A while back I bought a couple of hard-cover books at the Goodwill to make into hollow book boxes. More details on the books I picked out can be found here. Though I think my efforts started off as a perfect “what not to do when making a hollow book” tutorial, I eventually figured it out, and the books turned out great.
What I started doing first was gluing pages together one at a time, starting at the back of the book. After about 25 pages or so, I decided that was going to take waaaaaaay too long, so I just started painting with Elmers glue along the outside of the pages of the closed book. But when you do it, you should make sure to put a piece of plastic between the cover and the rest of the pages so as not to glue your book shut. I actually caught this one before the glue dried, so it was ok, but using a bit of plastic would prove to be a well-thought-out “I’m being proactive” step. Also, if you’re thinking about lining your book with something or putting some kind of clasp on it to keep it closed, don’t glue the last page to the back cover just yet; slide a piece of plastic between the last page and the back cover. And if you want to line the bottom of the box with the title page or something, this is also a good thing to pull that page out before you glue all the pages on the outside. I did ok salvaging the title page, but again, it might have looked a bit nicer if I had thought it all the way through before gluing. I made two books: the first one using basic Elmers glue, and the second one using mod podge, and they both came out fine. You’ll eventually need the mod podge to finish the inside though, so you’ll need to have some on hand for later steps anyway.
So after you glue or mod podge the heck out of the outside (with the plastic in place first, of course), then comes the waiting part. Put something really heavy on top of it and leave it until it’s dry. Overnight would definitely do it, but if you’re impatient like me, a few hours might be ok.
Then comes the fun part: the cutting. You’ll need a small exacto knife and maybe a box cutter too. I used both, but you could get it all done with just the exacto. Use a ruler and mark about 3/4 inches from the outside of the book on all sides. Take your exacto knife and start cutting into the pages and removing them a few at a time. It will take a long time to do this, so be patient. Keep going until you get all the way through to the last page, but be careful not to cut through into the back cover.
Once you cut all the pages out, slide your title page under the cut pages but on top of the back cover and glue it down. Glue the cut pages onto your title page and let it dry. Then, you can mod podge the inside of the box with a thick layer. Leave it open to let it dry completely on the inside, and you’re done!
Here’s how mine turned out. Not too bad, I think!
Anyone else ever attempted making a hollow book have any other tips to share?