The 16 best Escape Room Ideas: How to create your own DIY Escape Room at home?

Are you searching for nice Escape Room Ideas? Do you want to create an DIY Escape Room too? Then you're at the right place. Making your own Escape room is of course great to do, but how do you start? What do you have to think about? We give you the most awesome Escape Room ideas in this blog.

How to make your own DIY escape room?

How to make the games and how to make sure there is enough surprise and challenge in them. In this blog we will go through all the steps so that you won't forget anything and hopefully get a lot of inspiration to create the most beautiful Escape room game on your own chosen location ever.

16 best Escape Room Ideas
Escaperoom for kids

Escape Room For Kids 

Would you like to play a ready-made Escape Room for children at home?
Cool for at home, with a birthday party or at school. It can be played at any location, even outside.

Escape Room ideas: What do I need to think about in advance?

When making the Escape room at home or at another location there are a number of things you should think about beforehand.

  • How many people will enter your DIY Escape Room at the same time? 
  • On which location do you want to set up the DIY Escape Room? 
  • What theme / story should the DIY Escape Room be about?
  • For whom do you want to make the Escape Room (adults or children)?
  • How long can they play this Escape Room, in other words: how long will it take the players to escape?
  • Who will test the Escape Room? 
  • Which materials can you use? 
  • And of course you want to get ideas about what kind of escape room puzzles you can use.

The 16 Escape Room ideas in this blog

In this blog we share our Escape Room ideas and experiences on creating an Escape room game. Do you want to see how we made our Escape Room for kids ? Then order the Escape Room for children (9 - 13 years).

You can order it and play it at home. A complete and ready-made Escape Room at home, with a script, explanations and materials. We get a lot of nice reviews about this game, so it will certainly inspire you - besides being a great experience to play.

Have fun!

Escape Ideas Location

Where to create an DIY Escape Room?

First of all you need to determine a good location where you are going to play the Escape Room. An Escape Room game can be played anywhere, as long as you have one or more rooms available, where a number of people can solve puzzles. If you are going to play it at your home, know that the players will search your rooms, so chances are they will open up all kinds of things.

So either make sure that all the stuff you want to keep private is gone, or communicate very clearly that all the stuff the players need can be found without having to open cupboards, drawers, etcetera

No secret doors
Unlike the real Escape Rooms you probably won't break down walls and create secret doors to other rooms. So it is not necessarily necessary that if you are going to use multiple rooms, all of which are connected to each other. Just stick an A4 sheet on each room and give it a number or name, so players will know which room they are allowed to go to when they have solved the room they are in.

It is nice if the players have a place in every room to put things down and to puzzle. A table or desk will come in handy. Chairs are certainly not necessary, because players have a tendency to walk around and you can stimulate that by hanging certain puzzles or information on the walls. By hanging information in various places, players have to walk back and forth and have to cooperate and communicate well with each other. And that makes your escape room game extra fun.

Tools and material for creating the Escape room

If you're looking for fun Escape Room ideas, don't miss the specific tools and materials. If you have ever visited an Escape Room, you know how nice it is to find all kinds of materials and have to do things with them.  We'll walk you through some Escape Room ideas about materials and tools.

#1 Combination Locks

If you are in possession of numeric locks, then of course they should not be missing. A code lock can be used in combination with a code. That code must be puzzled together and filled in as a combination of digits on the combination lock. With the cipher lock you can lock a box, desk drawer or anything else. And in that box, for example, there is a letter that refers to the next assignment or that gives the players permission to go to the next room.

escape room ideas combination lock

#2 Communicating on your Website 

If you own a website, you can easily create a page where players have to fill in a code to get to the next website page. In WordPress you have the possibility to change the visibility of your page for example to 'Password Protected'. How nice is it when the players find a letter with the link to that website page in the box with the combination lock. And that they first have to puzzle out another code to get further.

#3 Escape Room idea: Autoresponder Whatsapp 

A very surprising effect is the WhatsApp. If players get stuck in a room, you can give them hints. Of course you can be present in the room and tell them the hint. But... it can be much more fun. On all Android phones you can install the App Auto Responder for free.

Then you tell the players that if they want a hint, they have to append to the number (which you give them before the escape room game starts) with a certain word. The Auto responder will then automatically answer with the hint.

#4 Hiding hints of keys in a book

 A great Escape Room idea that doesn't have to be difficult is hiding something in an old book. You can easily cut a square out of an old book. In which you can put a hint or a key, for example
Escape Room Ideas hidden keys

#5 Voice mail 

If you have a number (preferably prepaid) that you don't use very often, then you can consider dialing in a voice mail. As a result of one of the puzzles you let them come to a phone number. They will have to call that number. We know from experience that this brings a lot of excitement and hilarity. Because most people find calling an unknown number quite exciting.

#6 Cryptex

This is one of the best Escape Room ideas you can't miss. If you really want to surprise your group, you can consider a real cryptex. In several movies on Youtube you can see how to make them. One thing is for sure: with the cryptex you will drive your group crazy. If you don't feel like spending so much time on it, there are many other variations possible.

Escape Room Idea cryptex

Make youw own cryptex with a toiletroll en some paper.

#7 Jigsaw puzzles

You regularly see pieces of jigsaw puzzles scattered around in a room. Solving the jigsaw puzzle means that something becomes visible that you can move on with. Sometimes there is a question on the jigsaw puzzle or it is a map, with which you can find the next object. You can also do it easier, by cutting a4 into a number of pieces. On that A4 piece you have put the text or image that they eventually have to puzzle together. A not hard to make Escape Room idea, but very nice to solve.

#8 QR code in your DIY Escape Room

With a QR-code you can lead the players to a website or for example You Tube movie. You can decide to put or paste a QR code somewhere. Then players can read the QR code with their smartphone and they will end up on a website. You can also choose to put down or hang multiple QR codes.

QR Code Generator
Only the right outcome will lead the players to the right website page, on which you can place follow-up information. On this website: you can easily create your own QR code of the desired website page (just create an account, website is free). Check the 2 QR codes above with your QR reader on your smartphone.  One gives you a code, the other points you to a website. So you can set that yourself.

Escape room ideas QR code

#9 Skill games

Everyone knows the games of the past. This requires some craftsmanship of course and takes a lot of work. But then again, the result is incredibly cool. For example, you can work with magnets and a glass plate. The players can't reach the other side of the glass plate with their hands, but by placing the magnet on the other magnet (with a small key attached to it, for example) and by leading a maze (which is also under the glass plate) they can take the key to an end point where the hand can be put in to get the key.

#10 Mastermind

One of the most amazing Escape room ideas we find mastermind. As a player you have to put colors in the right order to be able to crack the code. You can arrange it so that you find somewhere else in the room, which number belongs to which color.

Escape Ideas Riddle Mastermind

Read the answer at our riddle page.

#11 Pigpen cipher decoder

Secret codes should of course not be missing from the list of Escape Room ideas. There are several ways to use codes and secret writing in your escape room game. Attached an example of the Pigpen cipher decoder. The shapes and dots refer to letters. So you can create any secret message in your Escape Room.

Escape room ideas Pigpen_cipher_key

#12 One of the beste Escape Room Ideas: Morse code 

One of the Escape Room ideas that has been used for a long time is the Morse code. Dots and dashes make letters. Somewhere you have hidden the Morse decoding. Without that decoding, players can't make words or sentences. Use the online morse code generator

#13 Polybus square

Each letter is then a combination of a vertical and a horizontal number. You let the players find the numbers and they have to make a word or phrase out of it.

Escape Room Ideas Polybius Square

#14 Using light in your DIY Escape Room

With light you can always do nice things. For example, you can make it reflect between mirrors. Because the players rotate the mirrors in the right way, the light finds its way from the starting point to the end point and a code appears on the wall at the end point. You can do this by, for example, taking black light. Without this light you see nothing on the wall, but with this light you suddenly read the secret message in your escape room game.

#15 Hebrew, Chinese or Hieroglyphics in your DIY Escape Room

What are always nice Escape room ideas is to communicate in another language as a secret code. For example in Hebrew, Chinese or hieroglyphics. This also depends on your Escape Room theme. Hide the translation table somewhere in your room, so players will have to decipher the letters. 

Escape Room Ideas Hieroglyphics

#16 Create secret messages with invisible ink

You won't believe it, but there are really crazy ways to create invisible messages. For example with cola. If you really want to surprise your group, this tip is one of the top 16 great Escape Room ideas.

Escape Room ideas and inspiration

Now that we have gone through the list of escape room ideas and puzzles, the success of your escape room game stands and falls with making all those puzzles and assignments with various tools and materials. And even though we have already mentioned several things, a little extra Escape Room ideas is still welcome, right? So here are some Escape Room ideas and tips that you should definitely check out to get enough inspiration to create your escape room game.

Use Pinterest for great Escape Room ideas

For all the games we make, we always use a number of sources of information. At the Escape room making we visit several escape rooms in a short time. Not to steal from them, but to help the creative thinking process and come up with really good Escape Room ideas. However, with all the games we have created, one source has always proven to be very valuable. Pinterest. If you don't have an account yet, create one right now.

If you search for Escape room ideas, you will be overloaded with creative ideas in puzzles and materials.

Handbook, Rules and Hints in your DIY Escape Room

Once the Escape room game is finished, there are still some things to think about. It is useful to make a script for yourself, in which the whole game is described. From A to Z you describe all the rooms, what should be in them, what should be glued, hung etc. And also the puzzles with results, the codes, the logical order of the puzzles; everything you write down. This will be your script.

After each game, it is relatively easy to put everything back in its old state, so that a next group of players can start playing again.

If there are game rules, you have to communicate them clearly to the players before the game starts. Put them on 1 a4 so you never forget to tell them. It's annoying if your instruction is not to look inside the cabinets and you forget to tell them, where all the cabinets are pulled upside down and you have a huge mess to clean up after the game.

Hints Escape Room
Finally, you will undoubtedly need hints in the escape room game. Only the perfect player will get through all your rooms without help. The reality is that it is often more difficult for players than you estimate in advance. In order not to make the game too easy, you make some hints, which you communicate to the players somewhere in the game. As described earlier, you can do this fully automatic with for example the auto-answer app, but you can also just put extra envelopes, which are numbered. They always have to open envelope 1 first to read that hint. You can then think of penalty time for every hint they use.

We hope this blog has inspired you enough to create your own Escape Room game. A lot of work of course, but once finished you can invite a lot of people to visit and play your Escape Room.

Richard & Marjolein