Chest complete with hidden treasure map

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Project by LiveEdge posted 12-09-2014 04:38 PM 2776 views 8 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was totally inspired by skogie1 and his forum post and project of his own chest with hidden compartment. With my two nieces being 8 and 5 I knew this was the year to see if I could get them to buy into an adventure.

I went in a slightly different direction than skogie1. His chest is much nicer than mine while my aim was to make the chest look as old and decrepit as possible. It is made out of pine and whitewood bought from home depot and then burned, wire brushed, stained, and burned it again. The hidden compartment isn’t a drawer and it’s not obvious that there should be one. The girls will have to discover it on their own. The front baseboard is held in place with a couple of dowels.

As you can see from the scratchings on the bottom of the chest, it belonged to “Sara Smith” in 1897. I chose the name because both my nieces have names that start with S. I may carve some initials on the top and that way the S’s can do double duty.

The map is of my parent’s property where we will have Christmas (the girls’ presents will be in the top of the chest which I “found” in the old barn on their property). The last picture is of the tin that will be buried in a field west of an apple tree (which has grown from the “apple pile” noted on the old map). The map was drawn on a piece of scrap leather with a burned stick. I’m planning on putting a rock in the hidden compartment as well so it will rattle when the chest is moved and tip them off that there is something there.

9 comments so far

View jeffswildwood's profile


4989 posts in 3313 days

#1 posted 12-09-2014 09:52 PM

Such a nice chest and adventure. I bet they have quite a time!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View LiveEdge's profile


600 posts in 2956 days

#2 posted 12-09-2014 10:07 PM

Thanks! I hope they do!

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3343 days

#3 posted 12-09-2014 10:08 PM

And in 50 or 60 years, when the story of the old chest that has been passed down so many times that it’s changed completely from the “original” story…. your great-great-great grandchildren will be searching their ancestry archives trying to figure out just WHO was “Sarah Smith”! LOL

Neat chest. I’m sure they’ll enjoy it!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View leafherder's profile


1991 posts in 3288 days

#4 posted 12-09-2014 11:17 PM

Great job! Be sure to put something good in the tin – and maybe watch “The Goonies” before giving them the chest to get in the mood for a treasure hunt. While I was in college I worked for the city recreation department in the summer and we always made treasure maps for the kids – kept them busy for hours following the directions (10 steps North, 20 steps East, 15 steps West…) until they ended up back where they started. Thanks for posting and good luck with the treasure hunt!

-- Leafherder

View MilFlyer's profile


948 posts in 3008 days

#5 posted 12-10-2014 01:43 AM

Love it! That’s the kind of thing that makes lasting memories that children cherish. You’ve really gone out and done something special for them and in the process inspired me! Hope you don’t mind if I borrow on your idea for my children’s Christmas next year! Thanks for sharing with all of us!

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View LiveEdge's profile


600 posts in 2956 days

#6 posted 12-10-2014 02:17 AM

Well, seeing as I got the idea from someone else, I could hardly complain. :). I hope you have a successful adventure!

View KelSnake's profile


252 posts in 2658 days

#7 posted 12-10-2014 02:49 PM

That is great! They will love it! ...and always remember.

-- Kel Snake, ~ Mystery By Design ~ Find me on Etsy ~

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4202 days

#8 posted 12-10-2014 04:08 PM

That’s a great looking project. It turned out nicely.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Dadoo's profile


1790 posts in 5326 days

#9 posted 12-10-2014 05:08 PM

I did something like this years ago with my boys…and it went over very well! In my scene though, they found the treasure map buried in the sand and followed it all over camp till they found the box of goodies! Your girls are going to love this adventure!

-- Make Woodworking Great Again!

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