Make a Book Safe

factory pencil

		 to enlarge imageIf you've ever wished you had a secret hiding place to stash your treasures, then making a book safe is a great way to keep others from finding them. To make one, simply remove a large number of pages from the center section of a hardback book, place the items inside, close and place it on a shelf with other books. Most people won't think to look there for valuables, since they usually are stored out of sight.

Creating a book safe is a good way to reuse an old book and to help save natural resources and landfill space. You can use a textbook that has outdated information, or maybe your parents will give you an old hardback to make this very special hiding place for money, keepsakes, and other treasures. If you wish, decorate the inside cover and end pages.

		 to enlarge imageYou Will Need:

How to:

Click to enlarge image    You'll need a large book that allows you to make an opening at least one-half to one inch deep. Open the book. Leaf through twenty or so pages, and place a rubber band around them and the cover to keep them out of the way while you prepare to remove the center pages on the other side.
Working with a ruler and pencil, draw a rectangle on the page on the right, being careful to stay at least a “ruler's width” away from all edges and the center fold of the book. Keeping the pages flat, have an adult cut out the rectangle using the ruler as a guide. Remove the cut pages, and repeat until you've cut through enough of the book to make a hiding place for your valuables.
  Place several rubber bands around the pages and back cover to keep the book flat and the pages in place. Squeeze some glue into a jar lid or a small container like the kind in which sour cream or cottage cheese is sold. Paint the pages all around the inside of the opening. Allow the glue to dry.
Now add a small amount of water to the glue, and mix. Tear scrap tissue gift wrap or other soft, decorative paper into small pieces. Apply glue to the paper, and fasten it only to the bottom and sides of the hollowed area, being careful to keep it off the top page.
Click to enlarge image Leave the book open for several hours, so that it can dry. Wash the brush with soap and water.

If you'd like to add a personal touch to your book safe, decorate the inside cover or end paper. Some ideas for decorating include tracing your hand with a fine, black marker, filling the shape with designs, and then coloring it with markers or colored pencils.

Another way to decorate is to use rubber stamps to make designs on the blank pages. Color, if you wish. When you're finished, hide your valuables in the book safe, and place it on the shelf with other books.
Click to enlarge image Click to enlarge imageClick to enlarge image

Tips and Tricks:

Watch for book sales at your library, as old books are sold or given away when they become worn or outdated. Buy books at garage sales, or visit Goodwill Industries and the Salvation Army stores to purchase them.

C-clamps can be used to hold the pages in place while cutting the center from the book.

While the hard cover of your book is not recyclable, the pages cut from it are. Just store the paper with other recyclables until time to take everything to the recycling center.

Make book safes to give as presents to friends and relatives. Include something special inside that you've made or collected.

Visit the children's section of the American Library Association to learn about Great Web Sites for Kids.

© 2008 Marilyn J. Brackney (updated 2018)

Volume 20 No. 3

return button
Return to Main Web Page

Return to the main holidays Page
Select this to choose other holiday activities..

yellow number 2 pencil