Seventeen Sneaky Secret Compartments

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.

32 thoughts on “Seventeen Sneaky Secret Compartments

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

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

      1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

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  6. Now that you know how it works, you can listen for the sheer pleasure of
    it – without all those nagging technical questions churning in the back of your mind.

    An interesting tidbit: Due to the Titanic disaster of 1912, all
    ships were required to have radios with 2 operators and auxiliary power and all transmitters must
    be licensed. This depression can eventually lead to
    chronic depression which will not go away and might eventually
    bring about thoughts of suicide.

  7. 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.

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

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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 makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan