Laser made treasure hunt

My boyfriend was having his 30th birthday, and I wanted to do something special for it, so I decided to make him a lamp with a bunch of things from his life these last couple years. I figured since Glowforge projects are simple to assemble, I’d hide pieces around and make it into a treasure hunt through Ballard.

I modified a simple lamp design that I had seen someone else make on Laser Thursday (I’m not sure if they created it from scratch or got it somewhere) and used trace with a bunch of drawings to customize each vane of the lamp.

05 PM

For some crazy reason I decided to draw everything by hand, so that was very time consuming, but I guess it paid off in the sense that every piece shared a kinda silly drawing style. This was a map of a trip to Japan that we really loved that ended up being one vane:

For the treasure hunt itself, I found it really easy to make custom stationary, because I can laser cut card stock and matching wood veneer stickers. Delightful friends helped create and write out all the clues:

Here are all the pieces of the treasure hunt: the lamp itself, the stationary, my clues, and the padded mailer I put things in that was supposed to dissuade people from stealing it (only one disappeared between the time I hid things and the hunt itself… I just reprinted it later).

Some action shots from the treasure hunt itself:

56 PM

09 PM

The final results!

Photo Jun 10, 11 53 14 PM

I learned a bunch of things on this project: personalized gifts are SO COOL, Matt really loved it, and everyone was blown away by the end result - especially because most of our friends could identify our shared interests in his lamp; treasure hunts are still awesome, even if you are an adult and especially if you like beer and are in Ballard; using the Glowforge to tie the whole experience together in look and feel ended up being really great, even though it was just some scraps of veneer that I used to make the clasps, it gave that envelope a lot of polish; and finally individual laser cut pieces are mysterious! Most everyone was mystified about what it was until we had all the pieces and we sat down at Cafe Mox to put it together.

Speaking of Cafe Mox, my favorite clue of the night:

The end of our little adventure is where so many have started. Like our esteemed hero, these little plastic figurines have been running blitzes for 30 years, and are ready to hand off the last piece.

Clue: Cafe Mox/Card Kingdom is a top notch board game store.

One last picture I found of the lamp turned on:

P.S. It’s been a while since I posted, but I have some really cool projects in the works, so stay tuned! :smiley:


What an awesome idea! And after finding all the pieces you get to make something too! :grinning:


Thank you.
I feel your joy.


I love treasure hunts! You made yours so special with all the fun clues and the final piece. Pure genius to hide pieces that way, and involve your friends in the hunt. This is something he will remember for the rest of his life.


Kudos! Hand drawings, from the heart, addition of friends, a fun hunt & assembly … really awesome all around!


So very cool! From design through presentation! :slight_smile:


So long ago I haven’t play Treasure Hunt!! This will be a great idea to do again with my cousins :smiley:

That was fun! Thanks for sharing.

I can see so many places where each part and the whole could be followed and made special for a special person. Thanks for sharing!

Nice! 15 or 18 years ago, I did something kind of like that for my then girlfriend/now wife with clues hidden in the woods near her house. I can only imagine how much cooler it would have been with a laser.