Secret Stash Objects

For Father’s Day this year, my dad announced he wanted a Kindle.  Now, this is actually a bit unusual for him.  Usually he asks for things like “more time with you kids” or “my car needs vacuuming.”  So to have him actually want something specific was remarkable.  Which also meant, of course he was going to get it.  We all chipped in for it, but we still felt like he should have a few more things to unwrap.  My brother got him a really nice leather case for it.  And I got him a book.

Stash book closed

It may seem an odd choice. But my dad has worked for insurance companies all of his professional life. He was a little surprised to see this after he’d asked for a Kindle (even made a half hearted “Wow, this is, really, uh, nice”), but then he opened the book past the first few pages and realized what it was:

Stash book open

And then he just laughed. Mostly with relief that we hadn’t bought him some clunky insurance book for Father’s Day.  It’s a Kindle disguise!  This way he can take the Kindle with him to work and make it look like he is reading something official and important while devouring the latest mystery or thriller of his choice.  I’d meant to take more in production shots of it while I was working on it, but I forgot until I was nearly done.  The process is remarkably simple.  To find some directions, I just googled “hollow book” and got lots and lots of choices.  I mostly followed these directions with a few modifications:

1.  I used PVA instead of Elmers glue.  It is acid free and intended for use with paper and books.  I still mixed it 50/50 with water.  And a small amount was plenty.

2. After gluing all the edges, insert a piece of waxed paper between the glued pages and the rest of the book.  This will keep the whole thing from sticking together while it dries and avoids the use of spacers.  Also, because the book is pressed truly flat as it dries, there is little to no warping of the pages.  I left mine glued for about an hour before I went back to it.

3. I also used a big blade and not a little exacto knife for the cutting. However, I used a proper box cutter (you can see part of it in the photo above) and not one of  those with the break away blades.  Those just aren’t sturdy enough in my opinion.  Also, I didn’t glue another page onto the top of my stack.  I just erased the marks I’d left and it looked fine.

As a further present, I’d tucked an amazon.com giftcard inside so he could buy some actual ebooks to go on his Kindle.  He seemed quite pleased with the whole thing.  And the Kindle fit!  Well, mostly. I’d gotten the specs for it off the website and left a little room to be generous.  And it was just right as far as length and width.  I did have to make it a little deeper (the Kindle is fatter in person), but that was an easy fix.

I knew today was the day to blog about this when I was reading my boingboing feed this morning.  They posted about  Yiting Cheng’s “Secret Stash” project.  As they said, it’s “a series of everyday objects modified to include clever little hiding places”:

Brilliant!  This takes the idea of hiding in plain sight to a whole new level.  There is an awesome little video about the work here.

[via boingboing]

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75 responses to this post.

  1. How inventive! Well done!

    What’s a kindle btw?

    Reply

  2. Posted by SocialAnswers on July 1, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    I’m sure he is a very proud father..
    Well done.

    Reply

  3. Hilarious–your dad’s heart must’ve plummeted when he saw that dreadful book. That stack of papers is a very clever disguise, too!
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Reply

  4. Nice! That’s a great idea. It seems simple, but I’ll bet making it was more of a hassle than you thought it would be.

    http://toddpack.com

    Reply

  5. This was really creative! Your father must’ve been so happy to see that Kindle =]

    Reply

  6. Posted by Raul on July 1, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    This is a great idea…that’s thinking outside of the box!

    http://www.wutevs.wordpress.com

    Reply

  7. A seriously clever idea. And what a neat way to present your idea to your dad. Well done!

    Reply

  8. It seems like an awful lot of trouble to subvert the ‘rules’ of the office, but if it’s going to make him more happy. . .

    This was truly inventive and creative. It is nice to see people using their skills for positive endeavors. 😀

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

    Reply

  9. What a fantastic gift for your dad. I am sure he must have been really emotional knowing that his kids had spent time on something just for him. I would love to have a similar surprise from my kids.

    Reply

  10. I should ask my son to buy me a Kindle for my birthday this year. Yes, I think I’d like that.

    The Codger
    http://thecodger.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  11. […] secret stash 2010, yiting cheng I found this awesome site when I was reading this blog on hollow books (found it on the Freshly Pressed WordPress page). Check out the video, it’s so […]

    Reply

  12. EXCELLENT idea!!! 🙂

    Reply

  13. Great idea – I should have made one of these for my Kindle. As it is, I tell my colleagues that I’m reading work-related books. Which is mostly true.

    Reply

  14. Oh wow, I wish my mom (on Mother’s day) and my father would say all they wanted was something that didn’t cost money lol They’re always so expensiveeeee!

