Introduction: How to Make a Super Secret Safe - for Less Than $3

Picture of How to Make a Super Secret Safe - for Less Than $3

In this project you'll learn how to make a super secret safe that nobody will recognize, even if they're looking straight at it.

I made a parts list for this project that you can have for free

For other project videos, check out:

Step 1: Watch the Video!

I saw a picture of a hidden wall safe on and found it was a product being sold for about $8.00 from

Rather than order one, it seemed feasible to make one with just a couple of materials from the hardware store.  Not to mention, much cheaper.

There are so many variations that could be made to this idea.  I demonstrated 4 that I came up with, and perhaps the best one was the fact that you could just use the box behind your cable.  If you use one of those, it's completely free, and you don't have to cut any new holes in your walls.

WARNING: Extreme caution should be used when cutting into sheetrock.  There may be electrical wires, or other sensitive materials behind the wall that can't be seen, and could be damaged when cutting.   Use of video content is at own risk.

Step 2: Why a Secret Safe?

Picture of Why a Secret Safe?

Sometimes the best place to hide something, is where people least expect it. 

In this project we're making a super secret safe, that only you'll know about. 

For this project you'll need one of these extra long, electrical gang boxes, made for existing walls.  You'll also need a blank wall plate, like this.  

Click Here for parts list

Step 3: Installation

Picture of Installation

To place the safe, search around your house for a clean section of wall and use a stud finder, to locate an area between the studs.

 When you've found a spot that works, measure a height that matches the outlets nearby, and add half and inch. 

Next, line up the mark with the bottom left corner of the box, and trace around the sides.  This is where you'll need  to cut into the wall. 

I chose to stick an envelope under the markings, so that when cutting into the sheetrock, the envelope catches the dust, reducing the mess that has to be cleaned up later. 

It's important to cut carefully, and with shallow strokes, because there could be electrical wires behind the wall, and you don't want to cut them by accident.

Step 4: Securing to the Wall

Picture of Securing to the Wall

When it's all cut out, you should find that your blue box pushes in perfectly, and rests flat against the wall. 

When you adjust the screws in the corners, you can see that it tightens the flaps at the back, securing the box tight to the wall. 

At this point you can start loading your safe, with something important.  Perhaps some stamps you want to save?  A set of spare keys?  ..what about emergency ammunition?

Step 5: Hiding Your Treasures

Picture of Hiding Your Treasures

Whatever you put in there, when it's all tucked away, simply add the cover plate, and screw it together. 

Chances are, no one will ever guess there's anything hidden inside. 

If you want to go one step further, try pushing some furniture in front of the cover, because out of sight, means out of mind. 

Now, if the time comes where you need to open your safe, but you don't have a screwdriver, no problem.  Just use the prongs from a plug.  The blades fit perfectly into the screw-heads, allowing you full, and unlimited access.

Step 6: Easy Access & Modifications

Picture of Easy Access & Modifications

Now there are plenty of modifications you can make to this thing. 

For example, if you plan on using this a lot, and can't be bothered, with unscrewing it every time, try drilling out the screw holes with a 9/64" drill bit.  Then add a dab of super glue, to where the screws meet the cover plate. 

This way the screws will be held fast in place, and now you can just line up the holes, and press it together, in an instant. 

If you want this to blend better with the surroundings, try adding an outlet to the front of the box, and a finishing plate over that.  Now your secret safe looks like all the other outlets in your house. 

Have you got so much stuff that you need a bigger safe?  Try upgrading, to a double-gang.  This gives you nearly twice the storage space, and installs just as easily as the others.

Step 7: Easy, Free, and Pre-existing!

Picture of Easy, Free, and Pre-existing!

As a final thought, if you don't want to spend the $3 on materials, or cut holes in your walls, just look for one of these cable jacks around the house. 

The cable's protected, there's plenty of space inside, and it's a great place for hiding things, like your list of computer passwords. 

Not only is this option free, but chances are, you've already got them all over the house.

Step 8:

Picture of
Well now you know how to make an easy, secret safe, for hiding important stuff. 

If you liked this project, perhaps you'll like some of my others.  Check them out at

If you haven't seen the video yet, you can still check it out below.


sgbotsford (author)2017-10-12

Caveats on reusing an existing electic box: The standard duplex outlet has live screws on one side. A coin touching this screw and the box or a ground wire will short. In a plastic box, a coin touching a hot screw is itself hot, and can shock you.

Placing it in a cable outlet box, or a ethernet networking wiring box is safe.

Electric code requires that wires only be joined in a box, and that the box may not be covered over. So you occasionally see a box with just a cover plate. Usually it means someone did a reno, and a wire came up short. No one would normally ever open one. This is the best scenario.

One good place for convenience is beside a window. Most windows will have a double stud framing the opening, so the box will be 2-4 inches from the trim, and will be covered by the overlap of the curtains. This allows a box at a height that doesn't require getting on your knees.

Dwargh (author)2016-03-21

Nice! But won't work in most european houses! ^^ We have concrete walls!

harderm (author)Dwargh2016-04-13

Dwargh: How do you mount electric service boxes when your walls are concrete? I suppose you could build them in when the concrete is poured; but then how do you add more if you need them?

