Saturday, 12 January 2013


Want to know how to make a secret book?

My advice is don't... it's a pain to do! Oh, you really want to? OK, then, here we go...

1: Find a cheap hardback book; charity shops are often good for this. I picked up a couple of old bonkbusters for 50p each

2: Get some:
    PVA glue
    Gold paint
    Sharp craft knives
    Wrapping or scrap-booking paper
    Sheet of plastic (or a piece of cardboard covered in cling film will do)

3: Open the book near the top and slide the plastic sheet between the pages

4: Dilute the PVA glue with an equal amount of water in a cup and paste the closed pages. Keep doing this. A lot

5: Put the book somewhere warm to dry. Weight it down with a heavy object to keep it from warping

6: Once it is dry open it up, measure out an oblong on the bottom pages

7: Using your craft knife; cut around the lines of the olbong. Continue to do this until you reach near the bottom, your entire house is covered in little shards of paper and your wrists ache. Hint - make sure you cut right to the corners as you go down otherwise you'll be left with small lumps of paper that are really hard to cut out

8: Mix up some more PVA/water solution and slap it on all over the cut edges of the pages. Put some more on the outer sides too

9: Repeat step 5   

10: Once the book is dry paint the pages gold all over

11: Dry the book in an open position otherwise the paint will glue it all together and you will get cross 

12: Cut the wrapping paper to fit the front and back  and glue in place

13: Think of an amusing title, print out, cut to size and glue to the spine

14:  Cut 2 pieces of felt to fit the cut out hole; glue one in the hole and one to the top part to create a nice box effect

15: Once this is all dry cover all the outside with PVA/water solution and leave to dry - best to do that in stages so you don't stick the book to anything

16: put some chocolate coins in the secret compartment and give to young child

17: Bask in the glory of being an amazingly cool aunt 


  1. Impressive!!! Sounds like a lot of hard work but very impressive!

    Was it well received?

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

    1. Amanda, one nephew told me that it was his best Christmas present this year... mind you that was before he got his main present of a remote controlled monster truck... but then he used that to transport the book around the house!

    2. Ahhh bless him!!! Well he loved it then that's so nice! Worthwhile all the work...right?

      A xx

  2. What a fab project and a very amusing tutorial I hope your little tips and hints were not not learned the hard way?
    Great idea

    1. Ali, they were all learned the hard way sadly! But as I have twin nephews I was able to correct as I went along so each book has different errors!

  3. What a great idea, Rae. Very inventive. Trouble is I am having a hard time writing a book so I can make a cover!! LOL Quite fun to do and must be very therapeutic as well.

    Wishing you a very Happy 2013.

    1. Eddie, I think the (loud) swearing involved whilst cutting was the most therapeutic bit for me! ;-)

  4. What a brilliant idea. I'm sure it would all go wrong if I tried to do that.
    You have some wonderful suggestions.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

    1. Thank you Maggie... to be honest they are full of faults but thank goodness PVA glue and gold acrylic paint cover things up amazingly well!

  5. Hehehe .... there is something very cool about hiding things in books! I remember in childhood films everything good was behind a bookcase! x

    1. They did feel very Enid Blyton to me once I'd finished them!

  6. Great idea Rae, I am def going to try this as I have 2 young friends who would love a secret book!
    Can I check I have understood correctly. The plastic goes inside the book between the "top" half and the "bottom" half of your pages, while you glue them, to stop the halves stocking together.
    When I make mine I'll put them on my blog. Thanks for a great tutorial!

    1. Hi Kath, yep, the plastic separates the two halves of the book - I realised it would be better to dry it closed with a weight on to lessen the pages wrinkling and bubbling from the wet glue

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you Julie - I am quite chuffed with them (as well as being glad I don't have to make any more!)

  8. Oh thank you! I shall most definitely be making some of these. My children will love them and they might make good birthday party presents. See how easy it turns out. Totally stealing this idea (although all credit to you, of course!)

  9. Fab idea! Bet the look on the kids' faces was worth the effort :)

    Hugs, Estelle xx

  10. Looks brilliant Rae! I'm pinning this to try myself!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  11. What an incredibly cool and creative way to repurpose an old board book!

    Love it!

    Jenn/Rook No. 17

  12. That is amazingly cool!! What a great idea. You are obviously one very clever auntie ;) xx

  13. Great idea, thank you for the tutorial. Pinning!