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Book Crafts

Updated on April 6, 2015

Crafting with Books

Books may not be the first thing to come to mind when you think of crafting, but book crafts can be fun and when you're done, you'll have a unique item like none other.

Books can be made into purses, secret storage containers (see photo here of a book safe), and wall hangings to name just a few fun crafts made from books.

Photo of a hollow book, which is also known as a book safe. Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

Make a Hollow Book -- Book Safe - Use it to store secret items

A hollowed out book that can be used for secret storage.
A hollowed out book that can be used for secret storage.
The book looks just like a book!
The book looks just like a book!
Book storage boxes are fun to make and even little kids can help. See instructions below.
Book storage boxes are fun to make and even little kids can help. See instructions below.

Save Old Books!

Rescue old books that are falling apart.

Make book crafts.

Book storage box.
Book storage box.

How to Make a Hollowed Book - Book Storage Box - Book Safe

Check out the step by step photos online using the links below for ideas

This book craft is easy but how the book looks in the end will depend on your skill level and patience in cutting out the hollow space in the book pages. Children can help with some of this book craft. The cutting should be done by an adult.

Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Supplies needed: Book you are finished reading, three or more clothespins or binder clips, decoupage medium/glue (like Mod Podge brand), paintbrush, Xacto knife or other craft knife, ruler, pencil

1. Begin by wiping off the book, removing any dust. Be sure to wipe the edges of the book.

2. Open the book leaving several pages at the front so when someone opens the book, it still looks like a book. Use the clothespins or clips to secure the pages to the front cover.

3. Place an old cloth like a towel on the work surface (not paper since the Mod Podge can stick to paper but the cloth will release easily without leaving paper on the book cover).

4. Open the Mod Podge and begin painting the three edges of the open book with Mod Podge. This is to hold the pages together. Wipe off any glue/decoupage medium from the back book cover.

5. Place a cloth on top of the stack of pages and set a couple of bricks or other heavy item to keep the book pages as they dry. Let the glue dry completely.

6. Decide on the design of the opening. You can make a small square in the center or a larger rectangle or a rectangle with a curved top as shown in this photo.

7. Use a ruler and pencil to mark the shape on the top book page.

8. Begin cutting into the book pages with the craft knife. This is tricky so please do not let children do this part. The sharper the knife, the better. Saw the pages to the desired depth a few pages at a time (leave some pages on bottom; do not go all the way to the back book cover). Carefully remove the book page shape and clean up the edges with the craft knife to remove bits of paper that are not cut all the way.

9. Now apply the Mod Podge or decoupage glue to the edges of the book where you cut to hold them together. For a cleaner look, try not to get glue on the bottom page that is exposed. If desired, glue scrapbook or other decorative paper to the bottom of the book opening. Let the glue dry.

Put the book safe on your bookshelf or give it away! Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

Book Safes on eBay - Great book crafts as gifts

When you want a unique gift but don't have time to make it yourself, one of these hollowed books is just the ticket. Use it to store an iPad, valuables, jewelry, money, whatever you have that needs to be hidden!

A Book Safe in the Movie "Resistance" - Novel by Anita Shreve

I read the novel "Resistance" by Anita Shreve. It's excellent, like all of her books. I recently watched the movie, and in it, there's a book safe used by a woman, a member of the French Resistance to store items.

She's a radio operator in Occupied Belgium who helped the French during World War II.

Links to How to Make Book Storage Boxes

More instructions and photos for making your own book safe or book storage box!

Use Book Spines

Laminate the spines of old books

to make a bookmark.

Make Collage with Book Pages and Book Illustrations - Click a small image to enlarge it.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Art collage made with book pages and illustrations. All of of these photos by Peggy Hazelwood.Cut out illustrations from a children's dictionary.Circles punched from a dictionary page.Art collage using pictures from books.Use book spines to make bookmarks. Laminate them to help them hold up longer.
Art collage made with book pages and illustrations. All of of these photos by Peggy Hazelwood.
Art collage made with book pages and illustrations. All of of these photos by Peggy Hazelwood.
Cut out illustrations from a children's dictionary.
Cut out illustrations from a children's dictionary.
Circles punched from a dictionary page.
Circles punched from a dictionary page.
Art collage using pictures from books.
Art collage using pictures from books.
Use book spines to make bookmarks. Laminate them to help them hold up longer.
Use book spines to make bookmarks. Laminate them to help them hold up longer.

Use Books for Packaging

Shred old book pages

(use books that are falling apart)

to use to stuff gift baskets or for packaging materials.

Make Your Own Books, Papercrafting, Bookbinding

Use book pages for crafts.

Cut out illustrations and punch text page circles

to use in other crafts.

Papercrafts, Book Binder, Laminator - Get your book craft on

Use Book Covers to Make Collage - Click a small image to enlarge it.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Book cover as the base of a collage.These photos by Peggy Hazelwood.Back of book cover.
Book cover as the base of a collage.These photos by Peggy Hazelwood.
Book cover as the base of a collage. These photos by Peggy Hazelwood.
Back of book cover.
Back of book cover.

Use old book covers, front and back, as the base

for wall hangings and art collages.

Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

Care to comment on these book crafts?

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    • profile image

      kathryn-gillespie 5 years ago

      I have a book safe and love it! (bought it long ago)

    • Stacy Birch profile image

      Stacy Birch 5 years ago

      I love your crafts and ideas, they are very New Worldy and Steampunky. I know neither of those are actually words, but there is nothing else I can use to describe your awesome art. Yes I will not use the word craft, this is beautiful art.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Someday I just may make a book safe. It would be pretty hard to find among my thousands of books.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Returned to bless and feature this creative lens on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012. Hugs

    • profile image

      klaird 5 years ago

      Book safes remind me of old tv shows where they always hid their valuables in some book on the shelf. I love books and have a hard time letting go of them. Love to see all these uses for them. I've featured this lens in a new section about craft ideas from old books on my "101 Craft Ideas for Adults" lens. Love all your craft ideas!

    • VSP profile image

      VSP 5 years ago

      I really like the book safe idea. Will post on my http://www.facebook.com/HomeschoolPreschoolthruHig... page tomorrow.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      A book safe is a great idea, most people would never think to look inside a book to find stored items.

    • profile image

      burntchestnut 6 years ago

      Great ideas - I'm going to try some of them.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I've always wanted to try making a book safe, but haven't yet found the right book with the right cover. Enjoyed reading about these various book crafts.

    • curious0927 profile image

      curious0927 6 years ago

      Love, Love, Love this Lens. Thanks...book marked and Angel blessed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Very nice book crafts lens with great ideas. Wow!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 6 years ago

      I like the old book safe idea. Great instructions.

    • franstan lm profile image

      franstan lm 6 years ago

      Loved the instructions of how to make a storage box out of a book