Altered Book Safe

Altered Book Safe

This book safe is a great way to hide things on your bookshelf or in your school bag or locker.

What you need

1 Hard cover book
Craft Knife
Velvet or felt
White craft Glue
Sponge brush


Take a hard covered book that is at least 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) thick to provide you with enough depth to store items in it.

Open the front cover and turn over a few pages so you are about 10-20 pages into the book. Secure the pages with a rubber band or paper clip. This will prevent them getting in your way.

Take a ruler and measure a rectangle leave a border of about 1/2 inch (1.5cm) from the outside edge. Mark the rectangle with a pencil.

Next take your white craft glue and add a little water to it to make it thinner and easier to spread.

Start from the back of the book and glue each page down including the hard back of the book with a few dabs of the glue around the edges. Remember we will be cutting the middle of all the pages away so keep the glue to the outside. Make sure you keep the pages flat as you glue.

Glue all the pages until you get to the page with the rectangle drawn on it. Then glue that page down also.

Allow the book to dry. Add some heavy weight to keep the pages flat whilst drying.

Once dried use your craft blade to cut out the rectangle.

You can press down hard with the craft knife to cut multiple pages at a time. Keep doing this till you reach the bottom. Leave a few pages on the bottom and make sure you do not cut through the hard back cover on the bottom.

Take your felt or velvet and line the square by gluing it into place. Finish off the edges with some ribbon or binding.

Add 2 pieces or ribbon to the front and back of the book so you can tie it to keep the book closed.

Book safe closed


  1. I love this idea. I have several boxes of outdated textbooks. No one wants them. It is even hard to find places that will take them to recycle. I would try to recycle material for the inside from old clothing and possibly even make a book cover to add another dimension. Great idea! I’m always seeing old books at yard sales and our library sells their old books as a fundraiser for the library. The money goes to a great cause and by recycling the book into the book safe it’s not going to a landfill.

  2. Thanx – that’s just fabulous!


  3. I have always wanted to make one!
    Now i can, since a second hand book store sells books cheap.

  4. I made one of these And turned it into a “book” shelf. With all the pages that I cut out I was looking for something else to make. I don’t want to just waste those pages. Any ideas?

  5. I found that after a couple hours of gluing, there should be a quicker way of doing this.
    I started on another book. I marked my template box, I used a ruler as a guide and cut through
    The pages first. After I got all the pages cut out, I hot glued the inside and put down my fabric.
    Hopefully this will help those of you who have less patience like me lol πŸ™‚

  6. Cool!

  7. I got some Readers Digest books like the one in the photo above for free. The thrift store was going to throw them into the trash. I think reusing them is better than the landfill.

  8. that would be so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but i don’t have any books that would be worth cutting up…

  9. This looks like a good project, but ruining a book would be terrible.

  10. What a clever idea! I think I’ll make this for my niece for Christmas. She’ll be going to college next year and living in a dorm, so I can see this coming in very handy! πŸ™‚ Thanks for posting!

  11. I own a used bookstore and have been trying to find ways to recycle those books that I can not sell, books that are donated b/c the pages are ripped or the covers are damaged. This is a fantastic plan. Destroying a book is sacrilege to me, but giving a book a new life, I am perfectly fine with.

  12. i love this idea! it took me some time to make, but it was worth it!!!!!

  13. Working on one right now, the book was a freebie from the libary, an old medical tomb that is way out dated, so no worries about messing up a good book. The cutting was a big pain in the tush, but other than that it is turning out great!

  14. Doing something like this to make a cover for my e-reader.
    I do altered books so I have an existing cover from an orphaned book purchased at the thrift store. I’ve altered it and will place a glued block of paper from a sketch pad I got from Michaels.
    If you don’t want to use your personally owned books, hit the Thrift Stores, crafters!!!
    : )

  15. I’ve tried this before, but I failed miserably…. this one looks so nice! Maybe I’ll give it another try.
    The only problem is I have no books that I could possibly do this to.

  16. oraclelady says

    This is spectacular!!! I’ve always wanted a book safe, now I can have one!!! πŸ™‚
    For those of you who could “never do this to a book”, don’t. Leave this idea to those of us who have dozens+ books on our shelves that will never be read by anyone. It’s not like taking a book from my own collection to make a safe will make books obsolete.
    I love this!!!

