Faux Fantasy Door




About: Artist/Inventor who loves everything creative.

For fairy or sprite? (This door is just right!)

If Whimsy is what you seek then follow me and take a peek!

I don't know about you, but fantasy makes reality bearable.

No matter what, fantasy you like, a doorway always plays a special roll, a porthole to another dimension, a gateway to magical place. You will see how easy it was to make this door and hopefully be inspired to create the door of your dreams.

We can make fake doors, that look whimsical,expensive, and that even have functionality.

This Ible is for a small door that is nearly 3 feet tall with fake wrought iron, stone and moss. It is a portable, fairy door prop, designed with a photo studio in mind, however it could easily be hinged to open and finished with, protective coatings that make it suitable for daily use, or for going outdoors.

Attach to a tree, wall or stand it all alone, you decide.

Lets get started.

Step 1: Materials and Tools.


· Water safe work area

· Hot glue gun

· Heat glove (helps protect hand from high temp.)

· Heat gun / Embossing gun

· Hot wire foam cutter

· Cutting mat

· Ruler

. 1 piece fun foam

· Craft knife or other cutting blades

· Scissors

· Designated bowl for plaster( I keep containers and tools just for plaster and cement work)

· Designated silicone spatula

· Chip brush for plaster work

· Paint brushes

· Tools for creating texture (old ink pen, dull pencil, ball tool etc.)

· Scrap paper to cover work area

· Spray bottle of water

· Water bowl for cleaning of tools and brushes (DO NOT PUT PLASTER, or PLASTER WATER DOWN ANY DRAIN)


· Bead foam / EPS, used for making rocks,flat piece for base 1/2 inch thick,piece for support handle (Cut and melt in a well ventilated area. I collect foam pieces from Stucco companies) Pink and blue insulation foam will work .

· Shaper Sheet (Woodland Scenics product)

· Hot glue

· Plaster cloth

· Aluminum foil

· Hydrocal (plaster) or whatever coating you decide for your project.

· White glue

· Model railroad or diorama turfs and grasses. (Found at craft and hobby stores)

· Matte black spray paint (for shadows, you can use acrylics)

· Teal, nutmeg, cinnamon, white, black craft paint

· Matte spray sealer

· 1 drawer pull

· Optional (mod podge, gel food color, acetate sheet,) Use if you want a stained glass window.

. Decorations you like, for finishing touches

Step 2: Designing Your Door.

Watched a few movies to get my motor turning, finally decided on this simple design. There are tons of fairy doors on the Internet and the entire majority of them are tiny. Didn't really see doors for Photography props, lots of pictures of children dressed as fairies but no doors, so off I went.

Need door, 2 hinges, and 1 door handle and rot iron window cover.

The door is 18 inches x 30 1/2 inches, create a 1/2 inch edge all around on the inside of outer tracing this will be folded backward, and foam will be glued on. The window is a 7-inch circle, with an edge for folding inward as well,this will give the door an illusion of thickness,you can add an extra strip all the way around the inside edge of the window area ,to create even more door thickness.

Find the center of the door ,then center circle in the top portion of the door.

I designed a simple hinge and handle,the widow cover is just a circle of vine with leafs. You can find lots of clip art for fancy iron work if you like.

Just imagine a medieval door,or a Gaudi' style door. Maybe you have a place in your home were a fantasy door can live.

Well lets keep cracking!

Step 3: Cutting Out You Shaper Sheet Door

This project uses steps like my previous Instructable (If I could I wood) treasure chest; it was constructed with Shaper sheet and plaster with wood and metal texture. That process can be used to make a door, rather than a chest.

I want to take a moment to discuss Shaper sheet. Artists have lots of mediums they work with, this is one of mine, and I create lots of props with this material.

Shaper sheet is a specially designed foil and fabric product, you can utilize both sides in your project, it is easy to emboss and this adds to your design, the fabric allows you to adhere lots of finishing products, to get just the right look, feel and support.

I have modeled with foil for as long as I can remember, this lets me form and then lock it in. You can create these doors with cardboard, but I prefer Shaper sheet, it does have limitations when it comes to round curved shapes, that’s were a pattern or Pepakura might come in handy.

Now layout your Shaper sheet, fabric side down, trace your pattern moving in ward scribe your 1/2-inch edge. Cut out your part.

Take your scissors and cut little tabs, like in picture, just in the curved areas, that is all that is needed.

Cut out the circle, save and use to plot out, wrought iron design so it will fit your window perfectly, and proceed to cut out, hinges and handle.

