Introduction: Pokemon Card Door

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Just pulled another Magikarp? Have a whole stash of Pokemon cards boxed away to hide your inner geek from society?

Well hide no more! It's time to put that box of common (or rare) cards to good use and reveal your Pokemon master identity!

Step 1: Video Walkthrough!

We're making a glowing Pokemon portal.

There's going to be some wiring, and lots of Pokemon casualties.

Watch this walkthrough video to brace yourself of what's to come!

Click here to play on YouTube

Step 2: Prepare the Door

Start by creating a pocket around the door frame to hold an LED strip.

I nailed 1/8" fiberboard around the frame, leaving a gap of 1/2" between the board and the frame.

Mask and paint the pocket.

Step 3: Secure the LEDs

A single 5 meter spool of LED lights should be enough to go once around the frame of the door.

Peel off the paper back and stick the strip inside the pocket as uniformly close the the edge of the frame as possible.

Connect the positive and negative leads of the strip to the terminals of 9V battery to test and check that all LEDs light up.

Here's an link to the LED Light Strip:

Step 4: Create an LED Controller

To make the LEDs glow in a mix of colors, we'll create a custom LED controller that blends the reds, greens, and blues to create the effect we want.

Commercial LED controllers exists, but creating one ourselves using an Arduino will let upload any color and effect that we want (most commercial controllers have pre-defined solid colors only).

I used an Arduino Nano, 3 N-channel MOSFETs, and a potentiometer (to adjust the hue of the lights) to build this controller. The full schematics for this controller is pictured above.

Here are the links to parts I used on Amazon:

Step 5: Create a Controller Case

Optional step! Make a case for the controller - I chose to 3D print an enclosure for the controller, and added a knob onto the potentiometer.

Step 6: Upload the LED Program

Download the Arduino source code from Github:

Plug in the controller and upload the code!

Step 7: Test the LED Controller

Plug in the LED controller to a 12V power adapter and give it a test. Rotate the knob (potentiometer) to change the hue of the glow, without changing the glow's effect.

Step 8: Choose Your Pokemon

Now we lay the Pokemon cards on the door. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to glue the first row of cards.

Use a paint roller to ensure the glue is thin and even. Cover the cards with Saran wrap and put weight on the cards (a glass table works well) to prevent curling while they dry.

Here's the link to the Mod Podge I use:

It is a water-based sealer for paper projects with a matte finish.

Step 9: Align the Cards

After the first row drys successfully, we move on to bigger batches of cards. Pre-align each row of cards (along a straight edge) and tape them on the back using masking tape. Align and tape rows of 5 together into one manageable sheet.

Glue the sheet into place the same way as before, using Mod Podge.

Confine the cards in their glass prison until they dry.

Step 10: Final Coat

Once all the cards are laid and dried, apply a final coat of Mod Podge to seal.

Use a roller to apply the coat evenly.

Step 11: Reinstall Door

Reinstall the door and stand back to admire all its nerd glory.


Welp, I hope you enjoyed this project at the expense of my poor, poor Pokemon.

But wait there's more! I host a YouTube channel where I do all sorts of weird sh...tuff, like this!

Come by and say hi :)


Step 12:

Lights Contest 2017

Participated in the
Lights Contest 2017