Penny Maze




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I'm presenting here a pocket-sized puzzle in the first of several versions, depending on your skills, materials, tools and target audience.

In every version, though, you drop a small coin in one slot, and need to get it out of the other slot.

This first version is quick and easy to make (it took me less than thirty minutes from idea to finished item), and small enough to keep in a pocket.  It is also perfect for making with children, as a diverting way of filling an afternoon.

Step 1: Materials

To make the "easy" version, you need thick card, something to cut it, and something to glue it.  If you are using a craft knife to cut the card, a metal ruler is also very handy.

The card needs to be as thick as the coin you design it for.

Almost any glue will do the job - PVA, glue-stick, etc.

Note: when it comes to cutting out the parts of the maze, a laser cutter would be very handy.  It would also make it a lot easier to make larger, more challenging versions.

Step 2: Design

For the most simple version of this maze, you need three pieces of card, identical in size.  For coins like the US dime or UK 5p piece, something slightly larger than a credit card makes a good size.  Rounded corners will resist damage in your pocket.

In the middle layer, draw a path across the card.  It's up to you whether you include dead-ends or not.

Step 3: Make

Cut it out, and glue the maze parts to one of the outer layers so that you can test the route.

If you look carefully, you can see in the photos that I had to trim some sections of the maze for the coin to fit - this was largely due to the thickness of the pen I marked the route of the maze, which, in turn, was because the pencil markings didn't show well in the photos.

Once you are happy with the route, glue on the other layer.

As far as Making goes, that's it, but you can also decorate the maze, painting it, or wrapping with coloured paper.

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48 Discussions


5 years ago

We build a wooden one in my woodwork shop in my middle school

1 reply

5 years ago on Introduction

Love this project, especially that it reuses waste to make a toy.  I developed this into a Hacker Scouts Open Lab and tried it out this weekend.  Here's a blog post about it.  The kids and parents loved it.  Thanks for the awesome instructable!

1 reply

6 years ago on Introduction

I saw your instructable this morning and after an hour of work i have one to call my own. It was easy to make when i planned it out on 1/4" graph paper, then glued that to the cardboard and added in walls one at a time. paths are 1" wide and walls are 1/4". The entire thing is 5 1/4" square. It fits a nickel.