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25 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 25 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

DIY wooden puzzle box
Image credit: 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

DIY puzzle box
Image credit: 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

DIY ball puzzle box
Image credit: 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

DIY dovetailed puzzle box
Image credit: 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

DIY puzzler puzzle box
Image credit: 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. 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.

13. Nail Puzzle Box by Instructables

DIY nail puzzle box
Image credit: AUTODESK 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.

14. Cupinix by DIY Puzzles

DIY cupinix puzzle box
Image credit: 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!

15. Coin Box Puzzle by Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement

DIY coin box puzzle
Image credit: Canadian Woodworking

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.

16. A DIY Puzzle Box by Autodesk Instructables

diy puzzle box
Image Credit: Instructables

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

The cool thing about this DIY puzzle box plan is that you get to make it exactly what you want it to be. Do you want it to be super easy? No problem. Do you want a puzzle box that’s near impossible to figure out? Not a problem either.

These plans give you the general knowledge to build a box, and then it’s up to you how complex you want to get with it.

17. Japanese Puzzle Box by Woodsmith

diy puzzle boxes
Image Credit: Woodsmith

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

This isn’t the most complicated puzzle box out there, but it’s a great way to start in the puzzle box-making world. It’s a five-step puzzle box once you build it, and if you do a good job, it looks professional. Just ensure everything stays precise while you make it; otherwise, you won’t be able to open it up at the end.

It’s a bit of a time-consuming task building it, but this guide does a great job of breaking down everything you need to do. If you take your time and follow it step by step, you’ll have your puzzle box in no time.

18. Holiday Puzzle Box by KiwiCo

diy holiday puzzle box
Image Credit: KiwiCo

Difficulty Level: Easy

This is the simplest puzzle box on our list, but this Holiday Puzzle Box is also the easiest to make. KiwiCo says it’s an excellent project for people aged between 9 and 16, but we think it’s a joy to make no matter how old you are—just be sure to supervise any littles when using sharp objects.

It’s also a great way to personalize a small gift for a loved one by sending it in a miniature puzzle box that doesn’t look like one when it’s all put together.

19. Escape Room Puzzle Box by Hourglass Escapes

diy escape room puzzle box
Image Credit: Hourglass Escapes

Difficulty Level: Challenging

This is likely the most challenging puzzle box on our list to make, but if you take your time and get creative with it, it’s also one of the coolest looking. And who better to walk you through the creation of your own puzzle box than an escape room company?

That’s exactly what Hourglass Escape is, and with this escape room puzzle box, you can make something worthy of a professional!

20. Twin Lock Box by Autodesk Instructables

diy twin lock box
Image Credit: Instructables

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

This is more of a “classic” puzzle box, and while it’s not the easiest to make, we’re sure you’ll love its final appearance. Take your time when making it since it requires a lot of precision, but from there, the guide walks you through everything step-by-step so it’s pretty easy to follow.

If you take your time with it, you’ll have a perfect puzzle box of extremely high quality that no one will believe you made!

21. Unabox Puzzle Box by Autodesk Instructables

diy puzzle box
Image Credit: Instructables

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

The Unabox looks like a puzzle box, and it’s another more “classic” puzzle box. The entire point of the Unabox is to have the appearance of a single piece when it’s all together, but even if you do it perfectly, you’ll still be able to see some seams.

This guide walks you through everything you need to know, and we highly recommend sticking with a dark color stain like they did for the best possible results.

22. Wizard’s Puzzle Box by Storm Castle

diy wizard's puzzle box
Image Credit: Storm The Castle

Difficulty Level: Easy

If you have a 3D printer this Wizard’s Puzzle box is pretty straightforward to build. Not only that, but it’s also one of the more unique options, giving you an incredibly unique puzzle box. Whether you’re looking for something for your next D&D game, your kids, or just want a cool toy for yourself, this is a great choice.

Just don’t forget the secret riddle; otherwise, you’re really not giving the solver much of a chance!

23. Complex Electronic Puzzle Box by Hackster

diy complex puzzle box
Image Credit: Hackster

Difficulty Level: Easy

This isn’t exactly a puzzle box that anyone will be able to figure out all on their own, but it’s still a pretty cool idea. It uses a series of toggle switches and a key to ensure only the right person can get inside the box. It’s a complex puzzle box for sure, but with the guide, it’s pretty easy to make.

Just keep in mind that this is more of a top-secret puzzle box kind of thing unless you develop some type of code to help the potential solver crack the code.

24. Maze Puzzle Box by Maker Design Lab

diy apprentice maze puzzle box
Image Credit: Maker Design Lab

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

This is another puzzle box you’ll need a 3D printer to make, but even with a 3D printer, it will still take some time and work to build. However, it uses an extremely unique puzzle to open it up, so there’s a good chance no one will have seen something like it before.

This guide highlights everything you need to do to build it, and it walks you through it all one step at a time to make it a bit easier to make.

25. Mystic Puzzle Box by MRX Designs

diy puzzle box
Image Credit: MRX Designs

Difficulty Level: Challenging

This mystic puzzle box is certainly one that’s more challenging to make, but if you take your time with it, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t build it yourself. It doesn’t require all the fancy tools that many other puzzle boxes need, and it’s still quite challenging to solve.

Just be ready to do a lot of work and a lot of reading to get everything in order to build it. The guide at MRX Designs is a bit long-winded, but it really breaks down everything you need to know to build it.

Featured Image Credit: sperchant, Pixabay


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