How to Recycle an Old Book Into a Gadget Keeper

Sell used iPhones and buy an iPad that'll fit here!

With the onset of new technologies like eBook readers and tablet PCs, we know people are starting to sell used iPhones and even books to start funding their digital book reading mania. If you’re one of the book collectors who now have dozens of hardbound books left unused, you’re in for a good DIY treat.

Hardcore bookworms would probably find it hard to cut through their books and tear out some pages, but we’re pretty sure this project is worth every page there is. Since bookish looking cases are popping up in the market, why not try to make your own using an old book?

The things you’ll need for this DIY project are:

  • Glue
  • A small Mason jar or plastic cup
  • A box cutter
  • A brush
  • Your iPhone (or any other device you want to keep in your book)
  • A pencil
  • A ruler
  • An old hardbound book (that’s almost as big as the device you’re using as a pattern)

First things first, you have to pick a book that matches the size of your iPhone or any other device which you want to keep in your book. If you can’t find a book small enough for your iPhone (we know it’s hard to find a hardbound book that’s only 4 inches tall), that’s perfectly fine. A bigger book would allow you to store other accessories like your charger, your USB connector, you earbuds as well as your adapters.

To start, prepare your book by setting the first page apart from the rest of the pages. Then, hold the thick part together (including the back cover) and start brushing glue solution on the outer edges of the pages.

The glue solution must be made up of 70% glue and 30% water mixed in a jar or plastic cup. Soak the pages pretty well with the solution but don’t let it ooze or drip. Put dividers between the first page and the part you’ve just glued and let it dry overnight. Make sure to put a heavy object on top of the book so that the pages will be pressed nicely.

Once the book is dry, get a pencil and start outlining your device on the book. If you want to put more things inside the book aside from your iPhone, get a ruler and measure an inch or half an inch from the edges of the book (including the edge near the spine). 

Then, using a box cutter, cut out the pattern you created layer by layer using the ruler and go as deep as you can get. The longer you do this, the more smooth the edges will become. But don’t cut all the way to the cover because it’ll make the keeper less durable.

Brush glue solution on the inside edges of the hollow in the book. You can also apply another coat of glue to the outside edges. Then brush some glue on the rim of the hollowed book pages so the first page would stick to the rest of the book. By doing this, the keeper will have a more finished and neat look. Let it dry over night with a heavy object on top of it.

Lastly, cut around the first page of the book. Make sure the cut is neat and the book is completely dry. And there you have it! Your very own bookish gadget keeper!

Aside from iPhones, you can also use this for your iPad or iPad Mini (which you can easily buy if you sell your iPhone)! Just make sure that you trace the size of your gadget properly and you leave enough space along the edges to secure your gadget.

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Twila Berkley is a smartphone enthusiast, a recycling activist and a self-confessed iPhone addict. She’s currently a resident blogger for and has written articles specializing in recycling and technology. Prior to writing on the web, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications, contributing as an editor and journalist for various entertainment and lifestyle newspapers in and around the state. She loves new gadgets, books, blogs and everything iPhone.