Custom Travel Notebook with Hidden Compartment

I got the idea to make a notebook with a hidden compartment for my phone after an experience getting mugged down in Peru. The guys had gone through my things and chose what they wanted, but had my phone been in some carved out pages in my notebook then perhaps they would have overlooked it.

First I started looking for a notebook, one that was only barely bigger than my phone to keep it small. I couldn't find exactly what I needed, so I remembered a friend who had mentioned building his own books and got some advice.

Between him and some Google searches I had a plan. I could sew together my own notebook, exactly the size I needed, and build it in such a way that the first set of pages would not only still be usable for notes, but also relatively easy to take out and replace without replacing the whole notebook.

Leaning heavily on this tutorial I found using the "long stitch" binding method I was able to make to make the notebook, 120 pages long. 84 of those pages I then cut into, using an exacto knife and then a box cutter to carve out the exact dimensions of my phone leaving about a half inch border. Later on I removed these pages and added new ones where I used a jigsaw to carve the hole, which in theory should have been much easier, but still took a little tweaking with some scissors and a box cutter. All the same the result was much cleaner.

In the front cover I made a little pocket out of cardstock papers to hold random papers and metro cards, loose stuff. In the back I added similar rigidity by making a fold-up whiteboard hitchhiking sign, also using cardstock, but with packing tape to be the whiteboard surface (it's awesome).

So now I have my notebook to write or draw in, I can stash my phone or anything else in the carved out area, I can also keep my phone in there and be out in public appearing to be reading or writing, yet actually looking at my phone if need be, discreetly. I can also easily use it as a phone stand to watch something or do some writing with a bluetooth keyboard (who needs a laptop?).

It's about the same weight as my last notebook, which was a standard 8.5 x 11, this one is a little thicker, but tucks away easier since the other dimensions are smaller. I'm digging it so far.

Nice pocket for loose papers.

Phone stand.

Fold up whiteboard for hitchhiking.

See the phone inside? Nope.


Post a Comment