Introduction: How to Create a Secret Bookcase Box

Picture of How to Create a Secret Bookcase Box
Do you need a way to hide something of a bigger size, like bigger than would fit inside a hollow book?  Here is another idea using books and a book case.  This is only limited by the size of box you use and the number books you are willing to sacrifice to create the cover to the box.  So let’s get started.

Step 1:

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A sturdy cardboard (mine was a box that held dish washer tablets)
Books (enough to cover one side of the box)
White glue
E-6000 glue
Table saw
Tape measure
Box knife
Blue painters tape
Sand paper

Step 2:

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If needed remove the flaps on the box with the box knife. 
Make sure that you have books enough to cover the front of the box.

Step 3:

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Using the blue tape, wrap a layer around the book close to the spine.  Do this to all the books.

Step 4:

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Set the table saw blade at 2 inches.  The goal is to cut 2 inches of the spine, off from each book.   

Step 5:

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We have a fine blade on the saw.  We put the blade up as far as it would go,

Step 6:

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but we had to turn more than one book over, and run it through from the other direction, removing the spine from the body of the book.  Recycle the left over body of the book.

Step 7:

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Don’t remove the tape yet.

Step 8:

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Apply white glue to the cut end of papers, to make them a solid mass.  Let it dry.

Step 9:

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If your box has a glossy surface, sand it to make it less glossy, thus allowing the glue to stick to it. 
Remove the blue tape.

Step 10:

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Put some E-6000 glue on the sanded side of the box.  Place the cut end of a book spine on the glue, lining the bottom and side up with the bottom and side of the box.  For the each of the next book spines, put E-6000 glue on the side of the previous book spine and on the next section of box.  Stick the next book spine to the previous book spine and the box.  Keep the bottoms aligned with the bottom of the box.  Do this with all the rest of the spines until the front of the box is covered with book spines.

Step 11:

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Let it dry, up to 24 hours, it takes that long for E-6000 to cure.

Step 12:

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Now stick it in your book case, high enough that you can’t see down into the box, and put books beside it, on both sides.  It is ready to keep your precious treasures away from spying eyes.  Enjoy.


suzpenz (author)2014-03-23

What a great tutorial. Thank you for the kindness of sharing this brilliant idea. Remember, an old used book is just a book, and not an idol. They are a dollar a dozen. Thanks again!

lisareno (author)2013-09-05

maybe a future project could be using a wooden box with a lid to make it more sturdy? I might try that ...

Pfarmkid (author)2012-07-24

ooooooohhhhh your killing me cutting those books

but its for the good of the project

Nice 'ible looks very realistic when finished


irishjim68 (author)2012-06-23

Or just donate 2 extra books to the project for the ends, glued to the sides of the box as well as the neighboring spines...

tsmith36 (author)2012-06-14

Cool. But old school.

askjerry (author)tsmith362012-06-21

Cool because it IS old school!  :-)

corsairgryl (author)2012-06-15

Will be looking for some books at garage sales, neato idea!

sdfgeoff (author)2012-06-15

Maybe mount the books at slightly different depths/angles?

evan808 (author)2012-06-14

Nice! this prompts me to make one for my bookshelf too! Funny commentary also, regarding the choice of books to cut up!!!!! My non-descript books are sitting right next to me! They include dry technical manuals such as: "The Fundamentals of Alternating Current", (not that Alternating Current is not utterly fascinating or anything....)

ClareBS (author)2012-06-14

A great idea! I wonder if as many people would have studied this instructable if you hadn't used a Joy of Cooking? (My favorite reference cookbook, but really, it's only a book.

aquafella (author)2012-06-14

How about leave the outside covers of the outside books to conceal the sides of the box?

brucegiddens (author)2012-06-14

Well done. A great variation of the hidden compartment book thing.
But DICK FRANCIS????????? You cut up DICK FRANCIS???????
So many people's favorite author!
But the hidden box idea is great.

heathbar64 (author)2012-06-05

very cool!
Now what I might have done is leave the front cover on one of the books and the back cover on one, and let them extend around the ends of the box. I can notice in the picture that the books on the box are all tight together and the other real books are loose and uneven. You might cut some of the spines wider to make it more realistic looking and maybe not glued them on quite so evenly.

kstephens2 (author)heathbar642012-06-14

You could also stack the books on top of each other. (like shown in the step 1 photo) Then the fact that the books are so tight together would look natural. The downside, of course is that your box size would be limited to the height of the books.

The Rambler (author)heathbar642012-06-08

This could also just be an issue of rearranging the flow of the book case. For instance I see other books on the shelf that are very evenly and neatly placed. If you put those books next to it, instead of the binders it would look less out of place.

Regardless, this is a really cool take on the secret book storage idea..

