DIY: Make Your Own Book Safe

Updated: Aug 01, 2015 11:27
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Traditional book safe

Whether you’ve got some special personal items or you just have noisy-ass roommates, everyone likes to have a secret hiding spot. There’s something terribly delicious about having a secret anyhow, but a secret hiding spot? Well, that’s just aces. The Book Safe appeals to everyone from hard-core Nancy Drew fans to those who just need a stash for their stash. (I found these instructions in a book I’m holding hostage from the library called 'œDon’t Throw It Out.') It’s relatively simple, and how much fun will it be knowing Grandma’s earring and your whiskey funds are safe in your former Trig textbook?
Here’s what you need:

– A book (duh), at least 2 inches deep
– A ruler
– A pencil
– A craft knife
– A glue gun and sticks
– Cardboard and some felt.

While the book is shut, mark the pages about an inch up from the back cover. Open the book at the inch point, then trace out the size and shape you want your hiding place to be. If you’re going with a traditional square/rectangle, you’ll need about 2 inches inside the perimeter.

Gun Safe – Looks cool, but it’ll be tough to cut out.

Now start cutting out those pages '“ but only 10 or 12 at a time or it’s gonna get all mucked up. Peel out the centers, trace the outline underneath, and cut and continue. You can use the cardboard to slide underneath if it helps, and it’s going to be handy when you get to the last thirty pages or so. Next measure and cut something to line your compartment '“ either cardboard or felt (but felt feels nicer). Use the glue gun to keep the felt '“ and the pages '“ in place.

Flask safe? Now we’re talkin’!

Glue the last page to the back cover so everything stays stable and let it dry. If you’re feeling ambitious, use a ribbon or glue a clasp to keep the book shut '“ although that might give away it’s secret purpose.

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Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

A freelance writer, blogger and poet based in San Francisco, Amber has written for PC World, InfoWorld, and the 16th & Mission Review. She has performed at City Hall, Litquake, the Brainwash, 16th & Mission, BlueSix, and SFSU among other places. Amber is also consummate fan of swearing, organizational freak, yoga practitioner, music geek, caffeine addict, and tattoo enthusiast who enjoys platform shoes, making out, thumb wrestling and fighting the good fight. She owns a bicycle named Gretel, a motor scooter named Elroy and a cat named Simon. She can be found in various virtual locations all over your interwebs.


  1. June 30, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I was taught a different technique folks might be interested in: if you have access to a coping saw, you can drill (or punch) access points and saw your cutout out. Your edges will be smoother and it’s much less handwork. You would also sew the mass of the text block together, rather than depend on the lining to keep the pages together.

  2. […] do not stash it in your cigarettes, because that’s the first place they check. Perhaps consider a book safe. Share and […]