Introduction: Skylanders Storage Tower for Less Than $20
Make a play castle or build a storage container for Skylanders in a tower that looks like the portal. Here are my plans along the way as I built my son's. You can also learn how to paint wood to make it look like stone or concrete. The next step will show what all materials you will need.
Step 1: Materials
You will need some scrap wood (pallets for the thin side pieces and 1/4 inch plywood for the shelves and 2 foot section of a 1 by 6 to make the top, also about 2 feet of a 1 by 2). You will also need: Hand Saws (a band Saw would make it faster), Jig Saw, Clamps (lots), Wood Glue, Rulers, Pencils, a Square, Sand paper, Paint and Paint Brushes (and maybe a toothbrush). The paint I used was 2 cheap cans of Flat light gray spray paint, and small craft paint (also cheap) of a med gray, a dark gray, a black, and a dark brown. (but you could use other colors, I was trying to make it look like stone).
Step 2: First Step - Shelves
First I would plan out the size you want to make it. I made mine with an overall dimensions of 14 inches wide and 16 inches tall. I made a pattern for the disks (you will need 4 of them if you want 3 shelves) All the same size, an 11 inch circle. (you can make this with a pencil and a sting if you do not have a compass. Next cut 4 of these with a jig saw out of 1/4 inch plywood (pic 2). Then you will need to make the support that goes up and down between the disks. Mine is a rectangle - 11 inches by 13.5 (that is because the sides, that go around the back are 14 inches long but this will have the top and bottom disks glued to it making it 14 inches tall). You will need to cut a slot into this for the two shelves, and a slot on two of the shelves (disks) so that they fit into each other (pic 3). I made this this size because of the height of the Skylanders, and I made the bottom shelf large enough to hold the giants. Remember the top and bottom disks are just glued on, so no slots. Now I would glue the two shelves to the center board (as in Pic #3). Next we will play with the sides.
Step 3: Second Step - Sides
Sides, I hope you noticed that we did not glue on the top and bottom, don't do that yet they will just fall off. To make the side pieces I found pallets that had thin (5/8 inch) thick pieces and cut them to size (mine are 14 inches long). I put on a few of the sides and then glued on the top and bottom, giving me more than just a straight line to attach it to. This process took quite a while to do, just because each piece has to be glued on seperately. So in the Pic 3 you can see I glued on the top and bottom and clamped everything up. Regular 12 inch clamps are not long enough so I had to break out my 24 inch clamps. Then just keep on gluing on the side pieces until you get as many as you want (I sanded the edges and made them curvy just for looks). I found that I did not cut enough pieces and had to go get more side, so in the first pic you see 6 pieces, I actually had 14. I cut the pallet strips in half so they are about an 1.25 to 1.5 inches wide. You could make doors or just leave it open like I did (pic 4). Next we make the Top Ring.
Step 4: Step 4 Making the Top
Now that you have the base built we need a top. I made my Top Ring from scraps I had around the shop. I made a pattern from paper and cut it out of a 1 by 6. But I had to make it in three pieces, since a 1 by 6 will not make a 1.5 inch thick and 13.5 inch across ring. So make the pattern on paper, taped it together, and then hold it to the board and cut it into pieces you can cut out. Then glue it all together to make a ring. You can see all 3 pieces in Pic 2. Next you need to make the things on top, lets call them turrets. I made mine out of a 1 by 2 (cheap) or just use scraps. Mine are 1.5 inch squares, and the hanging down pieces are 2.5 inches with a 45 degree angle cut up to the 2 inch mark. Then glued them together in Pic 3. Next sand them and glue them on around the circle (I would place them and mark where they go, because as you glue and clamp they fall off - Pic5). You see the top disk or the top of the base in the first pic, this disk was used in the last step I was just making sure it looked good. The next step is to glue the Ring Top to the base. Last step 5 we sand the whole thing and paint it.
Step 5: Paint
I would paint the undersides of the turrets first, so flip it over upside down and spray with a light gray cheap paint the undersides of the shelves and the turrets (pic 1 and 2). I would not paint the bottom just because it will sit on carpet and you don't want anything coming off. Next I would flip it over and spray the rest (pic 3). Mine took a little more than one can so I had to buy a second. After that is dry, you start adding colors. To do this I used a toothbrush and flicked the paint on using your finger to move the bristles. Here is a close up of the first color, med gray. The second color I started using a brush like in pic 5. I used paint in this order: Spray light gray, then Very Dark Gray, Black, Brown and then a Med Gray. I wanted mine slightly darker so I redid the Dark Grays (and actually added 3 drops to the med gray to make it darker). Now here is a close up of the finished top in pic 7. I did not really get into the shelves as much with the splatter or flicking paint, but you can do that if you want. You may want to add a clear coat to make sure nothing comes off (because you can wash off the craft paint with soap and water). And now you have a finished Tower! I hope you can follow all the instructions, I did try to take photos as I went for each step.