Saturday, July 13, 2013

DIY: Book Safe/Clutch

Ever since I saw this DIY by Erica from Caught on a Whim, I have been wanting to make it. I also saw something similar at Top Hat*, a boutique with cool knick knacks from around the world, in the Lower East Side for $70, so I'd say that it's definitely worth at least attempting to DIY.

While I wanted to make Erica's Nerdy Chic Book Clutch, I was definitely a big ol' sloth and went with the Book Safe, which i figure you could use as a clutch if I wanted.

Here's what I used:

  • Hardcover book from a thrift store
  • 1 sponge brush
  • Regular modge podge
  • 1 thick plastic bag or waxed paper
  • Utility Knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Folder
I was lucky and found a hardcover book in very good condition for $2. I meant to read it before I started cutting it up, but well...

Step 1: Measure!
Measure the outer edges out. I went for 1" on each side (1-1/4" on one side on accident, but I just went with it), mark out where you want to hollow out the book.

Step 2: Cut!
Use the utility knife to cut along the lines.

Step 3: Trace, Cut, Repeat
Trace the inside of the cut you just made so you know where the make the cut for the next several layers. Alternatively, I created a template to place down to cut along. I actually found that a combination of the two techniques worked best for me.

Step 4: Glue!
Once you have reached the desired depth, modge podge the bottom few pages down, using a very thin layer. Modge podge is water based and will warp your pages if you are not too careful. It also dries quite quickly so you'll want to work swiftly.

Step 5: Place Waxed Paper
Place a piece of thick plastic or waxed paper (I suggest wax paper or a non-colored bag. some color transferred onto my top sheet. oops) in between the last page full page and the first page with a cut-out.

Step 6: Glue Some More!
Close the book and paint a thin layer of glue along the edges of the book from the waxed paper down. (You can totally glue the top part as well, I just decided to leave those loose.) Repeat 3-4 times until it seems nice and sturdy. Don't forget to glue the edges of the hollowed out part of the book, too! Erica suggested sanding it before gluing. I may or may not do this, depending on how lazy I feel.

What do you think?

With a business card holder I use as a wallet & a bit of chocolate :)
And that leaves just enough space for a pen and my phone!

End Note:
So I ended up with a bunch of paper from when I hollowed out my book and it seems to be a waste to just recycle them. Does anyone have any ideas of what I can make this these guys? I love the old school look of the paper and would love to do something with them!


*Online boutique here:


  1. This looks fantastic! I'm so excited you gave this project a go. The book you chose has such a great cover. I really love your trace, cut, repeat method. I'll need to do that the next time I make one too! :)

    1. Thanks! I totally chose this book by the cover, but I think in this case, that's okay ;)