Time for Detailing.

Step 4: Creating Texture on Shaper Sheet

With all the cutouts finished, and fabric side down take a dull pencil and scribe the wood planks on your door. My planks are vertical; just scribe lines like wood pattern. Hinges and handles get a little hammering on the foil side, tap up and down to stipple the surface, use a rounded end of a brush or ball tool and start to rub in circular motion this helps create a cupping look.

Turn the door over, fabric side up and add more texture.

Prepare your area for working with the water and plaster, please stay clear from electrical and or surfaces that water can destroy.

I am not responsible for you or your project. Be careful, always read instructions please.

Step 5: Plastering the Door Front

Now that all the texture as been added in the material, mix up your plaster, it should be thin like heavy cream, mist the material with water (not dripping wet) this helps wick the plaster into the material for a strong bond and full coverage. Mix only the amount of plaster you can handle, this first step you should use about 2 cups of plaster, if some is left over, we can use in the next step, if you work fast. (Cold water slow set- Hot water faster set)

Keep the 1/2-inch edge clean, you will be folding this backward and the fabric will help us bond the foam edging on.

This next step is where the dimension starts to get built. Mix more plaster, this should be like thin mashed potatoes, not runny, this gets applied to the planks sporadically, for creating deep grooves, and knots in your wood. Take your tools and add texture, for the knots, I use a dull wood pencil start making a swirling motion and the drag the edge, top and bottom outward a little to follow the wood grain. Use reference material if you need to, but remember nature isn't perfect and no two alike. Don't get hung up on it, after it is painted and antiqued you will see it all works.

Let the plaster dry (cant wait so I use my heat gun) or near a fan, watch for curling, weight can be added till dry.

I use to tell my students, it's the teaching of children, the un teaching of adults. As adults we become rigid, less flowing, are lives depend on structure and that makes us more vulnerable to the invasion of perfection.

The children know only the fear we teach, its art and art is freedom of expression, so express.

Sorry for that, I just think we are to hard on ourselves, we need to keep some part of us truly free, just like the Instructables, (expressions, not perfections).

Step 6: Framing Door With Foam Strip

Door should be completely dry.

This is a simple step, cut a 2 inch wide x 1/4 inch x length? This length depends on your salvage; my pieces were 24 inches long. I created a jig with two pieces of wood and a clamp, mark the edge a 1/4 inch clamp on the wood strips leaving 1/4 inch exposed, with hot-wire foam cutter, slide down the wood strip.

Take the strip mark in half; this will create the 1 inch edging around front of the door, hot glue it on. (This is why we kept that area clean, the fabric will bond to the foam very well). Do not add strip to bottom of door.

Continue around the door with strip,use heat gun to soften strip so it will bend around top if needed.

Be safe with foam cutter. If it is your first time using, practice getting used to it, they are a great tool to own and in resent years very affordable, and lots of Instructables on how to make your own.

Step 7: Mounting Door to Foam Base W/ Back Support

Now that the door is dry and foam strip has been added. Place a piece of foam 21 inches x 10 inches x 1/2 inch down; this is the threshold and the support in the back. Mark the center of the 21 inches and set the door back 3 1/2 inches on center.

Hot glue the fabric 1/2 inch edge, at the bottom of the door down, on the threshold, place a block of foam on the back of door below window opening, glue in place, this is more support and is a handle for carrying scene this will be a prop for photo studio.

Note: My support handle is 16 inches x 2 inches x 3 inches it could be narrower; it was just a scrap piece.

Step 8: Cutting,Melting & Stacking Faux Rock Frame

Rocks are so fun to make and are great for lots of projects. The heat gun or a torch (with proper care) makes this process quick, fun and realistic looking.

My stones were 3" across because I used scrap foam again, stones could be larger, and it would still look good on this project. The large block was cut 3"x 2"x 2" and 28 pieces, some of witch were cut smaller to give a better look, then cut some pieces longer for the curve at the top, so around 4" long. Take the small blocks and you cutting knife and trim off hard edge; hot wire knife can be used. Make deep cuts on some, even a couple of small holes. Save the larger blocks for later.

Bring on the heat, with your gloved hand hold the block and begin heating the edge (well ventilated area you may be sensitive to the smell, (read instructions on heat gun and don’t just use any foam read, read, read and please keep away from your face, Yeah! I actually have seen people get it up in their face.)

The foam should start to resemble a rock; plaster will be coated, on the rock so all will be fine.

