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DIY Projects: The Most Clever Ways To Help Keep Your Valuables Safe and Hidden

rsz_book-made-into-safe A little ingenuity and creativity is all it takes to turn your burglar’s buffet into an unsolvable puzzle. Here are eight awesome DIY projects to help keep your valuables safe and leave criminals out in the cold.

Hollowed Out Book

Call it a mystery novel cliche, but the fact remains that the hollowed out book trick works. While criminals are busy rifling through the obvious places, it’s unlikely that they’ll risk the chance of getting caught just to rifle through your literature. The trick to pulling it off lies in creating your own hollowed out book instead of purchasing one that’s ready made, but barely believable. Take a book of no sentimental value, large enough to house your jewelry, keys, or other important items. Using a box cutter, cut a hole in the pages, starting about 50 or so pages in and running deep enough to hold the items you chose. Take care not to damage the exterior edges of the pages, lest it give away your hiding spot to others.

Painted Mayo Jar

The pantry or fridge is another place that intruders are unlikely to look. Use that to your advantage with this simple trick that provides some added storage based on the size of jar you select. Take an empty mayonnaise jar and wash it out thoroughly. Take white or off-white paint and coat the inside so that there are no thin spots to aid prying eyes. Let the jar dry with the lid off, and you’re ready to refrigerate that rainy day fund.

False Ductwork

When it comes to hiding valuables, it can be difficult to do so in an inconspicuous manner, particularly if they’re large. Fortunately for the more DIY savvy, false duct work solves the problem through a combination of size and discretion. Run some "extra HVAC" in the crawlspace or basement and neighborhood intruders won’t even know where to look.


Sometimes the most effective solutions are the least obvious. The antithesis to hiding your valuables in plain site is hiding them where no one can see, and the top of your door is most likely the last place hasty burglars would look. The project takes very little time and effort and helps to securely store your savings without worry. Start with a regular cigar tube and find a drill bore that matches the diameter. Drill a hole in the top of your door deep enough to accommodate the cigar tube and seal it closed with a screw. In addition to being completely invisible to passers-by, even a wayward hand will barely discern the flat lid from the flat door.

False Electrical Panel

The common theme between many of these projects is that burglars tend to look in obvious places for valuables. This is because a break-in must occur quickly, otherwise the offending party risks getting caught or spotted by neighbors or law enforcement. With this in mind, a false electrical panel fits the bill with aplomb. Install a regular electrical panel in your garage or basement, preferably with a lock to make sure that entry is inhibited. For added effect, throw a “high voltage” sticker on the outside. The combined inconspicuousness of the solution, and the apparent danger, mean sticky fingers will pass before sacrificing their safety for a few bucks.

PVC Drain

Turn your regular drainage into a covert storage place that can house your valuables and won’t break the bank. Drill a normal drainage hole in your basement floor as if you were running a sewage hookup. Purchase a PVC drain and plug the end to prevent bugs and dirt from ruining your possessions. Make sure the pipe is long enough to hide your items from view of the drain, but not so long as to prevent access. Cover with a drain and, of course, avoid using it to drain water.

False Bottoms

Hiding items in your sock drawer or luggage is, contrary to popular belief, not a good idea. But a slight modification of the classic technique can thwart savvy intruders and help secure your valuables in the process. Empty your drawer and take note of the wood grain in the bottom. Find a thin piece of wood or other material that matches the appearance so as to avoid tipping off prying eyes. Cut the piece of material flush to the bottom of the drawer and make sure to store flat items that don’t add too much thickness to the compartment.

Curtain Pocket

The last trick on our list takes “hiding in plain sight” to a new level. Thick curtains aren’t just good for blocking the view on a casual night, they can be great for hiding flat items and extra cash. Choose a set of curtains that don’t betray the additional compartment to wayward eyes. Stitch a simple pocket onto the back of the curtains using material the same color as the surface, with thread that doesn’t give them away on the other side. While it won’t keep your social security documents safe, it can be a great way to stow away emergency money or other supplies in case of a break in. Use these tips in tandem with a home security system in order to help ward off burglars and give your family a little peace of mind.

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