Introduction: 10 Places to Hide a Spare Key

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10 Places to Hide a Spare Key

Have you ever been locked out of your house?

Have you ever needed to let a friend into your house while you were not at home?

Here are 10 great places to hide a spare key for future usage!

1. In your Vinyl Siding

2. Under the Dog house

3. On your Car

4. Under the Deck

5. On a Tree

6. In a Dryer Vent

7. Behind a Thermometer

8. In a Birdhouse

9. In the Power Meter Box

10. With a Neighbor


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Use of content for personal projects is at your own risk. Some hiding places can be dangerous.

Step 1: In Your Vinyl Siding

Picture of In Your Vinyl Siding

Hide it in your Vinyl Siding

If you have vinyl siding on your house, you have many built in hiding places around your house.

First tie a small piece of fishing line on your spare key.

Then slide the key into one of the seems of you vinyl siding with just a little bit of the fishing line showing.

When needed, just carefully pull on the fishing line to get the key.

Step 2: Under the Doghouse

Picture of Under the Doghouse

Hide it Under the Doghouse

If you own a dog, then a great place to hide a key is within its territory.

To make this hiding spot even better, let’s hide the key under the dog house.

Because who wants to mess with a strange dog’s home.

When you hide it under the doghouse, make sure it is a little higher then the surrounding surface to keep it from getting wet and rusting.

In our case, we put it on a piece of wood.

Step 3: On Your Car

Picture of On Your Car

Hide it on Your Car

If you have a car, then most of the time you should have access to your vehicle when you are outside of your house.

A great place to hide a spare key is behind your license plate.

Just take a spare key and wrap it in some tape to keep it from rusting and from scratching your paint.

Then remove one of the screws holding the plate.

Place the key behind the plate and aligned with the hole.

Reinstall the screw, and you have a great hiding spot.

This is a good spot for a spare car key too.

Step 4: Under the Deck

Picture of Under the Deck

Hide it Under the Deck

A deck or under the house is a great place to hide a spare key.

You can hide the key anywhere underneath this structure, but I would recommend a corner, so it is easier to find in the future.

You need to place a nail into the wood with an upward angle. This will use gravity to keep the key securely against the wood.

Also try to pick the driest location to prevent the key from rusting.

This is also a great location for children to have access.

Step 5: On a Tree

Picture of On a Tree

Hide it on a Tree

If you live in a wooded area, then a tree can work for you.

You need to pick a tree that is a short distance from your house.

On the side of the tree facing away from your house, add a small nail with an upward angle.

The key can be hung on this nail.

I recommend covering the key in a light layer of paint or other product to keep it from rusting.

Step 6: In a Dryer Vent

Picture of In a Dryer Vent

Hide it in a Dryer Vent

On the side of most houses, there is a dryer vent or fan vent.

Just on the inside of many of these vents, there is a small ledge.

This makes a great place to hide a spare key.

Do not slide the key in to far.

Be careful to watch out for wasp nests.

Step 7: Behind a Thermometer

Picture of Behind a Thermometer

Hide it Behind a Thermometer

If you like to know the temperature at your house, then you should have thermometer.

These products make a great place to hide a spare key.

If you have the small variety, just tape a key to the back and hang it back up.

This is such easy access, that most people will not even realize how close they really are to you spare key.

Step 8: In a Birdhouse

Picture of In a Birdhouse

Hide it Inside of a Birdhouse

If you like birds, then a birdhouse makes for great entertainment and for hiding a spare key.

Just put your key in a small plastic capsule, and place it at the back of the birdhouse.

Then place some pine straw on top of it.

If you ever needed it, just watch out for birds nesting inside.

Step 9: In the Power Meter Box

Picture of In the Power Meter Box

Hide it in the Power Meter Box

Most houses should have a power meter on the outside.

And in many cases, the meter is now read wirelessly, which means that the power company rarely comes to your house any more.

If this is your case, then this box makes a great place to hide a spare key.

I was able to hang our key, but you may have to tape your key.

Be very careful, thee could be exposed electrical wiring, which can be very dangerous.

Step 10: With a Neighbor

Picture of With a Neighbor

Hide a Key with a Neighbor

Last but not least, if you have trustworthy neighbor in your area, then they are a great source for holding a spare key.

Also you could ask them if you could hide a key on their property.

That way if someone found it, they would not know which house it went to.




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batvette (author)2016-07-20

I never had a problem finding someplace close to anywhere I have lived to put spare house keys in a bag and bury them. As for the car I get a spare cut and jb weld a rare earth magnet to it. Slap it virtually anywhere under the car, it won't fall off ever if the magnet is big enough.

SuitNurse1 (author)batvette2016-08-21

Re: the spare car key, what is a RARE EARTH MAGNET, & where can it be purchased?

bizzycrafter (author)batvette2016-07-20

*Note to people who live on places that get hard-frozen ground and a lot of snow...Burying keys is probably a better idea in some places than in others

romulopericles (author)2016-08-14

New ideia from yours... The spare car keys under the license...

Tezcumpapa (author)2016-08-14

If you want to use a "decoy" birdhouse, put a ball or fragment of a mothball. The birds will not nest in there nor will bats or squirrels. Wrap it in a small baby sock, or something similar like fruit netting, with a string attached. That way it can be removed. Place your key inside. I have several bird houses that are actively used, no one notices the empty one.

Khord (author)2016-08-14

Nearly all house keys are made of brass or nickel plated brass, so they don't rust or corrode. No need to mention rust prevention in those ~4 or so examples.

elianasweet (author)2016-07-29

Wow this is quite interesting, great idea. Thanks for sharing

DarrelO1 (author)2016-07-19

What I did was I bought a real estate lock box and I have it locked around my metal water pipe. It has a 4-digit combination on it, so if I don't have my keys, I just unlock the lock box with the combination and there's a key inside there. I don't trust hiding places.

Annette Barron (author)DarrelO12016-07-21

Where did you get the real estate lock box?

cgurlz (author)Annette Barron2016-07-28

I bought mine at Home Depot. It has a combination which I set, and can change whenever I feel the need.

Eduard515 (author)DarrelO12016-07-19

Wow hiding your keys anywhere hidden is making it easy for people to get into your house. But hiding it in plain sigth is just dum... those combination locks are easy to get into. And the chacles are usually exposed and easy to cut trough....

YvetteD1 (author)Eduard5152016-07-21

Not the more recent ones, they are tamper proofed very well

JohnD316 (author)YvetteD12016-07-22

I do not understand. What more recent ones? Recent what?

makeitcheap15 (author)JohnD3162016-07-22

More recently designed o

Locks are made to be tamper proof so you cant just cut them

Deitra (author)Eduard5152016-07-21

Recently, two men stole two truck tires from our carport that were chained to the corner post. They were actually looking for bicycles and had brought bolt cutters with them, at 8:00 on a Sunday morning (broad daylight!). So, I too would probably not trust any solution that included something that could be breeched by bolt cutters.

Actually, there are problems with several of the ideas, spiders under the deck, birds in the birdhouse, neighbor isn't home and I'm in my jammies, anything near the door, like the thermometer, or anything that uses Scotch tape, but these are great ideas that can be modified for each person's situation. Thanks for the Instructable!

rvllios (author)Eduard5152016-07-20

why do you think a combo box is easy to get into?

dianad1 (author)DarrelO12016-07-22

That's one that I like. Someone breaking in is more likely to break a window or pick a door lock than to get into one of those combo locks. There is nothing to cut open with a bolt cutter. The combo lock doesn't have to be anywhere obvious, so this is an ideal way to keep a key handy if you lock yourself out.

YvetteD1 (author)DarrelO12016-07-21

Now that's the smartest idea yet.

Joe-Y (author)2016-07-25

How about hiding one in an air Conditioner shut off box? Stick it to the upper part of the enclosure so as to not make it obvious that it is there. Under the flip up lid.

As long as it too is not locked.

aking14 (author)2016-07-23

What place is that? Regardless of how great your place and neighbors are, less nice people target neighborhoods by pretending to solicit for other things, and trying the door handle and looking for close keys if they don't get an answer, hear dogs, etc. Your door should normally be locked even when you're at home even in a nice neighborhood, not doing so is like not wearing a seat belt. The correct habit is just as trivial and easy as an incorrect one, it's always the better move to develop the correct habit and let it become the automatic one from a statistics standpoint..

thecapper (author)2016-07-22

I like your neighbor: Reliable, prompt, no extra chit-chat!

dianad1 (author)2016-07-22

I think you may be relying on sheer luck. Even in the early sixties in the rural Midwest, break-ins occurred. Plenty of people left their doors unlocked, but every few years, people would come around pretending to sell things or be part of some church outreach and use the opportunity to case houses by peering into front rooms, etc. Then you'd hear about a few places being robbed and they'd move on. The really dramatic ones would be robberies where they came with a moving truck, cleared out most everything while the family was at church or out for a Sunday drive.