Look at pictures, you will see, just start hot gluing the rock around the edge of door, place a little glue on rock and on the foam edge, stacking all the way, do both sides leaving the top and arched sides for last.

Now take the longer blocks lay, just past curved edge and mark arch pattern, this is done rock by rock, so the curve matches each stone, trim off length when needed,cut edges and heat, put into place with glue and proceed to next rock till all are finished.

Good job!

Step 9: Plastering Rocks & Window Trim

Just like before mix plaster, like thin mashed potatoes and cover all the rocks,threshold and the trim of door, keep water for rinsing out brush handy, this way if some gets on door just clean brush and wash off.

After the rocks have been coated you can take a little pallet knife or brush and apply more texture as the plaster starts to set. Plaster the inside edge of the window circle at this time.

Let dry very well.

Step 10: Wrought Iron Leaf Window Frame,hinges and Handle

You need to cut strips of foil, tiny strips make tiny vine and larger, you got it. We needn't worry about length we can hook them together. With the strips cut start to snake them in your hands, add pressure to make tight vines.

Lay them against your design, make about 8 pieces, cut them and form them to make your shape, now lay them out straight, cut strips of plaster cloth 1 inch wide but to the length of the vine, place strip in water and pull out, while holding in hand, place the vine on, fold over one side of cloth and then the other, twist and cream plaster. (There are instructions with plaster cloth read them and please don't dump the water in any drain.)

Quickly place that piece, in the shape you need, precede to the next piece till you have created the circle. The Shaper sheet you cut from the door for the window, can be used to help get the iron sized properly. I just laid my design down and built on that.

Next we have our leaves, Shaper sheet was used, make a leaf shape then trace them on the foil side and cut out around 40 for my door.

Mix a small bit of plaster and coat the back side of the leafs, hinges and handle (form them first, as you will be locking in the shape somewhat.)

Its drying time again please don't leave me! I have patients for lots of things, but my friend’s say when it comes to drying, you can hang it up. That's why my nails never have polish, just joking.

Plaster needs to cure, but to help drive out moisture, I turn on my oven, at very low heat for my small plaster projects.

Super glue or hot glue on your leafs. Paint hinges,handle and window iron black.

Looks great I'm sure.

Step 11: Painting Door and Rock

We are 2 steps from the finish line.

Nothing like paint, it’s the sign, the ends in sight!

Let me just say paints are not all made equal and we know that, but when I am doing projects like this, I salvage when I can and use inexpensive paints were feasible. There are gallons of paints in my art studio from friends after they, finished their home projects, I try and use it, one less bucket in a landfill. I also give them a small baby food jar with label of the paint, just in case they have a touch up to do. OK back to painting.

With the Apple Barrel 21887 Tuscan Teal, paint a light coat using the paint thinned a little on the door, (want some of the white to show), then a little thinned black for the wood joint shadows. After dry (LOL), spray black matte paint around doorframe and in between rocks and in some of the holes, not to heavy. If your foam was not covered well with plaster, you may see some melting, don't worry adds creative flare. Let dry.

Now use FolkArt 2558 cinnamon, 944 nutmeg, 480 titanium white and put out on a paint pallet or lid, give some space between them, with a damp chip brush load the two browns, one on each edge of bristles, we call this double loading if you didn't know.

Start pouncing around all over the all the rocks, till they are covered nicely, next dampen brush a little and lightly dip in the white, (should still have browns on the brush) pounce lightly on the top edges, blending the colors a little.

You can decide how brown you want the rocks; the black color helps with the shadows.

After all of these steps, you can now thin black paint with water, like heavy cream, start brushing all over, rocks and door, do small area at a time and wipe back with damp sponge, rinsing out in-between, this is the antiquing process that helps tie everything together. Drying time!

Last but not least, dry-brush white on top edges of rocks and on high points of door face, brown color can be dry brushed as well, adds more depth.

Painting complete.

The back can be painted with acrylics, if you like and matte sealer sprayed lightly on project to help protect.

Step 12: Applying Turf & Rot Iron Accents

This next step can be left out and paint can be used to create, moss look. However it is about texture and realism for me so, here we go.

If you have ever built a Diorama or seen a model train layout, you will recognize this material.

Modelers try an replicate scenery, and in this process, we use products designed to replicate real life grasses, trees, bushes, rocks, dirt and so on.

The materials are colored and ground to scale, making realism more attainable. I am using these turfs to create moss on the rock, there are lots to choose from, so on your trip to the hobby or craft store, or that online thing you do, search and find the color you like for the season you desire, (winter, spring, summer or fall).

