How to Build a Hidden Compartment in a Hope Chest

By Anne Kinsey

Hope chests, also known as cedar chests, are ideal places for storing fabrics and other precious items. Cedar naturally deters pests, smells good and is attractive. You can also build a secret compartment in you cedar chest allowing you to store secret items such as gifts or important papers without them being readily visible. When others go into the cedar chest to remove clothing or other items, they will see nothing out of the ordinary and will never guess that you are secretly storing things.

Measure the bottom of the inside of your cedar chest using your tape measure, ensuring that you measure all the way to where the sides meet the bottom of the chest. Write down your measurements.

Trace an outline of the bottom of your cedar chest onto your piece of cedar wood, using your measurements and measuring tape to guide you.

Cut your cedar wood and cover it with felt that is stapled to the reverse side of the cut cedar board. Using cedar will ensure that your hope chest still smells like cedar and covering it with felt helps to ensure that you do not have to worry about whether or not the color of the cedar board matches the rest of the chest.

Place important documents in the bottom of your empty hope chest. You could store papers, gift cards, small amounts of cash or anything that can lie completely flat.

Set the felt-covered board into the bottom of your hope chest, lightly tapping it onto place. It should fit snug and act like a normal felt-covered chest base. Return your items to the hope chest until you need to access your secret compartment. To access your documents, simply pry the board out using a metal ruler.

About the Author

Anne Kinsey has been a writer for 10 years, with her writing published in print newsletters, as well as websites including eHow and LIVESTRONG. She is also a minister and violinist holding a B.A. in religion and African American studies, and a M.Div. in pastoral counseling.