hide ja kids, and hide ja modem.
Back when we installed the shelving along one side of our fireplace, I had grand plans of keeping it functional on top of the form. We needed another place to keep some of our books and so it does, but we also needed a place to keep our internet modem and wireless router. The bottom shelf was were I wanted those to go. But, as you can tell, modems and routers don’t really contribute much to aesthetics.
But thank goodness for Pinterest because a long time ago I pinned this idea from Sewing Barefoot and then much later, thrifted the books you see on the far right for the very purpose of that camoflage project.
When I took the pictures for the shelving project post, the modem and router were nestled ever so hastily behind a white basket to hide them from view.
Ok, so I might’ve made that easy for you since I gave away the books but hey! Out of sight and so much better, right?! :)
I started this project last weekend while I was visiting my sister and finished once I got home. It really stinks that it took me so long to finally get it done. I thought it would require more time and effort than it really did. Twenty minutes all-in-all was all it cost me and every second of that was worth the better view.
So, want to make your very own modem hide-out? It’s perfect for hiding just about anything you can fit behind a few books, even secret levers that open up a secret room…if you’re into that kind of thing. ;)
First, grab your supplies. You’ll need a box of some sort to hold whatever it is you’re wanting to hide, several books that, when placed together, span the entire width of that box (you’ll be cutting them apart so don’t use anything you’re planning on reading anytime soon), a razor blade or scissors, a hot glue gun, and glue sticks.
I found all of these books at a local thrift store last year for 75 cents each and used a regular ‘ole cardboard box that I cut two sides off of to hold the modem and router.
Next, grab your razor blade and any pent up anger because it’s time to rip apart some books.
What you’ll want to do is open the front cover of each book and cut out the middle. Be careful to only cut out the inside of the book and not to press so hard that you cut through the binding.
Repeat the same step with the back cover of the book.
Funny story: I noticed upon going in to cut apart one of my books that, not only was it gifted to someone but it was also signed by the author on the very first page. #whoops
Must not’ve been that important if it was donated to a thrift store but still, I felt a little rebellious taking it apart.
After all the insides of the books are gone, decide how you want the books to be lined up.
Once you’ve got your layout (make sure all your books are right-side-up too!), it’s time to shorten all of the covers except for the two on each end.
To do this, I laid each book out flat and held a ruler up against the binding while I cut.
This gave me a straight line to run the razor along and helped ensure that each book would be shortened the same amount. (PS, use a cutting board lest you want to cut into whatever solid surface you’re working on. I used a book I had decided not to use…you can’t see it, but it’s there.)
Now it’s time to glue all of your (what were) books together in the order you had planned. I just ran a small line of hot glue down the cover stubs and attached each book to its neighbor.
After all the books were glued together, I glued the front cover of the farthest book on the left to the left side of the box. Then I glued all of the books to the box by running a line of glue horizontally along the middle of the side of the box that’d be up against the cover stubs and then placing each stub into the line of glue. The important part here is to make sure that the stubs are straight when they hit the glue; make sure they are at a 90 degree angle with the box.
When I had the basic structure of my hideaway finished, I had a small gap between the back cover of the farthest book on the right and the box. Not a huge deal and one that could’ve been left as-is, but just because, I made a little spacer by gluing together a few layers of cardboard and then glued that into my gap.
Nice and sturdy does it.
Up at at ‘em it went with our modem and router tucked nicely behind.
I know I said originally that my plan was to house the hidden modem and router on the bottom shelf, but when I tried that, the cords coming out the back of each made the whole book hideaway stick too far off the end of the shelf. Boo. So, for now and maybe forever, it sits on top of our blu-ray player. I’m still not sure if I’d rather just brainstorm another way to get it back on the shelf or not but for now, it’s hidden and that’s all that matters. I did flank it with two other books on each end to further hide the wires that extended out the back though. Had I a bigger space, I probably would’ve made this thing with some larger books. Keep that in mind when you’re making your own. The covers on the two books on each end should extend or be longer than whatever you’re trying to hide, wires included.
And speaking of hiding things, we finally got around to figuring out how to fanagle all the wires coming from the electronics over the fireplace into our mantel’s side panel. Remember when Chelsea and I built our new mantel and how she helped me make happen the hidden panel I wanted for that sole purpose?
Well, here it is exposed with the lone two wires that need to run down it to reach the outlet below:
One of them is the main cable wire and the other goes to a power strip that sits right on top of the big bracket that holds the TV on the wall, to which everything is plugged in. Every mantel ever should have a hidden panel, that’s what I say.
I’ve also been busy restyling/adding to those shelves and hanging up those three big frames to fill up the big expanse of wall.
The picture doesn’t make it look as good as it does in person. I’m still working on how to get this whole space into one photographic rectangle.
Those frames are oldies and still filled with the same floral calendar prints I framed ages ago. I’m hoping to get a family picture up into them that’s one big picture spread through and filling the three frames. It’s gonna be sa-weet…whenever it happens. The only new things on the shelves are the plants – the top right a thrift score (fake) and everything else clipped from out my front or back door. The ampersand was a $2 thrift find that I had planned to spray paint gold. It once looked like this:
This is right before I primed the entire thing white. When I went out to give it the gold coat, I stopped after spraying from just one angle and loved how it looked so I just quit. I kinda love it.
And that’s that…all starting with our new and improved living room shelves complete with a modem you’d never know was there if you didn’t know because I just told ya. If you make your very own modem-hider, I’d love to see it and add it to this post! Email a picture to me – firstname.lastname@example.org or tag me on Instagram (@beaninlove).
Peace and love and all that jazz.
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