Introduction: Spider Box

Picture of Spider Box

This simple box looks just like any other box. It's made from an old pallet; however, this box contains a hidden secret that should get more than just a slight reaction from an unsuspecting passerby. Encased in this simple wooden box is a plastic spider that will surprise anyone trying to open your box.

I tried to get the reactions of a few of my friends on camera, however they were all too suspicious of me. If you get any great reactions with your spider box, please share them in the comments.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools


  • Pallets
  • Plastic or Rubber Spiders
  • Dowel
  • Rod or thick wire (I used an old bicycle spoke)
  • Small nail


  • Plane
  • Saw
  • Router with 1/2" and 3/8" bits
  • 1" hole saw
  • Clamps
  • Glue

Step 2: Reclaim Wood

Picture of Reclaim Wood

Using the widest boards on the pallets (mine were just over 5" wide) plane the thickness to 1/2".

Step 3: Cut to Size

Picture of Cut to Size

Cut the boards down to the following dimensions:

  • 2 Sides - 5" x 6" x 1/2"
  • 1 Bottom - 3 1/2" x 6" x 1/2"
  • 1 Back - 3 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 1/2"
  • 1 Front - 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 1/2"
  • 1 Top - 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 3/8"

Step 4: Router for Joints

Picture of Router for Joints

Using a router and two bits, cut the Rabbet joints 1/2" wide and 1/4" deep and the Dado 3/8" wide and 1/4" deep.

Step 5: Dry Fit

Picture of Dry Fit

Dry fit everything together and make sure that it looks good to glue.

Step 6: Make Spider Mechanism

Picture of Make Spider Mechanism

This is the part that makes the whole thing possible. Cut a dowel 3 1/2" long. I had one that was 7/8" just lying around so I used that.

Take a 1 inch hole saw and cut out a blank from one of the 2x4 pieces of the pallet. Drill out the center of the blank to fit over the 3 1/2" long dowel.

Be careful, remember that pallet wood is extremely dry and can easily break.

Glue the blank in the center of the dowel.

Step 7: Glue Together

Picture of Glue Together

Glue everything together. Make sure that your spider mechanism turns freely.

Step 8: Attach Spider

Picture of Attach Spider

Drill a hole in the abdomen of the spider the size of whatever wire or rod you are using. I used an old bicycle spoke I had lying around.

Drill a hole in the center of the round spider mechanism the size of your rod.

Make a rough bend in the rod so that it fits inside the box.

Glue the spider on the rod and the rod on the mechanism.

The great thing about this is you can use whatever type of spider you like. I've even seen some boxes made with a fake small rat.

Step 9: Attach String

Picture of Attach String

Pull the spider all the way out of the box and drill another hole in the mechanism. Glue a small nail in place. Tie a small string onto the nail.

Put the spider back in the box and put the lid in place (you may need to sand down the front of the box a little to allow space for the string.

Holding the string in place, open the lid slowly till it's clear of the spider. Mark the position of the string and lid and staple in place.

Step 10: Lid Pull

Picture of Lid Pull

Open the lid and see where the spider lands. That's going the be where to locate the pull for the lid.

Step 11: Bait Your Victim

Picture of Bait Your Victim

Some people are nosy enough to look into your box, others may need to be baited. The label of "Candy" may work for some people. Depending on your setting you may need to be creative in different ways to lure your victim.


misterxp (author)2017-11-14

Nice istructable for making a box too! Thanks!

valveman (author)2017-11-14

This is a great gag project.

I bet you have heard a lot of screams when people have opened the box.

Willys36 (author)2017-11-14

How about adding a wire to the roller with a lead fishing sinker on its end that counter weights the spider and sucks it back into the box

tomatoskins (author)Willys362017-11-14

You can definitely do that, however I found the weight of the wire and spider to be enough to pull it back it with no counterweight needed. You can see the GIF in the intro showing this.

TheOrchidGirl (author)2016-06-27

Oh my gosh!! Someone did this to me once!!! :D

makaylamehrens (author)2016-02-08

Is anyone selling one they made? I went online to purchase one but 30.00 is way to much for one of these

richardfireone (author)2016-01-11

This is so hilarious!

