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June 11, 2012

DIY Book Box: A Guest Post by Lauren Johnson

Happy Monday! I have a special treat for you today! My dear friend, Lauren, is guest posting. She is fantastically creative and I know that you are going to love her project!

Hello. My name is Lauren and I will be your guest blogger today. Kendra has graciously allowed to come here so I can share a little secret with you.

Just in case you haven’t already heard—Goodwill is a great place to buy books.

Whether you intend those books for reading or crafting (or reading then crafting), I haven’t found a place yet that beats Goodwill for prices. Paperbacks are a sweet 99 cents, while hardbacks are a meager 50 cents more at $1.49. Last time I went on a book binge, I knew exactly where to go. Three paperbacks that would have cost me $38.87 in a bookstore and $25.36 on, I bought for $2.97 at Goodwill. Yes, my book-loving friends, I know. I too wanted to weep with happiness.

Still today is a day not for reading books, but for doing crafty things with them. I’ve put together a little tutorial on making book boxes. You can use them for storage, gifts, or even creative gift packaging.

To start with, you’re going to need a few supplies. The first is a thick-ish hardcover book. I chose to demolish The Memoirs of an Invisible Man, mostly because the jacket art was intriguing and I wanted to leave the jacket on my box.

Grab a ruler, sponge brush, pencil, something heavy—like an iron skillet, an X-Acto knife (I started out with a box cutter, but an X-Acto works better), a cup, glue, and some plastic wrap and you’re good to go. The drill is optional, and I’ll explain what you do with it in a bit.

1. First, you need to decide where you want the hollow of your box to be. Is it to be exposed as soon as you open the cover, like a jewelry box? Or is your box going to be more secretive and force any snoops to flip through some pages before finding what they want? If your book is especially thick, you can even have the hollow start at the halfway point and glue the two chunks of pages separately. I chose to have my box open the first place the book naturally opened. Wherever you decide to cut the hollow, remember to leave the page before the first cutting page free and unglued.

2. Protect the cover and any pages you are not gluing with plastic wrap. Secure wrap with paper clips if needed.

3. Glue the rest of the pages together using a mixture of water and glue (Say about 3/4 glue to 1/4 water. You want the glue just thin enough to really soak into the pages).

4. Place something heavy on top of book while the glue dries. Repeat steps 3 and 4.

5. Using the ruler, mark the dimensions of your box hollow. I measured 1″ margins from all sides.

6. This next step is optional. Drill a hole at each corner of the hollow. Doing this keeps you from having to cut corners, but to be honest I’m not really sure it helped in the long run.

7. Start cutting out the hollow. Keep cutting until you reach the hollow depth you want. I made sure to leave a page at the bottom because I think text looks better than endpaper.

8. Use the glue mixture on the inside edge of the hollow. Do not glue the bottom; it will turn all weird and bubbly.

9. Glue the spare page you plastic wrapped back in Step 1 over the hollow. This covers any drill holes, nicks, and pencil marks you might have made. Use the X-Acto knife and cut out the middle of the spare paper to reveal the hollow.

10. Fill your new book box with nifty things

Thank you for sharing, Lauren! I can’t get over how amazing this is!


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