How To Make A Spy Camera With Household Items – Step By Step Guide

Spy cameras are popular globally due to many factors including safety and security concerns. It is better to make a spy camera with household items than buying new spy cameras.

If you want to know how to make a spy camera with household items, you will need a smartphone with a decent camera and wi-fi capability, cardboard tubes, hot glue gun, plaster, paperboard, glue gun, cutting tools and paints. After you have these items ready, make the cut outs, put the camera box together, apply the plaster to all joints, create the stand and mount it perfectly, paint the spy camera box and connect your camera.

It is fun to make a spy camera with household items. Buying a top quality spy camera at the shops can be very expensive, so why not just make one yourself using household items.

Note, that you shouldn’t expect your home-made spy camera to have the same high-end features like top spy cameras. It will be able to perform basic monitoring services like storing and video recording.

Read through the rest of the article to learn how to make a spy camera with household items.

How To Make A Spy Camera With Household Items

Making a spy camera with household items is simple, if you know the materials to use and steps to carry them out. Patience and concentration is needed when carrying out this project. We will discuss what you will need to make a spy camera and steps to make a spy camera with household items.

How To Make A Spy Camera With Household Items

What You’ll Need:

The aim of making a spy camera with household items is to keep the cost low while still achieving good surveillance equipment. Here are some basic materials and supplies you will need:

1. Old Smartphone with a decent camera and Wi-Fi capability

This is the first material you should get when making a spy camera. You don’t need the latest and high-budget phones. What should be important is the camera features and Internet capabilities.

Old Smartphone with a decent camera and Wi-Fi capability

Samsung, Huawei and Sony are good recommendations, because their camera could be and have wide coverage. Ensure that the storage capacity of these phones should be a bit high (4gb and 8gb) will suffice. If the internal memory is low, you can buy external SD memory cards to expand storage.

2. Cardboard tubes

Getting a good cardboard tube is very important because they are durable and easy to use. Their level of protection is also good, and you can use them to make a good spy camera.

Cardboard tubes

A good feature of cardboard tubing is the ability to withstand pressure and stress which might affect the spy camera. If getting a cardboard tube is difficult, you could substitute with Kraft tubes.

This tubing can provide structural strength for other materials needed to make a good spy camera.

3. Hot glue gun

This is an underrated material which is good for doing basic projects like a spy camera. Many refer to it as a crafter’s best friend, because it performs various home fixes.

Hot glue gun

You can get cheap hot glue guns in various sizes and designs, and they are very fast. While other glue adhesives might take a while before bonding, a hot gun glue gun works fast for your spy camera project.

This household material is made from durable polymers which have a flexible, slick-like texture which provides good quality for your spy camera. They come cheaply and in various brands.

4. Masking or Clear Tape

These types of tapes are excellent adhesives which can do a good job while making your spy camera. It could be used for repairing ripped paper, securing gift wrapping and packages, repairing torn and wrinkled papers.

Masking or Clear Tape

Masking or clear tapes are available in many styles which could be simple and packing. Choosing the one that will work for you depends on the type of spy camera you wish to make.

This tape is an ideal choice whenever you feel you need a household material to make a spy camera.

5. Cardboard cutting tools

You will need some handy and cheap tools to cut your cardboard and paperboard to the right size. Precision matters when making a spy camera, therefore, choosing the right cutting tools when making a spy camera is important.

Cardboard cutting tools

Some good suggestions are cutting mats Rulers, knives, scissors, rotary Cutters, blades and markings.

6. A flexible wooden or cardboard

It is good when you have a wooden or cardboard board when making a spy camera. Size however is important, therefore, these boards shouldn’t be less than 12 cm and 24cm in length.

flexible wooden or cardboard

These boards should be a bit thick because you will need a spy camera that can last a while. While getting these boards, also consider its rigidity and foldability capability.

You can get a single or multiple size board. It is easy to cut, lightweight and good quality for house projects.

7. Dark and gray paint

You will need to paint your spy camera to make it appealing and blend well with your environment. Getting a quality paint for this craft is important, however stick with something dark, green or blue.

Black Paints are necessary for making spy cameras because they quality and rarely peel, appeal, don’t attract dust, Hides marks or Stains, protects the spy camera from pests, and they are very cheap.

8. Plaster

You will actually need a self-adhesive to secure the joints of other materials. Getting a good plaster should be thick and made from open-weave materials. You can get it in many sizes ranging from 50mm to 110mm.

They do a good job in strengthening your boards joints making the connection better and more secure. When using plasters avoid overlapping different lengths even if they don’t stick as they should.

Only use plaster for smooth paperboard surfaces because if the surface is rough and coarse, there will be a knock-out effect. Good plasters to consider while making a spy camera is scrim tape, joining tape and metal angle tape.

