We love creating and going on scavenger hunts! Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of going on present hunts that my mom would make to lead us to the really big special gift!

Creators of the Society of Curiosities, mystery subscription box game

Below are our tips and tricks for creating your own DIY Scavenger hunt – be it for family, friends or work, we hope you find some useful tips and techniques.

Get Organized: Choose Your Locations

First, determine who the hunt is for and where it will take place. If you are doing anything outside that is day or time sensitive make sure to have a backup plan if the weather isn’t cooperating.

Next, create a list of all your stopping/ hiding spots. Below is an image of a free spreadsheet planning guide that I created for you to use. After you add the locations, the information on where to hide the clues will be populated (I find that to be the hardest part for me to keep straight.)

Blank scavenger hunt sheet for you to use – make sure you copy the document for your own before using it!
Sample scavenger hunt planning form filled out.

Craft your Scavenger Hunt Clues!

Now for the fun part – making clues! Much depends on the level of difficulty you want in your hunt. If it’s a scavenger hunt for kids, you can go with simple and cute clues or even pictures if your child can’t read yet.

For adults and teens, try adding in a cipher or physical clue to lead them to the next location.

Speaking of physical clues, one fun type of scavenger hunt is one where items are left as clues (no words) and the goal is to return the item to where it should be. There the players will find the next clue. For example, a player might find a travel toothpaste tube and that might lead them to the bathroom.

Little Fairy Doors that we created for a holiday scavenger hunt commissioned by a historic town on our island.

Adding Difficulty with Ciphers

If you’d like to add difficulty to your games, a cipher or coded message is a perfect choice. Make sure to hide the cipher key with the message or before so the players can solve it.

Cipher Resources

Puzzled Pint – They have great resource for codes (to be used for both creating AND solving) as well as monthly puzzles, a great archive of previous puzzles.

DCode – An amazing resources for codes and ciphers

Cryptii – This site will encrypt your message for you in a variety of ways. Look at the bottom for other encryption options.

DIY Scavenger Hunt Resources

Constructed Adventures – His YouTube channel has all types of fun inspiration for scavenger/ treasure hunts as well as interviews of puzzle creators (we are one of them!!!)

The Puzzlemaker – This short video shows his style of creating a quick DIY scavenger hunt around the house