Introduction: How to Make a Book Safe

This is a book safe made using the cover from an old hardcover book.

The book is removed and replaced with a box to create a great hiding place.

You'll need a sharp knife, metal ruler, boxboard/ thick cardstock. A cutting matt. Plus paper to line the cover in and cover the box ( optional ).

Oh, and a hardcover book. Avoid rare, expensive and other people's books without their permission...

Step 1: Cut Book From Old Cover

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the near the fold of the endpaper ( which is glued to the inside of the cover ) from top to bottom, front and back. Gently pull the book away from the cover.

Step 2: Line the Inside of the Book Cover.

This step is mostly cosmetic... it finishes off the inside of the cover, covering the raw board cover and any bits of the old endpaper. Cut a piece of paper that is slightly taller than original endpaper to cover any old paper. It needs to be wide enough to extend from the front cover, across the spine area and onto the back cover. The amount required to overlap onto the back cover is minimal ( go for 20mm to be safe - about an inch ); the box will cover the rest of the back cover.

I used PVA glue thinned with a little water to help with viscosity. In the absence of an equipped bookbinding studio, use the side of you hand and / or a soft cloth to rub the paper down.

* Apply glue to the paper, not the cover to keep things as clean as possible *

Step 3: Make the Box...

The box has to made to fit inside the closed cover. This one was made from 3mm boxboard ( binders board ), scored, folded and secured with hot melt glue, then it was cleaned up and covered in the blue paper. While it looks great, the box will still function if it you don't choose to cover it.

Covering the box is quite advanced, so I won't include the pic's. The box can be made using 5 separate pieces.

The front and back ( sides ) are the same size and you can take the rough dimensions from the book you originally removed from the cover. ( X, Y )

The important thing when measuring the x3 'wall' pieces is to remember to make them narrow enough to fit inside the cover when it's closed. You will need 1 x long ( the X height ) and 2 x short pieces ( both Y width minus 1 x boxboard thickness ).

Measure the thickness of the original book, then subtract the thickness of your cardboard twice from that figure - the wall pieces are glued between the sides, again using PVA.

I make the box by gluing the edges of the wall pieces ( long first ) and placing them carefully on one of the side pieces. Once all three are in place, glue the exposed edges of the walls and carefully place the 2nd side on top.

Place a weight on top of the box ( half a brick, a bag of sugar , some of the contraband you plan to hide in the box etc ) for half an hour.

Step 4: Glue Box Into Cover...

The finished, dried box can now be glued into the cover.

Glue up one side of the box with PVA, place onto the back of the book cover, check it's in the right this case, with the opening on the box towards the spine of the book cover, so that when the cover is closed, nothing can fall out of the booksafe.

Further tweaking:

Adding magnets ( I used rare earth 2mm x 6mm discs ), by recessing the book cover before lining it, and also the box itself so that it closes with a satisfying snap and won't fall open easily.

Step 5:

Step 6:

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