EmSingh (author)2012-06-14

You may not find the book special but others do and sadly will be reached for and pulled out of your shelf. Ya should have stuck with non descript books or something no one would reach for like a dictionary.... lol

EmSingh (author)2012-06-14

Joy of cooking is NOT a book you used to hide stuff behind. It WILL be reached for and pulled out of the shelf. Better to stick to non descript(sp?) books. But otherwise a nice idea.

wlgoode (author)2012-06-14

Oh Man! As a retired chef I can say with confidence that "Joy of Cooking" is the best home kitchen reference ever published. As a pro, I always carried the two volume paperback set of JOC in my kit bag at work. Don'r destroy it, give it to someone who likes to cook. If you have a culinary school nearby, give it to a student there!

tjesse (author)2012-06-14

My first thought was, "No, not the Joy of Cooking". I see I'm in good company when I read all the comments.

jessyratfink (author)2012-06-03

Best use of Dick Francis I have ever seen! I like this, very clever. :)

sleeepy2 (author)jessyratfink2012-06-14

That's exactly what I was going to say. You could probably buy Dick Francis books at a used book store for 50¢ a pound.

fungus amungus (author)2012-06-14

It's your book, you can do what you want! After all, with 18 million of those books out there I think the world will be just fine. :)

Manny B (author)2012-06-14

Oh, i got more. What if the two end books were not cut at all? that way the box could stand on it's own and you wouldn't worry about seeing the hidden box from the side? Also, some odd shaped books? Or a box of Microsoft 2003. Look at a real book case for inspiration of what looks natural. Man, you got the creative juices flowing!

Manny B (author)2012-06-14

Wow. Clever. I got some gift ideas now. Thank you! I'm going to try mine with a wooden box. Looking at your final pictures of the box in use got me thinking. What would keep people from wanting to pull down one of those 'books' further still? I know, crap on top! A sideways book, a speaker, something semi permanent. I'll modify mine a bit to include a 'leg' of sorts in the back that would support the weight and balance of the item. Maybe even making the box as tall as the books? Eitherway, thanks for the inspiration.

metqa (author)2012-06-14

The thrift store always has a plethora of old unwanted hardcover books. this is a neat project. I can imagine it'd be good for a kids room, where they want to hide their treasures from siblings or a good safe against kids, who will never pick up a thick old hardcover book that will likely not have pictures! LOL. Thanks for this instructable. Along with the hollow book idea, It's a keeper. I think I'd want to use a more sturdy box also, maybe a recycled small dresser drawer, or at least a double wall corrugated box for toughness.

belsey (author)2012-06-08

Great variation on the hidden compartment in a book idea.... but you cut up the JOY OF COOKING!!!?? That is such a classic! How could you? Besides, that, very well done!

MsJaxFla (author)belsey2012-06-14

Oh heavens, I so agree, they destroyed a "Joy Of Cooking". My first ever cookbook that I bought myself and still use to this day. Yes it is splattered and worn, but I would never part with it. I mean how many cookbooks tell you how to do the stuff it does. I won't say what year I bought it either..... grin.

But very clever idea.

mgalyean (author)belsey2012-06-14

My gawd! My take exactly. I can't believe a copy of "Joy" was destroyed for this. At least replace the cardboard box with something like walnut or oak to honor the sacrifice. Arg. Oh the humanity!

libraryCat (author)belsey2012-06-10

That's exactly what I was thinking too, Lol.... :)

patmac (author)2012-06-14

Great idea and good instructions. Now if I could only get my hands on a saw!

theformatter (author)2012-06-14

I'm going to try this with a modification - I'm going to cut the front of the box into 'doors' and glue the books together in two segments, with the idea in mind that I can open one side or the other from the front without having to take the whole box down to get at the contents. I'll take pictures and post them (but only if it works! :-> )


Tupulov (author)2012-06-14

Well done. A great variation of the hidden compartment book but with much more space.

I wouldn't worry about the arrangement of other books. Unless you are specifically looking for a hidden compartment, the eye will be fooled into seeing what it expects.

It will be a breeze to make these using my paper guillotine. (They can be had for about $50 on ebay.)

lime3D (author)2012-06-07

Nice project. If you have a band saw available, it makes it a lot easier to cut. (The blade moves down, rather than up.)

craftknowitall (author)lime3D2012-06-07

We used what we had. I worked out okay! Thanks for commenting.

lime3D (author)craftknowitall2012-06-07

That's what I figured. It was just a tip for anyone that wants to make the project.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-06-04

That is really sneaky!

Browncoat (author)2012-06-03

What a neat idea!

About This Instructable




Bio: In a valiant attempt to keep myself from dying of boredom, I create.
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