DIY Time: the Hollow Book

Category : DIY

Thanks to my most recent edition of etsy finds, I realized that I could make my own hollow book. I found instructions online and had everything required, so why not give it a try?

I’m not the world’s greatest crafter—actually, I’m pretty bad at it—so I’m documenting my failure. Or, erm, success. That’s what I mean.


Selecting the book is easy. Not too long ago I impulse bought a leatherbound copy of Atlas Shrugged, but it wasn’t until I got home that I realized it was only part two. And it’s unlikely I’ll track down part one on its own, so the book has been sitting uselessly on my shelf. (At this point, it would have been cheaper to just buy a hollow book from etsy, but that’s not nearly as much fun.)

I start having a complex about the project while wrapping the covers to protect them from the glue. But I’m tough, so I go on. I also line my desk with old book pages, just in case my mod podging gets messy. (What? You don’t happened to have loose signatures in your home?)


I’m ready for you, mod podge.

Of course, after I glue around the perimeter, it has to sit around and dry for twelve hours. So let’s pile some heavy stuff on this thing so the pages will adhere better.


I also find it appropriate to use my other copy of Atlas Shrugged for this pile. And Stephen King, because that book is a monstrosity.

Day two…
Now I start cutting out the pages. The instructions say that I should be able to cut four to five pages at a time, but I manage two. But I’m okay with this. I put on some Mozart (something nice and soothing for when I hate this project later) and take my X-Acto knife to these beautiful pages.

What am I doing?


Minor panic moment. But no turning back now.

About halfway through, this task is difficult and frustrating. But upon examining my X-Acto blade, I discover it’s broken and about as sharp as a butter knife. So I waste ten minutes rummaging through my desk to find replacement blades. Amazing how much easier this is now (and there’s less risk of injuring myself).

Hours pass (in which I switched from Mozart to the Legend of Zelda soundtrack) and I’ve finally cut out an adequate space. And without injury!


See that pile of pages in the back? I envision another project in my future.

As I was slicing out pages, I started glancing at the text. And the story came back to me, and I knew exactly where I wanted to stop—the John Galt speech. Now, the instructions state to not cut all the way through, because you need a nice base. And the speech is sort of near the end, so what better place to stop? I thought it was brilliant.

Look! Success!


In retrospect, I should have glued the ribbon in, but it works either way. It’s not a difficult project, but it’s long and tedious and requires a tremendous amount of patience (and the ability to cut straight lines which, if you check my corners, I do not have). Honestly, unless you have a great urge to make your own, you’re probably better off just buying one. But I can’t say I didn’t have fun with it.