Introduction: Hobbit Door (With a View of the Shire)

 In this instructable I have made a Hobbit door to hang on a wall, it is in fact Bilbo's (and Frodo"s) door.  When it is closed you see the inside of the door (within Bag End).  When you open the door you have a view from the Shire with a quote from Tolkien.

 I was inspired to make this when I saw a drawing on Pinterest depicting an open Hobbit door, looking out over the Shire with a few verses of Bilbo's song.  (Unfortunatly, the drawing was pinned via tumblr with no link to the original source to give credit to.) 

 I made my Hobbit door from a clock housing as the frame, balsa wood to make the door, and I needle felted the view of the Shire.  I also crochet some little flowers for Bilbo's garden.

Step 1: What You Will Need

Door:

Materials:
  • Clock casing (diameter ~9 inches)
  • Three pieces of  3/4 inch X 1/8 inch x 2 feet balsa wood
  • Wood glue
  • Green( 2 shades), brown, black, gold and sky blue paint, also some glow in the dark paint and glitter for the mark Gandalf left on the door.
  • Wood stain
  • Hot glue
  • Small hinges
  • Small bits of metal (I used the tin from a tea light holder)
  • Clay (for door knob)
  • Cardboard
  • Duct tape
  • Picture hangers
Tools:
  • Saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Pliers
  • Paint brushes
Shire landscape
  • Craft felt and/ or wool roving of various colours
  • Brown embroidery floss
  • Needle felting needles and sponge(foam)
  • Cardboard
  • Print-out of Tolkien quote
Bilbo's flowers
  • Embroidery floss in various colours
  • Crochet hook
  • Wire
  • Glue
  • Yellow and pink paint
  • Craft felt
  • Duct tape

Step 2: Prepare Boards for Door

To begin, I took apart the clock case so that I just had the circular frame.  I traced the inner opening onto a sheet of paper and used the width of the balsa wood to plot out how many pieces I would need and their length. After cutting each of the pieces, I sanded them and glued them together with wood glue.

Step 3: Refine Shape of Door

Once the glue has dried, I cut and sanded the edges of the boards to form a circle that can fit inside the clock frame.  It helps to trace the circle onto the board using the frame.  It should have a snug fit but can open and close freely.

Step 4: Paint Door and Frame

To paint/stain balsa wood it you need to treat it first with a wood conditioner.  If you don't have any at home and you don't feel like buying any you could use a 50:50 mix of pva glue and water.
For the inside of the door (inside of Bag End) I used a brown water colour paint to stain the wood.  The outside of the door I painted with a bright green. I painted the outside of the door frame (clock casing) with brown paint.

Step 5: Door Knob and Gandalf's Mark

I used some air dry clay to make the door knob.  I painted the knob with gold paint.  Once the paint had dried I added a bit of black and distressed it a bit (Bilbo had repainted his door just prior to his running off on a adventure but I don't think he repainted the knob).  I then glued the door knob to the centre of the door.

Gandalf scratched a rune on Bilbo's door so that the dwarves know which Hobbit hole to go to.  The mark means something along the lines of 'Burglar wants a good job, plenty of excitement and reasonable reward or you could say Expert treasure-hunter instead of Burglar".  I used glow in the dark paint to draw the mark on the door and added a bit of glitter to make it look magical.

Step 6: Ironwork on the Inside of the Door

As nice as the bright green paint on the outside of Bilbo's door, the inside is just as lovely.  The inner door is covered with very ornate ironwork, you can see this in the movie.  I used hot glue painted black to imitate the ironwork.  Another option would be to use clay. 

I used an image of Bilbo(Martin Freeman) standing in front of the door as a guideand printed it out in black and white the same size as the door I made.  I applied the hot glue along the lines of the ironwork trying to keep it consistent and smooth.  Once the glue had dried/hardened I peeled it off and trimmed it to make it look neat. I then painted it black.

Step 7: Door Latch

I used some tin from a tea light holder and wire (22 gauge) to create the door latch.  Again clay would be another option (I might try making it again to get it to look better).  I basically made two box shaped piece, the larger piece on the door and a smaller piece on the frame.  I bent a small piece of wire for the handle and cut a slit  and holes in the boxes so it can act as a latch.  Next I painted all of the pieces black.

