diy harry potter escape room plan

Creating your own escape room at home doesn't need to be overwhelming, overly complicated, or expensive. With the help of our Harry Potter CodeBuster and Escape Room printables (See Reviews) you can create your very own awesome and budget friendly escape room in your own home.   Challenges can be altered to make them easier of harder depending on what age group you are working with.  Plus if there is any challenge or puzzle that you don't prefer below you can switch it out for any from my alternative challenges. 

DIY Harry Potter Escape ROom
First, OUR exclusive codebusters!

This Escape Room plan is designed around our one of a kind printable game CodeBusters.  The Harry Potter edition of CodeBusters include 24 decoder cards each featuring a different character from our beloved Magical world. 

Each Decoder Character card features a lock image that you will use a hole punch to remove the keyhole circle - once this is done it is ready to be used as a decoder for the CodeBuster sheets.  There are two CodeBuster sheets each with five different code boxes of a different color. 

 Place any of the Decoder Character cards over any one of the colored code boxes and a number will be revealed.  

For this Harry Potter Escape Room players must determine the correct 10-digit code in order to be released from the room.  They do this by finding and completing 10 challenges, each one revealing the character card and the code box color needed to discover 1 of those numbers. You can look at the challenges listed below for examples. 

now it's time to build your challenges

The first thing players need to acquire to complete the game is the Decoder Character cards (with the keyholes removed), the CodeBuster Sheets, and the Letter (get to that in a minute). You could simply have them waiting in the room ready to get the game rolling, or if you have a bit more time designated you could create an additional challenge the players with need to complete before even starting the other 10. 

If you want to get more creative you could lock them in a box with a key lock and Remember the flying keys from the Sorcerer’s Stone? Attach the paper wings included in the download files to an assortment of keys and hang them from the ceiling using transparent string - players will have to pull them down to try them until they find the right one - 

Once they open the locked box they will find the Codebuster Sheets, the Decoder Character cards, and the ' Letter'. 

THE LETTER introduces players to the game and provides hints on where the challenges are.  The great thing about this letter is that is completely editable by you.  It comes in an editable PDF so if there is anything you want to change, eliminate, add, make easier, or harder YOU CAN by just clicking on the text and changing it. 

The letter also has color coded boxes on the bottom that players can write the code number discovered with each challenge, when they get them all they are ready to win the game!  

NEW OPTIONAL: Some host have requested a way to include a combination lock as the ultimate goal of the game instead of calling out the 10 digit code to "the gatekeeper" who unlocks the door. This way you can lock away a key, prizes, or whatever you want in a box that players must open to win the game.   Since there are no 10 digit combination locks I have created a solution that lets players use the 10 digit code and reduce it to a five number combination lock code.  You will need a five digit choose your own combination padlock (they sell them on Amazon for under $10) and the printable ALTERNATIVE LETTER to use this version.

yellow challenge: secret in a bottle


  • Assortment of jars and containers (also used in purple,yellow, and green challenges)
  • Printed out magic labels (also used in purple, yellow, & green challenges)
  • Bottle of Coke, pepsi, or other dark drinkable liquid.

For this challenge, and two others you will need to incorporate an apothecary display.  In the Harry Potter Escape Room helper printables I have included 8 potion labels to use to give jars and bottles that wizardy look, + 8 more editable ones if you want to create your own. Three of the labels are required for the game, the others are just to add to the ambiance and to make the necessary ones less obvious.

For this challenge you will need a mason jar and the yellow Bulbadox Juice label.

On the back side of the Bulbadox Juice label _________ in a write the name HERMOINE GRANGER (or a clue to lead to her).  Now glue this to a mason jar.  Fill the jar with coke, or other dark liquid then secure lid.  The only way to read the message is to drink the liquid (or pour it out, but for fun the label reads "drink to reveal what is hidden in small print".  

Once the challenge is completed players will know to use the Hermoine Granger Decoder to decode the yellow code box to get this challenges code number.

green challenge: An odd collection


  • Sock (or other object that begins with S)
  • Earring (or other object that begins with E)
  • Vase (or other object that begins with V)
  • Egg( plastic or another object that begins with E)
  • Rock (or another object that begins with R)
  • Unicorn Blood( jar using that label, or another item that begins with U)
  • Soap (or another object that begins with S)
  • Green Tray (or basket, or bag)

One a green tray (or in a green basket or bag)   Players must figure out that the letter that each of the objects start with is the clue, and then unscramble those letters to spell S-E-V-E-R-U-S.  A clue can be left in the letter.

Once players complete this challenge they will know to use the Severus Snape Decoder to decode the green code box to get that challenges code number.

black challenge: glow to know

Hang a large Harry Potter poster on the wall, or large vintage mirror.   Paint your clue for SIRIUS BLACK in glow in the dark paint over the painting. This challenges assigned color is black because players have to turn off the lights to see it.  You will need to make sure there is not other source of light (such as sunlight) lighting up the room once the lights are turned off.  To solve the puzzle players simply needs to turn off the lights to find the clue. There is a hint in the letter.

