Introduction: How to Make a Fairy Door (Glows in the Dark)

About: Teacher of Woodwork, Construction Studies & Design and Communication Graphics. Interested in all things woodwork, concept design, architecture & horse racing related

We support a Good Cause every year in the school where I teach. This year we made and sold Fairy Doors to raise funds for the Make A Wish Foundation

Step 1: ​You Will Need:

• Wood 120mm x 120mm x 15mm (any wooden material will work even MDF)

• Scroll saw or coping saw

• V tool or wood chisel

• Wood burner

• Acrylic paint, brush & permanent black marker

• PVA Wood Glue

• Luminescent pigment powder (optional)

• Elastic Bands

• Sander

• Lacquer or similar wood finish

Step 2: The Shape

Either trace around a horse shoe or sketch the design straight onto the wood. Leave 15-20mm between the inside and outside of the door frame for final sanding later on.

Step 3: Cutting the Door

Use a scroll saw or coping saw to cut around the door. A small kerf blade works best as the smaller the gap between the door and frame the better.

Try follow the line trying to keep a continuous cut. Do not sand either cut pieces as it will increase the gap to be glued later on

Step 4: Adding the Door Panel Effect

A V tool is ideal to create grooves but a chisel held at 45 degrees can achieve the same effect.

Step 5: Sanding

Sand the door and frame. Round over the door and the inner frame edges.

This helps create a better shadow separation between the door and frame.

Step 6: Painting and Wood Burning


  • Paint the door using acrylic paint. After the first coat has dried, lightly sand and reapply a second coat. Sanding back the final coat can reveal the wood grain if that is a look you prefer.
  • Don't forget to paint the bottom of the door.

Wood Burning:

  • Wood burn the child's or the fairies name onto the door frame. If you do not have a wood burner then a permanent marker can be used but let it dry fully before adding a wood finish. Draw a key hole on the door

Step 7: Glow in the Dark Pigment, Assembly & Finishing

Make it Glow!

  • To make it seem like there is light behind the door mix 1:5 by weight, luminescent pigment powder and PVA glue.
  • Brush it onto the inner door frame edge.
  • When dry, it usually needs 30 minutes of natural sunlight to glow for up to 8 hours in complete darkness (It looks a lot better in real life than in the photo).


  • Brush PVA glue to the inner frame and use elastic bands to apply clamping pressure between the frame and door. Ensure the door and frame are flush at the back.

Tip: drop the door into the frame so excess glue is pushed to the back and not onto the painted door front.


  • Sand the outside of the frame so it has a smooth curve.
  • Apply a finish of your choice. Lacquer works well for outside placement of the door

Check out the attached video to see the final product with the additional personalised 3D printed Fair Key and Enjoy!

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015