Vintage Book Secret Treasure Box

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)


Craft Glue

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

Turn about 10 pages in and place the rectangle template on the centre of the page.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

Once you have the secret compartment, thread ribbon through the entire cut out section and tie a bow (or two if you like).

Step 7

Glue the bottom page down to provide a sealed box.

Step 8

Optional: Allow your child to colour a special drawing on the botttom of the secret compartment.

Step 9

Save the cut out middle pages and use them in other craft project, like these simple projects: paper lantern, paper boat garland, butterfly string.


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.

Vintage Books as Decoration

You Might Also Like...


  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    What an awesome idea Kelly! they look so gorgeous !!!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Love it Kell. What a fun idea 🙂

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Love it

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    That is so cute. I am also a lover of old books – piles of old books look great.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    My son will love doing this! Thank you so much. He is such a treasure/collector boy. He will love the secret hidy hole that this will give him x

  • Reply
    veronica lee
    May 28, 2010 at 5:02 am

    I love vintage, Totally love it!

    Happy Thursday!

  • Reply
    Theme It: Vintage : Be A Fun Mum
    May 28, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    […] 11. Be A Fun Mum Vintage Book Craft 12. About A Girl Mink Pink Dress $59.90  […]

  • Reply
    June 1, 2010 at 5:08 am

    What an awesome idea Kelly! they look so gorgeous !!!

  • Reply
    Hear Mum Roar
    June 11, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I love this! So simple, yet so pretty

  • Reply
    Vintage Paper Hanging Lantern : Be A Fun Mum
    July 1, 2010 at 7:23 am

    […] kept the leftover paper used in the Vintage Secret Treasure Box to create a Vintage Paper Hanging […]

  • Reply
    Vintage Butterfly String : Be A Fun Mum
    July 7, 2010 at 9:54 am

    […] kept the leftover paper used in the Vintage Secret Treasure Box and Vintage Paper Hanging Lantern to make a Vintage Butterfly String for my daughter to run […]

  • Reply
    March 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Great idea!

Leave a Reply