Book Façade Secret Storage

4 Materials
2 Hours

We can always use extra storage. And storage that's a secret hideaway is even better. So what you see here isn't actually a row of books. It’s a trompe l’oeil illusion, art that tricks the eye into thinking it’s looking at a three-dimensional object. What you’re really seeing is a book façade hiding secret storage compartments. It’s a handy place to hide checkbooks, high school pictures of yourself you want no one to see, and the TV remote control.
It's like those Scooby-Doo shows where there's a bookcase that swivels to reveal a secret chamber. Well, kind of.
Start by choosing some books with interesting spines. I like to use hardbound books.
The key to making the façade look real is to line up the spines of actual books on a photocopier so that the photocopy captures the shadows between the books. Line up the spines of your books on a color photocopier. Choose enough books so that they measure about a foot. I recommend using a laser copier at the copy store instead of your inkjet printer at home. The resulting image will be more realistic, capturing both shadows and reflections. Oh, and you’ll probably have to use the 11 by 17 paper. 
Apply spray adhesive to the back of the photocopy, and adhere it to a piece of foam core board. Then cut around the image of the books with a hobby knife. 
Hot glue some storage boxes to the back of the book façade. I made the boxes here with my Sizzix die cutting machine, but you can always use old boxes like a shoebox. Just make sure the width of the box is smaller than the width of the book façade.
From the front, it looks just like a row of books.
And when you put it on a bookshelf, you can't tell the real books from the fake books.
But only you know where that remote control is hidden.
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Jonathan Fong

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Iberkeley
    on Nov 14, 2019

    It look great and was, it appears, a lot of work. But was it worth the effort in terms of safety? Just curious - seems a safe would be better.

    • Kate
      on Nov 21, 2019

      Carol Caffarel, you're absolutely right! That's a great place to hide my candy from my grandkids.

  • GrandmaDragon
    on Nov 17, 2019

    What I like best is the fact that no actual books were harmed in the course of this project! So hard to damage a book to make secret storage; which one dies?

    • Cher B
      on Nov 22, 2019

      My first thought was, "Please tell me you didn't chop up those books!" LOL Brilliant idea!

  • Matu
    on Nov 19, 2019

    That is so cool, well done. Gonna show my boys this

Join the conversation

2 of 56 comments
  • Suzette Trimmer
    on Nov 22, 2019

    What a terrific idea my hats off to you for finding and creating this very unique idea that is practical as well as visually pleasing. I do declare I shall be happy to copy your design, and Thank you most kindly for submitting it here for all of us D.I.Y.'s !!!!!

  • Muji
    on Nov 25, 2019

    I love this idea.

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