Secret Storage Book Box


Hello again, friend!  Today is Trash to Treasure Tuesday, one of my favorite days of the month because my blogging friends all get together and share makeovers of thrifted or free items.  I had saved these book covers from a former project and couldn’t bear to throw them away…

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

And here’s the former project – I’ve never shared this on the blog before, but basically you take cheap vintage hardcover books (ugly ones are fine- I found these for $1-2 each), carefully remove the covers with a knife, and then tie them in a stack of 2 or 3 with twine like below. 

It’s so pretty to set on a shelf as decor, and I use these in my photo shoots all the time and also sell them in my booth and at markets.

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

I had an idea to make a secret storage book box from the old covers, and I also had this thrifted small wood crate meant for holding CDs.

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

I needed a box with 5 sides, but this was too wide and the slats weren’t working out.  So I only reused the two end pieces for this project.

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

Guy in the Garage helped out by cutting 1/4″ thick wood panels for the new front, back, and bottom.  (Here’s a list of all my favorite DIY tools and products.)

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

Here’s how to make a secret storage book box:

First, attach the bottom wood piece with small nails.

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

Next I attached what will become the back of the box.

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

Finally, I nailed on the front piece.  It’s taller than the other sides (7.5 inches) because the book edges will be glued to it.  (The height is close to the height of the shortest book that I chose.)

After, the box was painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

Lay your book covers out in order first, varying heights and colors some.

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

Once I was sure of the placement, I used the shortest book as a guide.  I cut the edges to make it the same width of the box (7 inches) and then glued it onto the tallest side with E6000.

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

Next work on the books that will be on either end.  Keep the side of the cover that will hide that side of the box, and remove the other side.

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

When cutting the covers that will fill in between the side pieces, leave some of the edges to fold under so the glue will have somewhere to go.  You’re not going to glue the entire piece down flat, because you want it to curve outward like a normal book does.

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

Next glue on the other end piece.

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

Here below, the end covers are glued on and everything is clamped and weighted down overnight for drying.

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

Finally, glue the “fill in” pieces into place and set some light weight on top until dry.

Here’s what your secret storage book box will look like when inconspicuously sitting on a shelf…

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

Pretty cool, right?  And quite an easy project!

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

Here’s a view from the back:

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

What would you keep in a hidden storage box?   😉  Let me know in a comment below.

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage

Here’s a before/after look again:

DIY hidden secret storage book box from thrifted book covers - Easy DIY tutorial by Girl in the Garage
I’d appreciate it if you’d pin or share this makeover with a friend – thank you so much!  xo

Now it’s time for Trash to Treasure Tuesday with my girls – let’s see what everyone’s been up to this month!

Below are the Before photos – visit the links underneath to see the After and to learn how they did it:

Trash to Treasure Makeovers - Aug 2018
1. Bless’er House
2. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
3. Artsy Chicks Rule
4. Prodigal Pieces

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on Secret Storage Book Box

  1. Larissa ~ Prodigal Pieces
    August 14, 2018 at 5:26 am (1 month ago)

    Fantastic idea, Jen! Love that you didn’t throw them out and gave them new life. Yay!

    Reply
  2. Christy James
    August 14, 2018 at 7:34 am (1 month ago)

    This is such a great project! They totally look like in-tact books from the front! XO

    Reply
  3. Becky
    August 14, 2018 at 8:59 am (1 month ago)

    Very well done! I wish I had the courage to tear apart books, haha! Hey, maybe my stack of algebra books! We’ve moved on to a new program, and the kids would NEVER touch the old books… I could hide a top secret chocolate store there and never be found out, haha!

    Reply
  4. Linda
    August 14, 2018 at 10:25 am (1 month ago)

    You’re so clever! I’m looking at my husband’s bookcase as I type this. i see a mug, old film containers, cat toys, a plastic container of gum, etc…I’d put all that clutter in my secret book box.

    Reply
  5. Marcie Lovett
    August 14, 2018 at 11:44 am (1 month ago)

    Crazy brilliant idea! It really does look like just ordinary books from the front.

    Reply
  6. Cate
    August 14, 2018 at 2:41 pm (1 month ago)

    Really a cool idea! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

    Reply
  7. MaryJean
    August 14, 2018 at 7:23 pm (1 month ago)

    That is so cool. It looks just a few books on a shelf! Love it!

    Reply
  8. Gwen
    August 15, 2018 at 4:30 am (1 month ago)

    You are an artist. this isnt as easy as you make it look. It’s fun to do with the right books. What would I hide? I’m forever stashing things so i won’t forget where they are—my last thing I “lost” until hours before I needed it because I’d kept it in such a safe place was a birthday card. So maybe put all those items I need to keep safe until I need them so I’m not looking all over the house for that safe place I’ve hidden “ it”?!!! Plus why not $40 or $60. A little fun money for a rainy day,,Maybe you’ll need to keep the Tooth fairy’s change on hand there for those inevitable surprise visits!!!

    Reply
  9. Marie-The Interior Frugalista
    August 15, 2018 at 7:01 pm (1 month ago)

    How clever is this! I’ve seen other secret book box ideas but this one is definitely my favorite because it looks so realistic.

    Reply
  10. Kaycee
    August 16, 2018 at 5:47 pm (1 month ago)

    This is such a great and useful idea that looks awesome too!

    Reply
  11. Gail
    August 17, 2018 at 7:18 am (1 month ago)

    What an ingenious and creative idea – especially in this day and age where something like this is definitely needed! Kudos!

    Reply

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