Every so often I need to hide a key to my house outside. After moving to my new place I discovered there was not very many places I could hide a key near the door, and when it comes to hiding something creativity counts.
I decided to build a secret hiding spot for my key by hollowing out an in ground sprinkler head. A sprinkler head is a great way to hide away for a few reasons
- It is low profile - these sprinkler systems are meant to be low profile and not stick out of be obnoxious. No one gives them a second glance.
- They are hidden in plain site - They don't need to be completely hidden away to be hidden. No one wonders why there is a sprinkler head sitting in a garden or the grass.
- It is water tight - In ground sprinklers come with special seals to keep water on the outside from getting into the inside. It will keep whatever you put in there dry in all weather.
- People leave them alone - Those people who do not want to get wet often avoid getting too close to a sprinkler. No one really goes around trying to pull out sprinkler head from the ground
It creates a great hiding spot for any key need to hide outside.
Step 1: What You Need
1 - In ground sprinkler head = $0.29 (on clearance)
1 - 1/2" PVC Plug - Size could be different depending on what sprinkler head you get, but it usually is a 1/2" = $0.96
Teflon Tape = $1.00
Wrench or Channellock Pliers
Gorilla Glue or Rubber Cement = $2.68 or $5.99
All these supplies are cheap and easy to find at a home improvement store.
Step 2: Remove Sprinkler System From Casing
The first step is to remove the guts of the sprinkler from the casing.
1. Unscrew the top of the sprinkler from the casing. This should separate the sprinkler into two pieces
2. Take the head of the sprinkler and push up so the sprinkler sticks out of the lid. This will make the next step easier
3. Take the top of the sprinkler system (the grooved part in the pictures) and remove it from the rest of the sprinkler. This one was able to unscrew leaving 3 pieces. The lid, the top of the sprinkler, and the body of the sprinkler system.
Note: you no longer need the body of the sprinkler (the part with the spring), but do keep both top pieces.
Step 3: Cap Bottom
Use the PVC plug to cap the bottom of the casing. This will seal the bottom of the sprinkler so nothing can get in or fall out.
1. Take some Teflon tape and wrap it around the threading of the plug. This will create a water tight seal when you put the pieces together. You could also use PVC glue instead
2. Screw the plug into the casing. This is where you may need help with a wrench or channellock pliers. Be sure that there is a snug fit.
You could also paint the plug to match the sprinkler casing if you want. I decided not to since the plug will not be seen once it's in the ground
Step 4: Glue Top Into Lid
Here is where you need the top of the sprinkler and the lid. Adding this element will complete the lid as well as give a more realistic sprinkler look.
1. Put the glue onto around the sides of the top of the sprinkler. This is again the grooved part so when it slides into the lid the glue will adhere.
2. Stick the top of the sprinkler back into the lid. Let the glue set.
Note: I used rubber cement for this part because that's what I had laying around the house. In retrospect, I would have probably used gorilla glue since it is much better at adhering to plastic
Step 5: Place Outside
Once both pieces are complete and the glue has set it is time to put your new key hiding spot outside. Find a nearby spot that is inconspicuous. I put mine in the flower garden close to the grass line since it would be a logical spot to put an actual sprinkler.
1. Dig a small hole deep enough so the sprinkler sits even with the top of the sprinkler sticking just above the ground.
2. Put the sprinkler in the hole and fill in the remaining space with the excess dirt.
Congrats! You now have a usable outdoor hiding spot. Whenever you need to put anything in it you can either pull it out of the ground or just twist open the top and drop something in.
Second Prize in the
Hiding Places Contest