Picture of Tardis Bookshelf with Sound and Lights
This is an instructable of how to make an 3/4 scale, 1/2 depth Tardis Bookshelf. It is modeled after the 10th Doctors Tardis from the British BBC America and BBC show "Doctor Who". It was a graduation present for my sister and took my parents and me about a month to build.

The main system lights up about 5 meters of LED light strips and powers a speaker which plays audio. There are lights in the "Police Public Call Box" sign, top light, inside the main box, and inside the small shelves built into the door. The overall size is about 6' tall and 1 3/4' deep.

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Step 1: Parts list

Picture of Parts list
MP3 Shield.png
Here's the list of parts I used:


2 - 2"x6"x 6'
2 - 2"x4"x 6'
2 - 3/4"x 4'x 8' Sheets of plywood (AB or AC (depends on the wood grain you want to see and how much money you have))
1 - 1/2"x 4'x 8' Sheet of plywood (AB or AC (depends on the wood grain you want to see and how much money you have))
8 - 1/2"x 3"x 6' Pieces of lumber (or something that can be made to that size of wood (eg. 1/2 Plywood))
1 lb box of 8x2" Screws
16 gallon wet/dry craftsman shopvac cage float (image later) this was an easy way to make the light on top since we had one laying around from an old shopvac.
Plastic Water Bottle
Acrylic sheets(got custom cut at a shop in Topeka KS)
Black spray paint(must be made for plastics)
BEHR Premium Plus Sapphire Lace Paint in Eggshell (1 Gallon)
Valspar Signature Golden Flame in Semi-Gloss (1 quart)
Clear Gloss Defthane Spray (for protection of PULL TO OPEN sign)
3" c/c Wire Pull (small handle)
Black Pull Handle
1/2" Lock
2 - Malamine edge ironon 3/4 x 8 White
1 - Malamine 3/4" Sheet 4'x 8'
1 - Door catch (metal hook type)
1 - Magnetic Door Catch
1 can of Spray adhesive
1 can of fixative
6 - Blum 95 Degree Thick Door Clip Top Frameless Inset Hinges
2 - Small hinges
1"x18 gauge Brad nails
A small Metal Bowl or some other rounded object to use as the top of the top light
1 Outlet Box and Outlet
16' Extension Cord (for Power)


2 - MicroSwitches with lever
6 - Terminal connectors (Large flat sockets(depends on switch size (used to hook up the switch without solder)))
Arduino Uno
ElecHouse MP3 Shield (Image Later)
1 GB SD Card
5 Meter roll of cutable LED Strip
2 Adapters (12V 120 - 300 Ma and an arduino compatible Power cord (look At Arduino website)
4 or more 1/2"x2 gauge brass screws (to hold the switches)
Two NPN Transistors (pn2222 or other small one that can handle more than or equal to 12V)
A small BreadBoard  300 or more points of connection or perforated board
20 ft. of telephone wire (stripped into four strands) or 80 ft. 22 gauge wire (approximately)
Gears4Brains (author) 1 year ago
Thanks guys! I've been trying to upgrade it some more so the light flashes but it's going to take some time till I can do that. If anyone has any questions on it, feel free to ask.
Where you ever able to figure out the flashing lights for this project?
kuma.rhyu1 month ago

Nicely done Gear! Suggestion for your flashing top light; program a pulse width modulation loop to fade in and out a group of LEDs mounted in the top lens. Let me know if you need help with this.

rmd65021 year ago
When is the Instructable to make it bigger on the inside?

The Time Lords bestow this on you as soon as you graduate from the Academy...

przem rmd65021 year ago
Such an Instructable has been already posted (in not so distant future). But there will be some patenting and copyright issues with Time Lords so unfortunately it had had to be removed only few days before it was even posted :-(
rmd6502 przem1 year ago
LOL! You win Instructables :-)
mhetherington1 made it!2 months ago
built one for my daughter for Christmas minus the electronics...i did put a functioning light on the top, however.
david.romer3 months ago

Just sent you a message, am building one of these now and was wondering if you ever figured out the flashing lights.

This is awesome!

mlevesque4 months ago
Here is mine, it's not complete yet I just need to mount the beacon and handles
14, 1:11 PM.jpg
Random_Canadian made it!6 months ago

Thank you for providing an excellent well written Instructable and also for the blueprint which allowed me to scale this down greatly and create something great for the birds in my back yard.

Builds 475.jpg
LSieling6 months ago

how can I copy your files to my card, they wont let me copy, especially the isound.mp3? thanks!

LSieling7 months ago

Having problems with sound. lights work off then on etc... but no music. the music plays on shield fine using play and next buttons, but when connected like schematic no go. please help. I checked wiring numuous times and it looks good. must be missing something..

and1chewy9 months ago

pretty expensive 2 sheets of 3/4" plywook is like $60-$70 by itself!! pretty cool tho

-blockfuneral- made it!11 months ago

Made one similar without lights and sound. I'm pretty satisfied!

dbdeeptone1 year ago
Do you have the measurments or blueprints you made after you changed the scale. What size is the base. Seems real good instructions on the electronics. Kinda vague on the actual build.
Somewhere, I have a CDR file that I drew up 1:1 (full size) when I find it again, I'll upload it as EPS or PDF
Krimics1 year ago
Followed your wiring diagram, all works, sounds happen, lights go on..BUT after approx 5 seconds I lose the signal from pin #3 for the switching of the lights. reset door etc and again all seems well...but lights go out well before end of sounds.. disconnect circuit and monitor pin # 3 and 5v signal is present with sound. no 5v..ideas please
Dat Whovian Feels
Dkyrie1 year ago
Hmm... What did you use for the base? None of the wood on the purchase list is thicker than 3/4".
Laterali1 year ago
Oh I will definitely be building this.
EricHi1 year ago
Great project! Nice looking
Just talked to my husband...our daughter is getting one for her graduation too.
I recognise those books ;)
That's one heck of a graduation gift. Love this..
Brilliant!!!! :-)
Paxpan1 year ago
Great! Well done!
monkeys981 year ago
Amazing, well built and documented, your sister is very lucky
True craftsmanship of Time Lords.
Awesome idea and implementation. Did it vanish yet?

I really need more space... and more time... It always comes down to time and space, does it not?
Mave_Rick1 year ago
Haus Page1 year ago
Wow, great work!
Gearhart1 year ago
We have a winner!!
HollyMann1 year ago
Wow looks amazing!
very nice indeed :-)