Step 8: Door Hinges

I had a small hinge about 2cm long, but I needed it to be smaller and I needed it two of them.  I managed to cut it in half and it worked fine.  I painted the two hinges and the tops of the screws black.

Step 9: Finish the Inside of the Door

I laid out my imitation ironwork onto the door and lined up the hinges.  I screwed the hinges to the door and frame (make sure it opens outward with hinges on the left).  I glued the ironwork onto the door with pva glue and then glued the latch to the door and frame with super glue (make sure that the two latch pieces align properly).

Step 10: Needle Felting

So this is the part where we create the view from Bilbo's door.  I made mine with needle felting and the flowers by crochet.  If you are not into that, you could try drawing, painting or creating something with clay; these were some of the things I had considered doing myself. I used one of The Hobbit movie posters of Bilbo standing on the threshold of his door as a guide to make my view of the Shire (though he is standing in the way).

About needle felting

So I am new to needle felting (this is actually the first thing I've done) and I am aware that one normally uses wool roving. I didn't have any on hand and there are no stores nearby that sell it (that I am aware of) and I didn't want to wait for shipping if I ordered it on the internet.  So I cheated, I used craft felt which I had an abundance of and in a (large) variety of colours.  You can pull apart the craft felt with your fingers or a slicker brush (pet brush).  A standard size rectangle of craft felt can yield a fair amount and if you use several shades (I had about 5 shades of green) you can blend them together nicely.  A note about craft felt though, they are not all the same.  Craft felt is normally made from wool, but there are some sold now (like at Michaels) that are made of recycled pop bottles (which is pretty awesome when you think of it).  However it is a lot harder to pull them apart, though if you do get enough apart you can still use it for felting.

How to needle felt

As I mentioned in the last paragraph I am new at this, but I feel that I should probably give some brief instruction on how to actually do it.  Place your background onto your needle felting foam or brush.  Lay a piece  of your 'roving' on the background and begin stabbing with your felting needle.  Use a  straight up and down motion starting on the outside working your way in until the piece is fused to the background. Most importantly watch your fingers, those needles are barbed and really hurt if you stab yourself with them!)

Felting the Shire

I started with a sheet of sky blue felt as the background.  It should be wide enough to cover the inside of the door.  I then began blending shades of light green and needle felted them onto the background to form the rolling hills.

Step 11: Hills, Lake, Hobbit Holes and Clouds

I continued to shape the hills, then added a little lake with blue felt.  I added some little Hobbit houses with blue, orange and red doors, windows and chimneys with smoke rising from them.  With darker shades of green I made some distant bushes and trees on the hills.  With white felt I put some light clouds in the sky.

Step 12: The Party Tree

For the party tree, I used a piece of brown embroidery floss for the trunk.  I needle felted it onto the background in the same way as you would do with roving.  I then added some single strands to form the branches of the tree.  And then finally added some dark green felt for the leaves.

Step 13: Pathway Out the Door

I used another piece of craft felt as a background for the stone pathway leading from the door.  I cut it into the shape of a half circle (with the same diameter as the door frame).  I formed the stones with grey wool using the photo (from step 10) as a guide.  In between the stones I used a dark green colour.  Along the sides I used a lighter green, this is were the flowers will go.  There is a bank of grass along the top edge, this is were the path turns.  I left about on inch of the background uncovered, this will be turned under when I attach it to the other piece.

Step 14: Bilbo's Flowers

Bilbo has an abundance of pretty flowers on either side of his door.  I crochet these with embroidery floss in pink, purple, light red and two shades of yellow and a 1.15mm crochet hook. 

I used a simple pattern:
Ch 2,
sc in 2nd ch from hook
 *ch 2 or 3, sc into hole(the 2nd ch from hook above), repeat from * 5-6 times.

I made about 7-8 flowers of each colour. 

I bent the end of a piece of wire into a spiral and poked the other end into the centre of the flower. The stem is about 5cm long.  I covered the wire stem in glue and wrapped green embroidery floss around it tightly.  I painted the spiral end of the wire with pink or yellow paint.



Step 15: Grass Gone to Seed

From the photo (in step 10) there appears to be some tall grass gone to seed (or cat tails?).  I made these using a bit of white wool and felted it into an oblong shape and glued some green coloured wire to the end.  I made eight of these, four for each side of the door.

