Hidden Storage Behind a Picture Frame

Combine the fun of a hidden compartment with the usefulness of a storage cabinet in one great package.

I am going to turn a medicine cabinet into a framed picture with hidden storage behind it. This is great for bathrooms, bedrooms, really anywhere you need some extra space but want to keep the room looking nice and clean.

Before you start, you’ll need a standard recessed medicine cabinet – one that’s meant to be installed in the wall between studs – and a framed photo that is big enough to act as the front door. Remove the mirror from the front of the cabinet, but keep the hinges attached so you can replace that mirror with your picture.

And depending on the type of hinges you have, you may have to use a chisel or a Forstner bit to recess the hinge plates into the picture frame backing. Screw the hinges into the picture frame, and make sure that your new picture-door closes completely and sits flat against the cabinet front.

Now it’s time to install it. Once you know the general area where you want the cabinet, you have to find your studs. If you don’t already have one, you will want to pick up a stud finder. This one also finds pipes and wires, which is a great feature for working on interior walls like this.

Trace the back of your medicine cabinet onto cardboard and cut out a template, and then you can use your stud markings and this template to trace where your hidden compartment is going to go.

When you are choosing a location, some things to keep in mind: If there is an electrical outlet, a switch, or a plumbing fixture adjacent, there is likely to be wiring or pipes in the wall, so be careful. Also, wires usually go directly up and down inside the wall to feed a switch or socket, so don’t position your cabinet directly above or below a socket or switch.

Cut the opening with a drywall saw, and test fit your cabinet. If it all fits nicely, you can add some support for the top and bottom of the cabinet. Measure between your studs and cut 2 2x4s to length. Put them into place and screw them into the studs securely.

Now you can place the cabinet in, and use your level to make sure it is positioned properly. Use the provided hardware to attach it to the studs, and check that it’s in there securely.

Perfect! You’d never know there was hidden storage behind this picture, would you?

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