book safe.

Several years ago, a coworker mentioned that it was really easy to make a book safe, i.e. a book that looked like a regular book when it was on the shelf, but would open to reveal a hidden compartment. I looked up some instructions on the internet, discovered it really was easy, and made my first book safe. It looked terrible, but that's how it goes with first-time crafting. The first one always ends up a little goofy. As long as it's on the shelf, it looks fine - just one more book in my house. When you take it off the shelf, though, you might notice how the pages are oddly gapped, as if they were glued to each other when the book was not quite in the closed position. But it still works, and inside you would find my passport, a very small Snoopy notebook, and a wad of cash. Depending on the thickness of the wad of cash, this book is sometimes the single most valuable item in the house.

You can understand why I'm not showing you a picture. Plus, it really is a shoddy piece of work.

Not to be deterred, or perhaps in denial, I made another book safe to give to a friend. I remember that it came out slightly better than my first attempt, but it was still rough. But because I have high self-esteem and understanding friends, I sent it anyway. Maybe she still has it on her shelf, where she stashes an old love letter, a keychain, and a two dollar bill. Or maybe she tossed it into the street, where someone else picked it up and noticed that it was badly constructed, but definitely good enough for something that was found on the street.

I had given up on book safes, because it seemed like I was terrible at making them. Until a couple weeks ago, when Josh purged from his library an old book that was mediocre in the writing but rather lovely in the binding. It was a good size for a book safe, and it was the kind of book that a curious browser would not pull off the shelf to flip through. I saved it from the Goodwill pile by putting it in the pile of books to be ripped apart.

Guys, I was so careful. Previously, I had used a box cutter to cut out the pages, but this time, I went with my trusty exacto knife, which had seen me through so many difficult wedding-related craftwork. And I cut fewer pages at a time, decreasing the incidence of ragged edges. Then finally the glue step, which had always been my problem area before. I have to confess that it was still problematic this time, but again not terrible. Definitely still good enough to pick up off the street, and possibly even good enough to fish out of the free bin on the curb (or maybe that's worse? I haven't thought through this ratings system very well).

I was looking for a good tutorial to share with you, so that you too could make a shoddy first attempt. I don't know where I got the instructions before. I didn't look them up when I made the second and third safes, since I remembered the instructions. However, I really should have, because I found a tutorial that seems to use a much better gluing method that I was going with, reducing the weird gapped page problem my creations exhibit. I have not personally tried this new method, but as soon as I find another book worth hollowing out, you bet I'm gonna.

Book Safe Tutorial

But this one is for my niece, who graduated from high school this week and is college-bound in the fall. Every college student should have a little hidey-hole, where she can keep things secret from prying roommates and nosy RAs.

She won't be able to hide anything from her aunt, though. Or anyone who reads her aunt's blog.

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