20 Secret Doors and Clever Hiding Places

Nicole Smith

Nicole is an former Editorial Intern at Make: She is a long time maker and previously worked for Instructables.com (Penolopy Bulnick). Every day she is inspired by something new and wishes there was more hours in the day to make!

37 Articles

By Nicole Smith

Nicole is an former Editorial Intern at Make: She is a long time maker and previously worked for Instructables.com (Penolopy Bulnick). Every day she is inspired by something new and wishes there was more hours in the day to make!

37 Articles

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Secret doors main image

The fascination with secret doors and hidden compartments has been around since ancient times; thousands of years ago, the Egyptians hid chambers deep in their pyramids. While hidden doors may not be found in everyone’s home nowadays, the desire to have clandestine passageways and secret stashes hasn’t dwindled.

There are many different things that can be hidden in countless ways. While it can be difficult to construct secret passageways, there are many ways to hide your private treasures from prying eyes. Check out this list of twenty fun and interesting ways to create secret doors, hidden compartments, and covert stashes.

Secret Doors

Check out these different ways to create your own secret doors. Using a bookcase for cover is the most popular method, but there are different styles and difficulties when it comes to the design. If bookshelves are too overdone, in your opinion, check out the last two doors that are very well hidden and pretty unique.

Secret Door Bookcase by makendo — via Instructables

Secret Door Bookcase by makendo — via Instructables

This sliding bookcase door might be a bit more than many people can tackle, but the end result is simply stunning. Makendo showed off the directions for this secret door on Instructables. Not only was this bookcase built to smoothly slide open for entry, but these shelves were also built from scratch!

Secret Door/Bookcase With Book Latch by Bob Clagett — via I Like to Make Stuff

Secret Door/Bookcase With Book Latch by  Bob Clagett — via I Like to Make Stuff

If you don’t have as much room, you can try out this bookcase door with book lever. Bob Clagett from I Like to Make Stuff shows how he built an in-wall bookshelf that doubles as a hidden door. The finished shelf is beautifully constructed and has a handy hidden basic latch (like ones you see on garden/yard gates) that is unhooked when you pull out a specific book.

How to Build a Secret Faux Bookcase Door DIY by TVTara — via YouTube

How to Build a Secret Faux Bookcase Door  DIY by TVTara — via YouTube

If you aren’t prepared to go headfirst into a woodworking project, you can try out this easy-to-make and removable fake bookcase door with faux book handle. Unlike some of the other bookcase doors, this one is not an actual shelf and is simply a facade. While you can’t use it to store books, it is much easier to make than some of the other designs. You can even use a book to hide your doorknob to really sell the illusion.

Secret Library Automatic Door by Krizbleen — via Instructables

Secret Library Automatic Door by Krizbleen — via Instructables

These fun shelves are not only a unique shape, but they also automatically open to reveal a hidden room. With the help of an Arduino, these secret doors appear to open on their own. All you need to do to activate them is touch the right book, or do the super secret knock.

Hidden Exterior Entrance by oggfaba — via YouTube

Hidden Exterior Entrance by oggfaba — via YouTube

Unlike the previous projects, instead of hiding a door behind an other object, this individual took on the challenge of simply making the door disappear, literally, into the woodwork. While this video doesn’t give step-by-step directions on how to make an invisible secret entrance, it gives you a good idea of how to get started. This fun door has even been programed to open at the push of a button (though there are alternative ways to get it open).

Hidden Garage Door by BeausoleilArchitects — via Beausoleil Architects

Hidden Garage Door by BeausoleilArchitects — via Beausoleil Architects

This beautiful house was great, but there wasn’t really anywhere for the people to park. The bottom floor of the house was essentially unused, so Beausoleil Architects came up with a useful and unique way to put in a garage. Instead of putting in a traditional door that goes up, they put in a two-part door that perfectly matches the exterior of the house. They talk a little bit more about what they did in this YouTube video.

Clever Compartments

Creating secret doors can be a pretty big project to tackle, but if you still want to have your own hidden places in your house, try one of these six clever compartments. Find out how easy it is to create your own false bottom drawer, but don’t be afraid to see what it takes to make your own automatic television-raising device.

False Bottom Drawer by M3G — via Instructables

False Bottom Drawer by M3G — via Instructables

You can’t really talk about secret compartments without having a false bottom drawer. This is a pretty basic and easy way to hide things away in your house. All you really need to make one yourself is a board that matches your drawer (and is cut to fit) and supports to hold it up (wine corks are used here by M3G on Instructables).

