Keep Your Treasures Safe with a 'Snail Soup' Decoy

Give your free time creative purpose

Outfox burglars with this foolproof treasure box that’s more secure than Fort Knox!

Yes, disguised as a yukky can of snail soup, this clever decoy will repel ALL unwanted attention.

It’s perfect for keeping your children’s pocket money, sweets and trading cards safe from… nosy siblings… as well as thieves…

'Snail Soup' decoy: a secret agent treasure box for kids
It’s a disgusting tin of snail soup…
'Snail Soup' decoy: a secret agent treasure box for kids
…but no, it’s a secret safe.
'Snail Soup' decoy: a secret agent treasure box for kids
The perfect place to hide your treasures!

What will I learn?

1) Tin cans REALLY are a crafting ‘super resource’, always keep a stash of them in your cupboard.

2) Even though a ‘treasure box’ is a children’s craft staple, that doesn’t mean it can’t be given a new twist.

2) PVA glue is not just great for glueing… it can also be mixed with paint to create fake ‘snail’ soup!

Step by step guide

Just follow the instructions below. To make things easier I’ve provided printable artwork, just subscribe below and you’ll receive a link.

FREE Download

To get your FREE printable artwork simply subscribe below:

Printable artwork

Time to get started…

The lid
How to make a 'snail soup decoy' treasure box: illustration 1

Remove the lid and label from an old tin can (1). Use a compass to draw a circle the size of the inner diameter of the tin can onto corrugated cardboard (2). Cut it out and ensure it fits snugly onto the inner rim of the can (3).

The fake soup
How to make a 'snail soup decoy' treasure box: illustration 2

Saw a metal spoon in half (4). Cut a small slot into the cardboard circle, the size of the sawn end of the spoon and 6mmm from the edge - the spoon must fit without gaps (5). Now make the ‘snail soup’ by mixing PVA glue with green and yellow poster paint or acrylic paint (6).

How to make a'snail soup decoy' treasure box: illustration 3

Place the tin can next to a wall, insert the cardboard disk and push the bottom of the spoon into the slot, leaning it against the wall for support (7).

Place a few lumps of plasticine (substitute pieces of snail!) onto the cardboard disc (8) and pour on the glue until it reaches the top of the rim (9).

Leave to dry for 2-3 days. Then paint the surface with a thin layer of PVA glue for a nice gloss finish (10).

The safe
How to make a 'snail soup decoy' treasure box: illustration 4

Measure inside of the can and workout the diameter and height required for the ‘safe’ to fit loosely inside.

Using these sizes cut 2 discs from corrugated cardboard and make one a hollow ring. Glue and wrap thin card around the discs to create a cylinder (11). Use tape to hold the card while the glue dries (12).

Print and cut out the ‘safe’ artwork and spray mount or glue it around the cylinder (13).

How to make a 'snail soup decoy' treasure box: illustration 1

Use a craft knife to cut around the door, leaving the hinged side attached (14). To prevent creasing remove a tiny strip of artwork from along the hinge (15). Finally, cut out a semi-circular finger hole on the right of the door (A).

Open the door and score along the inside of the hinge for easy opening (16).

Cut and glue card tabs onto the inside of the door and door frames (17), this helps lock the door (B) and prevent it from opening inwards (C). Finally, remove the snail soup ‘lid’ and glue it onto the top ring of the cylinder (18).

You can push the ‘safe’ back into the tin can until the fake snail soup ‘lid’ rests on the inner rim, like the first photo above. Who’d ever discover that!


  • One empty tin can
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Paper glue for sticking card
  • PVA glue for mixing with paint
  • Poster paints & paint brush
  • Card (210gsm)
  • Craft knife
  • Pencil and compass
  • Metal (or plastic) spoon
  • Plasticine

Give it your own unique twist

Kids love secret treasure stashes (especially if they have nosy siblings). If this one is too much effort, try something different - how about hollowing out the inside of an old book - I’ve always wanted to make one of those?

Written by
Photo of Scott Bedford
Scott Bedford

Maker, Illustrator and Author