If you are interested in creating an escape room in your home, or classroom, but don’t want to spend a lot to put it together, you’ve come to the right place! One of the key parts of an escape room is a lock box. If you are looking for ideas on how to make an escape room lock box, keep reading to find my list of 9 How to Make an Escape Room Lock Box Ideas.
There are lots of different types of escape room games, and for many of them you require keys and a lock box. Although not everyone has a lock box, or two, around the house, you likely have a few regular boxes, or at least a sheet of paper.
I get a lot of questions from readers about the materials I use in my hands-on escape rooms. I’m lucky that where I live there are stores around me that I can purchase inexpensive boxes and supplies. However, I know that around the world, access to supplies are different and sometimes limited.
So, if you are looking to create an escape room, but not sure what to use for your box or how to make an escape room lock box, then I’m hoping that the list below will help make your planning easier.
Creating Your Escape Room
When I first started creating escape rooms, one of the hardest parts was gathering all of the materials that I needed. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money or have to buy every single piece I needed for the puzzles. I had to get creative. Now that I have made dozens of escape rooms, I have lots of ideas to share of what has worked.
I love reading about people creating escape rooms in their home for their kids and at school for students. There are so many benefits to these games like problem solving skills, critical thinking and even the puzzles themselves are often educational. I like the idea of making escape room games as easy to create as possible using simple supplies and materials you already have on hand.
Since I create a lot of escape rooms, I have a collection of boxes and materials that I use over and over in my games. Some I have purchased, others are things I already had at home. When creating an escape room, you can always substitute a simple hand made lock box for a fancy one. Your kids will just be excited to play!
Keep in mind when you do an escape room, your materials don’t need to be perfect. You, or another adult will be supervising the game, so if you have created a lock box that is not perfectly sealed, remind players not to peek, or keep the boxes near you to monitor as players solve the game.
How to Make an Escape Room Lock Box #1 Free Printable Box
Once of the easiest ways to create an escape room is to use pieces that you can simply print. I created a simple printable lock box that you can print as many copies you need, cut it out, put them together and secure it with a lock – all with just a sheet of paper!
This printable lock box is a great idea if you want to use something that looks like it is part of the game and has an escape room theme to it. It is also a great option for escape rooms for kids that require several boxes.
The printable is created to be printed on a standard 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper. It is not a large box, but it can hold puzzle pieces and clues and I think it makes a cute keepsake.
The box is created so that a small lock can be placed on the box to keep clues hidden, like a real lock box. The box can be printed for FREE from Hands-On Teaching Ideas Free Resource Library. You can download and print it today. More information can be found at the bottom of this list of “How to Make an Escape Room Lock Box.”
A few suggestions if you are using this printable lock box is to use a heavy paper, such as cardstock to print the box on. I also found hot glue was the best way to seal the sides together, however, tape or glue will also work. Use a hole punch to remove the hole in the circle for the lock to go into.
Printable Escape Room Box (Decorative)
There are two copies of the lock box. One includes the lockable box and the other is more decorative and does not actually lock.
If I was creating this escape room for my classroom, or looking for something to keep my kids busy as I prepared my DIY escape room, I would give the kids the printed sheet of paper and challenged them to put the box together. (And then put in into the escape room when it was completed).
The diagrams above are intended to show to how put the box together.
How to Make an Escape Room Lock Box Idea #2 Box + Lid
If you have a box, but it is not lockable, the idea below is my favorite! I needed six lock boxes for a recent escape room, and was able to find wooden boxes with lids, but they were not lockable.
I used eye screws, or sometimes called eye bolts, to repurpose my boxes so that I could lock them.
Insert one screw into the lid and then line up the second screw into the bottom of the box so that you can put a lock through the two eye screws.
To secure the box from being opened from the other side, either use a hinge or keep it simple and use a material, like felt to seal the lid to the bottom.
Now you’ve taken a simple box and turned it into a lock box! You can add colors or paint to make it ready for your escape room. A box like this also works well because it is sturdy and can be used again and again for all of your escape rooms that you create!
