40 DIY Escape Room Ideas at Home


Who doesn’t love DIY escape rooms? 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 puzzles that that you include in your escape room, the trickier it becomes and the longer it will take to complete. Take a look through 40 escape room puzzles to create the perfect escape room at home! Number 35 is my favorite!

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

If you are looking to try out an escape room, without having to plan and organize, Print and Go Escape Rooms are available at the bottom of this post. 5 minute set up, in virtually any home, and no extra materials are required. You can also download a free printable escape room!

This post had lead to a second page full of even more DIY ideas: 49 escape room puzzle ideas. More ideas for you to choose from!

Make sure to always supervise children when doing these games.  Use puzzles that are age appropriate, safe and placed in a location that is safe for the children doing the escape room. 

Escape Room Ideas / Escape Room Puzzles

These puzzles are the original 40+ escape room ideas. You can create an escape room in your home, or even classroom, for young children with a Free Printable Escape Room for Young Kids.

Top 40 DIY Escape Room Puzzles

escape room

Escape Room Clue #1

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.

escape room
escape 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, click here.

escape room

#3 Escape Room Ideas

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

escape room


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.

escape room


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.

(For your convenience, a link to a number lock is available at the bottom of this post.)

escape room
escape room shows popsicle sticks with the words look under the sofa.

#6 A Favorite Escape Room Puzzle

Draw a clue, then cut or mix it up, so that it has to be put together to reveal the next clue. Popsicle sticks work great for this puzzle!

escape room


Take a picture of an object in the 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.

escape room


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

escape room

#9 Escape Room at Home

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

escape room

Escape Room Clue #10

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.

escape room
escape room

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

#11 Kid Favorite Escape Room Idea

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
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 lock clue? First, the key must be found.

(For your convenience, a link to lock and keys, are available at the bottom of this post.)

escape room


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

escape room


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 glass.

escape room


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

escape room


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 the room to find the camouflaged clues.

escape room


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

escape room

Escape Room Puzzle #20

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.

escape room


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.)

(For your convenience, a link to lock and keys, are available at the bottom of this post.)

escape room

#23 Classic Escape Room Clue

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

escape room


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

(A link to invisible ink pens is available at the bottom of this post. These pens are ideal for escape rooms. My kids have been playing with them constantly!)

escape room


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

escape room


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

escape room


These clear instructions to “Pop Me” tell players to pop the balloon. Inside, players can find a rolled up note with their next clue.

escape room


A locked box hidden in the room, contains an invisible ink pen. The top of the pen holds the light to reveal words written in the ink.

(For your convenience, a link to invisible ink pens, are available at the bottom of this post.)

escape room


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

escape room

Escape Room Puzzle #30

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

escape room


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.

(For your convenience, a link to a code-a-pillar, is available at the bottom of this post.)


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 challenge (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
escape room
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.

You can simply add a bit of water to baking soda to make a paste/dough. Place the clue in the middle and then roll into a ball. Let dry overnight.

escape room
escape room


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

escape room

#38 Escape Room Puzzles

A key hidden in a key? Create a paper mache key with a hidden hole in the top. At first the key looks like just a prop, but upon closer inspection an actual key is reveled.

escape room


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

escape room

Escape Room Puzzle #40

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


escape room

Hide slices of circle around the room with a letter on each. I put tape down on the carpet with colored dots in the center to. Players place each slide with the correct color dot to spell out a word.


A recordable button make a great clue! Hide in a stuffed animal or secret spot in the room. When players push the button their next clue is revealed.


escape room

Glow in the dark paint on the ceiling! You can use glow in the dark paint to print a clue in the room. With the lights on, the clue is invisible. When the lights are turned off, the clue is revealed.


escape room

Use a piece of parchment paper to place over a printed clue. The X marks the spot on the parchment when properly lined up with the picture.


escape room

Print a clue onto paper. Cut it up and then glue to large popsicle sticks. Players have to put the puzzle together to get the next clue.

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


Cut out three circles with different colored slices. On each slice print a number. When players find the code circle they stack the circles so that the colors are lined up.

In the example, the blue circle is on the bottom, then yellow and then orange. Lining the circles up this way gives players the code 745.


If you don’t have a lot of time or supplies, but you still want to create an escape game, this is for you! Printable escape rooms are easy to set up, are fully planned for you and don’t typically require other materials.

This free printable escape room can be printed and set up in minutes. Hide the clues around virtually any house and let the fun begin!

#48 Number Lock Code

Whether it is Halloween or another theme you are using, you can add a little math to your escape game by placing a container with a specific number of candies or items in it.

Players have to count the items in the container, and the total number is the code for a number lock. Count carefully!

#49 Escape Room Puzzle

This is such a cool clue! Plus you only need paper, water and a pencil. Check out the link below the image for a full description of how to create the puzzle.


Locks and keys are often used in these rooms. Grab a collection of beautiful keys to add to your room. Attach words or numbers for players to find specific keys, and their specific codes.

escape room shows six decorative keys.


Use small bottles with water, and one with vinegar to add to another liquid. If players add the correct bottle, the color will change and lead them to their next clue. This is a great puzzle for anyone who loves science!

Subscribe to Hands-On Teaching Ideas

Subscribe to gain access to the Free Resource Library filled with a variety of educational resources you can download for free. Also be the first to hear about my latest activity ideas.

For your convenience, below are a few key materials to help you to set up your puzzles. Enjoy setting up your room!

Top 10 Best DIY Escape Rooms

If you love the ideas featured above, you’ll love seeing them used in actual rooms. Learn how to tie the clues together to create the room of your dreams.

Save Time and Buy an Escape Room!

Escape Rooms at Home – Print and Go

A fun addition to our games has been a whole house challenge. You don’t need any locks or special materials for these games.

Just print the clues, spend a few minutes preparing the clues and hiding them in specific locations around the house, such as the couch, a bed or simply under a rug, and you are ready for some fun!

There are a variety available now.

Locks and Products to Create Your Escape Room at Home


Extra printable pages make it easier and faster for you to set up a game in your home or classroom. Try out my NEW Winter puzzle which includes printable clues and you don’t need any materials, other then a pencil, to complete the mission!

More DIY Room Ideas

For ideas on how to connect the puzzles and ideas together, and see a full escape game, visit my ideas below.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.