Meyer, but I suppose you could always say it's just a gag gift; it did only cost like two dollars at Goodwill.

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44 Comments

Thanks so much! I will make this! Such a neat idea!

lol most people seem not to like Twilight...still havent read it, plan to though. I liked the movies

A recessed magnetic catch in the pages and metal on the cover helps keep it closed and contents from falling out.

1 reply

ahhh smart!!!

Smart no one will pick up that book I'll use twilight

very interesting.couldn't you also use velcro to keep this this shut?

1 reply

That's not a half bad idea... I may try it! :-)

I thought about making one of these too. I had an idea to add a magnetic catch so it wouldn't open on it's own and spill whatever I was storing in it. You turned out a nice finished product. It looks like it could have been commercially done.

2 replies

This kind of thing is usually sandwiched between other books to keep it closed, but a catch would be a great idea. Everyone else reading this and thinking of making one, YOU ARE NOW REQUIRED TO TRY THIS.

Again, not trying to spam, but and example... https://www.etsy.com/listing/123391291/hollow-book-safe-with-magnetetic-closure. I use old, wrecked hard drives and rob the very strong magnets from them.

It seems to work best using the dust jacket to hide the bits of Altoids tin I use for the metal attached to the inside of the cover. Then these magnets are so strong you can still have about 6 pages of the book between the dust jacket and cutout... This helps with the illusion that it is still a real book that hasn't been tampered with.

Good idea using a book that no one smart enough to pick a lock will ever pick up.

I made a hollow book back in grade school. I used a Miriam Webster Dictionary though. I think I still have it somewhere. My project was done with an Exacto knife rather than a band saw. The innards weren't nearly so straight and neat as yours naturally. I didn't cut away the paper on the bound side as you did. I left about a half inch on all four sides. Not cutting the bound side paper didn't seem to cause too many issues but I can see why you'd want to do that if you can. I used only one type of glue, Elmer's White Glue, both around the edges and on the inside. I admit that I did feel special having a secret hiding place for those things that are precious to a kid. I've been tempted to try this again now that I am, well, much older.

Will this work with an E Reader? I haven't touched a real book in years... lol

Great job of this. I did something like this when I proposed to my wife. She told me she loved Shakspears Sonnets so I bought a book of them, cut a ring shaped hole in the middle of the pages in the middle of th book and glued them together, then I wrote a corny poem asking her to marry me and glued that in as a page. Stuck a book mark in it and put it on my coffee table. Sure enough she asked me about it when she saw it and I said "yeah, I bought it to see if I liked them too... I marked my favorite for you" she freaked when she read my poem and saw the ring!

1 reply

That's brilliant!! Great story.

A very good (and very entertaining) instructable. I'm going to make this one. Thanks!

yeah i would cut a hole in a twilight book too lol.

Love the idea of destroying this book. Might just do that step and call it done.

The idea behind this nice book safe is that burglars are generally not culture-oriented. But what if one is so unlucky to come accross a burglar with literary interests?