DIY Secret Box BookDIY Secret Box BookDIY Secret Box BookDIY Secret Box BookDIY Secret Box BookDIY Secret Box BookDIY Secret Box Book

DIY Secret Box BookDIY Secret Box BookDIY Secret Box BookDIY Secret Box Book

The only thing about home-making Christmas presents is that you need to choose your recipient carefully. They have to be as mad as you are. Fortunately, my brother appreciates eccentricity like no-one else. In fact, right now there is a large old wardrobe drawer upended in the living room half-adorned with shelves, sculptural features and legs. More on that on another day of Christmas.

I got the idea for Henry’s Christmas present in stages. Firstly, I wanted to find him this hard-to-find Philip K. Dick story called “Pay for the Printer” which, during my attempts to find a paper version to buy, turned up in pdf form online. So then I had the idea to put it on a memory stick, and create a book-box to present it!

I did a bit of research online and found some handy tips on how to make one of these. I also found a non-valuable but nice-looking book (Reader’s Digest abridged novels!). The rest was just between me and the stanley knife.

Handy tip #1 – Wrap the pages you DON’T want to cut out (the cover, perhaps a couple of pages at the front which ‘disguise’ it as a book) with cling film. Then, you lather the rest of the book in tonnes of glue (in my Hellmann’s pot is a mix of PVA + water) so that the pages stick together. I didn’t glue all the pages individually – just around the edges. Then you can close the book, put a heavy weight on top, and wait until it dries.

Handy Tip #2 – There isn’t an easy way to cut the pages out, as far as I’ve found. Just draw a margin onto the top page with a pencil & ruler, then carefully cut cut cut – giving particular attention to the corners – until your hand is aching and your neck is sore from craning over.

Handy Tip #3 – Firstly, once all the pages are cut out, PVA the inside ‘walls’ of the box. Then, to hide any messiness, it’s a good idea to tear up some of the pages you cut out in step 2, and papier maché them over the inside.

Handy Tip #4 –  I decided to papier maché the front of the book with printed out sci-fi novel covers. More cutting and sticking and PVA. Pretty simple. You can paint over the finished product with PVA to give it a nice shiny glaze.

Then all that’s left to do is fill it with toys and it looks like a lost children’s memento box from Amélie! I’m so pleased with the way it looks, and want to make more! Anyone want to buy one of these…?
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