A book with a storage compartment

We’ve all seen those old movies where the main character has a secret compartment in the bookcase. I always wanted to be able to tug on a book and have a secret passageway open up for me. How cool would it be to have a secret place to store your most precious things where no one would ever find them?

While I can’t show you how to make a book into a latch that opens a secret door, I can show you how to make a secret storage compartment that no one will ever find.

book with a storage compartment - drifter and the gypsy blog

What you need is an old book, craft glue, a knife, a paint brush and a piece of cardboard.

book with a storage compartment - drifter and the gypsy blog

1. Pop down to your local book or thrift store and pick up a book. You want to choose a book that is relatively thick so that your compartment will be deep enough to hide things in. Ensure it is a hardcover book.

2. Open the book to just after the title page. Using a paintbrush, paint a liberal amount of craft glue around the edge of the remaining pages. Place something heavy on the book (leaving the first few pages open) to keep all the glued pages together firmly as they dry. Repeat as many times as required until all the pages are stuck together firmly.

3. Take the cardboard and cut out the shape you want your compartment to be. Leave at least 2 – 3 cm from the edges to ensure they stay stuck.

4. Place the template onto the pages and press down. Using the knife, cut around the template, you should be able to cut around 10 pages at a time. Remove the pages as you go, after a few cuts you won’t need the template any more, you can use the previous cuts as a guide. Cut until you are about 1cm of the book from the back of the book.

book with a storage compartment - drifter and the gypsy blog

5. Neaten up any rough edges and then apply a few coats of glue to the inside edges and backing page to seal. Allow to dry completely before using.

book with a storage compartment - drifter and the gypsy blog

And there you have it! Who would guess there was a secret compartment hidden away on your bookshelf?

book with a storage compartment - drifter and the gypsy blog

Bonus points for what kind of book you choose: go with a book you would actually read so that it blends in with the rest on your shelf or choose something completely out of character so you can always find it!

Dani (DIY Craft contributor)

click here for more diy craft by dani!

    17 Responses to “A book with a storage compartment”

    1. Chloe Moon says:

      I just love compartment books, but they are so hard to find!! Thanks for the tutorial!! I will definitely be making some of these in the future!! =)

    2. Maria says:

      Beautiful! And what a beautiful Dickens novel collection you have there!!

    3. Julia says:

      I love your photos! :) I can just look and look at them and I don’t want to stop. :D

    4. kitsune-kun says:

      ha I found a book like this in an antique store and I totally bought it and kept all my laundry quarters in it at college and everyone thought I was so weird.

    5. lanymphea says:

      thank you so much for this lesson. i want to try to make a olympia le-tan. this will definitely help me :)

    6. Samantha says:

      This would be a fun and fairly simple craft! and hold WAY more character than the store bought kind ♥

    7. I’ve always wanted to do this….and even thought about pulling it off for my bridesmaid gifts, but I didn’t want to ruin the pretty vintage books. Maybe if I find a random book I don’t care about, I’d feel better about cutting the pages out :) xo

    8. Tian says:

      This is so cool! Thanks for sharing. :)


    9. tiffany says:

      such an easy how to.

      i actually got one of those secret compartment books for Christmas this past year. you can totally tell its a box though, but i dont mind since its got a photo of the Eiffel tower on it.
      but now that i’ve read your tutorial, i think i might make some of my own. :)

    10. Genna says:

      Love this idea. Seems simple enough :)

    11. daria says:

      I just did this a few weeks ago :) I went for 3 smaller compartments, which took forever, but looked pretty cool in the end!

    12. Charlotte says:

      Such a clever idea! Definitely going to try this. Xx


    13. Brittany says:

      This is JUST what I have been looking for! Thank you! Can’t wait to make one :)

    14. Allison says:

      Love the idea! I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time but I’ve been struggling with which book to murder.

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