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DIY Personal Projects: How To Build A Secret Drawer For Your Desk

I remember the first time I made my first secret drawer. I was in high school back then and my pesky brother just couldn’t get his hands off of my baseball cards, so naturally, I got creative. Our shared drawer was attached to the wall and because the bottom part was flimsy, I cut a hole through the wall and hid my cards in there. My brother never found out about it. But fast forward to today, I’ve perfected the art of making a secret drawer.

This project works well with any type of drawer because this is merely a template. The secret drawer works well in the middle of the table or in between other drawers. The added symmetry to the table is intentional but it looks inconspicuous enough to not draw anyone’s attention. Take note that this drawer can hold light items or documents, so don’t put anything heavy inside the drawer. You can also use this secret drawer/compartment for your shelves and drawers in the garage.

Here are the things you will need for this DIY secret drawer:

  • 1/2″ plywood
  • Piano hinge
  • Wood glue
  • Drawer magnet
  • Screws
  • String 
  • Saw
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure

DIY Personal Projects: How To Build A Secret Drawer For Your Desk


1. Cut the Plywood

Since this is a small and sneaky drawer, the size and color should blend in with your desk too. Also, remember to cut the ply to the size that will fit your table, this project can be easily customized as we have different needs, different tables, and different styles. Make sure the measurements are accurate. Like my grandpappy always said: measure twice, cut once.

2. Box the Parts Together 

Box the parts together to create the drawer by using the butt joints. Securely snug the pieces with each other.

3. Place the Bottom Drawer Side

Cut a dado into the drawer size for the drawer bottom. Slide the bottom into the dado and tack the sides together.

4. Add a Face Plate

This drawer should mimic whatever your desk looks like so it doesn’t stand out. Replicate the face plate of the drawer and put in front of the drawer using wood glue.

5. Attach the Hardware

Screw the piano hinge at the back portion of the secret drawer.

Place the drawer magnet underneath the table and inside the drawer. Make sure the plate is sitting flush with the surface. Install stoppers if you need to.

6. Install the Drawer

Place the drawer by screwing the piano hinge in place and checking the flushness of the drawer magnet.


Here is the full video tutorial of this clever DIY secret drawer from Craftsman

From documents to guns, you can make use of this secret drawer to store just about anything. As for me, these secret drawers can help me secure some important stuff that need to be concealed without having to invest in a vault. How about you? How do you keep your valuables safe? Let me know in the comment section below.

Click here for more DIY projects that conceal valuable items in your home.

Featured Image from Piet Houtenbos


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