How to Make a Secret Hollow Book




About: In a valiant attempt to keep myself from dying of boredom, I create.
I have some really nice pearls, yet no place to keep them safe.  Then I saw this ( on Wiki How.  Yes, the perfect idea.  I went to the “Book Store” at our local library.  They sale used library book there, $1.00 of hard bound and 25¢ for paper backs. Since my personal library contains mysteries, science fiction and religious books, I picked up a big, thick, hard bound science fiction book for my project.   So this is how you can create a hollow book for hidden storage of special things.

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Step 1:

A hard bound book (your choice of size)
Craft knife with extra blades
Metal ruler
White glue (I used Mod Podge)
T-shirt shopping bags (you could use plastic wrap, or plastic bags)

Step 2:

To start, determine how much of the book you want to seal.  Leave 4-10 of the first pages free. 

Step 3:

You do not want the glue to stick to the front, back and purposely free pages, so wrap the t-shirt shopping bags around the front/ free pages

Step 4:

and then tape them tight. (Glue won’t stick to the t-shirt shopping bags, and since they are plentiful, they make a good repurpose object for this part of the project).  Repeat with the back page.

Step 5:

Hold all of the rest of the pages together and using the paint brush spread the white glue along the three sides of the edges that are usually free.  When dry this will make these pages will be a solid unit.

Step 6:

Close the book and pile a bunch of heavy stuff on your closed book and let it dry 12+ hours.

Step 7:

Once the glue is dry, open the book to the solid area, I wanted the hole in the book to fit the case my pearls reside in, so I traced all the way around that case.  You can just mark a rectangle that is 1 inch from the 4 edges of the book.

Step 8:

Next, using the metal ruler and the craft knife, run the sharp tip of the knife along the ruler edge, following the lines.  The hardest part of this is getting the corners nice and clean.  You will cut only cut 4-5 pages at a time.  When you cutting a 500-600 page book this means that this is time consuming project.  Go ahead, and pause for a drink, or something to eat.  Do it while you are watching your favorite TV show or listening to your favorite music.  Do not cut clear thru to the bottom. You need a solid surface for the bottom.

Step 9:

Take a deep breath.  You are done with that part. 

Step 10:

I chose to glue the inside edges of my hollow book, therefore I chose to reuse the t-shirt bags, let it dry again.  You do not have to do this.

Step 11:

You are done!  At the library when I bought my book, the librarian told me how she had made a hollow book and how her children wanted her to keep their private stuff safe in her hollow book.  Also,  my daughter is making 2 of these for keeping "keep sakes" for her two boys.  She designed new dust covers for these books and they look great.  Do whatever you want to do and keep what you want to keep secret, and Enjoy!
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18 Discussions


3 years ago

I think wrapping the pages you don't want glue on with glad press n seal and then a grocery bag would be the way to go.... I'm hollowing out an old Hymnal that I keep next to my Bibles to hide my.... ???

1 reply

hard cover is the best but if you don't have one or your too lazy to buy one like me then go with soft coverings

Hard cover is heavier, this sturdier, yet since you glue the pages together you could do it with a paper back book. Thanks for commenting.


5 years ago

I picked up an old copy of Robinson Crusoe from a thrift store for a dollar or two and now it sits on my shelf, ready to conceal whatever small things I decide to store in it. Great Instructable.


5 years ago on Introduction

I loved this idea!! Can a box cutter work to cut the pages?


6 years ago on Introduction

this is a perfect idea to hide many stuff, awesome!

Great tutorial. I just posted a video on Instructables on the same subject (I made the video about 5 years ago when I had a Spy Gear website). Be careful, HowCast will rip you off! They stole one of my video ideas.


7 years ago on Introduction

Very cool! When I made a hollowed out book for a christmas present, I drilled 4 small holes in the pages for the corners, that helped keep them even. I started out using a knife like you but switched to a dremel tool. The inside of your book looks much more neat and clean, nice job!

2 replies
hungyhipo 2rachl009

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

thanks for the idea of a dremel tool, i would have never thought of that. sounds way faster. good idea.


7 years ago on Introduction

I built one of these years ago, but I didn't think to glue the pages, so it didn't work very well.

1 reply