Making something to store your small treasures in is akin to a pirate burying his treasure. But hiding your treasures in a book is a lot easier than finding the "X" and digging it up. Making a book safe is a very simple project that can be done in a day. This is not a project for children, however, because it involves razor blades (but a child would love to receive this as a gift to hide their own treasure collection in)!
Step 1 - Get Your Book
Go to your local thrift shop or used book store and find an appropriate book. I was lucky when I went to the thrift shop because they were trying to get rid of their overflow and put their books on sale for ten cents apiece. Make sure you get one with a title that works with the rest of your collection. You don’t want the book to stand out on your bookshelf like a sore thumb.
Step 2 - Get Ready to Glue
Cover the front and back covers of the book with plastic wrap. This is to prevent the glue from sticking to the pages. I also took several of the front pages and wrapped them up with the front cover to be extra careful.
Step 3 - Get Your Glue On
Now that the covers are protected with plastic, close the book and hold it at the binding. Make sure the book is closed tight. Brush a coat of glue on the edges of the pages. Some puzzle glue brands come with an applicator inside the bottle, but I find it better to use a soft bristled paint brush since it gets into the grooves of the pages better. You don’t have to glue every page -- just the closed edges.
Place the book on a hard surface and put something heavy on top of it until the glue dries thoroughly (about one to two hours depending on the thickness of the glue). If you have a vise, use that to hold it together while it is drying.
Once the glue is dry, open the book's front cover. Some areas might stick to the plastic but will peel off easily. Check the edges to make sure they are stuck together. If they are, move on to the next step below. If the page edges are not stuck together, apply another coat of glue and place a heavy object on top again. Leave the plastic on the covers because you will be doing more gluing later.
Step 4 - Cut Out the Center
Open the book's front cover and make ruler lines about one inch from each edge on the first page.
Start cutting with your box cutter or Exacto knife along your lines. Only do a couple pages at a time when you first start out. Once you get a little deeper into the opening, it will be safer to cut a little deeper. You will see that you are creating a square "well" within the book. Stop cutting at the depth you would like your well to be. I left about ¼” of pages because I wanted a solid backing (not including the back cover).
When cutting the pages you will find that the corners may get jammed up. Stop every few cuts and clean up the corners. This will be especially important if you want to line the cutout with felt.
Step 5 - Finishing Touches
Now that the well is cut out you will need to glue the inside cut pages, which will be jagged. Apply the glue in the same way that you did to the outside page edges. Once again, place a heavy object on top to press the cut pages together while they dry.
After the inside glue has dried, you can use a piece of felt to line the inside and cover up all those jagged edges. This touch gives it a professional-looking finish.
Now you have a safe to store cash, jewelry, or other important items inside. No one will suspect that the book sitting on your bookshelf is hiding anything.