8.04.2009

French Chic Book Box Tutorial

'When a Book is Not a Book'
It has taken me a long time to finally decide to do a tutorial. I do hope you enjoy it as much as I (and my photographer, Bobby G) did. My neighbor and good friend showed me one of these in a catalog and they cost beaucoups of money. :) So let's make one instead. And.....and....if you decide it's too hard or time consuming, I have made some for you and listed them in The Vintage Nest boutique. One is listed and the plan is to list the others in the next day or two. I love the look of these...so shabby and Frenchy looking. And what a fabulous place to hide a precious keepsake or fragile document or that ugly TV remote.



I researched a lot on how to make these secret compartment books or book boxes (the idea is definitely not a new one) and there was lots of ways to do it but this is my way after trial and error and...........................................
For goodness sakes, don't use a priceless book for this or a friend's book you have borrowed. ( just teasing with a grin) I have collected my books from the throw aways at the library and thrift stores. You want the books to be hard covers and be beat up and the older the better. I love the old worn patina of the vintage book outside page ends. And tissue thin book pages (such as dictionary pages) are hard to work with, so get something with thicker pages.


(Photo 1) Section off a portion of the front of the book pages with a large rubber band. Make a paste of 1 part water to 4 parts white glue. Paint the outside edges of your book pages with this glue mixture and set aside to dry. I put a piece of plastic wrap on the two sections of pages and weight it down with a heavy book and dry outside in the sunshine. The object is to have these two sections of pages all hard and glued together. (Ignore the fact here that my pages are already cut out. I took these photos out of sequence :


(Photo 2) Measure and mark the area of the pages you want to cut out.


(Photo 3) Before starting to cut out the pages, I found it made the job much easier by drilling a hole in each corner of the marked off area. That way your box cutter has a stopping point as you slide it through the pages.


(Photos 4 & 5) Using a sharp exacto knife or box cutter (I liked the box cutter best) carefully cut within the lines you have drawn. Do this carefully and slowly.......only cutting out about 10 pages at a time, removing the bits and pieces left behind as you go. This is time consuming but please don't rush. Continue to do this until you have cut the depth of the opening that you want.



(Photo 6) At this point I use a rough nail file to clean up and smooth the edges. Then I again painted the outside edge pages again and the inside cut out portion with the white glue mixture and let dry thoroughly.


(Photo 7) If the book is a dark color, (most are) it is best to give it several coats of white paint. This will make the color paint take much cleaner and easier.


(Photo 8) Now you are ready to paint your "hidey" book the color of your choice. I love the soft greens, pink, cream and soft blue. I just used a regular craft paint for this. Let dry and if you like, you can add a label to the book binding with white glue. I have used copies of vintage seed packets and antique post cards.



(Photo 9) I then antiqued the book some more with my nail file and used an antiquing medium for more patina. I just used what I had, which was an Americana craft paint called Asphaltum (brown). I put just a little on a soft cloth, rubbed it on the inside pages and gently wiped on. I put it on the cover of the book more sparingly in just a few places. I then did a very light whitewash with a diluted white craft paint. Let it dry and for a little extra protection I give it a matte finish.


Embellish any way that makes you happy and Voila.....there you have it!


Being that this is my first tute I probably left something out or didn't explain it very well, so I welcome your questions should you decide you can't wait to make one for yourself. My email is right over there>>>>>>>>>>>> on the side bar. :) See you for Pink Saturday!

P.S. This is VERY important. Don't do what I did and lay your brush down after gluing and forget about it. When you return it will be hard as a brick and ruined. Keep your brushes soaking in water until you return. :)

36 comments :

BellaColle' said...

I love this idea!! good place to hide goodies!! like some scrumptious chocolate..lol..
OX
~Christine

trash talk said...

I think you did a wonderful job both with the book project and your tute! (love that word) You covered every detail from page thickness to cleaning the brushes! Even I am tempted to try this project since I have such wonderful detailed instructions!
Debbie

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

How neat! And it's still in plenty of time to work on for holiday gift giving! Am I bold enough??? I really think so!!

Judy said...

What a wonderful idea and gift idea. You did a fab job. I am printing the directions. I have a couple of old books that were my Grandmother's but maybe I'll pick one or two up somewhere. Grandma's are pretty worthless and this would keep them in a special way if I decide to use them.

Jasminmoon said...

Hey Lynn,

Popped in via Cat in My Lap...cute tute! You make it look so easy I think I could...:)
Thanks for sharing!

Love and Light,
Mindy...

Sandi McBride said...

Lynn....What a wonderful idea! Now this is just a great box and one I'll be trying soon! Thanks so much for the instructions.
Sandi

The Vintage Kitten said...

A brilliant idea and a fab 'first tute' I would hide chocolates in mine Hee Hee! X

Sue said...

