How to Make a Book Float

While books and water don't usually mix, it is possible to make a book float on water, for a sweet surprise. Making a "book boat" requires a little effort but it results in a fabulous illusion that can serve as a neat trick, a useful movie/play prop or just something to amuse yourself with.


  1. Image titled Make a Book Float Step 1
    Choose a book that has no meaning to you. The book will get wet, so it won't be useful afterward. If you don't have a spare book, check out the thrift store copies.
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    Open the book. Cut out the middle of the book's pages to make a hollow space. Cut a rectangle shape, as shown in the images.
  3. Image titled Make a Book Float Step 3
    Add buoyancy (optional). Cut out a piece of foam or layers of cardboard to fit the area cut out of the book. Fit this item to the empty area in the book (not needed unless book is or will be completely soaked through).
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    Close the book. Clamp the pages down with a portable clamp, hand clamp, or potato chip clip.
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    Dip the clamped book. Submerge half the book in melted wax or glue for 15 seconds or more.
    • Take care to avoid applying too much melted wax or glue. This can make the book heavy and it won't float. A thin layer is sufficient.
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    Remove the clamp. Set the non-dipped half of the book down on a dry, clean surface, and let dry.
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    Put the clamp back on. Submerge the other half of the book, and let dry.
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    Try the boat out on water. It should sit atop the water, buoyant and flat.
    • If it does not float, too much glue has been applied (see above).
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    Finished. You can now use the item to trick a friend or to be a prop in your next online video hit.


  • White glue works quite well.


  • The book will be destroyed by this process.
  • You will need a lot of glue to apply over the book.

Things You'll Need

  • Old, unwanted book
  • Craft knife for hollowing out the book
  • Foam for buoyancy (optional)
  • Glue or wax for covering book
  • Pot for melting wax (if using)
  • Gloves (to avoid glue on hands)
  • Water

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