I personally think everyone should have these products, if you don't already, in your craft arsenal; they are pretty cheap and go a long way, in making faux, fabulous.

Prepare for a little mess, the turf is fine and just like glitter it blows around, lay down a good amount of paper, I did mine outside.

Brush white glue on areas was you want moss to grow, (best to work one area at a time), sprinkle on the turf, let dry and then blow off excess.

The makers of the products sell a spray on glue and sealer, one is called scenic cement, just spray, sprinkle, and spray again, then let dry, it helps lock the fine particles down, and is water based.

Drying yet again.

Hot glue, or super glue on the ironwork, poke hole in handle for drawer pull,(comes with nut, so once it is in the door place nut on and tighten) a clear acetate sheet can be applied to the back of window for glass, color for stained glass, this could be, your last step, or not.

Step 13: Finish, Finish .

Beautification has many layers, by adding vines, grasses, giant flowers; you name it, that just adds to the Illusion. If you can imagine this door belonging to a fairy, then you can also imagine items setting around, that she or he might have found, that show you the scale of things, like a giant spool of thread, maybe the window is made with a watch glass, the door handle an earring, you get the picture. When creating any fantasy door, it is your surroundings that fulfill the fantasy, create a bridge from reality, and make a gateway to a magical place.

Thank you so much for hanging in there with me, on yet another expression of my creativity that hopefully, gets you one step closer to creating a piece of your fantasy.

Kind Regards! Jewels



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    24 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I love the fantasy door. I have a perfect place in my yard for one. Maybe my hubby will be inspired by this. thanks for sharing and I hope your weekend shines~


    3 replies
    sunshiineThe Juliart

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    I really want one of these. Am showing hubby this one as soon as I finish writing this. It looks like you used a glass knob? I love it. I want one to go over a small wood section between us and our neighbor to resemble a gate instead of a very very short fence. This idea is a perfect solution~ Thanks again for sharing sunshiine~

    The Juliartsunshiine

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Hi! Sunshiine,

    I just got home. I used an acrylic drawer pull from ,the craft store. There is lots of great inspiration for design on the web. I love fantasy movies. I am working on designing a cake that is the Moors from Maleficent.

    Well I would love to see pics ,if you make one. Tata for now! J


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I want to make a miniature version of this! Maybe 1ft high max. I'm already gathering materials and ideas. Thanks for the inspiration! Just absolutley adorable!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Love this! I'm thinking I will upscale it, and possibly use more sustainable materials, to put on the blank end of my house. What a talking point! :D

    1 reply
    The Juliartkas227

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Hi! Kas227

    That is so great! Thank you.
    Please keep me posted,I would love to see what you do.
    You can use shaper sheet and foam but use stucco material or concrete,just a note.
    Have a beautiful day.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is AWESOME! I'm going to make it on a bigger scale so i can allow it to go on my door... or allow BIGGER things to enter it! ;) :)

    1 reply
    The Juliartgunman15

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool! So glad you like it. One of my next instructables is jut that a full size faux door cover. I have been working on the design.
    Please send me pictures when you get it done. And if you use shaper sheet , Hobby Lobby sales it and I use the 40% off coupon,that makes it around $18.00 and change.

    Thanks again! Jewels

    The Juliart

    4 years ago

    Wow,that would be so cool,I love both of them. Toothless would be more challenging,but Hiccup is so cute. Got to practice ,Your Viking skills!

    So looking forward to Halloween!!!

    Keep in touch. Jewels

    The JuliartNathanSellers

    Reply 4 years ago

    It was,I love making fake rocks,well I love making everything ,like you.
    Just makes you feel blessed . Thank you for your kind words.
    Can't wait to see your halloween ideas for this year. I am thinking of doing something with Poe theme and maybe Steampunk it.
    Let me know ,I am curious.

    Later ! Jewels

    NathanSellersThe Juliart

    Reply 4 years ago

    I'm thinking about making a full body Toothless costume. it's either that our Hiccup.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    You are a creative and gifted artist! Beautiful, and the details are awesome. Hope you share your talents with your local theaters. No criticism, but you may want to correct your spelling, it's wrought iron, not rot.

    Thanks for the 'ible.

    3 replies
    The Juliartmnmama

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you so much! Yes I caught the spelling . Wondering if it is OK to go back and fix? It says you can so I will try. Sorry for that.
    I have provided lots of props for schools ,I had an creative art center that worked with our community.

    Yours Kindly! Jewels