Hollowed Books

February 1, 2012

“Mystery bores me. It chores me. I know what happens and so do you. It’s the machinations that wheel us there that aggravate, perplex, interest, and astound me.”

The quote above is from “The Book Thief,” one of my favorite books and the first to be, well, let’s say ‘altered.’ Though this particular book will be missed (and I will forever endure the wrath of my sister, who was not happy to hear about its destruction), the other book is not going to cause anyone to get angry with me. The dictionary, though once a useful tool, has since lost its glory due to the onset of technology. I borrowed this dictionary from the writing center on campus with the permission of the writing center coordinator. I promised it’d be returned a lot cooler than when it first started.


Hollowed Out Book

  • Materials needed: Box cutter/utility knife (good luck with an x-acto knife if you’re going to try it), glue mixture (70% elmer’s glue and 30% water), a small paintbrush, a ruler, a pen, and a book!
  • Time it took: 1hr for The Book Thief, 2hrs for the dictionary.
  • Things I learned the hard way: This is messy and frustrating. I’m not sure how anyone gets a clean cut through all their pages, unless they just happened to cut each page individually. Also, they’re not joking about the 70/30 glue to water ratio. You were warned. The last thing: the pages won’t stick unless you actually stack something heavy on top of the book as it’s drying.

How did I do it?

I followed the instructions of this fantastic lady here. I also watched a youtube video here to make sure I was doing everything correctly.

The run down: find a good, sturdy book, one that is at least 200 pages, I’d say. Open the front cover and skip past the first three pages (you’ll need them later). Use your pen and ruler and measure how far from the edge you’d like your hole to be. Make the marks. Then, mix up your glue and water. 70% glue and 30% water, or the glue won’t be strong enough. Shut the book, get your paintbrush, and proceed to ‘paint’ the glue on the sides of the book. Close the cover leave the cover and three pages open, and stack several heavier books on top (I suggest the entire Harry Potter series. Book five really helped me out here.) Wait about 20-30 minutes. Then, return and check your pages. Ta-da! Now, the fun part. Take a deep breath, look at your marks, look at your utility knife, and then go for it. As you’re cutting, really watch out for the corners. Don’t just rip the pages out; take care to secure that each page has been sufficiently cut out. I stopped the book thief about a third of the way through, and I stopped the dictionary at the S’s.

However. I totally messed up the pages of the dictionary, as you can see below. In a panic at two hours of my time wasted, I decided to get artsy with it. I cut up a few of the pages that had been taken out of the dictionary and collaged them on top so that you couldn’t see the horror of the poor craftsmanship. Done!


3 Responses to “Hollowed Books”

  1. bibliopirate Says:

    Books that make the perfect hiding place, I life. Try doing that with an ebook.

  2. […] any sort of jem, but instead feature my favorite definitions. From the book that I hollowed out here in my first craft post, I saved the pages so that I could take my favorite words and feature them […]

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