Step 16: Paint Inside of Door Frame

Depending on the angle in which you look at the door you can see the inside of the frame so I painted it a light blue for the sky and light green for where the ground is. I used the felted image as a guide for where the sky begins. 

Step 17: Attaching Flowers

I used a small piece of green craft felt to hold the flowers by poking holes in it and arranging the flowers in bundles.  I divided the flowers up so that there are roughly equal numbers for each side of the door.  The purples and pinks are towards the front, reds and yellow towards the back, reds higher up and the grasses are in the far back but are the tallest.  I taped the back of the craft felt with duct tape to hold everything together.  I trimmed off the excess tape and wire that stuck out.  I then glued the felt piece full of flowers to the inside of the door frame.  They should be situated on either side of the pathway leading out of the door.

Step 18: Tolkien Quote

There are many possible quotes from Tolkien's books that you could use that have a theme of travelling .  I went with the obvious one, the first two lines of Bilbo's walking song (this version is found in The Fellowship of the Ring) .  The full song is as follows:

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say” 



I downloaded a Tolkien Font called Tolkien Regular.  I typed up the two lines and printed it off in several sizes (I wasn't sure which would fit best until I tried them out).  I coated them with some Mod Podge and cut them out. I glued two strands of nylon thread to the backs and used it to hang the words from the inside of the door frame.


There is an extensive list of Tolkien quotes here if you want to use a different one.
Some other suitable quotes:

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.”
(The Fellowship of the Ring)

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” (The Fellowship of the Ring)

“Little by little, one travels far”

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” (The Hobbit)

“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure....."(The Hobbit)
Or similarly from the movie: "I am going on an adventure..."

“May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.” (The Hobbit)

“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.” (The Hobbit)

“Far over the Misty Mountains cold,
To dungeons deep and caverns old,
We must away, ere break of day,
To seek our pale enchanted gold....
(The Hobbit)

“Home is behind, the world ahead,
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadows to the edge of night,
Until the stars are all alight.
Then world behind and home ahead,
We'll wander back and home to bed.
Mist and twilight, cloud and shade,
Away shall fade! Away shall fade!”
(The Fellowship of the Ring- I think this is also part of the song Pippin sang to Denethor in the movie)

“I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.(The Hobbit)

“For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.”
(The Fellowship of the Ring)

“Fare well we call to hearth and hall
Though wind may blow and rain may fall
We must away ere break of day
Over the wood and mountain tall
. . ."




Step 19: Attaching the Pathway

I needle felted the two pieces (the pathway and background) together.  I then cut some cardboard in the shape of the pathway and glued it the underside of the pathway. The cardboard will support the pathway as it will sit at an angle leading down from the door.

Step 20: Cardboard Backing

Now we need to put the needle felted view of the Shire into the door frame.  I cut out a large circle of cardboard, it should be the same diameter as the outside of the door frame.  Glue the felted Shire onto the cardboard.  I used a glue stick since a liquid glue like pva might leak through the felt.  I used some folded cardboard to prop up the pathway so that it will angle down from the doorway.  Place glue along the bottom rim of the door frame and line up with the cardboard circle, wipe off any excess glue and place something heavy on top to hold it down with the glue dries.

Step 21: Hangers

I needed two hangers on the back of the door since when the door is open it's weight is shifted to one side.  I measured a line across the top quarter of the back of the door and glued on the two hangers.  I then reinforced it with duct tape to make sure it would hold the weight.

Comments

author
KateT16 (author)2016-07-28

an easier way to do this part would be to overlay a piece of thing clear plastic and use a black glue fill - would mean less steps and be easier to remove to put onto the wood

author
giorgia14 (author)2015-10-12

This is amazing....!!! Really excellent job! I loved it!

author
ChrysN (author)giorgia142015-10-12

Thanks!

author
Tessypoo made it! (author)2015-07-19

such a cool idea, I modified it to make it onto a cat door. Still have to add the hinges and lock and then install it.

image.jpg
author
ChrysN (author)Tessypoo2015-07-19

Awesome what a great idea to make it as a cat door.

author
the ultimate smaug (author)2014-04-22

EPIC THAT IS AWESOME

author
grimguy1 (author)2013-06-09

I agree with zkhokhar. The thing IS a beauty!

author
Librivore42 (author)2013-05-14

This is absolutely GORGEOUS! Truly a thing of beauty. I'm a little afraid of diving into felting, so maybe I can manage something with paint and torn paper? Perhaps a little Shire-collage.

