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16 DIY Puzzle Box Plans You Can Build Today (with Pictures)

Puzzle Box Plans

Puzzle Box Plans

Puzzle boxes can serve as a woodworker’s litmus test. They’re small and inexpensive to build, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy! These can be pretty tricky to create because of how intricate some of them get. But don’t let that scare you! Puzzle boxes are a fun project that you’ll actually get to use. Just try giving one to a friend and see how long it takes them to figure out how it works! And once you tell them you made it, they’ll probably be pretty impressed at your handy DIY woodworking skills.

Check out these DIY puzzle box plans we’ve collected as you search for your next woodworking challenge.

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The Top 16 DIY Puzzle Box Plans

1. DIY Paint Stick Puzzle Box by The King of Random

Difficulty Level: Easy

This is a unique puzzle box idea made out of simple, inexpensive materials. Most of the materials are free since this puzzle box is built from paint sticks. Head down to your local home improvement store and pick up a few paint sticks from behind the paint counter. Make sure to pick up some stain while you’re there to give your puzzle box an ornate look when it’s finished. Luckily, the steps are all thoroughly outlined to help you build it quickly and relatively easily.


2. Wooden Puzzle Box Plan by craftsmanspace

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Here are thorough plans and drawings to build an elaborate wooden puzzle box. It’s not terribly difficult to build, though you will need a good amount of woodworking tools and some patience to get it right. For instance, you’ll need to cut some dovetails, which can be done by hand, but are quicker and more precise when done with power tools. If you’re looking for a challenge to test your intermediate woodworking skills, this should fit the bill.


3. How to Build a Puzzle Box by wikiHow

Difficulty Level: Easy

This wikiHow goes step by step through the entire process of building a puzzle box from start to finish. There are detailed drawings and pictures to give you a visual representation of what you need to do. You only need some basic tools like a table saw, drill, clamps, and sander. But the finished product is deceptively attractive. Everyone will think you must have incredible skills to have learned how to build a puzzle box, but you can do it with a few tools and some basic DIY know-how.


4. DIY Puzzle Box by Tuan Djeems

Difficulty Level: Easy

Looking for a cheap project to fill an afternoon and provide some great fun and utility afterward? This DIY puzzle box is simple to build and costs less than $5 including all of the materials. You need only minimal tools and experience to build this one, so there’s no excuse for not getting started on it right away!


5. DIY Escape Room LockBox Puzzle by Inspire to Make

Difficulty Level: Advanced

This puzzle box isn’t quite as ornate in appearance as some of the others on this list, but the puzzle mechanisms are awesome. It’s a pretty difficult build, requiring the installation of electronics and plenty of soldering. The materials are pretty inexpensive, but you’ll definitely need a good range of skills to properly complete this project.


6. Ball Puzzle Box Plan by craftsmanspace

Difficulty Level: Easy

Looking at the finished project, you wouldn’t think this ball puzzle box is as hard to open as it is. But it’s not nearly as difficult to build as it is to open! In fact, even beginners can build this puzzle box with a little patience. You won’t need special tools to complete this build, but there are lots of little pieces that you’ll need to have patience to cut and assemble.


7. Awesome Trick Box Plans by Fisher’s Shop

Difficulty Level: Advanced

This awesome trick box might be one of the best-looking puzzle boxes on this list. The finished product is very refined and wouldn’t look out of place on any living room mantel or shelf. But it’s also pretty difficult to build, requiring quite a few tools like a table saw, scroll saw, belt grinder, and more. If you already have these tools, this is a great project to test your skills. If not, then it might be a bit pricey to get started.


8. Dovetailed Puzzle Box by Woodworker’s Journal

Difficulty Level: Advanced

If you’re looking for a beautiful puzzle box plan that’s just as difficult to build as it is to solve, you might be interested in this dovetailed puzzle box. You’ll need to subscribe to get the plans, but it’s an incredible project that will be a talking point for years to come.


9. Puzzler Puzzle Box by DIY Puzzles

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

If you want to build a puzzle box that isn’t a very difficult project, this might be your winner. It uses tiny pieces that can be harder to work with if you’re not experienced with woodworking. You won’t need much to take on this puzzler puzzle box, though. The tools you need are minimal, and the only materials are wood and magnets.


10. Dragon Puzzle Box by Erhan Cubukcuoglu

Difficulty Level: Advanced

This dragon puzzle box is deceptive. It looks nice, but you wouldn’t realize how difficult of a project this is by looking at the finished product. Several little intricate pieces move inside this puzzle box, and getting them all right will test any woodworker’s skill and patience. Thankfully, this video covers all the information you need to build one of your own successfully.


11.  diResta: Puzzle Box by Make:

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Puzzle boxes can be pretty difficult to make, and there are several ways to construct them. Luckily, this diResta: Puzzle Box by Make: is a very thorough video that will walk you through every step of the process of building a puzzle box.

To complete this project, you will need several power tools, such as a table saw and a miter saw. You’ll also need a few hours over two days since there will be some drying time for the wood glue. In the end, you’ll have a unique puzzle box about the size of your palm.


12.  Wooden Puzzle Box Plan by Craftsmanspace

Difficulty Level: Advanced

Craftsmanspace offers you a free PDF breakdown of this Wooden Puzzle Box Plan. It’s definitely on the complicated side of things and not a project to be attempted by first-timers. You’ll need dowels, springs, dovetailed sliders, and many other intricate pieces. For that reason, this project is best tackled by experienced DIYers who have plenty of tools on hand and have probably built a puzzle box or two before.


13.  Dragon Puzzle Box by DIY Puzzles

Difficulty Level: Advanced

The Dragon Puzzle Box by DIY Puzzles is a Chinese-styled puzzle box that’s very ornate looking and has a lot of intricate pieces. It’s not a simple build, and you should expect to spend quite a bit of time figuring it out. Still, it’s a great challenge for those who love intricate and difficult puzzle box projects.


14.  Nail Puzzle Box by Instructables

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

The Nail Puzzle Box from Instructables looks very simple at first glance. It has a sliding nail mechanism inside that’s not easy to figure out if you’ve never seen it work. You can easily keep people entertained while they try in vain to figure out how to open this box that doesn’t appear to be latched shut in any way. Despite how hard it is to open, it’s not very difficult to build, and intermediate-level DIYers should have no problem putting this together.


15.  Cupinix by DIY Puzzles

Difficulty Level: Advanced

DIY Puzzles makes a lot of awesome puzzle box plans, and the Cupinix is one of the best looking. This puzzle resembles a wooden Rubix cube with no faces and no discerning markings to tell one interlocking cube from another. The cube comprises 13 separate sections that the user must figure out how to get apart. As aggravating as it must be to decipher this puzzle box, it will be just as difficult to figure out how to build it!


16.  Coin Box Puzzle by Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

This interesting little Coin Box Puzzle by Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement is small and simple and is made from six pieces of solid wood. You insert some money inside and let people try to open the box and get it. They won’t be able to, of course, because only you will know the secret to how it opens. Once you open it, they’ll all be astounded that it can be done.


Featured Image Credit: sperchant, Pixabay

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