Cardboard Book With a Secret Compartment

About: I love dogs and to read. I enjoy playing and watching sports, playing the violin, and crafting. I don't like to go to the store, so I mainly use what's around to do my crafts. I love gaming, older music, hot...

Have you ever needed a secret place to hide things? Do you have a bookshelf or some books? Well, I made a perfect impostor book that holds a secret compartment to hide all your secrets and valuables. No one will ever notice the singular, short, and thick cardboard book. Absolutely no one. Nope.

Anyway, the book boasts an open storage space inside, a ribbon latch to hold it closed, and an optional chalkboard cover to make it stylish. Honestly, I just couldn't stop adding the different ideas I had while making it. Now it's time to show you how to make it. Hold on and prepare yourself- it's a wild ride.

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Step 1: Materials

To make the book you'll need:

  • Cardboard
  • Paint (I used red, pink, and white)
  • Hot Glue- or any other glue, really
  • Ribbon (I used pink to match my paint)
  • the smallest bit of Velcro
  • The thin-tipped Sharpie or black pen
  • Scissors/knife/a cutting tool
  • Optional- small chalkboard for cover*

*Either use a small chalkboard to decorate your book cover or decorate it yourself with paint, markers, paper- really anything. It's up to you if you even want to decorate it at all.

Step 2: Cutting and Marking the Cover

Alright- it's time to get crafting! Start by cutting out a rectangular piece of cardboard, making sure there are few markings and/or tape. I did mine as about 5 1/2 inches by 10 inches. This will be the cover of your book. Mark the middle of it in pencil. Now, decide how thick you want the spine of your book to be. I made mine 1 1/2 inches thick. To mark that on the cardboard on the exact middle, I split my desired thickness in half (1 1/2 divided by two is 3/4) and measured 3/4 to each side of my middle mark (picture two). Then take your scissors and score the two lines you just made so you can bend the cardboard. Be sure to cut through only the first layer of cardboard so you don't cut it all the way or not cut enough.

Whew! On to the next step!

Step 3: Cutting and Marking the "Pages"

Now you're going to cut three more pieces of cardboard. Make them as wide as your book spine and a little shorter than the cover length. My first one is 1 1/2 inch by 4 inches. The next two are identical. They are 1 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. These will trick the average person into thinking your book has pages, even though it does not.

Step 4: Painting

Time to decorate! Pick your colors. They will disguise the cardboard. My main color is red. I used acrylic paint, although anything that isn't too watery would work. Paint both sides of the cardboard, as well as the edges and in the creases/cracks with your main color. Now pick an accent color. If your main color is a light color, make the accent color the darker version of that color. If your main color is a darker color, then vise versa. Since my main color is red, I used pink as my accent color. Paint two parallel lines towards the bottom of the spine and two towards the top with your accent color to mimic a book.

Now paint the three small cardboard pieces white or a light tan to mimic pages. Make sure to paint both sides and the edges. Once the paint is dry, take your thin Sharpie and draw lines. The lines are random and short, while all going the same direction. I drew the lines on later, although i could have done it now. That's why the last picture is from a little farther ahead in the process.

Step 5: Gluing It All Together

It's time to glue! We're going to glue on the pages first. Before gluing, I suggest lining up the pages and trimming/adjusting them accordingly. Make sure the pages sit right up against the spine, but make sure to not glue the pages to the spine since we want to be able to open and close the book. Attach all three by gluing the bottom of the pages to the inside of the book cover. Now you have the basic form of the book. You can stop here if you want, but there are more things you can add like the ribbon latch and cover decor.

Step 6: Adding a Ribbon As a Latch

First, measure the ribbon so it loops around the book. Now, cut it so it starts and stops where you want it to. Glue one end to the back cover of the book. Cut out some Velcro that's about the width of the ribbon. Glue one half of the Velcro to the loose end and the other to the book. Make sure they connect when you wrap the ribbon around the book.

Step 7: Designing the Cover

Now it's time to decorate. This step is completely optional and up to you. I decided to use one of the mini chalkboards I have. I cut it down so it would fit onto the front cover, then colored the edges with sharpie. I glued it to my cover and put a mini pouch of chalk inside the book in case I wanted to draw.

Here are some more ideas I had for decorating your cover.

  1. Make a collage of pictures that represent you
  2. Add a fun print- floral, leopard spots, etc.
  3. cover the entire front with one picture- it could be scenic, of you, your pets, friends, family, or just something pretty
  4. Write something ironic or funny- like totally not secret, nothing to see here, I'm just a book, etc.
  5. Model it after a favorite book
  6. add a fun texture like felt, fur, or yarn
  7. knit or crochet a cover for the cover
  8. Paint patterns, designs, objects, a scene, whatever really
  9. Put some magnetic material on the back of the cover and use it like a magnet board
  10. Model it after a composition notebook

It's up to you what you choose to do!

Step 8: Store Your Secrets!

Congratulations! You can now hide things from thieves, family members, pets (unless they're willing to rip it up), roommates, or just anyone in general. You can hide candy, your wallet, keys, money, jewelry, or really anything in there. Just not anything illegal. Please not anything illegal. Well, that's all from me. Leave any suggestions in the comments about anything from grammar and spelling to the materials I used to the order i did things in. Now you know how to make a cardboard box into an impenetrable safe. You're welcome.

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