Design & DIY

6 secret places to hide things at your cottage

Tube of original pringles on white background, secret spot Photo by Mahathir Mohd Yasin/Shutterstock

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a friendly spy or an evil genius: you and your kids all need places where you can keep a secret.

1. A false bottom

A false bottom is a classic. Cut thin plywood to fit tightly inside a drawer, along with two wood strips to support the bottom. To easily retrieve the incriminating photographs you’ve hidden underneath, glue an old sock (or some other plausible drawer occupant) to the plywood.

2. Use existing spots

If your cottage’s outdoor wiring runs through a grey plastic conduit, an extra junction box plus some conduit makes for a well-disguised little cache for the microfilm.

3. Eat chips…then use the container

Smuggle enemy technical diagrams in a tricked-out tube of Pringles. Neatly slice off the tube’s metal bottom with a utility knife, and find a lidded jar that can slip inside. Using hot glue, attach the jar lid to the metal bottom. Carefully stack enough chips back in the upside-down tube to support the jar so the lip is flush with the cut tube and its lid screws on seamlessly. Squeeze some hot glue around the outside of the jar to secure it in place. Then, swallow any remaining chips to prevent them from falling into foreign hands.

4. Use old magazines

Every cottage has a collection of old CL magazines that can become a hidey-hole for your doomsday device. Set aside two issues. Using a ruler and utility knife, trim the other issues into an L shape, leaving strips (as wide as your ruler) on the spine and top edge. Neatly stack these pieces together and glue cardboard over the inner, cut edges of the hole. Glue an untrimmed issue, with a cardboard stiffener inside, on each end. Surprised that we’d willingly sacrifice our CL collection? It’s only Canadian Living—what magazine were you planning to use?

5. Reuse and upcycle old tools

Power tools and small appliances that no longer work can be repurposed as secret compartments: unscrew the cover, remove the guts, and stash the imperial jewels.

6. Camouflage an old jar

Swirl some off-white paint on the inside of an empty mayonnaise jar. Once the paint dries, no one will ever look for ancient gold statues in there.

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