Vintage and found books transformed into Hollow Books

Sunnyvale, California

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Announcement    All hollow books are carved out by hand. Each book is selected for appearance, title, and durability. Sometimes I alter the front covers with hand-painted silhouettes and shapes.

Have a particular title or book genre in mind?...Ask about custom orders!


Last updated on Feb 19, 2019

All hollow books are carved out by hand. Each book is selected for appearance, title, and durability. Sometimes I alter the front covers with hand-painted silhouettes and shapes.

Have a particular title or book genre in mind?...Ask about custom orders!


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About TealStripes

Sales 174
On Etsy since 2008

Shop FAQs

Shop FAQs:

-How long does it take to hollow out a book?

I work in batches (5-6 books at a time), so while it does take time to glue the book together, hollow it out, and wait for it to dry before it’s “finished”, I cannot estimate. Plus, if I choose to alter the front cover, that can add time. Maybe 3-4 hours? But really, you can’t rush the process.

-You hand-carve every book?

Yes. I go through a lot of Exacto-knife blades.

-Why books?

I love to read, so I’m used to being around books. Books are universal, even though we rely on technology now Everyone is familiar with books. People like the idea that an old book is being used for something else; it's been given a new life. They have an odd nostalgic quality. (Do you like the smell of old books?)

-What type of glue do you use?

I use Mod Podge, which works great as an adhesive AND as a coating.

-Why do you line the inside with book pages?

If I left the “inside” of the book “blank”, you would see all the crazy cuts, jagged edges, etc., from the process of hollowing out the book. By lining the inside with pages from the actual book, it hides any boo-boos and looks nice. I think it creates a good, visual texture.

-Do you alter/upcycle anything else?

Not yet. I have so many other craft/fine art pursuits, I don’t have time to take up anything new.

-Where do your books come from?

MOST of the books I received for FREE from local libraries. I like knowing that I am putting them to good use, rather than seeing them thrown away. However, this limits the quality and type of books I can find.

-Do you have [particular title]?

I have many books in my stash, and I do try to get books that have fun/unusual/popular titles. But if you are looking for a particular book, I will probably not have it. I’m not a bookstore nor pretend to be. If there is a particular genre you enjoy, PLEASE ASK. I might have something that you’d be interested in.

-Why don’t you have [particular title]?

Again, I get my books for free. I don’t collect books all the time, nor do I have the time. I also do not buy “new” books to hollow out. If there is a book you’d like, we can set up a custom order. I have purchased books before for custom orders.

-Why do some of the front covers have painted silhouettes/shapes and others do not?

I always use hard cover books because they’re sturdy, but some of them have plain/blank/bland/discolored front covers, so I like to make them more appealing by adding painted silhouettes, etc. Some books have such nice covers, that they don’t need to be altered. I like to embellish the covers because it gives a unique quality.

-What could I put inside these books?

Most are deep enough for jewelry, candy, receipts, gift cards, crayons, even crochet needles. Whatever you can fit in them!

Shop members

  • Courtney


    I'm lucky. I get to teach what I'm passionate about: art. I teach ceramics and sculpture to high schoolers. I also find time to craft. I love working with my hands and playing with art materials. I also love exploring colors in painting.

Shop policies

Last updated on July 4, 2018
During the day, I am a high school art teacher. When I'm not teaching, I enjoy creating. All items are made by me, unless noted otherwise. If you have any questions about the items, send a convo or email me.

***I offer a 10% discount for teachers. Please contact me prior to your order for the discount code.***

Need help buying on Etsy? Visit this article to find out!

Accepted payment methods

Paypal Mastercard Visa American Express Discover Apple Pay Klarna Giftcard
Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
I don't accept returns, exchanges, or cancellations
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
Returns and exchange details
I try to visually represent and accurately describe all work in my shop. All books are hollowed out by hand, by me.

-Custom items are not returnable. For custom orders, each purchase is final.

-If you are not satisfied with your purchase, please contact me. I'll work with you on a case-by-case basis. The buyer is responsible for shipping the item back to me.
Credit Cards are accepted thru Paypal or Etsy Direct check out.

Payment is due upon purchase. Etsy requires payment to be made immediately upon check out. If payment is not made within 3 days, and the customer does not respond to a convo reminder, I reserve the right to cancel the sale.

Cancellations from the buyer should be notified in advance of shipping.
All items are shipped once a week after confirmed payment, by USPS. I try to ship items via First-Class, however heavier items are sometimes shipped via Media Mail (it is cheaper and won't need additional payment from you). Media Mail usually takes 2-3 weeks; if that happens, I will let you know.

If you would like your shipment to be upgraded to Priority or Express mail, insurance, etc., please let me know before you check out. We can work something out for you and we can send you an updated invoice.

**You will receive a convo that day I ship your purchase and the shipping rate I have used.

Your purchase will be covered in recycled paper/tissue paper for protection, and packaged in an envelope. A copy of your payment and shipping information will also be included.

I cannot guarantee arrival dates, but I will communicate with you if you have concerns. :)
Additional policies and FAQs
If you are interested in custom orders, please contact me so we can make something special!