DIY Hidden Storage

Posted by Katie King
Transform a simple paper-mache box into a DIY hidden secret storage space that looks like vintage books!

If I had to describe one thing about my house it would be that it's overflowing with books. I mean, there are books on shelves, books on tables, books in chairs, we really have books everywhere (see even my sentences are sounding like Dr. Seuss rhymes). Needless to say, ever since I could remember my house has always been a sea of books.

Now if this was a Nancy Drew novel and we were following the clues to figure out how this story began, the trail of dog-eared books and tattered bookmarks would lead straight to my mother. My mother has always been an advocate of reading and always encouraged the hobby growing up. With that being said, at the ''wise age'' of eight I didn't take to the idea of reading as a hobby and would instead use my books as ''skates'' when inside the house. My mother not being thrilled with this idea decided to encourage crafting instead (thanks mom)!

The reading bug did eventually bite me but not as strong as Spider-Man being bitten by that gross radioactive spider. I didn't turn into a fast pace super-ninja reader but I did read a few classics and found a group of books which I liked reading.

What does this all have to do with crafting you might ask? Well, recently I came across these book tabs from 7Gypsies and they reminded me of not only my mother but of an item that I used to have which was used for storage. The item was made to look like old books when it was actually a storage box. I thought the overall concept was really neat and that it would make a fun craft project for any new beginning crafter.

So today I'll be showing you how you can transform a simple paper-mache box to look like a bunch of vintage books which will also act as storage!


  • Paper-Mache Square Box Set Of 3-8.5", 7.5" & 6" ( for this project I just used the 6'')
  • 7Gypsies - Santa's Journey - Book Tabs
  • Adhesive Tape (I'm using the 3L - EZ Runner)
  • Craft Knife
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint

Take your 7Gypsies-Book Tabs and lay them on top of your lid. Depending on how big your lid is will affect how many of the 7Gypsies-Book Tabs you will need. For my lid (which was 6 inches) I used two of the 7Gypsies-Book Tabs.

Now make sure your book tabs line up with the bottom edge of your lid (you don't want them hanging over). Once your happy with the placement, trace around the top of your book tabs where you see the cardboard lid showing.

Remove your book tabs and grab your craft knife. Using your craft knife, cut along the line you just created when tracing around your book tabs. When your done, you should have something like the above picture.

Paint your box with acrylic paint. For this project you will only need to paint around three sides of your box and around the edges of the lid. When you're done, set the box and the lid to the side to dry.

Once your lid is dry, adhere your 7Gypsies-Book Tabs to the lid by using your adhesive tape. When doing this step, make sure (again) that the bottom of the book tabs lines up with the bottom of your lid. Also after completing this step, you should not see any part of the cardboard lid. Your lid should look like a bunch of books siting next to each-other.

Take your lid and lay it flat onto your work surface. You will want the back of the lid to be facing you like in the photo. Then grab the body of your box and apply some adhesive tape to the one side you did not paint. Then take the body of your box and press it into the lid. Refer to the above picture to get a better idea of how it should look.

As a side note, I'm using the adhesive tape because I know I will be putting light weight items into my box. Now if you're planning to store heavier items in your box then I would suggest using some E6000 to glue the lid onto the body of the box. That way if you're transporting the box to another shelf, everything will be more secure.

When your pieces are put together, you are ready to add your new ''books'' to a bookshelf!

This hidden book storage is a great way to make use of a small space and can really hold a good amount stuff!

What do you guys think? Are you a fan of hidden storage that looks like books?