Once the challenge is completed players will know to use the Sirius Black Decoder to decode the black code box to get this challenges code number.

light blue challenge: waste not want not


  • 18 sheets of light blue paper 
  •  5-10 pieces of other 'waste'
  • waste basket

For this you will write a different letter from the name GELLERT GRINDELWALD on each piece of blue paper.  Wad each piece of paper up and throw it in a clean waste basket, include 5-10 other innocent pieces of trash. Players will need to figure out that it is a challenge and then open and unscramble to letters.

Once the challenge is completed players will know to use the Gellert Grindelwald Decoder to decode the light blue code box to get this challenges code number.

dark blue challenge: the hand your dealt


  • Deck of playing cards
  • Printed out Order of the Phoenix card box (included)

For this game you will need to put a regular set of playing cards in order clubs 2-ace, diamonds 2-ace, spades 2-ace, and the hearts 2-ace.  Once they are stacked in order hold them tightly together and write a clue for or the name MOANING MYRTLE along the side with a black marker.  Next shuffle the deck back up and put them in the printable card box included in the Helpers file that is included in your download. 

Take notice that there are several clues on the box.  First it's darker blue so you know what code box this challenge is for.  Next the title Order of the Phoenix is a clue that you need to put the cards in order, there are even arrows pointing to the word ORDER.  Lastly the suits are listed in the order required on the back.

Once the challenge is completed players will know to use the Moaning Myrtle Decoder to decode the darker blue code box to get this challenges code number.

PURPLE Challenge: guts & glory

Supplies Needed:

  • Large jar from your apothecary set from the red challenge.  It should be large enough to fit your hand down in it with room to feel around. 
  • Potion label "FLOBBERWORM' 
  • Cooked Spaghetti
  •  Two ping pong balls OR plastic Easter Egg OR zipped sandwich bag

Fill the jar with wet cooked spaghetti,  add the label Flobberworm to the jar.  Now you will need to hide your clue inside the spaghetti.  You can do this however you choose, here are three ideas. You can write the letter M on two ping pong balls. The two balls are initial for Professor Minerva McGonagall.  Or you could write down a clue on a piece of paper and place it in a plastic egg or sandwich bag. 

Once the challenge is completed players will know to use the Minerva McGonagall Decoder to decode the purple code box to get this challenges code number.

brown Challenge: the missing puzzle piece

Supplies Needed:

  •  Two printable puzzles in the Helpers file that is included with the download. 
  • two brown paper lunch bags, small brown box, or other small brown containers. 

Included in your download are two puzzles.  One form an image of the Marauder Map, the other doesn't form a puzzle at all.  It cannot be put together as none of the pieces fit. Cut each puzzle along the lines, be careful not to mix them up. On the back of each piece of the misfit puzzle write a different character name.  There is one piece of the misfit puzzle that is very important. You may have noticed that the top left hand piece of the misfit puzzle is the missing piece of the Marauder map puzzle. On that piece write the name VOLDEMORT or TOM RIDDLE.  

Now place both puzzles in brown bags or containers and put in two different locations in the room. Player must discover both puzzles.  If they discover the Marauders map puzzle first they will put it together to discover a missing piece, they won't be able to figure out the clue until they find the misfit puzzle and realize though the pieces don't go together one is the missing puzzle piece to the other puzzle.  The name on the back of that one is the answer to the challenge. 

Once the challenge is completed players will know to use the Lord Voldemort Decoder to decode the brown code box to get this challenges code number.

orange Challenge: A Tissue Issue


  • Orange Tissue box

Include a clue indicating RUBEUS HAGRID carefully between the layers in the tissue box.  Players must pull out the tissues in order to find the clue.  A hint is included it 'The Letter'. 

Once the challenge is completed players will know to use the Rubeus Hagrid Decoder to decode the orange code box to get this challenges code number.

red Challenge: dot to dot


  •  Printed Horcrux dots (included)
  •  Bundle of red yarn

In this challenge you will spread seven horcrux 'dots' throughout the room so that when connected with a red string of yarn it will form the initials L.M  for Lucius Malfoy.  Once you have set up your dots how you want them, take the end of the bundle of yarn and connect it to dot #1. This will give players a good hint as to what they need to do.  

Once the challenge is completed players will know to use the Lucius Malfoy Decoder to decode the red code box to get this challenges code number.

pink Challenge: The Hairy Potter


  • Pink flower pot
  • Artificial hair

This last challenge is just a visual riddle.  Glue some fake hair (from a play wig, hair accessory, or old Barbie doll) to the pink flower pot and fill it with something of your choice. 

Players must determine that the hairy pot stand for Harry Potter, and that since the color is pink that the Harry Potter decoder should be used on the pink code box.

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escape room codebuster printables now!
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Your printable helper set will include:

  • 24 Decoder Character cards
  • 2 Codebuster sheets
  • 1 Escape Room Letter
  • key wings (4 designs)
  • 16 Potion Ingredient labels
  • 1 Order of the Phoenix card box
  • 2 puzzles
  • 7 horcrux dots 

Your printables will arrive moments after ordering in ready-to-print PDF files.  If you have any questions just email me at

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