How to Make Simple Spy Stuff


Authentic super-secret spy gear is expensive and hard to come by. However, you can use simple spy secrets to make spy stuff at home. Help your kids compile a spy kit for play, or make one for yourself, as part of a costume. Use the spy gear to solve a secret mystery, or just for fun.

Things You'll Need

  • Starch powder
  • 2 porcelain dishes
  • Candle
  • Knife
  • Clear tape
  • Hardcover book
  • X-acto knife or box cutter
  • Toothpick or feather
  • Lemon juice
  • Hair dryer

Fingerprint Powder

  • Put a sprinkle of starch powder onto a porcelain dish.

  • Hold a second, heat-safe porcelain dish over a candle flame. Allow the soot from the flame to collect on the dish.

  • Scrape the soot off the dish with a knife and mix it with the starch powder to create fingerprint powder.

  • Dust the powder over fingerprints to reveal them.

  • Cover the dusted fingerprint with clear tape and lift it up gently to remove the print.

Book Safe

  • Find a book with a hard cover that you don’t mind cutting up.

  • Pick a page near the front of the book, but not directly at the front, to open the book to.

  • Use an X-acto knife or a box cutter to begin cutting the pages after the page you turned to. Begin on the right-hand page and cut a square out from the interior about 1 inch from each edge of the page.

  • Continue cutting down through the pages until your hole is deep enough. Do not go all the way through to the end of the book.

  • Store items in the empty space you cut out.

Invisible Ink

  • Use a toothpick or the pointy end of a feather as your pen, and lemon juice as your ink.

  • Write out your message in the lemon juice. When the juice dries, your message will be invisible.

  • Reveal the message by holding a hair dryer over it or holding the area over a candle flame. Make sure to keep the paper far enough from the flame so it is heated, but not burned.

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  • Photo Credit fingerprint image by dip from
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