1. Head to a charity shop/second hand book store/ car boot/ebay
This bit can be deceptively time consuming. You need a good, hard backed book, all of which are available in many places. What may take your time, though, is the titles. I tried to choose titles that were relevant to the people they were for, which is a nice, personal touch. Something like “Popcorn” for a film lover, etc.
2. Get your materials in
3. Mark out your cutting template
Draw a rectangle template to cut out on the first page you want to cut. Leave a few pages at the beginning – I mostly went for the first page of the second chapter. About an inch from each edge should be right, but the size and shape of the book will dictate this. It’s worth getting right as there will be a slight shift on the bound side of the book as you get further down, but the straighter you get the template, the better.
4. Start Cutting
VERY CAREFULLY start cutting. Paper blunts knives like mad, and if the knife is blunt, the paper will tear – really is worth a good blade. You will need to go carefully around the template at first, but as you cut deeper you’ll get to know how thick you can go. You will score your template through the book, so there shouldn’t be any need to draw any more templates. About an inch thick is the depth you should be aiming for – like so.
5. Stick the thing together
Horror of horrors, I thought at first you would have to stick each individual page to the next – not true! When you have finished cutting out your inserts, you then douse the inside edgs of the cut pages with glue. A sponge glue spreader helps to get an even amount – this will take a while to dry, so it’s good to leave it overnight at least, preferably under something heavy.
6. Tidy it up and finish it off
You can do whatever you want to the bottom of the booksafe – I chose to collage and include people’s names. You could paint it, papier mache with tissue or crepe paper, go mad with glitter, write a message, or even just leave it plain! Nice to inject a bit of colour though.
And there you have it! It’s a bit time consuming, but really, really worth it for the result. Please please PLEASE be careful with the knife bit though – books are tough and you may just slip if you’re not cautious. You sensible people are well-trusted with crafts though – we know you’ll be fine!