Introduction: Bedroom Porthole

One day my wife went out on some errands and left me and the boys home alone. She returned to find a porthole from my sons closet into the next bedroom. I haven't watched the kids alone since.......


It's fun to open the hatch from inside the closet and crawl through to the other room. Especially when playing hide and seek or being chased with Nerf guns. If your house is setup in a similar fashion, have a little fun and make this porthole. You can't win "father of the year" without putting a few holes in the walls.

Step 1: Materials,Demo and Build

For this project you will need,

  • Sheet of coroboard
  • Sawsaw
  • Drywall screws
  • Drill,Sharpie and other misc tools.

After you have decided on your new porthole spot. Measure again on the other side to make sure you don't hit anything important. Now draw a circle with the diameter of your choice. Ours is about 2 feet in diameter and flattens out just above the baseboard trim. In case I have to cover this hole some day. I didn't want to repair baseboard and drywall.

With your safety glasses on, carefully cut out the hole using a reciprocating saw or other sharp object.

I cut through 2 studs and used small pieces of that wood to outline the hole on the sides, top and bottom. Everywhere you see a drywall screw I have wood behind it.

Using a strip of coroboard the width of your opening. Line the inside of the hole and secure it with a few screws.

Now measure and cut out a door with frame to fit over your hole. Leave a section uncut to be the door hinge.

Attach to the wall with a few evenly spaced screws and add a couple extra near the hinge area.

Step 2: Finishing Touches

Using a Sharpie, draw some fake rivets around the porthole to make it look cooler and hide the screws.

A simple wood sliding latch was glued to the door with a matching hole cut into the inside strip. It works, but isn't going to stop any intruders. Original plans were to have a mechanical iris, but unfortunately there was not enough clearance inside the wall. My quick fix was to add a large piece of coroboard to the inside closet. It slides up and down in a channel made from coroboard.

Now wait until your wife goes out, grab the kids and make some holes in your walls.

If you enjoyed this Instructable, you might like these other hiding places I've made in older instructables....

Mysterious bookcase

Secret Batcave

UPDATE:2016

We redid the room and while I am making a nicer wooden porthole door. A little change was made to the porthole. I'd hate to try catching the pokemon that fits in there......

Comments

author
YASSQUEENSLAY made it!(author)2016-11-16

This is so cool i wan this for my room!!

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Stryker made it!(author)2016-11-16

Thanks. and you reminded me to update picture of door.

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Treker2 made it!(author)2015-09-01

Epic, awesome, amazing, crazy and cool all mashed into one.

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Stryker made it!(author)2015-09-04

Thanks I try.

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Amthyest made it!(author)2015-07-16

love the idea and executiond

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VioletaO made it!(author)2015-07-15

love it!

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Mysterious_Gal made it!(author)2015-06-26

This is epic I voted for you. I am totally going to have to make this.

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Stryker made it!(author)2015-06-26

Thanks. Post a pic when you do it.

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Stark+Ideas made it!(author)2015-06-22

You can put an epic / over the top lock on the hatch.. and your son can tell his friends that is where one of Dads "experiments gone wrong" lives and have your other son fly out when unlocked..

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Stark+Ideas made it!(author)2015-06-22

you are on fire.. this is to cool!

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diy_bloke made it!(author)2015-06-01

I am sure kids love this.
I might have missed it but is there still entry through a door as well?

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TheDinosaurLady+ made it!(author)2015-06-04

The porthole goes into the adjoining bedroom.

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diy_bloke made it!(author)2015-06-06

yes, i kinda got that a bit later :-) thanks

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Stryker made it!(author)2015-06-01

I think I'm spoiling my kids because they only use this when friends are over. Yes there is a door to that bedroom.

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diy_bloke made it!(author)2015-06-01

kids! you just got to love them :-)

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Vyger made it!(author)2015-05-29

I have the next one for you --- An escape hatch into the basement complete with a slide. You can cover it with a rug so it will not be accidentally discovered.

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dalesql made it!(author)2015-06-05

No building inspector I've ever dealt with would allow a slide to be constructed inside a residence. But, laundry chutes are allowed. *grins*

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Stryker made it!(author)2015-05-29

You might be joking, but I have already thought about that. A cable system inside the wall with a foot platform and handle. Starting from my upstairs, down thru the first floor hallway and into the basement. It will never happen but I've thought about it.

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silkier made it!(author)2015-05-31

I think this is the cue for all instructables readers to donate a small sum to pay for tickets for your wife to visit her old schoolfriend/aunt/other for the weekend just so we can get to see the escape chute.

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godrulsus made it!(author)2015-06-05

I wish I had some kids so I could cut some holes in the walls!

author
dalesql made it!(author)2015-05-31

Very cool, I'm sure the kids love it, and any of their friends who visit will be envious. My concern is the structure of the building. You have reduced the strength of the wall above the opening, and possibly endangered the stability of your home's structure.

Those 2x4s you cut through are actually doing more than just holding the drywall up. In a non-loadbearing wall, they are providing lateral strength to the wall above the hole. Basically, when the kids get older, and are wrestling or fighting in the room and crash into the wall above the opening, the only thing that is keeping them from crashing through the wall is the strength of the drywall.

