Book Speakers




Create a pair of speakers by recycling six old hardback books and a pair of speakers from a broken cd player. They will be unnoticeable on a bookshelf, cost virtually nothing, and sound pretty good.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Tools and Material

You will need:
6-8 hard back books, about 1 1/4 inches thick each
2 speakers, 3 inches in diameter

Hot glue gun
2 or more clamps
small board
box cutter

Step 2: Preparing the Center Books

First, you need to figure out the basic internal layout of your speakers. I decided on a simple rectangular cavity, to make it easier. Make the cavity a little wider than the speaker is, so you have some wiggle room. Draw the design of the speaker cavity on the book that will be in the middle. Clamp the book down, drill a pilot hole in one corner of the cavity, and cut out your design using the jigsaw.

Step 3: Preparing the Outside Books

On the outside books, you can't just saw strait through. Trace the shape of the cavity from the center book onto the cover of the outside book that will be touching the center book. Saw through the book, except for the outside cover. Then do this for the book on the other side. When all the books are put together, there should be a fully enclosed rectangular cavity inside the stack of books.

Step 4: Preparing the Inside of the Books

Near the spine of the books, where you cut out, there will still be a fairly thick layer of paper. This paper will block the sound if not removed. To remove it, fold the covers of the book out and together, and fasten them there so they do not get in the way. Clamp the book down, and, using the jigsaw, cut most of the way to the binding, but not all the way through. Cut a slit in the paper between the pages and the cover with a box cutter, and also with the box cutter, finish cutting out the layer of paper at the front of the speaker cavity.

Step 5: Poking Holes

There is still an unbroken layer of thin cardboard between the speaker and the outside. Using a safety pin, or something similar, poke lots of holes in the spine of the books.

Step 6: Mounting the Speaker

Now the speaker needs to be fixed to the books. Start by fixing the speaker to the middle book. I did this with hot glue- lots of it. Be sure not to get the glue on the cone of the speaker.

Step 7: Gluing the Books Together

Cut a thin strip of paper out of one of the book, behind the cavity, for the wires to go out of. Spread a thin layer of glue between the covers of each book. Tightly clamp the books together, and leave them for a few hours.

Step 8: More Speaker Gluing

Unclamp the books. They should be attached at the covers, but you should still be able to open the books. Open the outside books, and put more glue on the speaker, fixing it even more tightly to the inside of the books. Paint a thin layer of glue on the inside of speaker cavity.

Step 9: Finishing Touches

Drill a large hole in the back of the books and to the speaker cavity, and paint the inside of the hole with glue. Once it is dry, put the speakers on a bookshelf, plug them into your stereo, and enjoy!

This project, along with others, can be viewed on my blog, which can be found here:

Epilog Challenge

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Instrument Contest

      Instrument Contest
    • Make it Glow Contest

      Make it Glow Contest
    • STEM Contest

      STEM Contest

    53 Discussions

    Doc Holliday

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Um, couldn't the speaker point out the top of the book set instead?

    That would simplify a lot of the issues discussed here, as well as the whole construction process.

    Somebody would have their head hovering over the books to notice it.

    3 replies
    Leah Michealisben_k

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    i agree with you. if and when I try these I would put them on my book shelf, which is only about 16 inches high. not enough room for an upward facing speaker to produce clear sound.

    thecolorDoc Holliday

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    This seems like a logical solution and while (yes) the sound would go up rather then out (for the below comment) in that case (if undesirable), why not create a brace behind the speaker held in the middle of the book hollow and mount the back of the speaker to that instead of the front.  Then, the actual cone(s) would be free for full movement (hitting nothing) and there might be a better (or worse) sound as it floats in the center of the book.

    Just a thought.  Either way, I have 4 black box speakers I plan to mimic this project with but leave them in the speaker boxes for the original sound.  I think I do agree with that, if the box is built, use that, place some book sides on the left and right and a foe front.  As for the back, do you really need to place anything on it (covering wires or holes)... it's not seen (typically).


    6 years ago

    I am goimg to seem really stupid by asking this question but how do you wire the speakers to work ? I am a beginner with electronics and wiring. I completely understand how to make the books to act like speakers but how to get the actual speaker to work is where I run into some confusion. Can someone please help me ? Much appreciated. :)

    1 reply

    You probably have found out by now but for everyone's sake. If the speakers have wires already you need to run those to the back of whatever stereo equipment you're running it to. If you're unable to do that because the speakers don't have wire already, or you need to run the speakers to some kind of jack your best bet is help from someone local as i can't teach you how to strip wire and solder from the internet.

    iApple guy

    7 years ago on Step 9

    If you have a small sub you could put the sub in some books too.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Painting the inside of the cavity with glue stops the pages from vibrating when the speaker is playing. The hole is to let air pass freely into the chamber.


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 9

    could you put the wires through the big hole and save yourself a step


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 9

    I suppose you could, but they would probably look better with the wires as I did them.


    8 years ago on Step 6

    If you had a stereo that had separate speakers could you do this but do the stereo part with the controls and stuff like this too? It wouldnt be excaltly the same you would need to put the spines on a hinge somehow so you could open and close it :D just an idea


    8 years ago on Step 9

    How loud are these? Is the output pretty good or very muffled?

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 9

    By themselves, they play up to a moderate volume before you get distortion, but the books don't seem to muffle the sound. However, if you want to play them loudly you should definitely pair them with a sub.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I have a pair of good sounding speakers that went through a flood, so i hot glued them together, perfect for this because they wouldn't be seen.


    10 years ago on Step 5

    Great idea! Maybe you could use books with dark covers, so you won't see the holes at all.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Really well executed! I do book projects too. :D Good to see you used the crappy ones that aren't worth anything. That's a few less I'll have to buy from someone at work!