DIY Spy Gadgets Some Do It Yourself Ideas and Guides

by | Spy Gear

Last Updated on February 10, 2021

Regardless of whether you’ve dreamt of becoming an operative of the CIA, or you just really love the 007 movies, you probably have a thing for all those high-tech toys spies have.

With a bit of DIY and electronics knowledge, you can now have access to some of the toys usually reserved for the crème de la crème in the spy world. Below you will find a few interesting gadgets that you can try to make yourself, whether they’re for fun, or to impress your friends.


hidden chess boardMake a secret chessboard compartment

A secret chessboard compartment can give you a secret storage stash. Even though you can’t store too many things, you still have a bit of room for storing small things. In order to open the compartment, you’ll need to move the chess pieces across the board in a particular way. What you store inside is completely up to you.

The compartment works by installing magnets in two of the chessmen you’ll make, and having magnetic locks in the drawer. When you move the selected chess pieces in a way that moves the magnets inside the chess board, you’ll be unlocking the compartment. The whole procedure is a bit more complex than that, but it’s still something that a person with some basic knowledge of woodworks can easily do.


Install a spy cam in a coffee cup

coffee cup spy cupI know what you’re thinking, and no, you won’t be able to drink from the cup once you’re done making it. What you’ll do is modify two paper coffee cups. One of them will be used to have the device itself inside, while the other one is used for concealing the whole thing. You’ll make holes that align in the bottoms of each cup, where the camera is.

There are also two LEDs that you can see through the lid. One of them will light up when you activate the tilt switch (the trigger), and the other one will flash twice once you take a picture. The whole project is made of a couple of modules, the main one being a Memsic 2125 accelerometer. You will need a bit of electronics know-how, and this project might cost you a bit, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before you begin with the whole thing.


Put an eavesdropping bug inside of a book

book spy deviceEven though this is commonly used for storing devices in a secret manner, you can easily hide a bug inside a book you don’t mind cutting open. The entire project will require that you get yourself an amplified listener hearing aid, as well as an in-car FM transmitter. The whole combination is then tucked inside a hollowed-out book.

The microphone is concealed by a dust cover, and the covert listening device can be somewhere in the vicinity of the book. Through an ordinary FM radio, you could potentially listen in on any conversation going on in that room.


Turn a stuffed animal into a hidden camera

teddy bear cameraDon’t go and grab your favorite one, as you’ll need to ruin it somewhat. The first step is to cut around one of the eyes of your toy. This is where the lens will come out. You’ll also need to cut a line in the back, through which you’ll add all the electronics and the camera. You don’t want to put the whole camera inside, but instead open the shell and just put the lens and the circuit board.

The lens should be sticking out where the eye would normally be, so make sure that you conceal it well. All that’s left is to connect your camera to your laptop or computer, and set up your favorite recording software to record whatever is going on. Now you can easily have a concealed surveillance system in your room, and keep track of everything.


Make a “dead drop” out of a hollow bolt

You’ve noticed that in spy movies, good spies seldom meet in person. Instead, they opt for a dead drop to give each other documents and other data that should remain hidden. Making your own dead drop device isn’t at all difficult. What you’ll need are some tools and a big bolt, at least ½” in diameter, along with a nut.

By cutting off the head, you’re allowing yourself access to the inside of the bolt. You’ll need a drill press here, because you’ll need to make a hole inside of the bolt. Once that’s done, you’ll also want to thread the inside of the bolt. Then, you get a small metal rod that you thread on the outside, so you can close the bolt. When you’re done with everything, you’ll have an object that looks like a bolt, but you can store things such as small pieces of paper on the inside. Pretty cool, right?


Wrapping things up

At the end of the day, the common consensus about spy gadgets and toys is that they’re very expensive if you want them to actually be functional. You could get something that looks like a spy gadget, but doesn’t work, fairly cheap, but where’s the fun in that? If you want the real deal, you should be prepared to pay for it.

On the other hand, many of us are actually pretty skilled with the basic tools that one uses around the home, meaning we can easily make DIY spy gadgets. All that we need is a bit of creativity, and patience to make the gadgets.

If you’ve decided which one of the gadgets above you’ll try, make sure you have everything you need first. Once you’ve finished everything, it’s time to have fun. Good luck!


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About Gadgets Spy

Hi, I’m Michael, a security and surveillance expert. I co-founded and write for GadetsSpy and help teach people about new tech and Gadgets.