If this is a loadbearing wall, then those 2x4s were actually holding up the weight of the building above. So if there is another floor up there, or an attic full of your stuff, then over time these will push down over the weak spot you have created. This creates cosmetic damage to the drywall, but it also creates a weak spot in your building structure that can fail prematurely when the building is under stress from weather or a fire or some such.

Now, how to identify if the wall is a load bearing wall. Generally, if the wall is straight or mostly straight and extends from the outside wall to the outside wall, it can be assumed to be a load bearing wall. Generally this will be a wall along the approximate centerline of the house running lenghwise. It may not go all the way to the end of the house, it may be continued over a master bedroom by a hidden structural beam. The only real way to be sure is to gain access to the interior structure of the floor above and analyze the way the joists are laid out. An experienced housebuilding carpenter can generally walk around in a couple of minutes and make pretty reliable guesses about this.

But all is not lost. THis carpenter you hire to do this analysis can also show you how to make a carrying beam inside the wall where you cut the hole without damaging the existing drywall. It is a standard thing, used to carry structrual load over door and window openings, and can be made with standard 2x4s and a saw in an hour or so. No doubt there are instructables on how to frame a new door or window in a house and you will see that structure in those diagrams, and it's just a matter of making a few measurements to adjust the design.

author
godrulsus made it!(author)2015-06-05

Really!!

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ashleyjlong made it!(author)2015-06-03

What fun! I don't know much about construction as it relates to houses, so I would have loved to see even more of your process. The kids will be bummed when they get too big for the porthole!

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ethan_hair7 made it!(author)2015-06-02

Awesome!

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Nexus+of+Crisis made it!(author)2015-05-29

Whoever threw away that R2 should be hunted and beaten publicly as an example to the rest.

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wfoster6 made it!(author)2015-05-29

dark much

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badideasrus made it!(author)2015-06-01

yes, you're right.... throwing out an R2 like that IS dark. shame... (:P )

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Stryker made it!(author)2015-05-29

In their defense it was set beside the trash just asking to be saved. Even had batteries and instructions inside. It's a voice activated robot and looks great too.

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Edbed made it!(author)2015-06-01

I wish I had one of these. So cool.

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Festrada007 made it!(author)2015-06-01

Did you check to see if it was a load bearing wall? Did you insert a load bearing header? I love the idea... to my wife's dismay.

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gzank6 made it!(author)2015-06-01

that's is very cool

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bettina-sisr made it!(author)2015-06-01

LOVE IT! I was one of those parents (mine are all grown now) that did this stuff, but not to this magnitude (didn't have the tools when they were tykes) so it is GREAT to see others allowing for and enhancing creativity, mystery and adventure, way to go:-)

author
manuka made it!(author)2015-05-31

For a simpler porthole consider using a washing machine door! Their sunken windows also allow useful sideways viewing on the far side- handy perhaps in a tree hut to monitor the zombies attacking.

washing-machine-door-23631933.jpgBR_brake_van_at_Colne_Valley_Railway_2.jpg
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Stryker made it!(author)2015-05-31

I like that idea and good reuse of parts.

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ClareBS made it!(author)2015-05-31

Very cute.

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boocat made it!(author)2015-05-31

You could have set a giant stuffed toy in front of it or leaned something there, and she'd never have known you ever did it. ;)

Very interesting.

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DIY+KING+00 made it!(author)2015-05-31

Its so cool

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K5RCQ made it!(author)2015-05-31

this could very well be a hobbits dream too :) even for a guy who's 32 and is drooling over this idea here ...just In a larger perspective.

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jpeach1 made it!(author)2015-05-31

THIS IS AWESOME!! (already pkotting on how to incorporate this into some kind of "grownup" feature!) Extra Cool Dad points for this one!

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billbillt made it!(author)2015-05-31

In spite of what the naysayers and thought police think, the small opening you made will cause absolutely zero harm to the structural integrity to your home.. Great job!!...

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wisconsinjimmy made it!(author)2015-05-31

I think you hit an almost homerun with the kids but as others have said it could be a bearing wall even then one or two studs will not hurt what did hurt was the value of your home, all said I dig it now someone needs to do a doggy door like this OH!!! you did a most marvelous job craftsman #1.

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jgeepers made it!(author)2015-05-31

Awesome! I love your R2D2 trash find!

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animeguard made it!(author)2015-05-31

i like it

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maker5741 made it!(author)2015-05-30

What did the kids think?

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pac-man made it!(author)2015-05-30

Awesome stuff. I might do this and I don't even have kids yet!

If anyone is planning on doing this I'd suggest doing a bit of research about your house(load bearing walls) before going and cutting out a stud.

author
Stryker made it!(author)2015-05-30

If you make the porthole, please do it with an iris. It would be so cool. Of course check for load bearing studs. I take no responsibility for anyone wrecking their house. :-)

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JesusG33k made it!(author)2015-05-30

Isn't that what you did Stryker? Heheh...

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FoodLuvBites made it!(author)2015-05-30

That is the coolest thing ever! Where do you come up with this stuff lol

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Stryker made it!(author)2015-05-30

Thanks. I don't know where the ideas come from. Just a lot of daydreaming I guess.

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pucksurfer made it!(author)2015-05-30

Lol. This is amazing. Great job

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