Introduction: Book Safe

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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.


Mollster (author)2016-08-19

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

dancersewereater made it! (author)2015-10-29

Thank you for all your work!

Book Girl (author)2015-05-15

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

thirst4know (author)2013-05-31

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

molejko (author)thirst4know2015-03-19

ahhh smart!!!

charlieanderin (author)2013-06-29

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

dawg065 (author)2013-05-31

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

SantaB (author)dawg0652013-06-03

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

rmelchiori (author)2013-05-30

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.

armored bore (author)rmelchiori2013-05-30

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.

SantaB (author)armored bore2013-06-03

Again, not trying to spam, but and example... 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.

Synonym-of-Antonym (author)2013-06-01

Scalemate..? :D

guerrilla.1 (author)2013-06-01

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

FlippityWidget (author)2013-06-01

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.

zacker (author)2013-05-30

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!

Rob O (author)zacker2013-05-31

That's brilliant!! Great story.

chrissysno (author)2013-05-31

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

jwhite58 (author)2013-05-31

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

desmondtheredx (author)2013-05-30

This is amazing. Im gonna make this

xraver7086 (author)2013-05-30

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

palinuro (author)2013-05-30

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?

armored bore (author)palinuro2013-05-30

In that case, I'm hoping they'll grab something better off the shelf, like my copies of The Dresden Codak Primer or My Tank is Fight!

spankreas (author)2013-05-30

I love how you used a book that nobody would ever take off the shelf. It's the little details that make the difference here.

robotmaker (author)2013-05-30

i made one just like it over 20 years it turned out the same

cheffy1 (author)2013-05-30

we just did one of these but instead of popping the spine and using a band saw we just cut the center out using a oscillating saw. I know that saw would com in handy for something. I'm going to make one to hold my iPad.

qawdrg (author)2013-05-30

For Russia it is not safe, will find immediately

Javin007 (author)2013-05-30

Still a better love story than Twilight.

SantaB (author)2013-05-30

Nice 'ible... There is another almost identical one to it, showing the same method. That author does the same thing you do (leaving out a step or some advice), but at least the readers can ascertain what you did from the pictures. Also, you show a very nice final version of the project, where the other author did not.

Folks, take note to gently pull back the front endsheet (the black first page in this book shown). It's attached to the cover and only glued onto the book's pages at the edge. This is what helps with a nice final product (compared to the other I have seen).

Hopefully you don't take this as spam, but here is an alternative method I use, by covering the ugly inside spine part with matching endsheet material and using complementary colored paper as a hinge.

I actually like your technique better. :-)

legionmanchild (author)2013-05-30

That's a perfect use for that book, finally something useful to come from it :)

Vixlovesdinos (author)2013-05-29

Good use for twilight! Thank you!

dougbyte (author)2013-05-28

Nice one!

raviolikid (author)2013-05-28

Nice directions and good pictures! I do have a question about the glueing in this step. Do you just "paint" it on the outside of the pages or do you glue the pages to each other?

armored bore (author)raviolikid2013-05-28

Just the outside will do. Doing each individual page would take way too long, and it would probably end up distorting the pages. It doesn't seem like much, but it'll be reinforced later from the inside once you cut out and glue the hollow.

raviolikid (author)armored bore2013-05-28

Thanks! I tried it once gluing the individual pages together - and it wasn't pretty!

seamster (author)2013-05-26

Nice book safe! Although I would have preferred to see it made out of Breaking Dawn. That book was the worst. What a complete letdown.

theformatter (author)seamster2013-05-28

Why do I always replace "Dawn" with "Wind" whenever I hear that title?

unicow175 (author)2013-05-27

I knew there were other homestucks here :3

StoryAddict (author)2013-05-27

I wish I had access to a bandsaw. I just hollowed out a book for my sister's book to fit a flask inside (she's been fascinated with them for a while, and I thought it'd be a hysterical thing to have hiding in her office as a youth director). I didn't glue the pages and just kept cutting pages away one or two at a time from a thriftstore copy of "buying art on a budget" (1969). It probably took a good six hours and was a mess. It's a rough cut and I should've glued/taped some of the pages afterward, but I was doing it as fast and economical as I could think in the short-time frame (given I wasn't able to mail it out until the day of her birthday, but she was totally stoked and agreed it was worth the 2-3 day delay by mail). I did, however, leave some of the pages in the front I thought she might like to read and the last whole page before the hole read, "The Joy of Looking", which was of course awesome.

EmWieardo77 (author)2013-05-26

Awesome project. I can't wait to make one. Also, nice scalemate.

armored bore (author)EmWieardo772013-05-26

Yeah, he was a Christmas present from a friend. He could probably use a noose for some Alternian courtroom reenactments.

Slay. (author)2013-05-26

Twilight. The ONE book that no one would take off the shelf and read. Nice thinking!

shizumadrive (author)Slay.2013-05-26

But someone might pick it up to fling in the garbage. And then discover money!

octochan (author)2013-05-26

My friends would know for sure that book was fake if they saw it on my shelf. :D Maybe you could print a different dust jacket for your "book"?

Keznaa (author)2013-05-26

So twilight came in use for something lol to bad you still have to see that it's twilight. If use a different cover lol

jessyratfink (author)2013-05-25

So excited that you used that terrible book. :D

Considering they're so common it might work to your advantage!

About This Instructable




Add instructable to: