Wednesday, April 10, 2013

DIY Book Look 3 (A how to for a secret craft travel kit)

I recently read in one of my latest Zentangle books that the author really loved her Zentangle kit. The picture she shared looked like a little box with a button closure. She likened carrying around and using her kit to having a beloved old book with you all the time. This sparked an idea. I wanted to make my essential zentangle tools portable as well. I had seen on Pinterest where you can take an old book and create hidden storage within. Armed with this knowledge and an idea, I set out to create!

My first step was to gather supplies. An old book, mod podge, the tools I wanted to fit inside, and an xacto knife.

The first thing I did was take off the cover. It was only taped in place so this was simple.

I then marked on the inside with a pencil where I wanted to make my incision. Using the tools I was hoping to fit inside as a guide, I was able to mark the lines accordingly.

No pic here, but first mod podge the outside of the pages and let dry. This will cause them to stick together and stay in place while you cut.

Then, start cutting along your lines on the inside. This is a tedious process as you only get a few pages at a time but well worth it.

Now, mod podge along the inside edge. You want to make sure to get a good solid coating. It may also be a good idea to mod podge the top edge as well to be sure all the pages stay down.

To make sure it all sticks well, put a layer of seran wrap over the glue nice and taut. Be sure to weight it down with something solid. Behold the readily handy applesauce! ;)

Now was the time to choose my paper. I had this stack of K&Company papers which I just loved! They had such fun bright colors!

Tissue paper was next. I thought this pink would suit it well.

You'll be cutting your 12x12 paper in half. Note the direction of your paper before you cut. Also, I want to make a note that for this book an 8x8 paper would have worked as well. Just be sure to use the right size paper for your book: enough so you have flaps to glue down.

Fold the tissue paper in half...

You will now mod podge first the layers of tissue paper, being sure to fit the paper in the grooves of the binding, and then the paper for the cover over top.

(I confess I got so caught up in my project I had to take step by step pictures afterward. Bear with me here.)
When the paper is glued down, flip open the book cover and mark where to cut, as shown. You want to create a space for the corner to form naturally and fold over flaps to glue down.

Once you have glued down your flaps, grab some elastic. In my other posts on book looks, I used my daughter's old headband at one point. I have since bought some 1/4 inch elastic. I cut it to the length of the book plus a little to glue down. This is really just sort of a 'how solid it feels to you' on holding the book closed sort of thing. In the back of the book, use hot glue to first glue your strap (be careful of twisting) and then I hot glued the entire back cover to the book pages.

On the inside, I improvised. I first picked a paper for the left side. This covered my flaps and made a fun background. I also used a fun paper for the background of the book pages where I would be storing my tools. I used hot glue and a pipe cleaner or chenille stem to make holders for my pencil and other tools I didn't want loose in the 'book'. On the left, for my zentangle papers, I had some paper photo corners available and thought they would satisfy the need. Hot glue and voila!

The last step was to come up with a title for my book. A title is not necessary but I thought it would suit my purpose. Zentangle is called 'tangling' when used as a verb. I searched for an old book with the word 'Tangle' in it and after looking through several titles, (some of which I did not want to be associated with) I finally chose this one: 'Tanglewood Tales' by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I proceeded with my fine tip black sharpie to write my title. Highlights were added with a DecoColor extra fine liquid silver opaque paint marker.

I am really pleased with this. It will travel well and be very convenient for when I need it.

My other book look was for an Ereader. Check it out. Jane Austen! Love her!

They certainly look like books on the shelf....

And no one will suspect! Try your hand at it and let me know how it turns out. Mine was geared towards a zentangle kit but any size book (especially a thicker one) will suit the purpose and you don't have to create spots for things to fit so they don't move. Maybe a larger book will allow for more specific compartments for things. The possibilities are endless! Be flexible and explore! Good luck!


  1. Love it!!! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks! I appreciate you taking the time to check it out! :)

  2. This is a great idea for those who want to take the time to go through all this, but to me, it was much easier to buy a book designed box at "Michaels' where you get several different sizes of a box that looks like a book and you can redecorate it any way you like if you don't like the design and it's much roomier and nicer looking.

    1. Well, as to that, I would have to say it would depend on your book choice. This one was thinner and smaller than others I had the choice of. Not everyone is gifted with crafty ability or the patience some of these crafts take. Some are even more patient and can make theirs from scratch! Definitely not my gift. But I find the ones in the store range from $5 to $10. They are often handy and very lightweight and buying a blank one will allow you to decorate it yourself. However, if you already have supplies on hand and an old book available, I would go for the cheaper option.


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