App119 (author)2015-12-04


tgrant3 made it! (author)2015-10-17

I used a cigar box instead of making one. But the mechanism works the same way. Super Awesome Instructable!

tomatoskins (author)tgrant32015-10-19

Hahaha I love it! Just don't mix it up with your other cigar boxes or you will get a nasty surprise of your own doing! :)

steinie44 made it! (author)2015-10-10

tomatoskins (author)steinie442015-10-11

That's great! I love the color and "candy" sign. :)

Dustin Rogers (author)2015-10-05

OMG!! This is perfect. A new co-worker is terrified of spiders. Must build this soon. Great work.

JulianAzz (author)2015-08-15

im going to make one with a bat and an invisible wire

lovethebackwoods (author)2015-07-27

I confess. I infected my beloved big sister with the geocaching bug. Earlier this month she had me help her build a wooden box that pops a ghoulish head out above the lid when the cache is opened. I guess I need to write another Instructable... This spider one is terribly ghastly!

I would love to see it!

TvoAqui (author)2015-07-22

Nice instructable.

Catley (author)2015-07-20

As a 50-year former arachnophobe, I would say to choose your victim with care and be sure they don't have a weak heart and do have a good sense of humor, or you would be in trouble. Sometimes the fun and humor is all for the person making the practical joke, and none for the recipient. Not that I haven't enjoyed surprising or mildly scaring friends and family once in a while.

Nrgdragon (author)2015-07-19

Replacing the spider with the curved end of a spoon and putting something in it=catapulted SOMETHING to the face...

dimmaz88 (author)2015-07-06

Awesome. I expected it to be one of those automated 'useless' boxes. That would be the next version :)

stringstretcher (author)dimmaz882015-07-19

I have one with a furry paw that comes out... made this a few years ago :P

SPeacock (author)2015-07-18

All that is needed is a warning, "DO NOT OPEN"

timsbro2000 (author)2015-07-17

I'm imagining a geocache. *chuckles maniacally*

SidA2 (author)timsbro20002015-07-17

All that searching for this.... have a hidden camera

tomatoskins (author)timsbro20002015-07-17

That would be awesome!

SidA2 (author)2015-07-17

This is amazing..... i need to do this. besides, everybody is scared of spiders

kurt.devlin (author)2015-07-17

A geocache was the first thing I thought of too...

NitroRustlerDriver (author)2015-07-17

Very cool. Going to have to make one of these at some point.

What makes the spider retract back into the box? Just the weight of it?

Yup! That's all it takes for it to retract. If you do make one, please share a picture!

taica2010 (author)2015-07-17

Nice box. I remember when I was a boy (50 years ago hahaha), my uncle made something like that. Inside there was a snake with two teet.

xvicente (author)2015-07-17

hahaha "candy"

iw110781 (author)2015-07-16

Heheheheheheheh time to make some people pee themselves heheheheheheheh

MadeByGloria (author)2015-07-16

Ha! Very clever! And funny, so long as I'm not the victim. :)

Ali_So3 (author)2015-07-14

This is awesome!!! Great idea and I voted!!!

NameAnxiety (author)2015-07-12


Spider in your face.

ASCAS (author)2015-07-08

I imagine putting a preserved Tarantula here. :D

tomatoskins (author)ASCAS2015-07-08

That sounds like the most sadistic thing I've ever heard! :)

ASCAS (author)tomatoskins2015-07-08

Hahaha! I imagine making our manliest schoolmates scream.

Saiyam (author)2015-07-07

I used to have a similar kind of box. It was really fun when people misunderstood that it was a box full of chocolates and opened it :D.

CobyUnger (author)2015-07-07

I saw a version of this for sale in India. The top of the box said Made in China. I think they were poking fun at Chinese made products.

happinessfairy (author)2015-07-06

These are great money maker as well as a source of laughter. A Mennonite store in our area sells these for $15.00/piece...they are well worth the price!!!!

thunder_ir (author)2015-07-06

cooool idea

Mo0k (author)2015-07-06

Super Cool! Voted.

jessyratfink (author)2015-07-06

I think I would have a heart attack, haha! Very nice :D

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Troy. I'm a Mechatronics graduate studying Mechanical Engineering. I love making things and doing anything outdoors (especially SCUBA diving). I am ... More »
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