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A few days ago I stumbled upon an abandoned house near by. The curious person that I am couldn’t resist such an opportunity to explore. I brought back with me a few treasures: a lottery ticket (after inquiry, a losing one…), a euro coin from 1999 and those three items.

The hand bag and the notebook cover will become really interesting restoration projects in the near future. But today I will try to give a new life to the agenda (dated 2003) on the right. You see I have been wanting to make a hollow book for my living room to store some things in a stylish and discreet way. But I felt bad hollowing out a real book, even one that I never read. So finding this agenda seemed was the perfect opportunity to realize my project!



I removed the maps of the Canaries Islands (where the abandoned house is located) to keep them for later use in another project (yet to be defined).

Gluing the back-page and the sides

I applied regular white glue to the back-page as well as to the side with a brush.

Then let it dry an hour with a weight on top.

Hollowing-out the book

I drew the outline of the compartment and started hollowing away with an X-acto knife.

About halfway through I applied a coat of glue on the sides and let it dry about an hour.

When the first coat was dry, I continued cutting through to reach the bottom of the book.

At that point I reapplied a coat of glue on the sides of the compartment.

The End…?

Initially, this is where I imagined this post would end. It was intended to be a quick fun project. Two hours and I’ll be done, I thought.

Except that things did not go exactly as planned. I will be honest, at that point I wanted to sweep the dust under the rug, end on those two pictures pretending that everything was fine and throw the thing in the trash.

Screw-ups… and second chances

Because well…I messed-up! I cut all the way through the book cover on my last cuts.

But instead I decided to use the fact that I had to hide my mess as an opportunity to make the book even better.

Thus I set off to re-bind the book.

Re-binding the book

I used black sheepskin that I had laying around.

I cut out the outline of the book + margin, applied leather glue to the cover of the book and carefully bound the leather to the cover.

I also added a layer of leather between the back-cover and the bottom page to make the compartment look more dignified.

As a final touch I stitched the periphery of the top half of the cover with green flax thread au chinois.

Adding embroidery

Not really sure if this is called embroidery…

In any case: I stitched a leafy shape to the backside of the cover.

You might have guessed what this box will be used for by now.

Leather finishing

I applied Tokonole to the leather to modify its texture and feel from satin to sleek.


Finally I stamped out my logo on the top cover.


The finished result. I am very glad I persevered after cutting through the back cover.

As a last detail, I added a latin quote:

Alitur vitium, Vivitque tegendo.


Which translates to “Vice lives and thrives by secrecy”.


The following online content provided some assistance and/or inspiration during the making of this project:

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