Actually, I'd like to adapt this into a small pendant. Either openable like yours or, if a nice hinge isn't feasible at that side, perhaps the Shire-view on the reverse of the door? I'll be busy plotting. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

author
ChrysN (author)Librivore422013-05-14

A small pendant would be really cool, I would love to see how it turns out.

author
sunshiine (author)2013-03-14

Congratulations ChrysN! I love this instructable, it is so different!

author
ChrysN (author)sunshiine2013-03-14

Thanks sunshiine!

author
Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2013-03-12

Congratulations for winning Furnishings Special Judges' Prize in Furniture Contest. Great Show.

author
ChrysN (author)Tarun Upadhyaya2013-03-12

Thank you!

author
sunshiine (author)2013-03-01

I almost missed this. What a fantastic project. Your projects always inspire me! Thanks for sharing!

author
ChrysN (author)sunshiine2013-03-01

Thank you sunshiine!

author
sabrjns (author)2013-02-12

You could also use puffy paint or fabric paint

author
qcidiana (author)2013-02-11

Brings fond memories just looking at it, I really enjoyed the books.

author
Azzurro (author)2013-02-11

The idea is very good! However you could have done it a lot better... Try a second one ;)

author
tschuessler (author)2013-02-10

i'm not sure if you are aware , but they do make colored hot glue. i get mine at jo-anns. it cost just a smidge more than normal hot glue, but it would save you a lot of trouble on this step to use it. :)

author
BlueberryCrazy (author)2013-02-10

Cool! I'm going to try something like this for my mum :)

author
Boppylop (author)2013-02-09

cool idea. my only peeve with this is that the handle is supposed to be in center of the door.

author
Peris The Majestic (author)2013-02-08

I really like it :) nice work :)

author

Thanks!

author
TheMagicianLord (author)2013-02-07

This is really nice, and I'd jump at the oppertunity to make something like this! If only I knew how to use needle felt, or even how to knit, haha ^^'

author
balloondoggle (author)2013-02-07

Nice work on this. I'd screw it up though, and use Robert Frost on my version.

author
ChrysN (author)balloondoggle2013-02-07

That's not a bad idea, you could have two pathways leading from the door, and quote the poem "The road not taken".

author
SeamusDubh (author)2013-02-07

Trick for making the Ironwork easier.
Place you Image of the ironwork under a sheet of glass and apply hotglue to that.
It will peal off easier and no need to trim off the paper mess.

author
ChrysN (author)SeamusDubh2013-02-07

Great advice! Thank you!

author
lindarose92 (author)2013-02-07

This is so beautiful, I love it!

author
mikeasaurus (author)2013-02-07

Such attention to detail, I think this is really neat.

author
Dream Dragon (author)2013-02-07

What a LOVELY piece of work!

A really nice project and a well documented Instructable.

Have you heard of "Fairy Doors"?

author

I had not heard of them and googled it. Now I have an idea for my fairy-obsessed daughter! Thanks!

author
ChrysN (author)Dream Dragon2013-02-07

Yes, I have seen some fairy doors, they are so cute. My door is a bit bigger but I guess it could be scaled down.

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h0n3y5un5h1n3 (author)2013-02-07

Lovely is the word. I felt a little shiver of spring and adventure when I saw the open door!

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iceng (author)2013-02-07

You have wonderfully capable hands and a very creative re-purposing mind !!!

As an example you are the ultimate 3D printer with the ornate ironwork :)

A

author
ChrysN (author)iceng2013-02-07

Thanks!

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Dominic Bender (author)2013-02-07

I'm going to make a hobbit door for our garden, I think I will draw some inspiration from you, maybe even the idea of making it so that it can be opened... Thanks for sharing!

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ChrysN (author)Dominic Bender2013-02-07

Cool, I'd love to see it when your done.

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seamster (author)2013-02-07

This is great!

author
depotdevoid (author)2013-02-07

That's beautiful!

author
Lorddrake (author)2013-02-07

absolutely wonderful. GREAT JOB!

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Bio: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and ... More »
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