Hollow Book 

Creating book boxes is fairly simple and results in a wonderful place to keep favorite trinkets and important mementos, as well as a way to upcycle old books you have laying around the house. While you can create a simple rectangular hollowed out space in the pages, you can also play around with fun shapes like hearts or stars. 


  • Hardcover book

  • X-acto knife or box cutter

  • Craft glue 

  • Paint brush

  • Saran wrap 


Preparing the Book

You’ll first want to find a hardcover and sturdy book to use, try to choose one that you don’t need anymore. Depending on how thick your book is, you’ll want to choose how deep you want to make the box. To alter the thickness, change the amount of ‘free pages” at the beginning of the book, that is, pages that won’t be cut into. 

You’ll first want to apply glue to the outside edges of your book, as this will make the pages firmer and easier to cut into. Cover the front cover and first few pages, as well as the back cover, in saran wrap or other material to protect it from glue. 

Once these parts are covered, create a mixture of about half water and half glue, and begin brushing this on the outside edges of the book. Place a heavy object on top of the book and let dry for about 15-20 minutes. Wash your brush right away to prevent the glue from drying on it.

After this time has elapsed, you can begin cutting your shape! Leave the saran wrap on, as we’ll be using glue again later. 


Creating the Shape

For the glued pages that we’ll cut our shape into, trace your shape onto the first page. Then, simply use a box knife or x-acto knife and begin cutting out this shape. You’ll only be able to cut through a few pages at a time, so as you continue, simply use the hollowed out pages on top as a guide. 

This process may be time consuming, but the slower and more carefully you do this, the better your product will be. 


Reinforcing the Box

Once you have all your pages cut out and can see the back cover from the hollowed out shape, this is when you’ll begin using your glue to reinforce the pages once again, this time, on the inside.

Use a paint brush and carefully spread glue onto the inside edges of the hollowed out shape. Weigh down the book again and let the glue dry. Check your progress after 15-20 minutes and add more coats as necessary. 


Finishing Up

After you’re finished, you can customize the box however you like! You can add felt to the bottom of the box to spruce it up, or even create “shelving” just with some glue and small pieces of wood.



PO Box 213

Clinton, NY 13323

Located at:

9 1/2 East Park Row

The mission of the Kirkland Art Center is to educate children and adults, to advocate for artists and the arts, and to engage the community in a range of cultural experiences and opportunities.

Business Office Hours:

Tuesday - Friday 10:00am - 5:00pm

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