I have a deep love for books — especially old books. I’ve been known to spend hours browsing through second hand book stores. There’s something about the feel and smell of an old book, that transports me to another time. I wonder how many hands before me have held the book and what their life was like.
It looks like my love for old books as passed to my daughter Cossie (4). Often, she gazes at the bookshelf. Sometimes she ask to “just hold” the books; “Mum, I’ll be very, very careful,” she says in a voice filled with awe. So today, I stopped at a thrift shop and picked out some pretty coloured old books — especially for her. And now for the craft.
Vintage Book Treasure Box
Pen knife or Stanley knife
Thin cutting board
Vintage book (I purcahsed four books for $4)
Give a minute of silence for the author of the book because what you are about to do will rip their heart out if they knew. Before you cut into the book, it’s a good idea to do a quick search to see if it’s valuable. I’ve written about it here: How To Find Out What an Old Book is Worth.
Right, that done — move on and don’t look back. Find a rectangle object to use as a template (like a small card). It should be small enough to fit on the page with at least a 2cm margin to each side.
Turn about 10 pages in and place the rectangle template on the centre of the page.
You will need to cut around the template but work in small batches. To do this, place a thin cutting board down about 10 pages and press hard with the pen knife till the insert pops out.
Work your way down the book until you are at the end. This step will take about 20 minutes. Don’t worry about being too neat.
Once you have the secret compartment, thread ribbon through the entire cut out section and tie a bow (or two if you like).
Glue the bottom page down to provide a sealed box.
Optional: Allow your child to colour a special drawing on the botttom of the secret compartment.
This is fun for boys and girls. Kids love secrets and you can use leather or string instead of ribbon to make it look more nautical or pirate-like.
Other ways to use vintage books
- Gift box
- Decoration: If you don’t want to cut a book, just tie a ribbon around pile of vintage books for a stunning feature object.
- Colour Scheme: Use vintage books as the colour scheme guide for a room. There are so many beautiful but subtle vintage book covers. Most specialised paint shops can match colours to an object. I chose these colours: beige, green, blue, red.
- Nursery: Vintage books look absolutely stunning on a nursery shelf or in a child’s bedroom.