My dining room has a secret. Can you tell what it is?


Good. That’s how it should be!

I’m very much a DIY kind of gal. Partly because it’s fun, partly because I hate spending money on things I can make. The man never really let me have any fun tools (probably because stuff like this happens), so now that I have some, I’m making up for lost time.  I also get really excited over small things, which is exactly why I’m writing this!

We have two main ways of egress, like most people do. The back door is in the kitchen so there are many easily accessible hiding spots for a weapon. The front door, however, has nothing. How not helpful!  Out of sight, out of mind is ideal here. At any given time, I’ve got 6 kids running in and out of my house (at least until I lock the doors). Only two of those belong to us. Although our kids are very well versed in weapon safety, the neighbor kids aren’t.  Always better safe than sorry in this case.  So. How do I keep weapons around, hidden but easily accessed, with a tiny budget? Well, you take full advantage of the above mentioned toys that the man just bought!

This took all of about 4 hours to complete. That includes making, painting, and staining the boards for the wall decor. I’m actually pretty positive that just writing and painting the letters took longer than anything else!

Up for some fun? Okay. It’s not THAT fun if you and your significant other don’t make a really good furniture building team. I’m not even going to lie. We’re the furthest from good together with that. It’s a great experience though. Here’s what we did-

We picked the most logical area and located two studs. We lucked out and our studs were perfectly centered on this little wall. We did a rough sketch of the size we wanted, eyeballed it, sketched again, and then decided to cut out the box we just drew. Now. I strongly recommend using a Gerber/leatherman or a small hand saw for this if you’re anywhere near electrical. The man opted to take his chances. Don’t be like the man.

After you’ve cut out your box, measure between the studs in three places- top, middle, and bottom. At least top and bottom! You’re going to be setting your box directly between the studs and securing into them so you want this to be accurate and set in tightly. Ours was about 16″x18″ because of the magnetic strip that we were using.

We used a 1/4″ thick piece of plywood as a backing for the box. This will not only be support, but a template as well. Measure correctly, double check, and cut.  Measure everything again, just to be sure. Again, you’re going to want this snug to the sides.  Measure vertically along the studs. Cut two pieces of 1″x2″ for the sides of the box.  Pre drill your holes and with screws, attach them to the backing and measure the space in between horizontally for the top and bottom cuts of 1″x2″ and screw them inside.

You’ll notice that we did the top and bottom first. Don’t do that. It’s silly. Learn from our mistakes.

Attach your magnet to the backing. We chose to place it diagonally because it was just too big to put vertically and far too long to go horizontally. It was an extra so we wanted to use it. Once your magnet is in securely, put your box into the wall. Pre drill your holes and mount directly into the studs.

Now, how you attach your covering is completely up to what you actually have. I made a large piece, 20″x26″, which was significantly larger than the box in the wall. I did this strictly for aesthetics to pair with a giant piece I made on a perpendicular wall. The original plan was to attach the hinges directly to the box but due to the size, the hinges had to be moved from the inside to the far side of the stud, into the wall. I sacrificed the hidden hinges for a huge piece. Fair trade off. Opposite the hinges, we added magnets to hold the art closed. One was screwed directly into the box but the other had to be glued to the back of the art (couldn’t really screw into the 1/4″ plywood and have it be not visible.). I spent WAY too much time painting this darn thing to have it messed up with a screw. To finish it off, caulk around the box. I opted to paint it because the raw look and …thorough… caulk job wasn’t my style. The man had never caulked before and was proud of himself so I let him have his moment. Gotta let them win sometimes.

Although the 21 will live there, it’s nice to know that my cute little snubby fits there perfectly, too.

This was a fun little project. The man panicked to begin with because we were destroying a house that we just had built, but by the end, he realized it was a good idea. This has been in for a few weeks now and the kids have yet to discover what this actually is. That’s not a bad thing.  For costing me about $4 (I had everything but the tiny magnets), I love it far more than the professionally built ones that I would’ve spent a ton more on!  I do realize that this isn’t perfect. I love that about it. With this lifestyle, especially when only one person works, it’s nice to be able to make things like this.

(P.S. If you smooth out the caulking, it won’t look nearly as pieced together haha)

This cost us next to nothing as we had almost everything, but buying everything should cost you less than $30.

Materials used for box:


-1/4″ thick plywood (you can buy smaller pieces precut at Lowes)

-Screws, I used 2″ for almost everything except 2, 1/4″ wood screws for the large magnet.

-Magnets. One larger to hold your weapon inside, two smaller to hold the art more snug to the wall.

-Moulding/trim caulking

-Glue to secure small magnet to art if needed.

-Paint if desired


Tools used included a Gerber/leatherman, drill (and bits), and a jigsaw.

For the art I used-


1/4″ thick plywood

paint for background, lettering, and stain for wood border

2″ screws

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