How to Make a Safe Hidden in a Staircase
You can never be too safe when it comes to keeping your valuables in a secure location in your home. When a thief enters your home, he is going to look in the typical locations for your valuables. The desire to get in and out of your house quickly will not lead a thief to look for secret hiding spots, like your stairs. By converting an uncarpeted staircase into secret drawers to keep a safe, and not sharing this information, you can keep your valuables out of sight and mind.
Carefully remove the tread off a stair with a pry bar. The tread is the part of the stair on which you step.
Remove the kick plate, often called a riser, off the stair by tapping it with a hammer. The kick plate is the vertical portion of a step that your toes may hit while you're going up stairs.
Measure the kick plate. The size of your drawer will be at least 1/2 inch narrower than the kick plate on the sides and 1/4 inch shorter on the top and bottom.
Cut 1/4-inch plywood for the drawers. You will need five pieces for one drawer -- the front, back, bottom and two sides. The height of the drawer should be 1/4 inch shorter than the kick plate you removed. The drawer should be long enough to hold a flat safe.
Apply a small bead of wood glue along the edges of the piece of wood that serves as the bottom of the drawer. Press the sides and back into the glue.
Attach the pieces of wood to the bottom and to the adjoining piece using small finishing nails, spacing them 1 inch apart.
Glue the kick plate onto the front of the drawer. Toe-nail it onto the bottom and sides from the back, so the nails reach into the kick plate but the heads are not visible from the front of the step.
Secure the tracks of the drawer glides onto the sidewalls of the stairs and the wheeled strips onto the sides of the drawer with nails. It may be simpler to install the tracks inside the stairs with a nail gun than a hammer. The drawer glides will allow you to open and close the hidden drawer, and will prevent it from falling into the empty space behind the stairs.
To create a drawer pull, fold two pieces of 1-inch-wide, 4-inch-long ribbon in half. Secure each ribbon to the back of the kick plate with a tack so only 1.5 inches of the ribbon sticks out of the top of the drawer on the right and left sides. The pieces of ribbon are short enough that they will not extend over the top of the stair tread or dangle over the kick plate. Yet the ribbons are long enough to grab with your fingers and pull open the drawer.
Replace the stair tread and slide the kick plate drawer into place.
Set a slim safe in the drawer and close.
Things You Will Need
- Pry bar
- Measuring tape
- Circular saw
- 1/4-inch plywood
- Wood glue
- Finishing nails
- Nail gun, optional
- Drawer glides
- 2 1-inch-wide ribbons, 4 inches long
- 2 tacks
- Place a stair runner over the steps if you are worried about the drawer being noticeable.