I think a daydream a lot of people share is the desire to have a secret door in a bookcase, but unfortunately I think that is unlikely to come true for the majority. One thing we can have though is secret books! The first example that popped into my head is the one in Shawshank Redemption, but hopefully no one reading this is trying to escape from prison.
You can make a secret compartment in pretty much any book you choose. Obviously you have several choices to make – genre (the whole point of secret books is that is goes unnoticed so it has to be something that fits in with other things on your bookshelf), age of the book (old unloved books that have been gathering dust for years are ideal but new books could be used too, although I think you would be deafened by the screams of every book-lover’s soul as you cut into the pages), and book depth, which will determine what you will be able to keep in your finished book.
Now you’ve chosen your book all you need is some pva glue, a couple of nails and a hammer (optional), a ruler, and a blade of some kind (I used a Stanley knife).
The first step is to decide at what page you want your hidden compartment to appear. I would suggest leaving half a dozen pages. Use an elastic band to attach them to the front cover to keep them out of the way. The next optional step is to nail the rest of the book pages together. You can use a nail gun for this if you have one, but I don’t so I just hammered them in! This step is not essential but it makes the book slightly sturdier. Remember to use the nails towards the edge of the pages as you will be cutting out the centre!
Apply a coating of glue to the outside of the book and place a weight on top whilst it sets. Apply a second coat when dry if needed and glue the block of pages to the back cover.
Now it’s time to get cutting! And you are going to need time. Lots of it.
Draw the outline of your compartment and use a ruler to cut along the lines, being careful to keep the corners neat (this will come back to haunt you later on if you don’t take the time to do it now). You will probably only be able to cut a few pages out at a time, and it can feel quite disheartening when you don’t see a lot of progress to begin with but just stick with it! Once you get a few mm deep you can lose the ruler and just keep the blade straight using the sides.
Once you have the hole as deep as you want it, take one of the pages you have kept separate and glue it down to the other pages. This will cover up the nail heads. Cut out the centre to reveal the compartment once again. Apply a layer of glue to the inner sides.
You now have a basic secret book! But there are a few extra touches you can add to spruce it up and finish off.
Line the bottom with felt, pop some ribbon around the edges, attach an envelope to the opposite page, and you are ready to start hiding your valuables in plain sight.