diy spy

13 Easy DIY Spy Gear Projects for Kids: Gear and Gadgets Free!

Written by SpyKids

Cool spy toys don’t need to cost a fortune. There are plenty of awesome gadgets that can be made at home quite easily. This step-by-step guide will help you to make your own spy equipment for kids for free!

1 Spy Teddy 

Old stuffed toys can easily be repurposed into exciting spy gadgets for kids. A spy teddy like this one is pretty simple to make and doesn’t require too much technical know-how. 

an old teddy bear with black eyes, the perfect for a hidden spy camera for kids

What you’ll need: 

  • Old teddy bear or other stuffed toy
  • Webcam
  • Small electronics toolset
  • Craft knife or similar 

Tip: When choosing a toy for this project try to get one that has black eyes as these look similar to the lens of the web camera. 

How to make it:

  • Step 1: Remove the circuit board and lens from the webcam and set aside. 
  • Step 2: Remove one of the teddies eyes and cut a small hole at the back (for the cable to exit). 
  • Step 3: Place the lens into the eyehole of the stuffed animal and run the cord through. 
  • Step 4: Connect to your computer. 

2 DIY Fingerprint Set 

With this easy to make fingerprint kit kids will be able to examine fingerprints and see how each one is different.


What you’ll need: 

  • Flour or baby powder and a small container (old face compacts work well)
  • Old make-up brush or similar 
  • Clear tape
  • Black paper cut into small squares
  • Magnifying glass 
  • Small box to store items in

How to make it:

  • Step 1: Add the flour or baby powder slowly into a container with a lid – this is the fingerprint powder.
  • Step 2: Cut the black paper into small squares (these will be used to stick the prints onto) 
  • Step 3: Add the fingerprint powder, brush, tape, magnifying glass, and black paper squares to the kit. 

3 Book safe for a little secret agent

Here’s a great video explanation 

A big locked safe might seem like the smartest place to hide secrets but it’s also the first place intruders will look. 

Sometimes it’s better to hide little treasures in plain sight and kids will be able to do just that with this neat book safe. 

What you’ll need:

  • Fairly thick unwanted hardcover book 
  • Craft knife or similar cutting tool
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Wallpaper paste (optional)

How to make it:

  • Step 1: Open the book close to the beginning, keeping in mind that the pages in front will obscure the hiding place, so don’t make it too thin. 
  • Step 2: Using the ruler measure a rectangle on the right-hand page (not too close to the edges) and outline it with the pencil. 
  • Step 3: Now it’s time to start cutting into the book. With the ruler on one edge of rectangle slice down into the pages, moving from one edge to the next, removing paper as you go. Continue until you’ve created an acceptable sized void. 
  • Step 4 (Optional): Glue the cut pages (inside the void) together with wallpaper paste. 

4 DIY Spy Kit in a Box

You can be creative and add whatever you think your child will enjoy.

Most kids love to play the part of detective and with this kit, they’ll be able to do just that. They’ll be able to conduct their own investigations by collecting evidence, leaving secret messages, and going undercover…

What you’ll need:

  • Empty box 
  • Paint and stickers to decorate (optional)
  • Spy sunglasses
  • Moustache 
  • Binoculars 
  • Flashlight
  • Notebook and pencil 
  • Spy ID card (link to)
  • Fingerprint set (link to ) 
  • Invisible ink (link to)

How to make it: 

Simply pack all the tools into the box!

It’s good to remember that no two DIY spy kits ever need to be the same. You can be creative and add whatever you think your child will enjoy. 

You could also encourage your child to decorate their spy gear box with paint or stickers. You could even give the box a misleading label (like “old socks” or “receipts”) to help it blend in and remain concealed. 

5 DIY Secret Agent Costume 

A real spy kid, don’t you think so?

The essential items for a spy costume can be found in just about any wardrobe, which is good news if your kids want to be spies this Halloween. These outfits can be customized in hundreds of ways so just let your imagination run free!

What you’ll need (standard costume):

  • Dress or suit
  • Trench coat
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Spy ID

Other ideas to customize a secret agent costume:

Kids can have lots of fun putting together a secret agent costume and making fun gadgets to go along with it. Here are a few more accessories you might want to suggest for your budding kid spy: 

  • Spy earpiece 
  • Make-up or false mustache
  • Binoculars 
  • Notebook and pencil

6 DIY Spy Periscope

You can do it as in this video or in another way following the instructions below

A periscope is a nifty tool that can be used to see into areas above you and even around corners. Your spy-crazy kids will love this one, and it’s so easy to make. 

