Thursday, 16 February 2012

Fun with Paper: Secret Hollow Books

I made this secret book as an inexpensive alternative for a gift box for my friend's birthday. I also made her a brooch, so this was a good way to present it and also to give a little something extra.

How to make:

Things you'll need: PVA glue mixed with a bit of water (to about a ratio of 70% glue to 30% water) in a plastic pot or container, paintbrush, pencil, ruler, and a craft knife.

Step 1: First off, find a book from a charity shop, on Freecycle, or rummage around in your loft or garage for unwanted literature. Choose a hard back for a sturdy base. I chose a book that also had some illustrations, this can work quite nicely.

Step 2: Select how many pages from the front of the book you want to keep in tact. Select the page you want to be the first one cut in the secret hollow stack and save that page for later. I chose to save a page with an illustration to make it pretty.

Step 3: Hold firm the pages that will be cut (apart from the page saved in step 2) and coat the outside edges of the stack with the glue mix using the paintbrush. Coat with enough glue so that it really soaks into the edges of the page. TIP - When I was first making this book I thought it was best to coat each page individually to make sure it was bloody well stuck, but this wastes time and make the pages warp slightly with too much glue. The pages stick solid enough by just doing the outside edges.

Step 4: Allow the glue to dry. Put pressure on the pages by popping something heavy on top so the pages bind flat. Make sure you use a spacer so that what you're using as a weight, or the other pages, do not get stuck too! (a few pencils laid flat on top will do)

Step 5: Once the glue is dry it's time to mark out the border you want to cut out. Use a ruler and mark with a pencil. I used a 2.5 cm border, but you can chose any width or fancy shaped border.

Step 6: Using a craft knife, cut around your drawn border. BE CAREFUL OF SHARP THINGS!!!! This might take a while and you'll have to remove a small stack of cut out paper at a time. To get straight smooth edges you might have to take a little time to get rid of some little clumps of paper that just don't want to come out! Cut down to what ever depth you like. You can go right to the end and get to the back hard cover, I decided to stop at an illustration page.

Step 7: Coat the inside edges of the hollowed out area with the glue mix, again making sure the glue soaks into the page edges and again put pressure onto the stack while it's drying. (Don't forget to use your spacers again to avoid unwanted stickiness!)

Step 8: Now is time for the final page! Paint glue onto the borders of your cut out stack and stick the page you have set aside to be the first of the cut pages down. TIP - Don't put glue down on the border edge nearest the spine as this doesn't allow the paper to stretch slightly when the book is opening and closing and so can make the page crease up.

Step 9: Once the glue is dry, cut down through the first page to complete the hollowed out area.

And that's it! Start hiding your special secret things!

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