  17. crazyhorse2997 says


  18. this is an awsome idea!!! ive always wanted to do this. and to the person talking about wasting a good book its not wasting it if you have already read it,and hey who said it had to b a good book??????

  19. i used to buy little card board ones from michaels when i was a kid and decorate them as if it wasnt obvious what they were lol.

    thanks for these instructions, now i can make the all grown up version.

  20. saiyidahdah says

    neat, a very nice way if someone wants to give a surprise to someone else. but its kinda hard to find hard cover books that are vintage looking here.

  21. I’m making one for a friend for her birthday and putting candy and a gift card in it! It’s a great way to recycle old books that would be thrown away anyway!

  22. My dad gave me a ton of RD Condensed books that he found in my grandparents’ place. I had no idea what to do with them. I was going to throw them away until I saw this. What a great gift for all of the grandchildren!!A gift from their grandparents!Amazing

  23. this is a really good idea but who would risk a good book.NOT ME!!!!!

  24. I think this is a marvelous idea. I worked for a library and when books stayed in our book sale pile too long (years), we had to toss them in the garbage, so there are books that just get trashed. This is a great way to give those books new life!

  25. I have 3 books I’m planning on doing this 2. I’ve started on one but got tired out from trying to cut through it. I say if you have the books and you want to do this, do it. if you find a book in the used book store, do it. library cards are free.

  26. I agree with purplemittens. It is a shame to do that to a book no matter how bad iit is. We show cherish all books because with computer all the time books will be obsolete. So keep your books and read. Bookworm

  27. I really want to try this!! but doesn’t it take a while to glue all of the pages down?

  28. hehehe a new place to hide my candy πŸ˜€

  29. Good rating because of not needing a lot of materials.

  30. Yeah i do these all the time to readers digest books. when i glue the pages i just do the outside edge with 60% glue 40% water. then put lots of weight on it to keep the air bubbles out. alot less work if you plan to do multipul books.

  31. Kool! like in the movies.

  32. What a fantastic idea!! I am so going to try and make this! But make sure you use a crap book but it has to have a good cover because you can see it.

  33. There are tons of used books, especially Reader’s Digest Condensed, at thrift shops for 50 Cents. So don’t lament the loss of “books” so much. This is a great craft and a handy little safe.

  34. I think its a great idea!

  35. Did this when I was a kid, my daughter now wants to since she found mine! Recycling instead of tossing!

  36. Did this when I was a kid, and my daughter now wants to do one since she found mine! Don’t think I had instructions, just did it. Just use books from a flea market or garage sale!

  37. what fun!

  38. The books! It seems such a waste of lovely books! Even if they are awful. It seems like a crime and such an abuse of literary works.

  39. purplemittens says

    They sell these at the store, now i can make my own for cheap. Thanks

  40. Shudder, why would any do this to a book! A Book that could be shared with people without books.

  41. I loved it.

  42. so smart !!! from sue…

  43. What an awesome idea!

  44. the most unique gift Idea!!! Thanks for shareing I can’t wait to try!!

  45. I’ve allways wanted one of these!

  46. flowerchild says

    what a great idea,will start one today,thanks

  47. Made a few of these to give gift cards to the bookstore. Loved by all!

  48. i luv it!

  49. Think this would be an awesome way for a guy to propose. Get a book the girl loves or a book about marriage–it would be awesome if it was the book “Men are from Mar’s, Women are from Venus”

  50. Great way to recycle and give old books a new life.

  51. What a fantastic idea, they would make great Christmas gifts

  52. I made 6 of these for gifts all in a two day period, so inexpensive and cute, My friends loved them!!
    Thanks again!!!

  53. I Likey This one a vvvery lot

  54. Great for sneaking things into my room! lol.

  55. Kandiegirl56847 says

    This project is slighty bad slight good.

  56. I have tons of books i dont want and know i know wat 2 do wit them!!!

  57. Love it!

  58. I really like this idea

  59. awesome — I’m going to try this right now!!

  60. this is really cool it helped me hide my secret stash of candy in my room away from my brothers!

  61. Just what I needed!

  62. this is such a awsome idea

  63. CraftBits (Shellie Wilson) says

    Gluing the Edges only can lead to air being trapped between the pages and it bubbling

  64. You could also just glue the edges instead of one page at a time… or is that what you meant??

  65. truleelee says

    I may alter the idea a little, but I’m sure I’m going to try to make this.

What do you think of this project? Let us know!