How to Make a DIY Diversion Safe: 16 Creative Ideas

    Diversion safes are a clever and practical way to keep your valuables hidden in plain sight. These cleverly designed items look just like everyday objects, but they have a hidden compartment for storing your precious items. They're perfect for those times when you're away from home, like during a holiday, or if you're just concerned about the safety of your valuables in a traditional safe. 

    Instead of buying one, why not try making your own? It's a fun and creative project, and you can tailor it to blend perfectly into your home. To help you get started, we’ve put together 16 easy and creative DIY diversion-safe ideas.


    Are DIY Diversion Safes as Secure as Traditional Safes?


    metallic safe deposit box on dark background
    Credit: Envato Elements/ MegiasD


    DIY diversion safes are not as secure as traditional safes, especially those made of steel, and come with locking mechanisms. However, they can still hide items effectively when used in combination with other security measures.


    16 Creative DIY Diversion Safe Ideas



    Here are 16 creative DIY diversion safe ideas that you can try out at home:

    1) The Classic Book Safe

    Choose a hardcover book that will blend in with others on your shelf. Using hot glue, bind the pages together, leaving the first few pages loose. Once dry, with a box cutter or knife, carefully cut a rectangular compartment within the bound pages. This hidden space is perfect for storing small valuables like jewelry or cash.

    2) The False Bottom Drawer

    Select a drawer that isn’t frequently used. Measure the inside and cut a piece of thin plywood, plank, or thick cardboard. This will be your false bottom. Attach a small handle or ribbon to the plank so that you can lift it easily. This is perfect for storing important documents, cash, or small valuables underneath.

    3) Picture Frame Safe

    Get a deep-set picture frame and a small box or pouch that can fit behind the photo. Attach the box to the back of the frame with strong adhesive or small nails. Put your valuables in the box, set the photo back in place, and hang it up.This method is great for hiding keys, USB drives, or small notes.


    4) The Empty Food Can

    Select an old tin can in your pantry. Use a can opener to open it and clean it thoroughly to remove any food residue. You can use it to store anything from spare keys to emergency cash. When placed among other groceries, it’s unlikely to draw attention.


    5) The Plant Pot Stash

    Pick a plant in a sizable pot. Place a small waterproof container or bag at the bottom of the pot, then fill it with soil and replant. Make sure that the container is easily accessible but not noticeable.Potted plants are an ideal spot for spare keys or emergency cash, and they keep your valuables literally grounded!


    6) The Air Vent Vault

    For this DIY safe, you'll need to build a fake air vent using a vent cover and a shallow box. Install it onto your wall, making sure the space behind is accessible. This unique hiding spot can be used for storing larger items and is typically overlooked by intruders.


    7) Shaving Cream Safe

    Empty and thoroughly clean a large shaving cream bottle. Cut the bottom to create a secret compartment. Place the bottle with your other personal hygiene products. This is a great way to stash cash or other small valuables.


    8) Bathroom Tile Safe

    If you’re comfortable with a bit of DIY, remove a tile in your bathroom and create a recessed space behind it. Replace the tile with a removable version, using magnets or a similar mechanism for easy access. This is a great place to hide more expensive valuables.


    9) The Candle Compartment

    Select a large candle and carefully hollow out the bottom. Insert a small container or bag. Make sure the candle still looks normal from the outside. This DIY diversion safe can be a functional part of your decor, with the added benefit of being a secret storage space.


    10) Sofa Safe

    Stitch a small pouch or pocket onto the underside of your sofa cushions or within the lining of the sofa. This is an incredibly easy and quick way to hide things like cash, cards, or keys, and it's always within reach.


    11) The Lint Trap Hideaway

    Most people don't think to check the lint trap of a dryer. Clean out an old lint trap and place a small, flat container or envelope inside. It's an excellent spot for hiding cash or important notes. Just remember to remove it before doing laundry!


    12) The Board Game Box

    Choose a board game that you rarely play. Place your valuables in a small bag or envelope and put it inside the box, under the game board, or within the game pieces. Make sure to store it with your other board games to avoid raising suspicion.


    13) The Stuffed Animal Safe

    Select a large stuffed toy and carefully cut a small slit in the seam. Insert a small pouch or container inside, and then sew it back up. Make sure to place it in your kid's room or a nursery so it doesn’t look out of place.


    14) The Fake Rock Ruse

    For this DIY safe, you can either buy or make a hollow fake rock. Place it among real rocks in your garden or at the bottom of a potted plant. It’s an excellent outdoor option for hiding a spare key or small items.