Hidden Cabinet by Romado12187 — via Instructables

Hidden Cabinet by Romado12187 — via Instructables

Everyone is going digital nowadays, so why not use your old DVD cases for a nice little popout compartment? This is great for hiding things, but is even more handy to store remotes for your television.

A Hidden Compartment Behind the TV by Dan Herchenroether — via Apartment Therapy

A Hidden Compartment Behind the TV by  Dan Herchenroether — via Apartment Therapy

This hidden compartment behind a television is fun and practical. You can use this tutorial to make one to hide your cords as well, or you can use it as storage to hide something else.

Floating Shelf With Secret Compartment by stephenjacklyn — via Instructables

Floating Shelf With Secret Compartment by stephenjacklyn — via Instructables

Many people have shelves all around their homes already and this floating shelf with a secret compartment is the perfect way to hide things in plain sight. It has pretty basic construction and could be made to fit all manner of objects.

Hidden Kitten Litter Bin via Imgur

Hidden Kitten Litter Bin via Imgur

Kitty litter boxes can be an eyesore and smelly, but you can cleverly hide them away with a hollow dresser. This project is perfect for hiding away those boxes and storing additional things for your pet. Now you can have them close by for your cat’s convenience while making them fit much more nicely with your decor.

How to Make a TV Lift Cabinet by ihart — via Instructables

How to Make a TV Lift Cabinet by ihart — via Instructables

Instead of just hiding the cords to your television, hide the whole TV, plus the cords and all the electronics that go with it. This decorative dresser hides it all and has an automatic lift system. This cabinet can keep everything out of site, but still has your television available at the touch of a button.

More Unique Hiding Spots

These eight additional hiding places don’t quite fit in with the other categories, but they are too fun to not include. Make your own hollow book to hide all of your secret treasures, or go over the top and convert that unused number pad on your keyboard into a hiding spot that no one would think to look for. Whether you want to tackle one of these yourself, or just see the interesting ways people have created to hide all their secrets, you’re going to find something that will tickle your fancy.

How To Make a Hollow Book via How To Do Stuff

How To Make a Hollow Book via How To Do Stuff

It’s hard to have a list of secret hiding places without including the classic hollow book. These are so popular that you can find them for sale just about anywhere, but if you want a really authentic one, you need to make one yourself. They are pretty easy to construct as you only really need a book, glue, and a knife or scissors. You can even jazz it up with a lined interior, electronics, or some type of lock.

Sneaky Keyboard Hack by kipkay — via YouTube.

Sneaky Keyboard Hack by kipkay — via YouTube.

Take the unused number keypad on your keyboard and use it to stash treasures. Many people don’t even use the number keypad on keyboards anymore, so why not transform it into something a little more handy to have around?

Stacked Vintage Book Stash by Matt Maranian — via Make:

Stacked Vintage Book Stash by Matt Maranian — via Make:

This cleverly designed vintage book stash offers an alternative way to use your books to hide your treasures. If both the hollow book and book storage compartment aren’t doing the trick, stack a bunch of old, unused books to make this fun hiding place.

Doortop Stash by Sean Michael Ragan — via Make:

Doortop Stash by Sean Michael Ragan — via Make:

A doortop stash may not be able to store a lot, but you are pretty much guaranteed that no one is going to find it. This great tutorial was recently updated with a video to make it even easier for you to follow along.

Multi-Book Secret Storage Compartment by Jason Poel Smith — via Make:

Multi-Book Secret Storage Compartment by Jason Poel Smith — via Make:

If you don’t have a book thick enough to store what you want, you can put together this fun book storage compartment that involves hiding things behind books rather than in them.

Wireless Light Switch in a Bust by TheNewHobbyist — via Instructables

Wireless Light Switch in a Bust by TheNewHobbyist — via Instructables

While this project is a little different than many items on this list, it is too fun to not include. Learn how you can cleverly hide a button inside a bust. If you think it looks familiar, that’s because it was inspired by the bust in the original Batman TV show. This tutorial shows you how to hide a light switch under this bust’s head, but you can always make it do something else, like activate a hidden door!

Hollow Deck of Cards via Imgur

Hollow Deck of Cards via Imgur

Using a deck of cards is a pretty clever idea. Many people have decks just sitting around their house, but wouldn’t look twice at them. This gives a unique spin on the traditional hollowed out book.

How To Make A Super Secret Wall Outlet Safe by The King of Random — via Instructables

How To Make A Super Secret Wall Outlet Safe by The King of Random — via Instructables

You probably can’t find a house without a wall outlet and they aren’t always being used. Transform one into a great hidden wall safe to stash your small valuables. The King of Random shows how you can install one of these with a blank panel in front of it or you can go the more hidden route and actually have a working outlet involved.