3 Ways On How To Make A Security Camera Out Of Household Items

turning your smartphone into a security camera

We all want the possibility and option to protect our homes as best as we can. After all, a property purchase of any kind, or even investing in terms of monthly rent, is a considerable outlay that we face, and subsequently, we want to ensure that we can protect the asset as best we can. It doesn’t matter if you are house proud, or whether your home is filled to the brim with valuable objects or just the minimal sentimental things that mean the world to you. Security in your home is something we all strive for. 

However, the most prominent element of security can often mean investing much money on gadgets and systems to protect and keep your home safe and secure. But not all of us have the means to be able to pay for these things straight away. So what option do you have? Do you leave yourself vulnerable to the opportunists out there? Or do you take other action?

The answer is taking matters into your own hands. There are a few different household items that all of us will have access to that can be made into security cameras. Some are simple and perhaps even suing a device you already have, or it may be a little more technical, but you are bound to find something that suits you. Read on to find out how you could make yours. 

An iPhone, iPod, or iPad Can Become A Secret Camera.

Closeup hand holding phone shooting drink photogeaph

Many of us will have regular phone upgrades, and a lot of us are consistent with the brand Apple, so you may have an older phone that you can use for this project. 

What you need…


  • iPhone, iPod with camera capability and 4g, an iPad with 4g
  • Tissue holder
  • Drill or Dremel tool
  • Download the “Qik” app, or use FaceTime/Skype

Step one

The first thing to do is to download the Qik app or create accounts for FaceTime or Skype if you prefer to use those applications. Qik is an app that lets you stream live footage and watch it from another location, such as a computer, for example. It streams to the Qik website so that anyone can view the footage, but they can be set to private. You can then save the video footage, set it to private, or even upload to platforms like YouTube if you wish. Once the app is downloaded, you are ready for the setup.

Step two

Get the tissue holder that you are going to use and drill a hole at the level in which your camera will sit. Make sure the camera can see through the hold, and it is big enough, but not too big that it can be seen. 

Step three

Once done, place the phone or device and the tissues back into the holder, and then you can set it up in a place where you want to watch. Make sure the camera and the Qik app is on and recording before you leave the tissue holder. 

Step four

You can then log into the website and record and view a live video feed. 

Other strategic hiding places

400;”>This is going to be one of the easiest ways to make a security camera in your home, and it can be very stealthy and sneaky. There are other options to consider when it comes to hiding places. A common one would be to have the phone placed in a pocket of an item of clothing that may be casually left on a chair. You could hide the phone in plain sight, as some people may not even realize that the phone is live streaming or recording, or amongst other household objects. 

This is an excellent option for when you are leaving home for shorter periods, as you can easily see what is going on while it is happening, or you can go back through the recording at a later time. 

Do you have an Amazon Alexa device?

3d rendering of Amazon Echo voice recognition system

Another option to consider would be to use a device that you may already have in the home. Many people now have smart devices in their homes, and Amazon Echo with built-in Alexa is one of the most common ones. If you have a device that has a built-in camera, which is used primarily to phone or “drop-in” on other Alexa devices, then there is also a way that you can use the Amazon Echo as a security camera

What you need

  • Amazon account
  • Amazon Alexa app
  • Amazing echo show or similar device with built-in camera capability and compatible with Amazon Alexa


Step one 

Make sure you have downloaded the Amazon Alexa app and logged in to your Amazon account. This shows all devices that you have that are controlled through the Alexa devices. 

Step two

Select the device that has built-in camera capability. 

Step three

Wait for it to show you a live stream through the camera. 

This option is excellent for checking on your home as and when you are out and also while away on holiday. You could also use it as a make-shift pet buddy and camera, as you will be able to speak through it and monitor pets when you are not at home. Families have also used this as a great way to keep tabs on babies and young children when they are asleep at night as a camera-enabled baby monitor. 

Using motion detection devices

Burglar alarm system movement sensor

Many of us will have a motion detector of some sort in our home. It might be one doors or in corners of rooms and can work alongside the already existing alarm system that you have in place. But is there a way to take advantage of these things and up the security level in your home? The answer is yes! You could purchase a straightforward small camera and build it into the motion sensor. The camera will then only record as it senses motion in a room. This can be done when the alarm is activated or as a rule in particular rooms. 

What you need

  • A small camera
  • A motion detection device, perhaps already in your home and built-in with an alarm system
  • USB storage device

Step one

Take apart the motion sensor and get the motherboard. You will need to cut the wires, but don’t worry. These will be reattached later. You want the motherboard so that you can remove the sensor lens and replace it with the camera. 

Step two

Removing the lens will make the motion sensor itself less far-reaching. But the introduction of a camera with a built-in storage USB stick will allow the sensor to activate the camera, once attached, and then store the video footage for a certain period onto the USB stick that is attached for storage. 

Step three 

You can check the storage periodically based on how much you think will have captured and the storage space on the device. 

This option is a little more technical. So if playing around with wires and connecting different things means that you are a little out of your comfort zone, then don’t be afraid to ask for some help. 

Security is such a fundamental thing that we can all take for granted, and our homes are the one place that we expect to feel the safest. So adding to your security with very little cost implication is only going to help to put your mind at ease. 

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