SirCooksalot (author)harderm2016-04-14

Many euro homes have electrical and even plumbing just running on the interior face of the wall... It's not unusual to see conduit or pipes run along the top or bottom of a wall (where wall meets ceiling or meets floor). It looks odd to a non-European, but it sure makes servicing easier!

Dwargh (author)harderm2016-04-13

hm... never faced the situation of needing a new electric service box :) But I guess I'll have to pry my walls open ^^

Diwiak (author)2016-04-12

Great idea, but yes, most european houses have concrete :-)

Ploopy (author)2015-07-20


I wanted to go with the cable jack option, but I just took a look and in my house all the electrical boxes have screwless face plates, is there any way of taking them off?

NoelV4 (author)Ploopy2016-03-07

the screwless outer trim just pops off. There is an inner piece that's held in with screws.

Ploopy (author)NoelV42016-03-10

I tried... :(

After a lot of tries I managed to pop off one corner, but then when I did the other corner the outer rim was jammed with the inner ring and I pulled out the inner ring, on my outlet the inner ring does not seem to be screwed in place as it came off.

NoelV4 (author)Ploopy2016-03-10

That is not what I had in mind when you said screwless face plates. You have wall-mounted junction boxes. Though it could work with yours (for very tiny stashes) I think this instructable was geared toward traditional junction boxes that are recessed inside the wall, with plates that are mounted flush on the wall.

Can you post a front view of those wall-boxes?

These are the screwless plates i was describing:

Ploopy (author)NoelV42016-03-14

Here you go....

Ploopy (author)NoelV42016-03-14

Here you go....

_DeepTruth_ (author)Ploopy2015-09-04

Just pop them right off!

MerlinFincayra (author)2016-03-10

thank you peoples you is awsome

MerlinFincayra (author)2016-03-10

thank you peoples you is awsome

MerlinFincayra (author)2016-03-10

thank you peoples you is awsome

MerlinFincayra (author)2016-03-10

thank you peoples you is awsome

shortw (author)2016-03-04

My friends Smith&Wesson have no problems to stop any robbers in their tracks. Why hide things? Let Smith & Wesson have some fun too.

static (author)shortw2016-03-04

You hide them because you and your friends may not be at home when thieves come to visit. Smarter thieves will do their best to visit when no one is home. Of course the thiefs may have friends with those names as well

DanC66 (author)static2016-03-09

Maybe Smith and Wesson could even play hide and seek in there when they're not needed...

NoelV4 (author)2016-03-07

secret's out now. Thanks a lot.

DanC66 (author)NoelV42016-03-09

Visitor: Hey, how come this outlet doesn't work?

Me: I'm sorry you found that. Very sorry indeed, because I always liked you, but now my secret's out...

KellyCraig (author)2016-03-06

Add one more rare earth magnet idea.

I built a secret hidy hole for a guy using rare earth magnets to hold a panel on the upper portion of a wall. The panel was about two feet by two and a half feet, provided several cubic feet of storage and sat just above a break in the wall, where trim work sat.

You would never know it was there, unless you pulled on the trim attached to the panel, which took several pounds of pressure to remove. The center of the panel had reinforcement, so pounding on it rang much like any other part of the wall.

The magnets had one side sanded, to give the glue a grip surface. Then a hole was drilled ONLY deep enough and wide enough to allow you to press the magnet into the wood, and be held in place by epoxy.

The same was done in the corresponding spots on the wood frame to which the panel attached. The marks for the corresponding holes were made by just placing some metal object on the first set of magnets installed so that a dimple would be left when the panel was pressed against the wall.

This same idea would work for Wainscoting too. Since rare earth magnets keep their pull for fifty or more years, it would be a long time before attention had to be given them.

KellyCraig (author)2016-03-06

In light of the number of people commenting about hiding metal near live terminals, it might be a good idea to make more clear, up front, that was not done and should not be done. I didn't look at the video either. I do electrical and remodeling, so don't need a detailed instruction on how to pull this off. As others point out, there are other reasons people might not sift through all the information available.

KellyCraig (author)2016-03-06

Great instructable. Aside the comical aassertions of nay sayers who believe common thieves closely monitor Instuctables, and are going to check for every hiddy hole suggested here, this gave several more good ideas.

I'd contemplated using kick board areas, under cabinets, secured by rare earth magnets. They could be pulled out using another, stronger rare earth magnet on a light metal plate secured to the front. The drawers could be just boxes that slid out or could come out on roller slides.

KellyCraig (author)2016-03-06

Rare earth magnets would do the trick.

KellyCraig (author)2016-03-06

And your comment suggests you live north of that border, presume much about which you know little, and are scared of tools.

MichaelL281 (author)2016-03-06

Um, go watch the science of ammunition in a fire..... there is no real pressure containment, so it's not as lethal as you think.

tgimages (author)2016-03-05

The OPs posting coupled with many of the ideas here for hiding stuff are all good... for hiding. However one of the other purposes of a safe is to protect the contents, not just hide them. Protect from what? A fire for example. Having a handful of coins hidden in a wall box is fine for not getting them stolen but if your house catches fire at best you're going to have melted lump and that's if your lucky. As long as your coins are for commodity value that might be acceptable but if they have numismatic value then you lose.

