How to Make a Cheap Spy Camera

Updated February 21, 2017

Maybe you want to keep tabs on what your babysitter is up to when you place your children in their care. Perhaps you need to know what your teenage kids are doing when you are away from the house. Whatever the case, making a cheap spy camera so that you know what's going on at home when you are gone can be a good way to keep problems from arising later on, especially if your kids like to throw parties.

Take apart the webcam by unscrewing the screws that keep the casing together. Most require a Phillips screwdriver. Separate the circuit board, camera lens and the cable from the casing, being careful not to break anything.

Find a typical household object such as a teddy bear, cell phone charger, an alarm clock, a pillow, or a coffee can that you can hide the camera in.

Cut a hole in the front of the object big enough for the webcam to see through, using a utility knife.

Insert the camera into the disguised object and make a hole in the back for the USB cable to come out.

Plug the USB cable into your computer via the USB port and launch the software application that came with the webcam. If you need a longer USB connection you can get a USB extension cable (see Resources.)

Adjust the camera so that it has a clear picture of the area that you wish to spy on.

Use a free camera to Internet service such as or (see Resources,) to broadcast your video feed online. This way you can watch it from any computer, smartphone or personal digital assistant (PDA) connected to the internet anywhere in the world.

Things You'll Need

  • USB cable extension
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Webcam
  • Teddy bear, tin can or other household object
  • Utility knife
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About the Author

Palmer Owyoung holds a Master of Arts in international business from the University of California at San Diego and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and is a trained molecular biologist. He has been a freelance writer since 2006. In addition to writing, he is a full-time Forex trader and Internet marketer.