Friday, July 23, 2010

Taking X-ACTO Knives to Books Like A Crazyperson.

So lately I've been kind of into hollowing out books.

Actually, let me take that back. I've been kind of into creating book safes. That sounds a bit classier.
I became interested in it almost a year ago, when I made one for myself. I've since made one for my friend Nikki for her birthday. And now I've made two more.

I have briefly flirted with the idea of selling my lovely creations on etsy or something. But if you look book safes up on etsy, they're all nice and carved out in straight lines and neat and clean. And mine aren't so much. But what I lack in any real technical talent I more than make up for in enthusiasm.

But I made these two more recent ones for my siblings. They don't know about it yet, but I don't have much of a preference whether they find out about this when I post a link to facebook or when I actually give it to them in person. Either way, I'm an awesome sister and everyone should tell me that because of my fragile esteem system.

I decided to make one for Matt as a housewarming/thank-you-for-driving-me-around-Southern-California-when-you-would-rather-be-sleeping present. I went to the Escondido Public Library Bookstore and bought a cheap, big book to destroy. After I bought it I saw a suitable-for-hollowing-out book they were giving away for free outside so I got it. I decided to make one for Leah, as a I-know-you-don't-really-like-me-but-please-think-I'm-cool gift.

Allow me to get defensive for a minute: No, neither of these are actual library books. I am not destroying public property. They are mine. Mine! Legally!

And allow me to give out a plug for the Escondido Public Library Bookstore. Ok, seriously, if you have any interest in reading (and as you are reading this, I daresay you must) or music or movies and are reading this from the general vicinity of Escondido you have to check out the bookstore. It's cheap, it's fantastic, I wonder where it's been all my life. (The answer to this is: the corner of Kalmia St and Second Ave.)  I also bought The Hunchback of Notre Dame for $0.75 and The Chronicles of Narnia for $2.25.
I love the Escondido Public Library Bookstore!

But yeah, here are some pictures of my adventures in hollowing out books.

The supplies you need to carry out this experiment. Plus a book, obviously. Come on, use your brain.
I took a million (like 7ish) pictures like this, trying to strike the perfect combination between staring-crazily-at-a-knife and not-having-a-double-chin. 
Notice Joann in the background. That was when I realized that taking many pictures of oneself staring at a knife probably kind of looked weird.

Proof that there were book casualties. I sort of felt guilty doing that. But I feel guilty doing most things, so that's pretty normal.

You will notice they look like real books. 
I'm not showing the front, because, while I'm about 80% certain that I can destroy any books I've paid for and legally own all I want, I don't want to chance any backlash from the "ILOVETHATBOOK!!!" community.

But when you open them:


Leah's is the best, in my opinion. It was taken from what reminded me of an old-timey movie theater experience. It contained a couple full-length historical romance novels, a short essay about Hawaii (including full color photos!) and a Snoopy comic. (It would have been cool to keep, but it was torn and water-damaged already, so there is goes.)

I mess up on these things a lot, so I find that decoupage will cover up glue stains and whatnot on the bottom of the book. (Decoupage is the only skill I've retained from my brief time in Girl Scouts. If only I could remember how we baked a cake using only a box lined with tin foil. And the ingredients for cake, obviously. Use your brains.)

So I was able to salvage some of the comic strips, a map of hawaii, and some illustrations from the novels and make a pretty cool thing:

(It looks way cooler in person, I promise.)


  1. Ummmm I love you.

  2. Those are super cool. I've actually been thinking about doing the same thing!

  3. will you please make one shaped like a gun? just don't take any photos. . .

  4. First off let me say, you are an awesome sister. Second, those are super fantastic! I LOVE my hollowed out book, even though I am not 100% sure where exactly it is at the moment... :)