Cities have always been a issue. And since cities are where most of the jobs are, that's where most of us live.

It doesn't take paranoia to realize that there are opportunistic people ready to prey on the careless. There always have been. With 7 billion people occupying the same space now, the chances are just higher now.

I appreciate this video and the creative ideas for placement of backup keys.

rvcasa (author)2016-07-22

how about a 3-4 digit combination KEY SAFE BOX, outdoors?

you can hide the garage door remote too!

JohnD316 (author)2016-07-22

This is an interesting article, but, criminals also read from this site as well. Now they know of more places to look for keys. Hiding places for any item keys or weapons etc. should only be handed down person to person and not broadcast over the internet. Ask your local police agencies about other hiding spots for any items needing security.

gman10m (author)2016-07-19

These are great tips for people who live in houses with yards, but unfortunately there's not a single suggestion for city unit dwellers. It has made me reconsider my options, though. I'm going to take a look underneath our stairwell.

kwd3 (author)gman10m2016-07-19

I've been using this for over 20 years. Get an extra key made for your house and car (the ones with out the plastic or rubber thumb spot) and place a small piece of soda straw over the key teeth to protect your wallet or purse. It does not matter if you have electronic security - as you are only opening the door to retrieve your keys.

Annette Barron (author)kwd32016-07-21

I don't understand anything you are saying, are you hiding the keys or just putting them in your pocket? What does the thumb spot have to do with anything? Only opening door to retrieve keys with the keys?

I think everyone is forgetting that a crook is not going to go to a lot of trouble looking for hidden keys (unless it's an angry ex), they are just going to break a window, reach in and unlock the door manually. Hiding the keys is just for when you lose or can't find the key you have been using. So I think these are all good ideas.

JohnD316 (author)Annette Barron2016-07-22

Any door with a window next to the knob is an easy target unless the deadbolt inside requires a key to unlock it from the inside. Also the key is not left in the deadbolt but near it for quick egress. In some locations this type of lock is illegal for residential use. Check your local municipal and fire codes.

thundrepance (author)kwd32016-07-21

WHAT?? > 8^/

batonas (author)gman10m2016-07-20

if you have a metal mail box with lock, just use a small magnet, and make sure you can reach your key trough the slot, but its not visible

HuyV7 (author)gman10m2016-07-20


LesB (author)2016-07-20

Get a bunch of keys that are incorrectly cut for your door. Then hide them in a bunch of obvious hiding places. This way the burgulear will waste a lot of time going back and forth trying keys that won't work.

JohnD316 (author)LesB2016-07-22

I like that method! Make them work for their ill gotten gains.

thundrepance (author)LesB2016-07-21

that tickles me! x^)

TeresaM7 (author)LesB2016-07-20

LOL! You have a devious mind. I like it :-D

TiraT (author)LesB2016-07-20

That's an awesome idea!!

bound4all (author)TiraT2016-07-20

Great idea! Especially if you have a nosy vindictive neighbor. It will also be a great use for all of the useless extra keys that I have laying around.

johsou (author)LesB2016-07-20

love it, hehe

johsou (author)LesB2016-07-20

love it, hehe

thundrepance (author)2016-07-21

me faves are license plate & DRYER VENT! x^D

RaúlT5 (author)2016-07-21

I loved it so useful if you live in Argentina don't hear the stupid people

thepoisonivy (author)2016-07-21

All great ideas...thank you...the suggestion to move to a place where you don't need to lock the doors is probably one of the stupidest comments I've seen on Instructables lol!

struno (author)2016-07-21

I keep a spare key to both the house and car in my wallet.

GoddessOdd (author)2016-07-21

Most of the times that I have been locked out of my house, it's not because I forgot or lost my key, its because I ran outside for a minute and the door locked behind me, so the license plate would work for that, providing that A) you are decently dressed and B) you can find a screwdriver. I put my spare in an old film canister and buried it in the backyard. Unless you knew where to dig, you could spend a lot of time searching... and it's in a private area so I can dig it out while less than decently clothed without attracting undue attention. I believe if a criminal wants in my house, they'll get in, but keeping the doors locked deters walk ins, and will slow down the less determined burglars.

offseid (author)2016-07-21

What a great Instructable! Thank you!

sheilav13 (author)2016-07-20

All you need to do is use a bolt lock that needs the key to lock or unlock. Problem solved, you can't leave home without the keys.

niterayz (author)sheilav132016-07-20

A lot of good that will do if you loose the key.

niterayz (author)sheilav132016-07-20

A lot of good that will do if you loose the key.

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