Introduction: Ancient Book With Riddles Inside

About: I am interested in DIY and electronics.

I have always wanted to make something, which looks ancient and keeps secrets inside. One rainy autumn day I have generated an idea of this book.

What is it?

It is an ancient styled book with riddles inside. It is based on Arduino. When you open it, you can’t expand it on any page. It is possible only in the center. You can see just some pages with a story. I have a fantasy story about a squad, which goes somewhere. Dwarf and Elf are always speaking about something and using this dialogs and drawings in book you need to solve riddles. My story is not too long and it has just 3 puzzles. Each paragraph of a new puzzle starts with ancient Scandinavian runes. To solve each riddle you must interact with the book. For example, in the first paragraph wayfarers lost their direction and decided that they had went to the opposite side. So you should change direction by rotating a circle on the cover of the book. There are three LEDs, which are hidden under translucent stones on the cover. If you’ve solved a paragraph, then a LED turns on. In the second quest you need to solve Sudoku and discover a phrase that says: “Rotate book”. So you need to rotate the book, holding it vertically. In the third quest you need to put chess figures on right checks. When everything is behind and you have solved all ancient secrets, you can get your deserved price)))0 The part of the book, which couldn’t be opened, will make some noise (it means that servo opens a latch). And you can get your cookies from this secret part of the book.

It can be a cute handmade gift for your dear person. And you can put something sweet into your book or something that will be a pleasure to receive. You can make your own story and questions that echoes with interests of the person you want to surprise :)

You can watch a video about the book's solution in the end of the article.

Step 1: Making Questions and a Story

You can use my story for your book. But maybe he or she is not interested in fantasy? Or you think that this story is not very suitable for your gift? So you need to make your own story. Try to do your best. If you know how to work with Arduino you can add some other sensors for your project. For example, you can add a thermometer, light sensor, temperature sensor, compass, or even GPS (to solve some puzzles you need to come with this book to some places).

Step 2: What Will You Need

To make this project you need many different things, but it depends on questions you want to add in your book. I used the following items:

1. A lot of paper (I used draft A4 papers and some non-draft A4 papers for the story)

2. Cardboard for the book cover

3. Velvet also for the cover

4. Cardboard for the book spine

5. Some decorative stuff (I had some translucent stones so I used them)

6. Black tea to make it ancient

7. Arduino of any version (in my case it is UNO)

8. Servo

9. x3 LED

10. Accelerometer MPU 6050

11. x2 Reed switch

12. x2 10k Ohm resistor

13. 220 Ohm resistor

14. Switch

15. Potentiometer 1k Ohm or any other

16. 9v Battery

17. Wires

18. Glue

19. Hot glue

20. Acrylic paint

You also need next tools:

1. 3d printer

2. Iron or hair dryer to dry papers

3. Soldering iron

Glue gun

Step 3: Making Paper Looks Timeworn

We make an ancient book, so firstly you need to make your paper looks like it is ancient. Print you story or write it by hand. Then crumple it to give it a look of a book that was read thousands of times by hundreds of elves. Brew tea and put your papers in it for ~15 minutes. Then dry them with iron. But be careful!!11!!1!!1! You can wipe your text off. So I recommend you to do this through a towel.

Step 4: Assembling a Servo-based Lock

Print lock parts using 3d-printer and assemble them. It is very simple. But I recommend you to glue gear to servo’s shaft. I didn’t do that so when the lock opens this gear slips a little bit. But it doesn’t influence on its efficiency.

Step 5: Part of the Book Where Arduino Is Hidden and Where Sweets Are Hidden

Divide a stack of paper into two parts. We will use the first part as the first part of the book. Then after this part our story goes (it is the center of the book). And than the second part goes, where sweets or something is hidden (you will be able to open this part only after you will solve the book). Take your first part of paper and cut a hole in it. Make sure all your components fit in it (Arduino, Potentiometer, Battery and other). Glue or staple it with a stapler. You need to make a hole in the second part too, but it must look normal because it will be visible. But don’t cut all papers in the second part. It will consist of two parts also to open like a box. I decided to make a triangle hole.

Step 6: Make It Look Not So Horrible

To make it look better I added some walls inside and a piece of cardboard on the top.

Step 7: Attaching Servo

Then you need to attach servo. I connected a little thing that servo will hook on when the lock is closed to the top of this ‘box’. To make everything clear I recommend you to look again at photos and watch a video at the beginning of the article. When the most reliable ever made lock was installed, you can start making parts of the book ancient.

Step 8: Making These Parts Look Old

I also used tea. It was a bit hard to dry it. But it was night and I decided to go to sleep. So I left these parts in a warm place and in the morning they were dried.

Step 9: Cover of the Book

I made the cover from a cardboard and velvet. My cardboard was thick. So I decided to strengthen it with pieces of plastic on the spine.

Step 10: Connecting All These Parts Into One Big Part

All right. All parts are ready to be connected together. Take the first part of the book and connect it with your story that will be in the center. For this purpose I used stapler. Then take a piece of cardboard and glue the first and second (a part-box, which consists of two parts too (you need to glue both of them)) parts to it.

Step 11: Glue It to the Cover

Glue this ‘spine of the book’ to cover and glue the first part of the book to the cover too. At least, now it looks like a book)))

Step 12: Attach Potentiometer

Make a little hole for potentiometer in the center of the cover. Put it inside the book. I glued it by hot glue, but it was still shaky. So I decided to add a piece of plastic to make it fixed. Print a circle on 3d-printer. I had only black plastic but it was not very nice so I decided to paint it. Then connect it to the shaft of potentiometer. And then you can easily rotate it.

Step 13: Adding Stuff and LEDs to the Cover

A happy owner of this book must also know which quests he has solved. To indicate which puzzles are done add 3 LEDs. And I added some decorative translucent stones above LEDs and some more just on the cover.

Step 14: Make a Cap for the Part of the Book With Arduino

To hide all electronic components I used a piece of cardboard with old paper on one side and a magnet on another. This is a good solution because you can easily change the battery if you need it. Then you need to glue reed switches to this cardboard. Select checks of the check desk where you want to install switches to detect chess figures and glue them to the cardboard (on the opposite side that will be not visible).

Step 15: Assembling Electronics

Connect all electronic components according to the scheme and make sure you connected everything in the right way. Connect Arduino via USB to your computer and upload a sketch. This sketch requires mpu6050 library installed. I attached it with sketch, so you need just to copy this library to ArduinoIDELocation\libraries. If you don’t know how to program Arduino don’t panic. You can search for Arduino lessons in the Internet. You will get thousands of sites with useful information and detailed manuals. So if you don’t know how to work with Arduino but you want to start working with it, this is a great possibility to do it. Firstly, I made my scheme on a breadboard to check if it works correctly and to write sketch. And when everything started to work I soldered all components.

Step 16: Printing Chess Figures

One of my puzzles needs chess figures. I printed them. Then I put magnets inside to let them interact with the book. As in every riddle, you can improve my ideas. For example, print this chess in shapes of his or her favorite characters.

Step 17: Finishing

You can make some interesting notes in your book, or write some pleasant words. And of course you need to put cookies in it!!!! Or something that will be pleasure to get. Then gift it to somebody.

Puzzle Challenge

Runner Up in the
Puzzle Challenge