How to Make the Ultimate Secret Stash Box for Kids

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

Outfox burglars with a Snail Soup decoy, the ultimate secret stash box for kids!

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

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

Step by step guide

To make your own secret stash box for kids, follow the instructions below. I’ve also provided printable artwork, just subscribe below and you’ll receive a download link.

The lid
How to make a 'snail soup decoy' secret stash treasure box: Step 1-3

STEP 1: Remove the lid and label from an old tin can.

STEP 2: Use a compass to draw a circle (the size of the inner diameter of the tin can) onto corrugated cardboard.

STEP 3: Cut the circle out and ensure it fits snugly onto the inner rim of the can.

The fake soup
How to make a 'snail soup decoy' secret stash treasure box: Step 4-6

STEP 4: Saw a metal spoon in half.

STEP 5: Cut a small slot into the cardboard circle, the size of the sawn end of the spoon and 6mm from the edge - the spoon must fit without gaps.

STEP 6: Now make ‘snail soup’ by mixing PVA glue with green and yellow poster paint or acrylic paint.

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Printable artwork
How to make a'snail soup decoy' secret stash treasure box: Step 7-10

STEP 7: 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.

STEP 8: Place a few lumps of plasticine (substitute pieces of snail!) onto the cardboard disc.

STEP 9: Pour on the glue until it reaches the top of the rim.

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

The safe
How to make a 'snail soup decoy' secret stash treasure box: Step 11-13

STEP 11: 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.

STEP 12: Use tape to hold the card while the glue dries.

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

How to make a 'snail soup decoy' secret stash treasure box: Step 14-18

STEP 14: Use a craft knife to cut around the door, leaving the hinged side attached. Also cut out a semi-circular finger hole (A) on the right side of the door.

STEP 15: To prevent creasing remove a tiny strip of artwork from along the hinge.

STEP 16: Open the door and score along the inside of the hinge for easy opening.

STEP 17: Cut and glue card tabs onto the inside of the door and door frames, this helps lock the door (B) and prevent it from opening inwards (C).

STEP 18: Finally, remove the snail soup ‘lid’ and glue it onto the top ring of the cylinder.

You’re now ready to stash your valuables. Just fill the safe, close the door, and lower it back into the tin can, until the snail soup ‘lid’ rests on the inner rim.


  • 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

What will I learn?

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

2) Even a children’s craft staple, such as a ‘treaure box’, can be given a new twist.

2) PVA glue is not just great for glueing… it can also be mixed with paint to create gloop!

Give it your own 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