    15) The Clock Compartment

    Choose a large wall clock with enough space to store valuables inside. Create a compartment behind the face of the clock. This is a timeless hiding spot that's right in plain view.


    16) The Shelf Bracket Box

    Install a decorative shelf with hollow brackets. These brackets can serve as small hidden compartments. From the outside, it just looks like a regular shelf, making it a smart and stylish hiding place.


    Diversion Safes to Avoid


    hands placing money under a pillow
    Credit: Envato Elements/ Prostock-studio

    When creating or choosing DIY diversion safes, it's just as important to know which types to avoid. Some common ideas might seem clever, but they may be obvious to potential intruders. Here are a few types of diversion safes that you need to avoid:


    1) The Toilet Tank Safe

    While it might seem like a clever idea to hide valuables in a waterproof bag in the toilet tank, it's actually a well-known hiding spot. Movies and TV shows have popularized this method, so it's one of the first places an intruder might check.


    2) The Under-the-Mattress Method

    Hiding valuables under the mattress is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It's an obvious spot that burglars are likely to search. Avoid using this area for storing anything valuable.


    3) The Freezer Money Stash

    While it might seem clever, hiding cash or valuables in the freezer is a well-known trick. It's better to find more unconventional secret hiding places in your home.


    4) The Classic Jewelry Box

    You might think that hiding a key or note under the felt liner of a jewelry box is smart, but burglars often head straight for jewelry boxes. They're likely to check thoroughly, including underliners and false bottoms.


    5) The Predictable Piggy Bank

    Piggy banks can be a clear signal that there’s money inside. If you're using one, make sure it’s among similar items to avoid drawing attention.


    6) The Too-Accessible Car Compartment

    Avoid hiding anything valuable in your car’s glove compartment or center console. If someone were to break into your garage, this is the first place they'll check.


    Where to Place Your Diversion Safe


    money placed in knife holder
    Credit: Envato Elements/ ashishk75

    Here are some tips on where to keep your diversion safe:


    1) In Plain Sight, But Not Obvious

    The best spot for a diversion safe is often in a place that’s visible but not the main focus. For instance, a book safe should be placed on a bookshelf. Similarly, a picture frame safe should be nailed to a wall among other photos.The idea is to place it in such a way that it's hidden in plain sight but won't be noticed right away.


    2) Among Similar Items

    If your diversion safe is designed to look like a regular household item, place it among similar items. For instance, a cleaning product safe should be with cleaning supplies, and a pantry item safe should be in the kitchen with other groceries.


    3) In Less Trafficked Areas

    Choose locations that aren’t frequented by family members, or guests or aren’t the main areas of the house. A diversion safe in a guest room or a lesser-used cabinet is less likely to be discovered than one in the living room or main bathroom.


    4) Away From Valuable-Looking Spots

    Avoid places where people usually keep valuables. For example, away from jewelry boxes, traditional safes, or dresser drawers commonly used for valuable items.


    5) Avoid Extreme Conditions

    Don't place your diversion safe in areas prone to extreme temperatures, humidity, or potential water damage like basements or attics. This is especially important if you’re storing sensitive documents or electronic devices.


    How to Maintain Your DIY Diversion Safe


    Money, insurance, security and protection concept.
    Credit: Envato Elements/ bnenin


    Once you've made your DIY diversion safe, it's important to take care of it to keep your valuables safe. Here are some easy ways to do that:

    Check for Wear and Tear: Every now and then inspect your diversion safe for any signs of wear and tear. Check for loose components or damaged parts.

    Update Disguise: Over time, the items that blend seamlessly into your home may change. Consider updating the disguise of your diversion safe to ensure it remains hidden.

    Test it Out: Try opening your diversion safe every so often to make sure it still works properly.

    Review Security Practices: In addition to maintaining your diversion safe, make sure to regularly review all your security practices. Check for any weaknesses in your home security and take steps to reduce risks.


    How Do I Make My DIY Diversion Safe Fire Resistant?

    Yes. Consider using fire-resistant materials such as metal or fire-rated insulation when making your DIY diversion safe. Also, store important documents or items in fireproof containers or pouches within the safe.


    Is it Legal to Use Diversion Safes?

    Yes, it's legal to use diversion safes to protect your valuables. They're designed for personal use and are not intended for illegal activities.



    With these 16 creative DIY diversion-safe ideas, you can protect your valuables effectively while maintaining a simple and discreet approach. Remember to choose the option that best suits your needs and surroundings.

    And if you're looking for professionally designed diversion safes that seamlessly blend into your everyday life, explore the innovative Travah water bottle diversion safe and brush diversion safe. Shop with us today.