DIYdiy projects

diy project: brenna’s secret storage books

by Brenna

it seems i am always in need of extra storage space.  i have an abundance of art materials and supplies that just keeps growing. i am already storing boxes of paints, paintbrushes, paper, pens and scissors, and a multitude of glues behind a linen curtain beneath our built-in desk. it is a great storage place for the things i don’t necessarily use all of the time, but what about the things I use constantly, like my watercolors and rulers, exacto knives and bulldog clips? as much as i would like to, i can’t exactly leave them out on the dining room table within reach of my almost two-year old. the solution: sightly boxes to store my wares. since we have a lovely built-in bookcase, i thought it would be great to have a storage box disguised as a book, adding charm instead of just utility. so here it is, a bit of unexpected storage. secret storage books…not a secret anymore. -brenna (paper +ink)

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

– new or recycled clamshell style boxes
– heavy chipboard or tag board
– cardboard tube from a wrapping paper or paper towel roll
– scissors
– exacto knife
– hot glue
– white glue or mod podge
– decorative paper (for covering the outside and lining inside of box. you can also use maps, wallpaper, or any type of medium or thick weight paper)


1. use the white glue or mod podge to cover the edges of the box (where the pages of the book would be) with a decorative paper. i used a woven white striped paper, which makes a pretty convincing “pages” look on a brown box. regular school lined paper is cute too. i also lined the inside of the box with a pretty paper.

2. cut two rectangles of chipboard. the size of the rectangles should be 1/4” longer than the measurement from the “spine” or hinge to the opposite edge of box, and ½” longer than the measurement from top to bottom. these two rectangles will make the book cover.

3. cut the cardboard tube to length. this should be the same length as the second measurement above. cut the tube on one side all the way from top to bottom.

4. open up the cardboard tube and slip the cut sides over the spine/hinge side of the box creating a softly rounded spine. cut off excess if needed to make the soft dome. glue on with hot glue.

5. glue the “covers” on the box. apply hot glue close to the edges of the bottom of the box, put the chipboard rectangle in place with the spine edge flush with the back of the box, and the top and bottom edges hanging over equally. on the top of the box, repeat the hot glue process, making sure not to glue the opening closed.

6. cover the book completely with the decorative paper. use white glue or mod podge and work from one cover around the spine to the other cover. trim and fold in the edges neatly. for the spine, cut slits from the edge of the paper to the tube, and fold down gradually.

7. label if you would like, and fill the box with the things you would like to store. store in shelves or on table surface.

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