To celebrate the publication of my little stash project in Make: Volume 34, I’ve rounded up a pseudorandom smattering of some of my favorite secret hiding place posts from our online archives. Some of these link to Make: articles, some to outside content, and a few don’t link anywhere and are just included for inspiration. The sneaky state-of-the-art is always advancing—hopefully one of these secret compartments will drive you to new depths of deviousness!

For some additional secret compartment and hidden spaces projects, see our follow-up article 20 Secret Doors and Clever Hiding Places.

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • Goli Mohammadi

    Great collection! #8 is genius and I’m coveting #14 and #15.

  • ice

    one of the first things robbers go for are books, people been hiding money in books since the paper money was invented.

    • functional art

      And if they can guess which of my nine bazillion books the loot is hiding it, I guess it is theirs.

      • Ryan

        Seriously – they would be better off getting a full-time job and working for the money rather then sifting through my large and scattered book collection.

  • mUhAmAr

    I’m sure Ariel Castro has some good ideas too!

    • Sean Michael Ragan

      Sounds like something Ariel Castro would say.

      • mUhAmAr

        How did you know :-) ?

  • jacob jackson

    these are amazinag hiding places

  • Chuck

    When I lived on a caribbean island where there was an ex-pat home burglary problem I would need to hide my electronics and small valuables when not at home. Where I lived there was a belief amongst the ex-pats that having a home safe invites break-ins because locals think anyone who has a safe must have stacks of cash/bags of jewels/gold bars/etc — so we didn’t have a safe.

    What I did was to take common product packaging like the big plastic two gallon container of liquid laundry soap, cut a hole in the back (when the bottle was emptied) then hide cameras, ipods, etc on the shelf alongside the other cleaning supplies. I also used the gallon screw-top plastic containers that hold chlorine pucks (used in our well) which I would store alongside all the other water chemicals in the locked pump room.

    There are two downsides — if you have domestic help (which is likely) you don’t want them finding your adulterated containers in case they tell someone else. You also need to pick products that either aren’t valuable enough to steal, or are too heavy to think about stealing. For example, during one burglary the thieves stole some packaged food items. If we had hidden the camera in a cracker or cereal box they might have found it while rifling through the food cupboard. Laundry soap and chlorine pucks are perfect containers because those products are too heavy or won’t be consumed by the thieves themselves. (We also had our beer stolen along with some jewelry one time — the beer they drank, the necklaces they probably sold).

    We also used to hide bigger items underneath the sink or in the linen closet with the towels and sheets. The worry with the sink cabinets is that if the plumbing failed (a shockingly too common occurrence) then your laptop would be flooded too.

  • stan

    most of these look like geocaches.

  • Ross_in_Leith

    I don’t see the 17 ideas – is this webpage discussing an article printed in the magazine or am I just looking in the wrong place on the site?

    • Curi

      Just click “View All” under the first photo.

  • Att1cus

    Laid out pretty poorly – why would you have names and links below the pictures, closer to the next item than it is to the item its describing?

  • P5ychoRaz

    #14 is creepy as f**k

  • Lindsay Wilson

    #15, tip-up stairway.

    I am so happy to see someone has finally done this! Does anyone remember the Mechanical Age in Myst, which had those two sets of stairs which were flush with the floor and then dropped down –

    I loved them at the time ;-)

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  • greg

    Hide-a-fridge – perfect for keeping your friends away from your home made beer!

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  • Dorothea

    Now that you know how it works, you can listen for the sheer pleasure of
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    An interesting tidbit: Due to the Titanic disaster of 1912, all
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  • Gavid Gilespe

    The ply-wood secret compartment looks really well done. I can’t see no other use for these unless your up to no good. Good for stashing cash and errrrrm drugs if your in to that lol.

  • cknich5

    Reblogged this on Denver Mini Maker Faire.

  • Travis

    Links? None of these links seem to work.

    • Nikki Smith

      Unfortunately, the links in this post broke when we changed things in the back end. If you are interested, I recently created a new post with some of the listed projects plus some additional ones.

      • Travis

        Ah, thank you very much! The new post has several of the same ones I wanted to view the links to.

        • Gareth Branwyn

          I have gone through and re-found and restored all of the broken links.

          • sophiacamille

            huzzah! Thank you Gar

          • Gareth Branwyn

            It took me almost all day. I updated all of the posts it links to as well. Since it was getting so much traffic, I figured I’d try and bring it back to life.

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