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Hollow Book Novelty DIY

Updated on August 15, 2015
PAINTDRIPS profile image

Denise has been studying and teaching art and painting for 40 years. She has won numerous prestigious awards for her art and design.


Useful repurposing of old books

I have always been a "homemade" kind of gal, but these days even more so. We haven't anything to spend on the holidays anymore but that doesn't mean I can't give something. To be honest I got the idea from an article I read some time ago called, Book Care: Repair-Repurposing-Recycling Books. There were some great ideas there, but among them was the idea of hollow books, creating hidden compartments inside old used books. It took a couple of days but it was worth it. I now have hollow books to offer every member of my family as a gift. It is something I'm pretty sure they don't have, a novelty they wouldn't have thought of themselves, and a fun surprise that could be useful to hide money and other valuables in their home.

Hard bound books



Hard Cover Book, old, not valuable to anyone

Xacto knife or box cutter

Ruler and pencil

White Glue

Soft paintbrush

Container for mixing glue 50-50 with water

Dremel Tool (optional)


Step 1 Hard Bound books

Choose an old used book with hard cover. Paperbacks won't hold up as well.

Step 2

Choose a few pages to be left at the beginning of the book, plus one. Cover them with plastic wrap to keep them from being glued.

Plastic Wrap


Step 3 Glue

Mix white glue 50-50 with water and paint the outside edges of the book. This glues all the pages together. Weight the book so the pages stay together while glue is drying.



Step 4 Measure

Measure one half inch in from the edge, top, bottom, side, and spine, on the page you have chosen to begin cutting.



Step 5 Cut

Using a box cutter, Exacto Knife, or Dremel Tool, begin cutting out the pages. This may take a couple hours.

Paint glue mixture over cut pages


Step 6 Glue

When you have reached the desired depth, paint the inside edges and the top page with glue mixture. Place the plus one page on the glue and weight the book again, until dry.

Cut pages


Step 7 Cut one more page

Cut away the inside of the glued extra page. With the cut out, you can glue it to the bottom, if desired.

Step 8 Done

Wrap pretty for friends and family.

Build up the economy and the community


Project for adults only

I love this project. Careful of the sharp tools. Because you have to use sharp tools or even the Dremel Tool, it isn't a good project for children. I have a couple cut fingers to prove it but my family all have gifts. The part I like most about it is that for the most part, no one had one or had even thought of having one before.

My sister opened her book and stared at the title thinking I wanted her to read this book. She looked at me like I was crazy until she opened the book and saw that the pages were missing. Now she stashes her chocolate bars that she hides from the family there. Glad I could help. Until the family figures it out, that is.

Let me know if you liked my project.


Buck and the Preacher, 1972

Preacher's Good Book

Throughout the movie of Buck and the Preacher, starring Sydney Poitier and Harry Belafonte, the preacher is never caught without his Bible. By the end of the movie you see the Bible is hollow and that is where he carries his gun. And he says, "I put my faith in the Good Book!"

I don't think I could bring myself to hollow out a Bible but I thought it was pretty funny anyway.



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    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 4 years ago from Fresno CA

      @lesliesinclair: I like to pick a page about 10 or 12 pages into the book, wrap the cover and 10 or 12 pages with plastic wrap and paint the edges of the rest of the book with glue to begin. Thanks for the question.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Like your directions for a project I've saved books for, but was uncertain how to get started.