Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Secret Book Box

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a lovely day yesterday. I can finally post about my DIY Christmas gifts that I gave this year, since they've all been distributed to their recipients. 

Let's start with the secret book box that I made for my bro-in-law. 

Phase 1: Carving out the insides of a book. 

I got the Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen at a used bookstore for $4.00. I didn't know who Ibsen was when I purchased it. I specifically chose a guy who I hadn't heard of to avoid destroying a classic, but apparently I'm just uncultured. I destroyed a classic. 

Materials Needed for Phase One: 
Old book
Knife sharpener
(You don't need glue, clips or sharpie. I was over-zealous with materials)

Phase 1, Step 1: Measure and trace a rectangle on the first page of the book. I left about 1/2 to 3/4 inch around the edge. 

Phase 1, Step 2: Hold the book firmly with pages stacked evenly and cut along the line.

I only cleanly cut about 6-10 pages at a time this way. But the blade would partially cut additional pages, which is when you can use the scissors to finish up a page if the box cutter already started it pretty well. I also used scissors to clean up/even up my edges and corners. 

Phase 1, Step 3:  Close the pages and use the box cutter to cut along the edge of the carved-out interior. Finish up any partially-cut pages with the scissors. Repeat until the entire book is carved-out. 

Important: I sharpened my knife between every repetition of this step. It made all the difference!

That is by FAR the most tedious part of this project. It took me three consecutive hours of cutting to carve out the entire book, and it's not even that thick of a book. If I ever do this again, I might try a different knife. 

Save the pages for another project! There are tons of crafts that require book pages. 

Phase 2: Securing the secret box. 

Materials Needed for Phase 2:
Wood glue
Old paint brush
Wax Paper
Hot glue/glue gun

Phase 2, Step 1: Using an old paint brush, paint the interior of your carved pages wood glue (I used Titebond II). I really saturated the pages. Get the corners well and make sure every part of the inside is covered in wood glue. 

Phase 2, Step 2: Lay a piece of wax paper on top of the carved-out box and close book so the wax paper can protect the cover of the book from gluing to the box. Place on a table with a heavy box/book on top and let sit for 24 hours. The glue needs to dry and cure, and the weight keeps all the pages in place. 

Phase 2, Step 3: After 24 hours, open the book and peel off the wax paper. Cut a piece of felt like so, to line the box. Cut a little bit at a time and keep testing the fit to make sure you have the right measurements.

Phase 2, Step 4: When you've got the right felt shape, hot glue it to the inside of the book. I recommend gluing it in this order: bottom, short sides, long sides. 

This is after I glued the bottom and short sides and was about to glue the long side. 

I also added a tiny strip of felt in each corner to cover the pages of the book completely. 

Phase 2, Step 5: Trim the excess felt from the top so the book closes evenly.

And you're done! Secret book box!

This box is hiding... 

Sewing pins! 

Maybe you can find a better use for it than pins. I'm sure my brother-in-law will. A secret book box is so fun!

Update: I just found another DIY post on the blogosphere on this type of project. She did it a little differently, and I might try her method of drilling holes in the corners if I ever do this project again. Here it is: Our Small Town Idaho Life. 
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