How it works: 

When you look at the mirror at the bottom of the periscope you see a reflection of the mirror in the top. 

What you’ll need:

  • Large cereal box or A4 size (or larger piece) of cardboard
  • Periscope template (free to downline online)
  • 2 mirrors 2” x 2” (5cm x 5cm)
  • Glue stick or glue
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Paint (Optional)

How to make it:

  • Step 1: Print out a periscope template and glue it to the cardboard. Leave to dry. 
  • Step 2: Cut out the template.
  • Step 3: Fold all the dotted lines inward using a ruler to keep them straight. 
  • Step 4: Glue down the flaps along the length of the template to form the shape of the periscope. 
  • Step 5: Now glue the flaps at the ends of the periscope.
  • Step 6: Glue a mirror at each end of the periscope taking care to ensure they sit at a 45-degree angle but face each other. 
  • Step 7 (Optional): Decorate or camouflage your periscope with paint. 

7 Home-made Invisible Ink Kit 

Passing along information by leaving secret messages is all part of being a spy, which means no spy kit should be without invisible ink. Here’s how you can make your own invisible ink set at home: 

What you’ll need:

  • Lemon juice 
  • Small sealable container 
  • A handful of cotton buds 
  • Small plastic bag 
  • Notepad 

How to make it:

  • Step 1: Squeeze the lemon juice into the small resealable container – this is the “ink”. 
  • Step 2: Place the cotton bud in the small plastic bags – these will be used as “pens” to leave the secret message. 
  • Step 3: Ask your child to write on a piece of the notepaper using the lemon juice and cotton bud. It will dry clear and disappear.
  • Step 4: Show your child how the message can be read by applying heat. You can do this either using an iron, candle, or hair dryer or by placing the note in a low heat oven for a short time. Heating up messages should always be done by an adult. 

8 Spy ID Card 

Secret agents need to be able to get into places that ordinary people cannot go and that’s why having a spy ID card is so crucial. 

You can help your kids choose a cool undercover name and then design a unique ID badge for them. 

What you’ll need: 

  • Spy ID card template (check here for free ones or design your own in a program like Canva). 
  • Piece of thin cardboard (a cereal box will work)
  • Photo (maybe take one of your child in their spy costume!)
  • Scissors 
  • Glue 
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  • Pen

How to make it: 

  • Step 1: Print out your template/design and glue it onto the cardboard (if your design has a back and front side, glue them together). 
  • Step 2: Cut the photo to size and glue it onto the card. 
  • Step 3: Fill in the name of the secret agent. 
  • Step 4: Cover the card with tape to prevent it from getting damaged or dirty. 

Bonus tip: Punch a hole in the ID card and attach it to a keyring with some old keys and a mini-flashlight. Your kids will love it! 

9 Keyhole Spy Gadget 

With this nifty little keyhole, gadget kids can peak into a room and tell whether or not it’s occupied without ever opening the door. And all it requires is a marble, some black paper and a few minutes! 

What you’ll need: 

  • Thick black paper cut to size 
  • Marble (clear ones work best)
  • Tape

How to make it: 

  • Step 1: Cut the paper to size – about 8 x as long as the diameter of the marble, and 5 x as wide).
  • Step 2: Place the marble in the middle of the paper and then roll the paper around it, keeping it tight and forming a tube. 
  • Step 3: Secure the tube with tape. 
  • Step 4: Using a toothpick or pen gently nudge the marble to one end of the tube until it just sticks out (half the marble inside the tube and half outside). 

To use: 

  • Place the marble end of the tube through a keyhole
  • Look through the other end (the view will be upside down) 

10 DIY Spy Decoder 

You can do it as in this video or in another way following the instructions below

Do your kids love to crack codes? Then why not make them their very own spy decoder! This spy tool can make 27 different codes, which makes it quite tricky for someone to crack. If you want you can even make identical decoders so your child can send encrypted messages to their friends or siblings. 

What you’ll need: 

  • Posterboard or thin cardboard 
  • Colored pencils or crayons
  • Scissors
  • A compass
  • A pencil
  • A ruler
  • A paper fastener
  • A fine tip marker or pen 

How to make it: 

  • Step 1: Cut out three circles from the poster board. The first one must be 3.25 inches in diameter, the second 2.5 inches in diameter, and third 1.5 inches in diameter.
  • Step 2: Take the largest circle (3.25 inches) and using the compass make pencil marks 3/8″ apart on the outside edge. Once you are done there should be 27 sections.
  • Step 3: Poke a hole through the center of the largest circle and the second biggest circle and then join them with the paper fastener. (Use the compass again to help you find the middle of each circle).
  • Step 4: Use the ruler to draw a straight line from each of your pencil markings on the outside of the largest circle to the paper fastener. 
  • Step 5: Now grab the pen and fill in the alphabet on the outside circle and put a ? in the 27th segment. 
  • Step 6: Write the alphabet again in the middle circle (jumble it up to makes things more interesting!)
  • Step 7: Add the smallest circle. 
  • Step 8: Decorate your spy decoder!

