Hollowed Book Tutorial ~ E-Reader Case

hollowed book

Oh the hollowed out book.  I made one years ago before this blog was ever a thought in my mind.  I used it as a gift box of sorts to put a friend’s birthday present in.  The book became part of the gift.  She loved it!

I was trying to think of a fun way to store my e-reader.  I think it’s a funny idea to store an electronic reading device inside a traditional book.  This is how the hollowed out book got resurrected.  Now mine is Hip Street brand reader that we got for a steal, but you can make this to suite your Kindle, Nook etc.

First, find a hardcover book.  Thrift stores are a great spot for these unless you have one laying around that has seen better days or just isn’t loved any more.  I wouldn’t normally recommend destroying books… so choose one that has been well loved / damaged pages… and avoid the classics!  (Sorry if anyone likes this book!)

I picked this book from the 99 cent table at the thrift store.  The book had a nice looking hard cover under the paper jacket and was about 3/4 inch larger then my e-reader around all sides, and just a little thicker.

Start by protecting the cover with either the existing sleeve or some plastic wrap.  Protect the inside of the front cover as well.

Using Mod Podge (or watered down white glue) and a paint brush, coat the inside of the back cover.  Close the book.  Now brush the sides of the pages well with Mod Podge.  *Note, I also left a few loose pages at the front of the book.  Just my preference.

Once you have the page sides all coated, lay it flat and place something heavy on top so the pages don’t wrinkle from the moisture.  Let it dry well.

Once it’s dry, check that all the pages are now stuck together like a big block.  If there are loose pages or gaps, go over it again with another coat of MP and let it dry.

Now that it’s dry, open the book and lay your e-reader in the centre.  Trace around it with a pencil.

You need a little finger hole to get the e-reader out of the book, so draw a smaller half circle where there is room.

Here is the fun part.  Ok… maybe not ‘fun’… it does take some patience.  You can either use a straight edge and a very sharp blade, or, a Dremmel tool.  Since the cutout isn’t going to be overly deep, the sharp blade option isn’t so bad.  Start cutting on the outside of your traced lines.  Don’t think you have to do the entire depth in one shot.  That would be too difficult.  Just cut down a few layers at a time and peel out the pages as you go.  Save the pages… they come in very handy for paper crafts!  Make sure your blade is always sharp.  Also, whatever page you stop on, read the content… so glad I did… the page I stopped on was a little R rated!  I peeled out another page lol.

Once you have the cutout completed, test your e-reader in it to make sure the size is right.  Make adjustments as needed.  Next, you can take a bit of medium or light sand paper and smooth out any rough spots on the cut sides.  Or, if you have a Dremmel, you could use the sanding bit to do this.

Finally, take some of that Mod Podge and coat the insides of the cutout.  Try not to get it on the front page.  Weight it down, but try to let it breath still or it will take eons to dry.

Pop in your e-reader and you’re done!  What?  You want to take this further?  Here are a few suggestions how…

I took one of the pages that had been cut out and sent it through my printer to get this pretty bird graphic, then coloured it in by hand and podged it down into the opening.

You could also line the opening with a thin fabric or paint it with a pop of colour (do a clear coat so the paint doesn’t come off on your reader).

Add a tail of ribbon to look like a faux bookmark, or add a clasp to keep it closed.

Using a drill, drill up through the bottom side of the book to make an opening for your power cord.  I might do a hole for headphones since the Hip Street also plays videos, music etc.

If the day ever comes and your done with your e-reader, you can use the book to stash valuables in an inconspicuous way!

See how I’ve used some of the cut out book pages for other projects, here and here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. says

    Love this! I already have a cover for my Nook but like you mentioned I was thinking it would be a great place to stash some things! Thanks!

  2. Anonymous says

    LOVE!! The bird graphic on the inside gives it that something extra. Great coloring job too!


  3. says

    I had one of these I made when I was a kid to hide things. I wish I still had that. Such memories! And wow, what a super fantastically clever and brilliant idea. Did I mention it was genius! Thank you, because I now have a gift idea for a few people for Christmas who are typically so hard to get or make things for. Thank you! I mean, really. This is going to make up for a few pretty lame birthday gifts. I’m going to get started fishing for certain people’s favorite books and see if I can hunt them down cheaply while I have time. Love all the tips and tricks too, like the hole for the power cord and leaving space for your finger to get in there. That’s the kind of thing that’s easy to forget about! I’m seriously stoked about this idea! [can you tell?!)

