40 DIY Escape Room Ideas

40 DIY Escape Room Ideas


Who doesn’t love an escape room? Escape rooms are exciting for all ages and you can easily create one with things around your house. I have compiled 40 escape room ideas that you can do at home or in any room, for kids or adults, for birthdays or just for fun! The more clues that that you include in your escape room, the trickier it becomes and the longer it will take to complete. Take a look through the 40 clues to create the perfect escape room of your own!

For ways on how to incorporate the ideas into an escape room, visit one of our completed escape rooms – links at the bottom of the page.


Start your escape room with a clue directly telling players to, “Start Here”. Use colors to direct players to a specific combination of items in the room.


Balloons are perfect for escape rooms, especially for parties. Clues can be hidden inside the balloons and only found when they are popped.

To see this idea used in an escape room, click here.

escape room


Print a clue on a sheet of paper with white crayon. Have paint available in the room. When painted over, the clue will appear.


Include a clue that doesn’t look like a clue at first glance. Upon closer look, the first letter of each of the words, suggest to look at a clock.


A simple lock on a bag or purse, requires players to find a set of numbers in order to open. Another clue can be placed inside the bag.


Draw a clue, then cut or mix it up, so that it has to be put together to reveal the next clue.


Take a picture of an object in the escape room. Print the picture and use it as a clue. Players have to figure out what the picture is first, and then search for the item in the room.


Hide a simple, “Pull Here” sign on a picture or under something in the room. Pulling the label reveals a clue.

escape room


It looks like regular playdough, but inside it’s a clue!


A magnet attached to a string can be used to move something magnetic into reach, or it can be used to attach to something magnetic.

To see this idea used in an escape room, click here.


A jar with colored water, can conceal a clue. This jar has a key. There is no way to get the key out, except with a magnet that drags the key up the side to the small opening.

escape room


Create a board with 26 different pieces. Each colored block stands for a letter of the alphabet. Players must use the alphabet board to crack the code on another board. This code tells player to “Turn on Lights”.

escape room


Need scissors to open a clue? First, the key must be found.


A box securely sealed with tape can provide a clue inside.


This clue is a password to open a phone. It can also direct players to a specific letter that can be found in the room.

escape room


A clue printed incredibly small in a room may require players to use a magnifying class.


A cell phone left in the room can include a picture clue on the home screen.


A clue or key can be hidden in plain sight and can blend in with other objects in the room. Players will need to search their escape room to find the camouflaged clues.


A locked box can lead to a solution or more clues! In this box, I included one puzzle pieced needed to complete a puzzle for a clue and a marble.

escape room


A homemade marble run requires a marble to be found in the room. Different possible number clues are part of the run. The marble will fall into the correct number clue.

To see this idea used in an escape room, click here.


Bike locks can be used to conceal a clue (or the prize). For this puzzle, both bike locks need to be unlocked in order to get what’s inside the box.

escape room


A bunch of locks, or keys, can be used as different clues. It can tell players how many locks are in the room. Locks can also have numbers on the back, so as keys are found in the room and a lock is unlocked, the number on their back is used for another lock combination. (For locks that a key is not found for, their number is not required for the clue.)


Hide a clue under a table or desk. Tape it up to secure it!


Puzzle pieces can be put together to reveal a clue. An invisible ink pen has been used for the pieces on this puzzle.

escape room


Items in a room that appear to be unimportant, can hold a clue.


Type a message on a computer with a clue for players.

escape room


These clear instructions to pop this balloon gives players a rolled up note with a clue.


A locked box hidden under a bed, contains an invisible ink pen. (The top of the pen holds the light to reveal words written in the ink.)

escape room


If you have an old book, a rectangle can but cut into it to hide a key or another clue.


A plain container in the escape room makes no sound when shaken, but it contains a number clue to open a lock.


Use a lock on a closet or door that needs to be opened before players can go into the closet for their next clue.


Incorporate a toy from around the house. Electronic toys work great because they can move from a starting point to a clue.


Hide a clue inside a guitar that needs to be pulled up by a string.

escape room


Have a variety of keys available to players. You can incorporate some math into your escape room (especially if used in the classroom). Give math problems and the solution directs players to a specific key.

escape room


Having the prize in view the whole time is a great motivator. Each time a key is found, a lock can be taken off and players are one step closer to the prize.

escape room


A bath bomb can be used to hide a key. Bath bomb must be put in water and dissolve to reveal a key, or another clue.

escape room


Use dice to conceal numbers. At first glance the dice seem unimportant, but number stickers on them give players specific number clues.


A clue can direct players to turn on a light in the room (see clue #12). Once the light is on it reveals another clue.


Use a homemade “crack the code” board and give clues (or pictures) throughout the escape room that spell out a word/clue.

escape room


And last, place various words around the room, once all are found players can put them in the right order to discover their next clue.

I hope that you have lots of ideas for your own escape room now! Use what you have on hand and create an escape room your players won’t soon forget!

Escape Room printables available through Teachers Pay Teachers. (Click image above). These printables make it easier and faster for you to set up an escape room at your home or classroom and include a welcome note, initial clue(s) and certificate.

For ideas on how to connect the ideas together, and see a full escape room, visit our 3 escape rooms below.

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