ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Make a Hollow Book

Updated on August 30, 2013

Step by step Hollow Book Construction

A hollow book makes a great gift for many reasons. First, you can give a gift within a gift, providing a surprise after someone is perplexed by the title you selected for them. Second, hollow books are reasonable as a security measure. I live in a city, and I know many people who have been robbed over the years. Sure, we have renter's insurance, but it is a pain to have to replace your personal documents. What robber is going to open every book on your shelf to see if any of them are hollow?

I decided that I wanted to give my Fiancé a hollowed out book for a Christmas present. I knew it was possible to make your own hollow book, and I thought it would be appropriate to write a lens as I went through my construction. This is a simple project which can easily be completed in an afternoon. I hope you enjoy making your own hollow books as much as I did!

Purchase Hollow Books

Not everyone is a do it yourself kind of person. You can always buy a hollow book as a gift. (The advantage to making it yourself is that you can choose a title that applies to the recipient.)

Hollow Book Supplies
Hollow Book Supplies

#1: Assemble Your Materials

You want to make sure you have all of the materials before you start creating your hollow book. The main items you will need are:

The Book - If you are going to create a hollow book, then you need a book to hollow out! I when to a local used book store to search for a thick, hard cover book that would fit my fiancé.

Cutting Apparatus - A box cutter or utility knife would be perfect for this job. You will need something sharp to cut out the inside of the pages.

Glue - Standard white glue will work for this.

Paintbrush - We will water down the glue, and then use the paint brush to apply it to the pages of the book.

Ruler - Any strait edge would work for this task. We want to make lines to define the area where we will hollow the book.

Misc - You will need plastic wrap (to protect parts of the book from glue), a disposable cup to water down the glue, a heavy object (so the book dries flat), a pencil to mark the book, and a place to hide your project!

Protect the Front Cover
Protect the Front Cover

#2: Securing the Outside of the Book

With plastic wrap, select the first few pages of the book, and wrap them up with the front cover. This is to protect these pages so the book will open in the end. (One page will go on top of the book cavity to cover up pencil marks and make it look neater. A few extra pages at the beginning are to make the book seem "real") Tape the plastic wrap to itself so it is secure.

Glue the Book Edges
Glue the Book Edges

#3: Gluing the outside edges of the book

Water down some glue until you have a runny solution (about half water, half glue should work fine). With your paintbrush, paint the glue along the outside edge of the book pages (not the ones that you saved!) This will make the pages stick together so they stay in place when we start cutting.

Close the book (put an additional piece of plastic wrap in between the saved pages and the glued pages if you're nervous about them sticking), place a heavy object on top, and let the glue dry. We're on our way to the hollow book!

Wash the glue out of the brush bristles if you ever want to use it again!

The heavy object helping my book dry straight

The heavy object helping my book dry straight
The heavy object helping my book dry straight
Hollow Book Design
Hollow Book Design

#4: Plan out Your Hollow Area

Now that the edges are mostly dry, you are ready to prepare you cutting area.

Look at your book, and decide what width you think you'd want around the edge of the book. I chose to have a 3/4" border around the hollow opening of the book. Using a ruler, draw lines where you want these edges to be.

You don't want the edges to be too thin, or else you are in danger of cutting through the edge of the book.

Cutting The Hollow Book Hollow
Cutting The Hollow Book Hollow

#5: Start Cutting

Using your ruler/straight edge as a guide, start cutting out the inside of the pages with your box cutter. Only try to cut through a few pages at a time. Eventually your cuts will be deep enough that you won't need to use the ruler as a guide anymore.

Remove the pages from the inside of the book with care. The first round of cuts that I made removed about six pages. After that I found myself removing 1 page at a time even if more were cut. As you get deeper, it gets harder to get the pages out. Therefore, I started cutting the middle of the page to help get them out.

The corners are the hardest part to work around. You may need tweezers to remove any extra little bits.

Stop cutting just before you reach the back cover of the book.

Slow and Steady Makes a Great Hollow Book

Be careful while cutting so you don't stain it red...

Halfway through the pages!

Halfway through the pages!
Halfway through the pages!

The cutting is complete! Now on to the final steps...

The cutting is complete!  Now on to the final steps...
The cutting is complete! Now on to the final steps...
FInal Steps of Hollow Book Construction
FInal Steps of Hollow Book Construction

#6: Glue the Inside of the Hollow Book

Like you did with the outside edges, make a watered down glue solution, and paint this along the 4 edges of your hollowed out book. Don't worry if you get some glue on the top page of the hollowed section, since we are going to attach one of the saved pages on top of the hollowed section as we allow the glue to set.

Remove the plastic wrap from the cover and early pages that you saved. Paint the top of the hollow portion with the glue solution and then carefully close the book so the pages are even. Wait 30 min or so to let the glue set.

Once again, don't forget to wash your your brush!

Don't forget to recycle the pages!

The Hollow is Complete!
The Hollow is Complete!

#7: One Final Cut

Carefully cut the center out of the top glued page. If it looks like things are sticking well, leave it open so the book can finish drying.

If you'd like, you can also use this as an opportunity to coat the inside and outside edges with another coat of glue.

A Homemade Hollow Book
A Homemade Hollow Book

#8: Enjoy your hollow book!

Fill your (now dry) hollowed out book with valuables, surprises or whatever you desire. Place on your bookshelf and enjoy your secret!

Can you tell that this book contains my camera, wallet and keys?

Can you tell that this book contains my camera, wallet and keys?
Can you tell that this book contains my camera, wallet and keys?

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)