Secret Book Compartment

How to Make a Secret Compartment in a Book

Secret compartments are not only fun for the secretive aspect, but they can also be very helpful when you need to keep valuables hidden away. A book is one of several items in your house that you can adapt to have a secret compartment. Some methods are easier than others, and so the best method will depend upon DIY skills.

The first time I made a book hollow, I didn’t bother looking at a tutorial and I failed. Not that I can’t use my DIY book hollow – I can put stuff inside, but it’s not pretty. It’s really a simple project so I thought I wouldn’t need to read any how-to’s, but if you want your secret compartment to look neat and really secure then I recommend you read this tutorial. :)

Secret Book Compartment

This would also be useful if you’re planning to make a DIY book clock.

Now find a hardbound book that wouldn’t look suspicious among your book collection – if you’re into sci-fi, choose a sci-fi book to make this project with – and let’s start!

Click on any image to start lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox.8-)

You’ll need these materials:

  • Hardbound Book
  • White Glue
  • Tape
  • Plastice Wrap/Bags

And these tools:

  • Craft Knife (with extra blades)
  • Metal Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Paintbrush


Secret Book CompartmentTo start, determine how much of the book you want to seal.  Leave 4-10 of the first pages free.

Secret Book CompartmentYou do not want the glue to stick to the front, back and purposely free pages, so wrap the plastic around the front/ free pages.

Secret Book CompartmentAnd then tape them tight. (Glue won’t stick to the t-shirt shopping bags, and since they are plentiful, they make a good repurpose object for this part of the project). Repeat with the back page.

Secret Book Compartment

Secret Book CompartmentHold all of the rest of the pages together and using the paint brush spread the white glue along the three sides of the edges that are usually free.  When dry this will make these pages a solid unit.

Secret Book CompartmentClose the book and pile a bunch of heavy stuff on your closed book and let it dry 12+ hours.

Secret Book CompartmentOnce the glue is dry, open the book to the solid area. I wanted the hole in the book to fit the case my pearls reside in, so I traced all the way around that case.  You can just mark a rectangle that is 1 inch from the 4 edges of the book.

Secret Book Compartment Secret Book CompartmentNext, using the metal ruler and the craft knife, run the sharp tip of the knife along the ruler edge, following the lines.  The hardest part of this is getting the corners nice and clean.  You will cut only cut 4-5 pages at a time.  When cutting a 500-600 page book this means that this is time consuming project.  Go ahead, and pause for a drink, or something to eat.  Do it while you are watching your favorite TV show or listening to your favorite music.

Secret Book CompartmentDo not cut clear thru to the bottom. You need a solid surface for the bottom.

Secret Book CompartmentI chose to glue the inside edges of my hollow book, therefore I chose to reuse the t-shirt bags.  Let it dry again.  You do not have to do this.

Secret Book Compartment

And you’re done! You now have a nice secret compartment to hide your valuables!

Thanks to craftknowitall for this great tutorial!



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