12 Do-It-Yourself Diversion Safes




About: I got an old sewing machine when I was just a kid, and I've been hooked on making stuff ever since. My name is Sam and I'm a community manager here at Instructables.

Hey, you got something to hide?!

A few years ago I made this shaving can safe, and outlined how I made it in this Instructable: Shaving Can Safe (that Still Shoots Foam!).

Then I recently made a slightly easier version that uses a spray paint can, seen here: Spray Paint Secret Safe.

I thought it would be fun to put together a collection of some of my favorite hiding places made by other Instructables members.

And here they are: unusual, clever, in-plain-sight hiding places (also called "diversion safes") that you can make.


Step 1: Outside Overhead

Let's start with an idea that I just love. It's brilliant and . . well, crazy-clever!

Using expanding foam and paper pulp, author CrazyClever made a convincing faux hornet nest that I certainly wouldn't go near! It's an excellent yet fairly simple project.

Check it out: Hornets Nest Hiding Spot

Step 2: Inside Overhead

Disassemble an old-style incandescent light bulb to keep small things hidden away overhead.

Secret Light Bulb Hiding Place by LiamOSM

Step 3: In the Yard

This is a great one for any yard area where you already have an in-ground watering system. Another sprinkler head will go completely unnoticed!

In Ground Sprinkler Hiding Spot by SNLouise

Step 4: In a Log

I thought this was especially clever for anyone that may have an existing pile of firewood. You just have to remember which log is the "special" one!

Hiding Place in a Log by Sail446

Step 5: Anywhere Indoors

This is an almost classic idea nowadays, and there have been many tutorials shared on how to make a secret outlet cover safe.

The one-and-only King of Random made one of the early versions, excellently documented here: How to Make a Super Secret Safe - for Less Than $3

Step 6: In a Book

Speaking of classic hiding places, I don't think there's a more well-known idea than using an old book!

This is an idea that's been documented many times, by many authors. It may be an older idea, but there's a reason it's so popular: it's a GREAT idea!

Check out Reused Book As a Hiding Place by Creaflux

Step 7: Tiny Objects

Author assemblyrequired made a couple of my favorite hiding place ideas:

Hidden Money/paper Compartment in Pencil (With Stuff You Already Have!)

Hidden Compartment in a Coin (with Stuff You Already Have!)

Be sure to check out the comments on the pencil Instructable for a great story about how pencils were used as hiding places during World War II.

Step 8: In a Plant

This is such a great idea!

I've have never once looked at a plant and thought "I bet there's something hiding under that."

Check it out: Potted Plant Secret Compartment by M3G

Step 9: In Your Belt

Author ProudImperialPatriot made his own belt and added a perfect secret hiding place.

If you're going to make your own belt, you might as well make it awesome like this! Leather Belt With Secret Compartment

Step 10: Want to See More?

Looking for more places to hide stuff?

This is an extremely popular topic, with 100s of great Instructables covering projects you can duplicate.

Check out these search results for more: https://www.instructables.com/howto/hidden+secret+compartment/

There are dozens of stand-alone object safes, but also just as many furniture items with secret compartments built-in.

It was hard to just pick a few to highlight . . so if you're curious, be sure to take a look at the rest!



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    15 Discussions


    7 months ago

    It makes me think about Geocaching :D


    1 year ago

    I used an old and empty hard drive case which i put back into my desktop. I loved but then i kept the case and threw out the computer.


    1 year ago

    Hey Sam, the link to the coin compartment is broken.

    Great list of hiding spots, in any case!

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you, and I appreciate the heads up about the link! I've fixed it now.


    1 year ago

    Hmm. The key is that they all need to be also useful enough that you don't throw them out by mistake.

    I can just see me putting my coin safe in a parking meter. Or it is part of the kid's allowance. I can see putting the log on the fire. Or getting rid of that book on the History of the Peleponesian Wars. Or using up the foam in the spraycan, and dropping it in the trash.

    I'm my own worst enemy this way.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Funny you should mention that, I was just reading this the other day. Just be careful, Secret Agent Man!



    1 year ago

    surprised nobody has asked where you live yet! some good ideas though thanks


    1 year ago

    There are only a couple here that are "safe" - meaning someone won't toss them out, along with your cash. The sprinkler head is one, and the electrical outlet (if you install a special outlet box that is, like the tardis, :"bigger on the inside". Those are available at your local building supply, and can be rigged so that even if someone removes the plate and outlet, your hidden items are still not visible.

    Jag Bone

    1 year ago

    This is a cool idea but be sure you leave a note in your safe or in a sealed envelope with a relative disclosing your hidden in plain view "stash".
    When my secret pot grew to $5k, I started thinking what would happen to it if I didn't come home one day? Could easily be thrown away!

    emalm heinzig

    1 year ago

    I don' t have a picture of it now, but i used a toy that came apart and stashed it in the mess of toys in the toy box. Saved up two grand and no one was the wiser.


    1 year ago

    My Hamilton Beach can opener cuts the rim on its side. Never a jagged edge. The lid fits back perfectly. No other tweaking needed.