How To: Build A Secret Book Safe

This is a book I rescued from a future in a landfill at my last school. It's a little beat and worn, but the feather pattern on the cover is so nice, and when I look inside there are these great bird illustrations by Audubon. I want to keep those illustrations for collage supplies, but would hate to chuck the rest of the book. Ever been there?

This tutorial is a two-fer. Not only do I get all those great images, but I can get a useful and beautiful object in the process by making the empty space into a secret hiding place. Here's how:

1. Wrap the front cover and the first 15 or so pages in plastic cling wrap. I kept the long list of bird chapters and the introduction. You may want to take the first chapter, depending on the type of book.

2. Glue down the last 4-5 pages of the book to the back cover.
3, Shut the book and, using a large bristle brush, glue around all of the pages along the outside. The glue should be heavy, but not dripping onto the covers. I used a matte Mod Podge sealant.
4. Apply pressure by using a vise or strong clamp, and allow the glue to dry.
4 1/2. Or a stack of heavy books.
5. Measure the size of the area you want to remove from the book. I chose the size of the bird illustrations, since they were the same through the whole book.
6. Use a utility knife and metal ruler to cut out the area carefully. I had to do it layer by layer. Keep your hand steady and straight, as pages lower down can become harder to pull out. Glue the inner edges of the section you cut out the same way the outer edges of the book pages were glued. Apply pressure again until the glue has dried.
7. Open the book and carefully remove the first page from the section you cut out. This one tend to get pretty beat up in the process. I also added decorative tape to clean up the edges of the hidden compartment. Use sandpaper to wear down excess glue.
8. Add embellishments. I added decorative tape to clean up the edges around the secret compartment, a scrap from the title page on the cover...
9. ...and a book mark using collage images from the book.

 Next week I'll share a tutorial from the images cut out during the making of the book safe. Stay tuned :)

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