Tuesday, 2 April 2013

How to make a vintage style secret book hideaway

Like most 5 year old children, Ruby loves to hide things.  She adores stashing her 'treasure' in secret places and I'm forever turning up little piles of random tiny toys, notes and pictures.

So, given that the latest craft hang-out over with Red Ted Art was themed 'cereal boxes' I thought I'd make a secret hideaway store.

It may not be everyone who is able to bring themselves to disembowel an antique book, but my local second-hand store has a little rack of dilapidated works, perfect for this purpose.  And lets face it, if nobody came along to upcycle them, they'd end up in the trash.

If you can't get hold of a suitable broken book, then you could do a Google image search for a free downloadable picture of a book spine to print and use instead.  I like the free images here.  You don't need to use the front and back book boards like I have, just the spine will do.

So, you will need:

A cereal-type cardboard box
An old, broken book (or downloaded image) - check the width of the spine against the width of the box
Some paint (optional)

You will also need some sort of glue - I used a hot glue gun.

First cut down your box to the required size, and cut off the top flaps.  Then paint it to match the book spine and boards - this is not strictly necessary but it will look neater and make the box more inconspicuous if you have any peeking out.

Then lay the box in position, making sure the bottom edge is lined up with the bottom of the spine - in my case I used the whole book cover.

Glue the spine onto the narrow edge of your box, and do likewise with the front and back cover if you're using them.

And there you have it.  From the book shelf you'd never know it was a secret hiding place full of treasures.  I think it's much nicer than those naff 'baked bean can safes' you get advertised in the home ware catalogues - you know the ones, that sell mobility aids, spider catchers and jam jar lid openers!

Take a look at the other crafty ladies - there are lots more ideas for cereal box crafts on the hang out video and in the links below.

Red Ted Art shares her shadow puppet theatre and her 'everlasting' picture frame
Playful Learners made another gorgeous puppet theatre
Plus 2 Point 4 showed us how to use a box as a weaving loom
Kids Chaos pulped her boxes to make some pots for her seedlings - love these, totally biodegradable and free!

 Thanks for reading, and in the immortal words of Beyonce (sort of) - If you like it, put a Pin on it. x


  1. Just brilliant....I really really want one!!

  2. Wow! This is really a very creative work of art. Thank you for sharing this. Awesome and perfect for the kids. We also did a Cereal Box Guitar out of the same materials you used. You should check this out!
    EarlyLearning.Momtrusted.com DIY Musical Instruments: Cereal Box Guitar