Friday, April 12, 2013

How To Make A Book Cover Pencil Box

  I got this idea from a book cover memory box I saw years ago. This pencil box is a simpler version using easy to access materials. Here is what you need:

  • Balsa wood comes in a lot of different thicknesses. Make sure to pick balsa wood thick enough to be sturdy.  The kind of balsa wood I chose was about a quarter of an inch. If you want, you can choose a different type of wood. Balsa wood is ideal for the crafter who does not have experience or the right equipment for sturdier wood. It is easy to cut through using a craft knife. 
  • If you don't have wood glue but you do have some sort of hefty craft glue, this should work too.

Step One: Choose Your Book
  It is important to choose a book that is long enough to fit pencils (Or whatever it is you want to put in it) and thick enough to actually act as a box. I would say to look for a book that has a spine that is at least an inch thick. Most importantly, find a book with an interesting cover so your box will be dazzling to behold! I've had this 'Modern Biology' book cover squirreled away with my craft supplies for years. I knew I wanted to use it in some project, but didn't know what until recently.

Step Two: Cut out the pages.
  Use your craft knife to cut the pages out of your book. Just cut down the spine of the book in front and back. Bring you knife down on the side with the pages, not along the cover of the book. If the book you are using has interesting pictures, save them for a future craft project. Pictures from old books make great collage and decoupage supplies. They are also perfect for unique handmade cards.

Step Three: Measure!

  You need the length, width and spine width of the book in order figure out the size of the panels (or sides of your box). You will need four panels. There are two ways to get the measurements needed for your panels.

Way One (The more confusing but more accurate option)- Measure the width of the book, the length of the book, and the width of the book's spine. Measure the width of the balsa wood you are using and multiply it by two. Panels one and two should be as wide as the book's spine and as long as the books length. Panels three and four should be as wide as the book spine. The length of panels three and four should be the length of the book's width minus the last measurement (width of the wood multiplied by two.)

Way Two (The more laid-back but less accurate option) - Measure the width of the book, the length of the book and the width of the book's spine. Panels one and two should be as wide as the books spine and as long as the book's length. Panels three and four should be as wide as the book spine's width and as long as the book's width. These measurements will not be completely accurate. They will be a little long. So from hear do some tinkering. Fit the panels in the book and  cut down the length where needed. I ended up cutting down the length of the panels a couple of times and then fitting them in the book a couple of times before I reached the perfect length.

Use the trusty chart below for additional help.

Step Four:  Cut your panels.
  Use your measurements from step three and draw panels onto your balsa wood. Now cut the panels out! An xacto knife or box cutter should do the trick.

Step Five: Sand paper the panels.
  This step is optional depending on how jagged your edges are. To get nice, smooth edges, run a piece of sand paper over them a couple of times.

Step Six: Glue panels to book.
No glue will be going on the inside cover of your book. This is the lid and will need to flip open.

First, glue panel one along the book spine.

Next, put glue on the bottom edge and side edges of panels three and four. Place glued edges on the bottom cover along the width sides of the book.

Last, glue panel two along the last edge of the book.

Step Seven: Let Glue Dry
   I placed a bunch of books on top of my book cover pencil box so the wood would be securely in place. This step is especially important if you live with a curious cat or dog whose investigations may lead to the destruction of your craft project.

Let it dry over night. Take the books off... and viola! You now have a simple but interesting box to store pencils and other kinck-knacks.
Inside of box
Outside of box

Step Eight: Fill your new box up.
  Fill your box up with pencils or your choice of knick-knacks.


Autumn Elixe said...

What a fun project. A good way to recycle a book and give it another decorative/functional use.

Marieken Hoefnagel said...

Fun idea, and I really like that turtle illustration

Amber @ Fauna Finds Flora said...

Thank you both!

Tony LaRocca said...

Wow, that's an amazing idea, very cool. It's also a good place to hide a murder weapon for a classic mystery movie! :D

Amber @ Fauna Finds Flora said...

Tony- hahaha!