Book Box

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Submitted by JoanneS on Fri, 11/21/2014 - 16:48
Starter Projects
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Build a Book Box from Scrap wood.  Quick and easy, great as a starter project, makes a great gift.

.pdf copy of the plan is also attached.

book box, keepsake, gift, gift, scrap wood, starter project

Book Box Keepsake gift

                There are some pretty cool pictures of Book Boxes out on the internet.  But, the plans out there were more difficult and time consuming than I wanted to do, requiring special tools and techniques.  I want to build several of these for gifts, and wasn’t interested in a complicated plan.  This is my plan for a quick and easy to build book box, using standard size boards and straight cuts, and would be ideal for a starter project.  This one is sized so a stack of 4x6 standard picture prints will fit easily inside. 

This is also an ideal project to use up scrap wood – you only need about 2 feet of 1x8 and 3 feet of 1x2. You could make this whole build with hand tools.  I’m a power tool girl though, so I used my table saw to rip some reclaimed wood to standard board sizes, and used the miter saw, nailgun, palm sander, and drill/driver for this build.

The hinge is on the back, and the “spine” of the book is painted to hide the hinge.  The edges of the “spine” are rounded using some 60-grit sandpaper.    I used some leftover paints for the book part, and metallic craft paint for the stripe and “pages”.   Since I already had the wood and paint, the only things I needed to purchase were flat hinges, some 2-oz metallic craft paints, and some optional Velcro circles (1 pack is enough for several boxes).

This one is painted with a contrasting color for the spine, using cream paint, gloss black, and gold craft paint for the “pages”.  Tip for painting clean lines:  Tape off the lines with painters tape, and apply some clear poly to the tape edges and allow it to dry before painting. 

To keep the “book” closed if it’s standing up, I added some circles of clear Velcro fastener.   You could use magnets too.  If you are going to leave it flat, you can skip the fastener step. 

Length: 9 1/4"
Width" 7 1/4"
Height: 3"


Shopping List

1 pc 1x8 @ 2’

1 pc 1x2 @ 3’

Wood glue

1 ¼” finish nails

1 set flat hinges (no wider than 1 ½”, and no longer than 4”)

Finishing materials (sandpaper, filler, tape, and paint or stain for desired finish)

Cut List

Top/bottom:  2 pc 1x8 @ 9 ¼”

Back:  1 pc 1x2 @ 9 ¼”

Sides:  2 pc 1x2 @ 5 ½”

Front:  1 pc 1x2 @ 8 ¾”

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Attaching sides to back and front.

Step 2

Attaching bottom to the box

Step 3

Finishing - for this build I kept the front "page" corners sharp, and sanded all the remaining edges.  For the book "spine", this was rounded using 60-grit sandpaper and the palm sander.

Step 4

Finishing box with multiple colors - box, spine, and pages.  Tip for clean painted lines:  apply some clear poly to the taped edges and allow to dry before painting on the color.

Step 5

Step 6

Optional - velcro closure

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Finish Used
Box: 3 coats Clark & Kensington semi gloss in Crushed Peanut; Spine: 3 coats Clark & Kensington gloss black; Pages and stripe: 2 coats Americana gloss enamel metallic in Glorious Gold

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