These are the invitations I made for Kaiden's Portal Knights birthday party. I'm making these a separate 'ible as I believe there is enough to it, and enough steps to justify having it's own.
The portals are made with cardboard, glue, red film, and paint. The invite information are simply printed on cardstock.
Step 1: Print and Cut
The cardboard pieces for the portal were cut on our Glowforge but you could always trace the patterns and cut them by hand if you don't have access to a laser cutter.
The decoder invites we're made on illustrator following this awesome tutorial: https://gomedia.com/zine/tutorials/tutorial-how-to-create-a-decoder-design-in-illustrator/
The red text top layer is the intro text from the game. The hidden blue text on the bottom layer is the party information.
They are printed on cardstock and cut out with scissors.
Step 2: Assemble the Portal
Once you have all the pieces, glue them together. I used Elmer's wood glue because that's what I already had.
Start with the large rectangle and glue the skull piece on. Place it so you can't see the bottom rectangle through the teeth. It will hang over on the top and sides. This is just to make sure the invite can be seen entirely and not blocked by the teeth.
Then glue the eyebrow piece.
Followed by the large step piece and then the small step piece on top of that.
*Save the eyes for after painting as it is hard to paint between the eyes and the brow after they are glued on*
Step 3: Painting
As I said in the previous step, I discovered that it is difficult to paint when the eyes are already glued down. To fix this, I painted the skull part before glueing it all together. You could just paint the portal and eyes separately and glue the eyes after, probably take less time and paint that way.
*Note, while a base coat isn't necessary, it is helpful to put a base gray in the hard to reach places that the sponge won't entirely cover. Like the tops of the stairs and under the skull, as seen in the picture.
To get the stone look:
On paper plate or pallette, squirt some white, gray, and black paint, like drizzling icing on cinnamon rolls, overlapping colors.
Use a sponge like in the photo, dab it into the paint gently, you don't need much.
Dab the sponge on the portal, all over. Continue to dab until the entire surface is covered and blended. No need for more paint. You should have more than enough in the sponge.
Step 4: Add the Film
I bought the film here: Pangda 9 Pack Gel Filter Colored Overlays Correction Gel Light Filter Transparent Color Film Plastic Sheets, 11.7 by 8.3 Inches (Red) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073XJMS39/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_AgtMCbN2AVQHV
Draw out 4"x5" rectangles on a sheet of paper.
Lay a sheet of film over the paper and trace the lines with a thin sharpie.( The lines will wipe off)
Cut on the lines
Turn a portal face down.
Put a thin line of glue all around the opening. ( I used DAP rapid fuse)
Place a cut sheet of film over the hole and run a finger along the sides over the glue.
Turn the portal face up and press down firmly to secure the film.
Step 5: Details and Done
I originally tried etched the symbols on the stairs
and the teeth using the glowforge but they get covered up when you paint. So I just drew them on with a blue highlighter at the end.
There you have it. Duplicate it as many times as needed. I think they turned out pretty cool and Kaiden loves them so that's a win. When he handed them out at school, he didn't tell anyone how they worked and left it up to them to figure out. The puzzle of the escape room party is complete.
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