Top 10 DIY Escape Room Puzzles!

Wed, 08 Apr, 2020

Thinking of creating your very own escape game on a budget? Here’s a list of ten cost-effective puzzle ideas that can be easily set up without any professional help! 

1. Hidden Objects

Object hunts are extremely common in escape rooms, and more or less every game will have its own variation. All you have to do is hide an important item somewhere out of sight and voila! You have your object hunt!

2. Jigsaw Puzzle Messages

As we know, jigsaw puzzles can be incredibly simple or incredibly difficult; so choose one that coincides with your room’s overall difficulty rating. Once you’ve decided, write a message, code or hint on the back and jumble up the puzzle pieces!

3. Blacklight Messages

Nowadays, blacklights are synonymous with escape rooms thanks to their effectiveness, simplicity and prevalence. You’ll need two things to make this work: a blacklight (UV-A light) and invisible ink (lemon juice & water). The hidden ink will only be revealed when a blacklight is shone over it!

4. Magnets!

They usually work by using a magnet to attract a magnetic object that’s just out of reach to advance through the room. Whether it’s a lock, key, wedding ring or simply a metallic chunk with a clue inscribed on it; the variations of this type of puzzle are endless!

5. ‘Laser’ Maze

We’ve seen it countless times before: the main character in a heist movie using acrobatic skill and finesse to avoid the laser detection system. Let’s replace the lasers with string and the alarm system with hanging bells that ring each time the string is impeded. Remember, a great escape room doesn’t always need the best technology!

6. Padlock & Scissors Combo

If you see a pair of scissors padlocked together, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that they’ll be required for an important section of the room later on. Either hide the key or include it as a reward for completing another puzzle!

7. Hide Things Inside a Safe

A locked safe can only mean one thing: something important lies within! They work perfectly in a broader narrative as the code, or parts of the code, can be rewarded from your other puzzles. This puzzle requires a small combination safe, which can be purchased cheaply online!

8. Paper Maze

Get a big piece of paper and craft your own hand-drawn maze! It can be as simple or as complicated as you like, just make sure you write down the solution in case players get stuck!

9. DIY Cryptex

Stack a bunch of paper cups on top of each other and write a message down one side in a single line; fill out the rest with random letters and symbols. Twisting and turning each cup to correctly align the letters will eventually reveal the cypher!

10. Avoid the Landmines!

Using nothing but their teammates’ instructions, players take turns crossing a ‘minefield’ while blindfolded. Simple, right? This childhood favourite is the perfect DIY puzzle, as it requires lots of teamwork and good communication from each member of the group!