    Reply

  15. Clever!

    Reply

  16. That’s a pretty good gift/joke!
    good idea!

    Reply

  17. Very good!

    Reply

  18. Posted by grimaud50 on July 1, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    I think I’ll try this with my ipad – it would be very nifty!

    Reply

  19. i love this…. now i have a way to sneak my kindle to work….lol

    hope
    http://hopelesslycrushingonyou.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  20. Why did you do that?

    Reply

  21. I have resisted e-books because I love the old-fashioned feel of a book in my hand. Maybe this is the answer! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  22. Posted by Ju on July 1, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    That was awesome! I never would have thought to do that. Good job, guys!

    Reply

  23. I LOVE IT!!! What good KIDS!!! I’ve been thinking of getting a kindle or one of the ebook things . . .is it Good??? Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!!!

    evelyngarone.wordpress.com

    Reply

  24. I think that is a fantastic idea, not so sure Donald J. Hirsch would appreciate the multiple uses his book can serve! Judging by the title it would also be great for insomniacs…

    Reply

  25. Wow, that’s great!!! Love it!

    http://sylviangirl.wordpress.com

    Reply

  26. Oooh. Secret stuff. This is great. I didn’t think it would be quite so complicated, but if you want to do a good job, it’s worth it. thanks for the fun read.
    Weighing in on Kindles, part of me is screaming for one, but then I’d probably start reading something and want to go buy the book. Instant gratification or the feel of real paper. Hmmmm.

    Reply

  27. Very smart …bet your dad was thrilled!

    Reply

  28. I need to do this for my Kindle!! Thanks for the great idea 🙂

    Reply

  29. Posted by Irene Suwarno on July 1, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    That’s a great idea!

    Reply

  30. Cool, nothing like getting something homemade for a gift, the Kindle was a bonus 🙂

    http://melinashangout.wordpress.com

    Reply

  31. quite excellent! well done!

    Reply

  32. Kuds on being featured, and also, how ingenious! I always thought these books were the kinda thing you got for a kid in a cheap spy/detective toy shop, but I’ve always secretly wanted one. As a writer nothing beats the feeling of scratching something down exceitedly at 3 am in a notebook. I always find that inspiration chooses to strike when I can’t sleep, so I keep a few note books near my bed, just in case. THis would be a brilliant idea so that my mom, sister and brothers (or any other family member likely to mock me for my writing) wont find my books. And I have a huge old textbook of my brothers that would be perfect! Thanks for the idea!

    …mind you, if I didnt have the stress of worrying about my books being discovered, I might actually sleep a bit… and miss out on inspiration! *Gasp!*

    anyways congrats!

    Reply

  33. Sorry, that first word was supposed to be “KudOs”

    Reply

  34. Wonderful job of keeping Dad on his toes–“don’t judge a book by its cover”

    I’ll have to keep it in mind for the future!

    Reply

  35. Truely an inaovative and useful gift. Something that will be treasured…and used.

    Reply

  36. […] Some of the ones that I’ve heard of probably came about independently, but the ones like the book used as a Kindle case on The Compost Pile and the implementations shown in the video (link to Vimeo) on Yiting […]

    Reply

  37. SUCH a great idea! Well done.

    Reply

  38. That was one of the most clever gift ideas I’ve ever heard of! Well done!

    Reply

  39. Posted by preetybird7 on July 1, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    so cool

    Reply

  40. […] For Father's Day this year, my dad announced he wanted a Kindle.  Now, this is actually a bit unusual for him.  Usually he asks for things like "more time with you kids" or "my car needs vacuuming."  So to have him actually want something specific was remarkable.  Which also meant, of course he was going to get it.  We all chipped in for it, but we still felt like he should have a few more things to unwrap.  My brother got him a really nice leath … Read More […]

    Reply

  41. […] 2, 2010 in Books https://mycompostpile.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/secret-stash-objects/ Contact serena.tea@aka.com Interesting ThingsArt Books Culture Life Mapping Philosophy […]

    Reply

  42. […] Secret Stash Objects (via The Compost Pile) For Father's Day this year, my dad announced he wanted a Kindle.  Now, this is actually a bit unusual for him.  Usually he asks for things like "more time with you kids" or "my car needs vacuuming."  So to have him actually want something specific was remarkable.  Which also meant, of course he was going to get it.  We all chipped in for it, but we still felt like he should have a few more things to unwrap.  My brother got him a really nice leath … Read More […]

    Reply

  43. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    I liked your stash idea for the Kindle, and that it just looks like you’re carrying around a book! The stack of papers as a stash spot is a great idea too. It would blend right in on my desk too!

    http://learning2hear.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  44. Posted by Songbird on July 2, 2010 at 2:24 AM

    Such a cute idea!!! And I’m glad it worked so well!

