Everyone needs a hiding spot sometimes. Whether for money, old letters, important documents, or even contraband. A hollowed out book is the perfect place to store small important objects without having to worry about them being discovered by nosy roommates or parents.
Water, white glue, small paint brush, small cup
ruler, pencil or pen
The most important step is choosing the book you are going to make hollow. Your first instinct might be to choose a book with a fun or interesting title. Or a bright color that stands out. However the last thing you want to do is choose a book that people are likely to pick up off your book shelf and look at. I find that history books work best, or book with boring titles that no one close to you would be interested in reading. Another important thing to consider is how thick the book is. The more pages, the deeper you can make your secret compartment. So choose a book that is thick enough to store what you need it to and also is hardcover. You could do this with a paperback, but there is more of a chance you could accidentally cut all the way through.
The first step is to decide how big and how deep you want your compartment to be. The compartment can be as deep as the whole book, or as shallow as you need it. I would suggest leaving a half inch margin around the entire edge of the book, including the spine, so it stays nice and sturdy. Decide on the first page you want to be cut out and turn to the next one. Draw the outline of the area you want to cut out. You could technically cut out any shape you want but I find it easiest to just stick with a rectangle, especially for your first book. Make a mixture of glue and water, adding enough water to make the glue runny. Hold together all the pages after the first one you want to cut out and use the brush to apply a layer of glue. Close the book and put something heavy on top of it to apply pressure. I also like to put something in between the glued pages and the non-glued ones to keep them from sticking together.
Once the glue has dried (takes about 15-20 minutes) you are ready to start cutting. Using the x-acto knife try to cut the sides of your compartment as vertical as possible to avoid your hole getting wider as it gets deeper. This step takes a long time. Be patient and don’t try to cut through too many layers of paper at a time. The more time you spend on this step the nicer the outcome will be. Once you have cut through to the back of the book, or however deep you want it, apply more of your glue mixture to the inside pages. I also like to apply a second coat to the outside just to be sure they are sticking. Also apply glue to the top rim of the first page you cut through so it sticks to the page before. This page will hide any leftover pen marks below and will be cut out later. Close the book and apply pressure to the top until it completely dries.
When the glue is dry cut out the page that you glued to the first cut page. The glue on the inside might still be a little damp. Let this finish drying, fill your book with whatever you desire, and you are done! A suggestion if you need a really deep hiding place is to glue two or three books together and cut through all of them together.