How to Make an Escape Room Lock Box #3 Plastic Tub
Another ideas for how to make an escape room lock box, is to use a plain plastic container. I have used this idea several times before for games because old plastic containers are usually easy to find and it is a great way to reuse them.
Find whatever size you need for your puzzle/clue and then (an adult) creates a hole in the lid and another hole in the bottom. Make sure the two holes line up and then insert the lock.
Once again you can use a material, like felt, and hot glue the felt to the top and bottom container to keep it sealed.
If you are using a clear container, you can either paint the outside or you can wrap the puzzles before locking them inside.
How to Make an Escape Room Lock Box #4 Paper Lock
This lock box idea is really simple, but effective. It is more of a locked pocket, but serves the same purpose.
Use a large sheet of paper and fold it in half. Along the sides use a hole punch and create a line all the way around the edges.
Next, thread string or yarn through the holes to created a pocket. Once you have gone around the edges and sealed the pocket, create two loops and put the lock through them to lock up the pocket.
Once players find the key to unlock the pocket, they can remove the string to revel their puzzles pieces or next clue inside.
DIY Escape Room Clue #5 Envelope Codes
Another alternative option for an escape room lock is to simply use envelopes. If you don’t have a box at all, or even a lock, you can still use number lock clues to conceal puzzles.
To do this, grab as many envelopes as you want. The more you use the more challenging the game will be. Write several three digit numbers on the front of each envelope. One of the numbers is the correct number and the number that the previous clue will lead players to.
In this envelope place the next clue. The other envelopes can either be left leave empty or leave a note saying try again.
Escape Room Lock Box Idea #6 Bike Locks
For one of the first escape rooms I created, I did not have a lock and key. I did however, have bike locks. If you have this type of lock, you can use it for your escape room!
Simply use a container that the locks can be secured around and then lock it up. You can use one, or multiple locks. Don’t worry if the locks aren’t perfectly tight around the container. You can either remind players they must open the locks before taking them off or place a towel or fabric around the box so that you can make it tighter.
DIY Escape Room Lock Box Idea #7 Multiple Locks
I used this lock box in my classroom and it was a hit! I used a recycled cardboard box and decorated it with paper and drew some questions marks on it.
Next, I used a stiff string and secured four locks onto the box. Players had to solve a series of puzzles and each time one lock was removed.
This type of lock box is a great option if you don’t have a lot of boxes, but you have a lot of puzzles. As players remove a lock they feel they are being successful and solving the game, but ultimately it is still only one box they are working to get into.
How to Make an Escape Room Lock Box with Any Box
One of the most common ways that I create a lock box for my escape rooms is to simply wrap string, or ribbon around any box and secure it with a lock.
I have a few beautiful treasure boxes that I love to use for escape rooms, but they don’t have a latch to use a lock. I still use them all the time and simply lock up the whole box in this way.
No Box? DIY Escape Room Idea
If you want to think bigger, and you don’t have a lock box or perhaps have a puzzle that is really big that you need to hide, consider using a closet, or even a second room, and locking it up.
Use string, a tie or any material to wrap around the door handles and secure it with a lock. This is a really easy and fast option!
BONUS DIY Escape Room Ideas – No Box Required
Finally if you love the idea of an escape room, but are really limited on supplies to make a lock box, or other puzzles, then consider using a printable escape room game.
Simply print the puzzles, easily prepare them, and hide them in common locations around your house. That’s it! Try a free printable escape room to start.
More printable escape room games are available from Hands-On Teaching Ideas. You can incorporate the How to Make an Escape Room Lock Box Ideas into your printable game by hiding the puzzles in one of the boxes, just for fun!
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Escape Room Products
If you are looking to purchase a few items in order to create your escape room, I have compiled some of the materials, or similar examples, used in this post as well as a few extra items that I suggest for escape rooms.
For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
Looking for more hands-on activities for kids at home or school? Check out the collection below of more escape room ideas to try today!
From scavenger hunt type games to escape rooms for birthdays and more free printables to make setting up your escape room easy, you can find it all below.