Introduction: Easy Messy Sticky Ruined Hobbit Hole

About: Hi! I like making random stuff.

I was inspired by Hand Made Bagend to create my own fantastic and pretty Hobbit Hole! From The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, you know, right?

Um... as you can see, it didn't turn out too well, though. I improvised. A lot. Like, a lot.

You can follow my extremely simple and amateurish procedure to create any type of easy messy sticky ruined building!


A few... okay, most... of the pictures in this Instructable are upside down or sideways. I'll fix them later. Well, probably.


List of Materials & Improvisation Suggestions:

  • pen/pencil/markers
  • wood dowels, skewers, rolled up newspapers, tree branches, pencils
  • flour & water, clay
  • food coloring, ink from pens/markers (optional)
  • bowls
  • tape
  • pretty paper, paper + crayon scribbles (optional)
  • popsicle sticks (optional)
  • hair dryer
  • Kleenex, toilet paper/paper towels
  • baking pan + wax paper, flat tray or surface
  • oven
  • paper
  • plastic insulation stuff, cardboard, styrofoam, thick paper, thin paper stack taped together
  • white school glue
  • hot glue gun & refills, super glue, lots of school glue, lots and lots of tape
  • scissors
  • garden shears, big scissors, wire cutters, normal scissors
  • X-ACTO knife, scissors


Be careful when cutting stuff with improvised shears/scissors.

Beware of splinters and pointy things.

Use caution when hot-gluing stuff.

Step 1: Planning a Pretty Design

Get a big sheet of paper, or just tape a couple papers together. Same thing.

Draw the outline of the floor plan. For me, just a big rectangle. Make it the same scale as your building.

Use a ruler to mark increments along the sides of your outline. 1 inch, 2 inch, 3 inch, 4...

Think about how tall (and awesome) your building will be. Draw a sketch of how it will look from the front/back/sides.

Mark increments on your sketches for both width and height.

Think about how many posts or columns you'll use for each side of the building and approximate the length of each post.

Step 2: Creating a Frame

Using your approximations, cut your dowels/sticks/whatever.

Hot-glue your sticks to a single stick-base-thingy.

Step 3: More Frame Stuff

Do the same thing for all sides of your building.

(Sketch side, measure posts, cut dowels, glue dowels.)

Glue all 4 sides together.

Add little triangle reinforcement things with dowel stubs to the corners of your building if you want.

Then, add the roof. Hot-glue dowels on top of the posts.

Reinforce the base of the building. Hot-glue longer dowels to the base, then use shorter dowels to reinforce the longer ones.

Feel proud of yourself! It looks so pretty!

Step 4: Mistake #1: Flooring

Flooring! Like cement, right?

Mix some salt dough clay. A couple cups of flour, a couple cups of water, some salt... don't bother reading the recipe entirely. Just move your building frame onto a baking pan with wax paper. Dump your gooey mixture onto the pan. It'll turn out well (enough), don't worry.

Unfortunately you've forgotten that you won't be able to bake your model. Wood is flammable, after all. And so the flooring will forever stay depressingly squishy...

Improvise something better for this step, and you'll have a much more lightweight and only half-messed up building.

Step 5: Front and Back

Take your plastic insulation stuff, hold it up to a side of your house. Trace the outline. Cut it out.

Trace doors and windows.

Cut out doors and windows.

Realize that your doors have post thingies behind them. Oops. Well, you can trim them off later.

Step 6: Inner Wall Posts

Floor plan!

Make your original outline thing more pretty. Draw rooms and stuff. Put dots for posts.

Make educated guesses on how high each post should be, or do a bit of math.

Unfortunately you've already put your flooring in. Just smash the posts into the wet soggy clay. Hot-glue the tops of the posts to the roof dowel things, too.

Step 7: Mistake #2: Insulation

Now to fill up the walls with... stuff.

Get a bowl. Put school glue in it. Dump some water in it too.

Take a spare dowel, stir the mix around.

Grab a Kleenex. Dunk it. Drape the dripping disgusting thing over your model.

Drip some extra gluey mix all over the floor of your model. Maybe it will harden over your squishy flooring.

Continue hauling soggy sticky Kleenexes over your model.

When it refuses to dry, hot-glue a few popsicle sticks over your messy drooping walls.

Convince yourself it's like fancy canvas and parquet.

Step 8: Drying

Wait for about 2 seconds before getting impatient.

Set up a few baking pans around your building.

Blast it with hot dry air from a hair dryer.

Look at your building up close. Convince yourself it's in development.

Step 9: Mistake #3: Painting Walls

Paint! Houses need paint, right?

Add some flour to your glue-and-water mixture. Flour thickens stuff. It's a logical addition.

Add some food coloring.

Attempt to paint the walls evenly.

Step 10: Making Bricks

Hobbit holes have bricks on the outside, right?

Make some more salt dough clay. This time, dump some more flour in to make it more solid.

Mix the dough around and ruin your nonexistent manicure.

Plop your newest disgusting mix on a pan.

Roll it out so it actually looks appetizing. Cut it into rectangles.

Bake at whatever temperature seems reasonable.

Take bricks out of the oven and offer as cookies to friends and family. Laugh hysterically when they spit them out.

Step 11: Adding Bricks

Hot-glue bricks to your building's fashionable exterior.

Step 12: Mistake #4, #5: Using Extra Bricks, Using Pretty Paper

Now, you have extra bricks. Maybe because no one believed that they were cookies.

Hot-glue bricks to the interior of your building. Some houses have bricks inside them too, right? ...Right?

Take a step back. Start feeling sad about the miserable messy sticky ruined Hobbit Hole you've created.

But then... you have an idea. Pretty paper! Pretty paper solves all things!

Hot-glue pretty paper onto the walls of your building.

Step 13: Abomination Complete

In the words of Thranduil, from The Battle of the Five Armies movie:

"Still. You tried."

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Papercraft Contest 2015

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Papercraft Contest 2015