  4. says

    Beautiful. I love the bird you colored. I have a book like this that I keep some recipes in (those loose recipes people have given me written on random sheets of paper, or jotted down on post-its). I’d love to make another one, but I know how long it takes to do all that cutting 😉

    • says

      Thanks Monica! You are right, it does take some patience lol. Although, this one wasn’t too bad. I did all the cutting one evening while watching TV. And since it was only for an e-reader, I didn’t have to go overly deep. I like the idea of storing recipes in it. I may have to keep my eyes peeled for another book!

  5. says

    Super smart! I love all of the suggestions you have for taking it to the next level. If I ever step into this century and get a reader this will be on my list of things to do. Thanks so much for sharing your project at Etcetorize this week!

  6. Christine says

    This is REALLY impressive!!! LOVE IT!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! :)

  7. Amy - while wearing heels says

    Brilliant! I love the irony of storing your e reader in an actual book. And, I love that you suggested saving the pages to use for future craft projects. A good crafter thinks ahead.

  8. says

    Amber, this is so cool! I have an iPad and a Kindle but I still buy books because I love the smell and feel of them. This is the best of both worlds for me :) Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday this week. I can’t wait to see what you link up next. Have a great week.


  9. says

    Looks really fancy – I especially love the bird inside =) Do you actually use this book to transport your reader or do you just store it inside while it’s not being used?

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by! Sometimes I use it to transport it… it really depends where I’m going and how much I want to carry. I will say, next time I go on an airplane I’m taking it in the book. I’ve had many things get damaged while travelling!

  10. says

    That bird is so pretty! Libraries are also worth checking – I generally just look in the recycling bin to see if there’s any books being thrown out, but it might be wiser to just ask. You know it’s worthless if the *library* is throwing it out :)

  11. Erika says

    Wow this is really awesome, I have been searching for such tutorial since long time now, and yours is perfect one, also the finished job is wonderful, extremely beautiful, i love the bird. I have been trying to find a way to do this for a laptop and hide it from thieves!! hehe, because one day we got robbed in our house, and luckily they did not take my laptop cos it was hidden by chance under some bedsheets, but I want to find a big book that I can use this technique on, so that I can hide my laptop everyday in a book shelve, and will be very safe, because thieves are not interested in books are they?.. hehe. Thanks very much for the tutorial, I really like it.

    • says

      Ugh, I’ve had my car broken into before and I felt so violated. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have your home broken in to! I think it would be amazing to store a laptop in!! Perhaps a big old atlas or something. I’m sure if you make the book ‘boring’ enough, thieves would pass by it lol. Besides, who would EVER think a laptop would be in a book!! Haha!

  12. says

    Great tutorial! The pictures made each step so easy to understand. You mentioned a Dremel a couple of times, is that what you used? If you did, how did you keep it from going in too deep?

    I wonder how hard it would be to find a book to fit an iPad?

    • says

      Thanks so much Cynthia :) For this one, I just used a sharp blade (exacto knife) and a straight edge. With a dremmel, you just have to take your time and have a steady hand. Also, with a demmel, don’t do the entire depth you want in one shot. Just go a little at a time.

      For an iPad… how about a cookbook or an atlas?

  13. says

    This is such a great idea! I really like that you used it to store an e-reader. Thanks for sharing at Showcase Your Talent Thursday!

  14. Kate @ A Creative Cookie says

    Beautiful! What a fabulous idea… I don’t have an e-reader but I would love to use this for special treasures. Pinning! :)

  15. says

    lol They recently decided we couldn’t have ebooks at work… Two weeks after I donated all of my old books. This would be a stealthy way to hid it.

  16. Anonymous says

    I’m so happy I stumbled across your post!! =) I’m going to make one for my father for Christmas, he’s been asking me to find him a case!! 😉 thanks!!

  17. waffocopter says

    My last Kindle was stolen at work and I plan on bringing my new one with me on a cruise but I’m a bit paranoid about leaving my Kindle unattended and feel bad having a friend watch my stuff on a cruise as I go swim so I was looking for a book-like cover yesterday. This is so so so much more awesome! Now I just have to find the perfect hardcover book, maybe a super used copy of a book I already love! Thanks for the great idea!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *