30 DIY Escape Room Puzzles for Your Next Conference

So you’ve been hosting escape rooms to take your conferences to the next level. You’ve already decked out your conference as a mission control to conduct the most epic lunar rescue mission in Moonshot. Then you turned vendor halls into Patagonia’s most epic survival race staging area. It’s time to make your escape room up a notch, and you’ve decided to take on the challenge of building your own.

If you’re stuck on puzzle ideas, here are 30 escape room puzzles you can use for your DIY escape room experience. 

  1. Use a Clock as a Clue to A Combination Use a powered-down clock as a clue to unlocking a combination. 
  2. Use a Hollowed-Out Book – Use a cheap book to hollow out the inside and store a clue or a valuable hint for the next puzzle.
  3. Write Instructions Out in A Number Cipher – Letters can align with numbers, and you can spell out a clue or hint by using numbers to correspond with letters.
  4. Integrate Word Puzzles – Use a word search or word scramble to hide hints.
  5. Use Invisible Ink to Write Hints – There are inks made that will appear only when affected by an element like water or holding up to alight.
  6. Hide Pieces of the Map Around a Room – To find an object for the escape room, hide pieces of a map around the room that hints at the location.
  7. Use Perspective – A participant has to stand in a certain spot to make out a symbol in multiple locations that come together in one spot.
  8. Remove an Object That Players Are Familiar With – Remove a well-known plant or book that could lead them to hunt it down.
  9. Use a Secret Backwards Message – Players have to take the message to a mirror to be able to decipher the message.
  10. Create a Small Jigsaw Puzzle – Create or use a small jigsaw puzzle that players can find the next clue once they complete it.
  11. Remove a Door Handle – Attendees will have to find the door handle to progress.
  12. Stick A Key to the Bottom of a Chest – Use a hint to guide them to the most obvious spot to get them to look around.
  13. Create a Maze – Use a maze by tracing a path or using a paper map, or guiding a ball through a wooden maze to unlock the next clue.
  14. Try Using Riddles – Players have to use their brains to solve riddles to find the next clue.
  15. Set Up Mirrors to Guide a Laser – Use mirrors strategically to guide a laser to the next clue.
  16. Stump them With a Math Equation – Don’t make it too difficult, and avoid giving them access to a calculator to lead them to the next puzzle.
  17. Play a Clue on a CD – Players can insert a cd that gives them information to find the next clue.
  18. Arrange Books on a Shelf to Reveal A Message – Have participants arrange books on a shelf to find an important word.
  19. Have them Drink to Find the Next Clue at the Bottom of the Cup – It can be water, juice, or soda but have them drink to reveal a written message at the bottom of the cup.
  20. Pop Balloons – Set up some balloons with a message inside one and have participants throw darts at the balloons to unlock the message.
  21. Fish for Clues – Using a small fishing tank with a tiny opening, have participants create a magnet fishing pole to fish for the key at the bottom of the tank. Hard Mode: Add obstacles.
  22. Eat the Clues Out – Hide a key, a combo, or an object in a jello mold and place it in the refrigerator for participants to “eat” it out. (eating is optional)
  23. Set up a Trap Door – Not Indian Jones style, but set up a trap door or a button that opens a door or box for them to solve.
  24. Use Dice for Numerical Cubes – Mark dice or buy weighted dice to hint to a numerical code the team will have to try out.
  25. Craft a Box with a Small Opening – Stuff a box full of trinkets and line the box with raised letters for the player to feel out the letters and decipher the word inside without looking.
  26. Tune a Radio to Hear a Message – Using a radio to find a hidden message can be done with a remote tuner on an unused frequency.
  27. Hide an Object in a Vent – Lead your participants to a screwdriver and a vent for them to uncover an item.
  28. Remove Keys From a Keyboard – The team will need to work together to find the missing keys to type in a password.
  29. Guide a Blindfolded Person from Another Room – Separate the attendees into two rooms and have one team guide the other using a telecom while the other navigates to solve a puzzle while blindfolded.
  30. Hide a Message Under a Mess – The team can find the message once they put things where they belong and sweep up the mess.

These are just a few ideas to get you started creating your escape room masterpiece and give you ideas for escape rooms to come.