Lynn, What a fun project! There will be no limit to the imaginations when it comes to embellishing these. Perfect for gift-giving- now I just need to go thrifting to find some books! Thanks for the simple, yet complete tutorial.
hugs, Sue

Thrifty Miss Priss said...

it's wonderful! I started one a long time ago but never finished! Mine was going to be an altered art piece but I like this idea better!

Jennifer said...

I love this Lynn! Such a creative and charming idea. The idea of Books with hidden compartments have always facinated me. You did a great job with tutorial. I will have to bookmark it and this fall after the kiddos are settled in school fix me up a couple.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Jennifer

Connie said...

Truly your instructions were great, honey! Plus the items turned out lovely. I've done a similar thing also but yours turned out better than mine, sweetpea.......
xoxo,
Connie

stefanie said...

what a beautiful project, thank you so much for sharing!

Dana and Daisy said...

well, aren't you a little smarty!
;-)

Lisa said...

This is stunning! Great job!

Terri said...

You did a great job with your "tut"! A fun project to use with some of those old books I get at auction....

Debbi said...

Lynn, this is GREAT! Loved how you presented the tutorial. I actually popped over to tell you I tagged you on blog and ended spending quite a bit of time here! Love hte things you create always!

claudie said...

Smarty pants you are Lynn. WOW I love it.
Now I can hide all those loonies and toonies for my special trip down south lol
Oh you probably don't know what they are... we do not have dollar bills or two dollar bills (you don't have 2's anymore either do you?) anyway it will make for very heavy reading hehe
Love ya
Love Claudie
xoxo
P.S. Great "first" tutorial Lynn really.

dana said...

What a great tutorial!! I had a friend who used to use that same technique, but she would put a music box inside the books.

Hope you're having a great summer! L, Dana

M.Kate said...

Wow...beautiful post and so informative Lyn. They costs a bomb to buy stuff like this in the store, thank you so much for sharing...you are very kind. Love ya and have a good weekend :P

Lori said...

Why thank you so much for the lesson! I'll give it a try this snowy winter!!!As dry as my home gets I'm sure it'll be fine!!! Lori

Theresa said...

Okay, are we going to call you "Our Miss Brooks" now? But then again how would that sound for hubby, Mr. Bobby G. Brooks. Nope, too theatrical, lol. So, even though you are now a world famous tutor we will continue to call you Delightful Lynn. That is what your tutorial was, delightful!
Smiles, Theresa @ Cottage Violets
P.S. Isn't blogging much better than (ahem) Facebook? Tis, tis...

Graceful Rose said...

Lynn, what a great job on the tutorial and a lovely project. Thanks for sharing.

Margie said...

Lynn, what a fabulous tutorial, I want to rush to the Library to see if they have any old books to try it out. Thank you for a great tutorial. Hugs, Margie.

Volunteer India said...

You got nice work, nice idea in keeping and hiding things. Thanks for sharing the directions. I will try doing this at home.

Patricia said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I have admired these book boxes frequently. You make it sound like it's doable! Going to try and make a few as gifts. I think my granddaughters will love them.
Pat
Patricia Rose-A Potpourri of Fabric, Fragrance and Findings
www.patriciarose-apotpourri.com
www.patriciarose-apotpourriof.blogspot.com

Tracey said...

Very cool...great tutorial!!

:) T

Anita said...

Being a visual learner, your step by step pictures were perfect ofr me. I am going to try this soon. I actually have an old book that has plastic liner inside that I got at auction, but it is too hard to find in the stacks and I store all my rings in there....no thief will ever empty out my jewelry box again ( lessonl earned the hard way!)

Lori said...

OMG Lynn, I can't get over about Paige Meadows! You'll have to talk to the owner Marcie Paige and tell her! How adorable! Shes such a great girl! I know you'll like her products. I love the fact I don't smell like a counter at Macy's after I use the products, just fresh and nice. Take care, wonderful to hear from you, Lori

KarenHarveyCox said...

Lynn,
These books are beautiful. I love the pink and blue ones at the very last photograph. Thanks for the tutorial, I love altered books, but this one is over the top lovely.

Karen

GMG said...

Hi Lynn!
I'm a book lover; this post just broke my heart... ;))

Blogtrotter is now showing that Reykjavik is not entirely grey... ;)). Enjoy and have a fabulous weekend!

Linda said...

Lynn, these are wonderful and your tutorial was excellent. Lots of steps but so worth is it...thank you...hugs, Linda

Marina Capano said...

I love this idea! what a fantastic box book!

great!!! I´ll make it!

xoxo

Donna at Mourning Dove Cottage said...

I love this! It turned out beautiful! I might even try to make one myself.

Hugs,
Donna

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

Your books are great! I love them!! Thanks for sharing.

Lallee said...

Wonderful tutorial, Lynn. I've always wanted to make one of these. I love how you finished yours.
~Lallee

Louise said...

These are beautiful. Looks like fun,too. I've never gotten motivated enough to do these.

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