To use: 

  • Decide what the secret code will be – there are 27 to choose from, so get creative. 
  • To write a secret message, find the letter you want on the outside circle and write down the matching letter in the middle circle.
  • To decipher a message, find the letter on the middle circle, and write down the matching letter from the outside circle.

11 DIY Spy Telescope 

Did you know you can make a working telescope that will allow your kids to see the surface or the moon and even the rings of Saturn? It’s true and here’s how. 

What you’ll need: 

  • Mailing tube (with inner and outer tube) with a length of 43.3 inches and diameter of 2 inches. 
  • Two lenses of different sizes (You’ll get the best results if you choose a concave-convex lens with a diameter of 49 mm, and a focal length of 1,350 mm and a plano-concave lens with a diameter of 49 mm, and a focal length of 152 mm, but this is just a suggestion.)
  • Coping saw or similar cutting tool
  • Box cutter
  • Craft glue
  • Drill 

How to make it: 

  • Step 1: Cut the outer tube in half. 
  • Step 2: Cleanly cut two 1 to 1.5-inch pieces from the inner tube. These will be the spacers that hold the second lens in place.
  • Step 3: Make an eye-hole by drilling a hole in the mailing tube lid. Make sure it’s as smooth as possible. 
  • Step 4: About an inch in from the end of the large tube drill a series of small holes. These openings will allow you to put glue into the inner part of the tube. 
  • Step 5: Use the drill to make holes at the end of the outer tube for the cap and eyepiece to fit in. 
  • Step 6: Glue the plano-concave lens against the cap. The flat side should be against the cap. Using the holes you made earlier squeeze in glue and turn the lens to spread it out. Wait for this to dry. 
  • Step 7: Cut off the closed end of the outer tube (this is where the inner tube will go). 
  • Step 8: Insert the first spacer into the outer tube making sure that it lies flat on the inside of the tube. This will hold the concave-convex lens. 
  • Step 9: Once again you’ll drill the series of holes and use them to put in the glue. Insert the lens and second spacer and wait for the glue to dry. 
  • Step 10: Insert the inner tube into the outer tube, slide the pieces to get the right focus, and voila! A homemade DIY SPY telescope that your kids will love!

12 DIY Mirrorview Sunglasses 

sunglasses for real spy kids

These super-stealthy sunglasses will allow your child to be able to see what is happening behind them without turning around. And bonus – you can whip these up in just a few minutes! Perfect for parties! 

What you’ll need: 

  • Plastic mirror sheets (check your local hobby or craft shop)
  • A glue gun 
  • Sunglasses to modify (try to find frames and lenses that are as flat as possible as these work best). 

How to make it: 

  • Step 1: Cut out two squares of mirror sheet – these must be able to sit on the inner side of the glasses without obscuring the wearers’ view. 
  • Step 2: Carefully use the glue gun to attach the mirrors in place. Wait for them to dry and present them to your junior spy! 

13 Spy Pretend Binoculars 

You can do it as in this video or in another way following the instructions below

Looking for an easy to make spy gadget to occupy your little one? We’ve got just the thing for you!

These pretend binoculars are ideal for playtime and very simple to make. They can be customized for your child so go ahead and decorate them any way you want! 

You’ll need: 

  • Two toilet rolls 
  • A cork 
  • Colored paper or paint to cover the rolls
  • Scrap pieces of cellophane (yellow works well but feel free to choose any color) 
  • Tape
  • Some string, cord, or ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Rubber band

How to make it:

  • Step 1: Cut two squares of cellphone large enough to fit over the ends of the toilet rolls. Secure with tape. 
  • Step 2: Cover the toilet rolls and cork in paper or decorate with paint. 
  • Step 3: Glue the rolls together, using the elastic band to secure them until they are dry. 
  • Step 4: Glue the cork in the valley of the two toilet roll tubes, at the end opposite to the cellophane lenses.
  • Step 5: Make the neck loop using string, cord or ribbon. (make sure it’s the right size for the child)
  • Step 6: Pierce two holes through the side ends of the back of the binoculars and attach the neck loop. 

We hope you have lots of fun making these cool DIY homemade spy gadgets for kids!

About the author