    Reply

  45. […] dejar un comentario » For Father's Day this year, my dad announced he wanted a Kindle.  Now, this is actually a bit unusual for him.  Usually he asks for things like "more time with you kids" or "my car needs vacuuming."  So to have him actually want something specific was remarkable.  Which also meant, of course he was going to get it.  We all chipped in for it, but we still felt like he should have a few more things to unwrap.  My brother got him a really nice leath … Read More […]

    Reply

  46. Found your blog highly entertaining and the idea inventive. Although I have seen hollowed out books used before, mainly for hiding money and discreting jewellery just before a big moment, the originality of your idea and its humourous deceit made me smile.

    Beyond the application of the idea most of my appreciation is reserved for the language used in Yiting Cheng’s “Secret Stash” and the reminder of the power of the word causality. A word over used in academic circles and in need of being recaptured for social and philosophical use.

    You may have even inspired another “word powder” blog at http://englistics.wordpress.com

    Reply

  47. […] the rest here: Secret Stash Objects Share and […]

    Reply

  48. haha, awesome idea!! Cheers!
    I actually got something similar on my 13th bday. It was actually a Gameboy disguise so that I could take it to school with me 😀

    http://imaginarybeing.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  49. That is good idea…

    Reply

  50. Posted by janili on July 2, 2010 at 5:39 AM

    Your father is a very lucky man…that secret stash object is a labor of love.

    Reply

  51. Posted by Barry Mañana on July 2, 2010 at 6:26 AM

    Can I have the pages that you cut out?

    You’ve kindled my curiosity towards Casualty Claim Practice.

    Reply

  52. Great I love it!!

    Reply

  53. Posted by pamiejane on July 2, 2010 at 7:20 AM

    Lol! Great idea.

    Reply

  54. Posted by heather holinka on July 2, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    what a terrific idea!

    Reply

  55. Hmmm…
    A. I want a Kindle too 🙂
    B. What a clever way to embed this special gift
    C.Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to try this 🙂

    Reply

  56. What a great story/idea! I love it.
    http://www.denwrites.com

    Reply

  57. clever! how snug is the kindle fit?

    Reply

  58. Posted by Lulu on July 2, 2010 at 9:59 AM

    a brilliant idea

    Reply

  59. Good Idea! I like it.

    Reply

  60. Pretty awesome!

    I hollowed out a lighter to keep an SD card with my passwords on it: http://vegancoffeehouse.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/zippo-into-hungry-hippo/ :3

    Lovin the idea you guys did for the kindle, but leather is just very… eww…
    I like your “case” better! 😀 I’ll have to do this when i get my ipod touch!

    Reply

  61. cool!!!

    Reply

  62. Posted by Mik on July 2, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    Brilliant, I have hollowed out a Moleskine notebook to hold an iPod, flash drive and RSA security key, but this is a great idea. Helps hide the Kindle for when using it on public transport.

    Reply

  63. That is such a clever idea! What does he think about the kindle? Before long that kind of thing will be so normal he won’t need to disguise it! I love reading about how technology is changing our everyday habits like how we read a book. http://evologynow.wordpress.com

    Reply

  64. This is fantastic. I’m moving back in with my mother soon, and I was worried about how I would hide my journals. Thank you for reminding me of this classic technique. I have some old textbooks that will serve this purpose nicely.

    Reply

  65. […] For Father's Day this year, my dad announced he wanted a Kindle.  Now, this is actually a bit unusual for him.  Usually he asks for things like "more time with you kids" or "my car needs vacuuming."  So to have him actually want something specific was remarkable.  Which also meant, of course he was going to get it.  We all chipped in for it, but we still felt like he should have a few more things to unwrap.  My brother got him a really nice leath … Read More […]

    Reply

  66. Posted by blablablaire on July 5, 2010 at 6:43 AM

    Wow i love it! Such a clever idea. I’ve been thinking of gift ideas lately to go to a friend. I might have to add this to the list! Love it.

    Reply

  67. Actually, the book most useful and more entertaining for all stages

    Reply

  68. Creativity is a wonderful thing.

    Reply

  69. Posted by lintypocket on July 6, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    Love this! So innovative. So forward. Love, love, love.

    Reply

  70. He must be lucky to have a son like you.

    Reply

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