Introduction: Potted Safe

In the Image above you will find a picture of my secret stash. Take a guess, which one is it? The big hint here will be that it is the odd man out, the tall one. If at this point your thinking this is another instructable on how to place a plant on top of a hiding place then your wrong. Instead I wish to show you how to MAKE a plant to place the safe INSIDE of.

I have come up with two renditions with only a minor difference that is mostly a visual choice. For this project you will need:


One Gallon paint can (empty)

Five fake silk leaves ( They will need to be broad and about 8 to 10 inches long)

One foot of 1/2 in. PVC

One 1/2 PVC cap

One 3/4 in. to 1/2 in. SxS bushing

Some green spray paint ( I used ulta-flat olive green camo paint )

Alternate Version:

Use the same stuff except for the paint can and the bushing. Replace those with one ping-pong ball and a roll of jute Garland.


Hot Glue Gun


Dremel tool


So lets be honest, not everyone has a green thumb but like the idea of using plants to hide stuff. But unless you are constantly maintaining your hiding spot it will die. All that will leave us with is a pile of loot hidden under the corpses of the plants you once called your friend. This on the other hand will not die and leave you with a stable hiding place. If it does die then you forgot which plant it was and have lost your stash or is something much worse and you should probably see a doctor.

One disclaimer though, the camera makes it look absolutely phenomenal, while it will fool people on camera and those just hanging out, if they stop to check it out closely they will know it is fake if planted among real plants but they wont realize what it is hiding. If you place it among other fake plants you will be golden.

Step 1: Creating the Base

So throughout this instructable I am going to assume your are making the version with the paint can. If this is not the case skip this step. I will explain the alternate version at the end. A brief summary though is that instead of the paint can for the base we are going to make a root ball to make it seem more plant like.

Now with that out of the way lets begin with the beginning. So to start it off put the bushing onto one end of the pipe and the cap on the other end. Take the project outside if you are not already there and spray paint the whole thing green evenly and somewhat lightly. You dont want it to be runny.

Once the paint has dried put the bushing onto the center of the paint can's lid roughly (exact is not important) and trace it out. Then use your Dremel tool (or anything for that matter) to cut out the hole. Try to make the fit tight as possible, just makes it easier to seal. Once the bushing is in the hole, push the pipe into the bushing and move onto the next step.

Step 2: Create the Topper

So you might be wondering why we start at the base and then jump to the topper. it has to do with how plants layer themselves. The first leaves that appear in the plant will wrap around the base and the new leave push themselves from the center upwards. S to simulate this we need to star at the top and wrap the lower leaves around the previous ones so that in the end the lowest leaf wraps around the whole base cover up the others.

When it comes to wrapping the topper we are going to be glue a small dot to the cap about halfway up the leaf. Then just roll it like a Persian rug with a body inside. If you are unfamiliar with this technique I am sure there is a instructable about it somewhere. Now for the hard part, making it look a new leaf. A rolled leaf is not going to be even all the way up and down itself. o fix this simply move the loose flap down. That movement will flare out the bottom and bring the top to a point. Play with the angle a bit until you get something that looks natural.

From here you are going to glue the flap down and move on, BUT hang on. You notice that that hot glue isn't bonding to the top side of the leaf. Whatever the glossy side is coated with it prevents the glue from sticking. To combat this take something sharp and scrape the coating off in a few spots to glue it the move on.

Step 3: Add the Leaves

Now onto the most time consuming part. Placing Leaves in a natural way. Luckily the plant this is modeled after mainly grows on one plane so all you have to do is rotate from "left" to "right" (it's a upright pipe left and right is relative) Each of the leave will need to be prepped before being added to the plant safe. To prep use a pair of sisccors to cut in a sweeping manner towards the center. Stop about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the center of the leaf. Then nip off about half of the flap so that you have less to deal with when wrapping the leaf around the pipe.

For the first leaf just loosely wrap around the top, because this leaf isn't "fully formed" yet so it doesn't fan out yet.

The next three however are not as forgiving. Not only do the have to be placed in perspective of the other leaves but the right amount of droop has to be added. Wrap the leaf in the same manner use for the first leaf. This will leaf you with two leaves pointing up an to fan it out slightly pinch and pull down the center of the leaf near where the cuts were made. To kept the leaf fanned out however you will need to apply a drop or two of hot glue inside of the folds to lock them in place. Repeat these steps for each of the leaves.

The next Slide will just be pictures to show progression and give you an idea how to space them.

Step 4: Getting There

Step 5: Using the Safe

All thats left to do is now to use the safe. To openly merely grasp the cap and remove the topper exposing a hollow tube you can now send money or other small items down. Replace the cap to close it again. As you slide more money into the pipe it works towards the paint can to start filling it up.

The next Step will be the other way to handle the bottom in case you dont like the paint can.

Step 6: Great Balls of Roots!

For this method you have the plant already made but without the paint can to cap off the bottom leaving a open void for your loot to fall out of. For this second method you are going to take aping-pong ball and cut a hole just big enough for the 1/2 in. pipe to fit into. Once again tighter the fit easier it will be to seal with hot glue or silicone.

Next unroll you thing of jute and wrap the ball completely leaving only the top with the hole exposed. Glue the loose edge down and cut the rest of the roll off, you shouldn't need the whole roll. There should be quite a bit of jute hanging off the ball below. Using the scissors cut it in a few place but only just enough so you can fray it with ease.

That's it, your done the root ball is made. All you have to do now is slide it onto the end of the pipe and seal it with hot glue or silicone your choice.

The advantage to this method of the rot ball over the paint can is that if someone digs this up they are more likely to over look it then a plant growing from a paint can, that will raise suspicion. However your storage is limited to the height of the plant you made, unlike the paint can which has a large reservoir to store things in. Overall it is your choice and enjoy you new potted safe. What other plants can you make?