Perhaps a similar Instructable on taking a true fire safe and doing some type of camouflage to hide it in plain sight would make a decent follow up?

static (author)2016-03-04

By that logic one should keep ammo in any building

MrKnowItAll (author)2016-03-04

Nobody suggested shooting him through the door. That is crazy.

DianA13 (author)2016-03-04

I've been doing it with live one ?

jlee163 (author)2013-11-10

He copied this from a book

DianA13 (author)jlee1632016-03-04

Still gives a good idea. Atleast he shared to help others.

DianA13 (author)2016-03-04

Im doing this long time ago. I hid my coins and bills into it. Its safe

till someone plugs something in

The socket is still working coz i've used the existing socket and the wires are still on it so even if they plug something on it,it still work as normal socket

GeardC (author)2016-03-04

Boss hog

pinheadBE (author)2016-03-04

Very clever idea. I like it.

_soapy_ (author)2016-03-03

Half the security in this is the fact that you need a screwdriver to open it. Doing "something clever with magnets" is a dead giveaway to anyone searching, & if testing the socket they will likely accidently open it too!

jayhitek (author)_soapy_2016-03-03

I can't imagine any house robber would check any of the 100 outlets in a typical house to see if they're real or fake..

nehmo (author)jayhitek2016-03-04

If house "robbers" are your problem, then consider yourself lucky. Many of use need to worry about the police smashing down the door.

jveazey (author)2016-03-03

Thanks for taking the time to take pics and put on the instructable.Good idea gives me a project to do.

mlaiuppa. (author)2016-03-03

What next? A waterproof bag in the toilet tank?

DougM2 (author)2016-03-03

If you're using an inside wall, the cavity between the studs will be empty (no insulation to contend with). Therefore, you can use a "low-voltage ring" that has similar "wings" for mounting - but no box just the mounting flange! With those, you can reach into the hole and put items into the cavity - make sure you arm can reach to the bottom of the cavity so you don't loose your treasure!

As an alternative, you can put the treasure in a bag with it's drawstring secured to the box so you don't loose it and can simply pull the bag up when you need access.

Good instructable...

AndrzejR (author)2016-03-03

while we're at it, if your basement has drop ceilings, you have a whole room's worth of potential hiding spots that nobody would think to dig around in (typically out of easy reach anyway).

AndrzejR (author)2016-03-03

pretty neat, not sure why it never crossed my mind. i guess that's the beauty of it. to add to the others, another good idea might be one of those bigger covers that homes have to cover access to the sewer pipe in a wall. The covers are usually very easy on/off, but you could always put in a section of fake PVC tube section (capped, as a container) to make it look like its actually a sewer access panel.

michael_click (author)2016-03-03

The same idea could be applied to fake air conditioning duct covers. This might be too obvious to thieves who watch TV, unless combined with ac-dc's "tweak". i.e.: ("For added security consider a tweak to the design. . . Place valuables in a sturdy plastic bag, tie a piece of fishing line to it, then let that fall down into the wall space. This will not work with exterior walls that have insulation unless you remove a portion of it. With the bag dropped down into the wall, tie a loop in the fishing line and place it around the screw used to fasten down the outlet or cover plate. This not only gives you more capacity but if someone were to ever take the cover plate off it is doubtful they would realize what they had in front of them and your valuables are still hidden.").

michael_click (author)2016-03-03

Another thought for hiding larger items would be to use bathroom medicine cabinets. You can often find them discarded outside homes being remodeled for FREE, but they are cheap even if you buy them new at a retail store.

You can take out the mirror and put in a pretty picture faced with new, clear glass and it just looks like a picture in a cheap frame. If you pick an out-of-the-way location (behind the bathroom or bedroom doors, for instance) it wouldn't even draw a second glance. You can use a series of these down a hall or stairway if one "stash box" isn't enough storage. NOTE: If you just use a pair as a grouping, you might want to make sure and install one as a right-hand and one as a left-hand opening so that you can get get into them both without reaching around an obstructing door.

You can leave the mirror in the cabinet and install it near your entry/exit point to stash your carry gun and magazines. Put a decorative shelf with some fake ivy and some kitschy clutter below the mirror to disguise it and few people (other than the readers here) will realize the installation's true purpose. You can even check your hair and makeup in the mirror as you leave in the morning! Neatness counts, after all.

michael_click (author)2016-03-03

This is nice for little items, but for larger items a fake power panel box located out near your service entry (fuse/breaker box) works as well or better. Pick a lockable box for extra security. Make sure you mark the box with "HIGH VOLTAGE! DANGER! PELEGRO!" signs. I'd mark the existing power box in a similar fashion so the new box doesn't stand out too much. The markings would sorta be like putting out "Beware the dog!" signs even if you don't have a dog. It might make a hasty thief hesitate at least one moment longer than he might otherwise.

About This Instructable




Bio: Random Weekend Projects
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