Steps To Make A Spy Camera With Household Items

The aim of making a Spy Camera is having a box where you can put your smartphone easily without detection. Also, you just need something basic to record unlike high- end cameras like the digital spy camera clock which are used in homes and offices to deter theft and for monitoring house cares and nannies.You should endeavor to cut out a place that will support your phone signals.

Steps To Make A Spy Camera With Household Items

You will then need to put the phone camera in an area in the room where it can view all happenings easily.

Here are the steps to make a spy camera with household items:

Step 1: Make the Cutouts

The first step required begins to make the right Cutouts which would match the board’s dimensions. These Cutouts should be four and should be the same height with the mobile phone you wish to make the spy camera.

An extra cutout should be created which would be the same as a baseboard but 6cm short. The reason for this is to leave an opening for your phone, when you want to remove it.

As per the front panel which the phone will sit on, mark a shape near the outside opening on the board. Moreover, draw a circle near the camera lens of the smartphone. It shouldn’t be more than 1.5cm to get a perfect view.

 Step 2: Putting the Camera Box Together

After making the right Cutouts, you will use the hot glue gun to make the walls of your baseboard stick together. The four walls need to stick firmly together, then leave for a few minutes.

When they have dried, try adding a shorter cover board for good closure and also it will be a roof for the box. You will line the cover board with the box back to make space for the front unit of your spy camera. This is where your smartphone will be going in and out.

Try to Glue the Roof to foreclose any opening. You will also need to look critically at the board markings and cut out a hole where the lens of your phone camera can view outside.

This will require using a reliable cutting tool like scissors or blade. If your smartphone isn’t tight enough for your liking, use some thin strips and glue them near the edges at the bottom of your phone. This will ensure it is tight and reduces movements.

 Step 3: Apply the plaster to all joints

You could use either a scrim tape or joining tape to smoothen all around the exposed paper or cardboard joints. Ensure the plasters are used in joints to make it smooth and even.

Give it some time to dry, then use some fine-grit sandpaper to smoothen all bumps and make it more appealing. Check all joints and casings in case you overlooked some areas.

Step 4: Creating the Stand and Mounting it perfectly

You will need to mount a stand which will make you fix the phone camera to the wall. Here is how to go about this: Cut some cardboard tubing piece to the right length you want the wall stand to be.

Cut an end at a right angle because it needs to meet the wall so that your spy camera can have a good angle. Glue the tubing end to your smartphone unit. Cut the strips of your paperboard using the same length as the stand shaft.

Stick these with the shaft to make a box close to it. Give the stand some time to dry. When it’s ready, you can decide how you want it placed on the wall.

Some possibilities are gluing to a cardboard piece and using plaster or tape to stick to the wall. There are many steps or setup you can use to mount it.

Step 5: Painting the Spy Camera Box

It’s not time to paint your Spy Camera box; you should use a dark or gray paint. You could paint the camera box black and the stand gray.

The reason is that you need something that will provide a form or cover for the spy camera and black color does a good job. You may add extra designs like fake stick buttons or less glass.

There are some good suggestions online where you can get ideas on how to hide your spy camera using paints.

 Step 6: Getting your Smartphone in Place

With the hope that you are following these steps and you have gotten everything right, it remains a place where your phone should go.

Note you should insert your camera, to ensure it is pointing out from the hole. If you are the creative type, you could make a little cut under the box for charging port space. You will use this space to connect your charger to ensure your phone doesn’t die quickly.

You will need to do a test and check if your camera is recording. When this is done, remove the phone and check the footage that every angle you want is covered.

Step 7: Connecting your Camera

Now that you are assured that everything is right, you will need to get a video conference application to get a live view of your phone footage.

However, if you aren’t interested in live views, you might record normally using a camera app and then transfer the video when you are free.

You could opt for Zoom if your spy camera is installed near a router and has a great Internet connection.

So there you have it! You have finally succeeded in making a Spy Camera using household items. You could extend this method in using a mobile phone to spy, however it will be in a smaller and more subtle way.

Final Words

Spy Camera can be made using household items and it is very cheap. Instead of getting an expensive spy camera which might be expensive, you can use a cheaper option.

There are good household materials like Plaster, cutting tools, hot glue gun, cardboard, and an old smartphone you can use to make a basic spy camera that will work for you.

There are also steps, albeit little, which are involved to make a spy camera with household items. These steps might seem complicated when you start, but when you practice regularly, you will figure it out.

What has been explained in this article can make a good spy camera using household items, you can start immediately!

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About the author - Charles Theisen

Hi, I am Charles Theisen, I am a technical expert on security cameras and its system. I have a shop where I sell security cameras and its accessories. Because of my business, I have to face so many clients of security camera users. I saw many clients face difficulties with installation, maintenance, not getting the proper service, buying the wrong one. All those problems they face because of their lack of knowledge about security cameras.

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