Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: If you choose to open the door, go to part 6…

16 Aug


Back again with the next in my series of dungeon terrain building articles, if you missed the last episode, we dealt with my chunky basic door pieces, but this time we are going to go more advanced and create opening ones like thus:


These are not hard to make, but are a little more involved than the basic ones. So gather your craft bits and tools, and lets get started….

Your going to need some popsicle sticks, bamboo skewers  (or similar wooden sticks) cereal box cardstock, cigarette rolling filters, superglue, PVA, (contact adhesive is a bonus but not essential) Nail art embelishments, a small drinking straw, scissors and probably a few other bits and bobs, but we’ll come to that bit by bit.


So, lets start by getting the wood planks sorted for the door. Decide the size you want, its entirely up to you what size door you choose, bar the chunky doors, all the rest of mine are random. the one I made here is exactly the size of the whole of the previous chunky one (this is just the door piece, the overall door when finished will be bigger when the frame and gubbins are added)


You’ll need to cut 2 sets of these, one for each side (in this case 6 all in all)


take them and white glue them down to a thin piece of cardstock. Get some thin wood (skewers, matchstick or similar) and frame the sides and top (leave the bottom) Leave to dry before the next step.


Take a popsicle stick and cut two thin pieces to form cross beams for the door, glue them down and leave to dry. These bits look better if they are slightly random, but its up to you.


Next, take some nail art embelishments as per the last door to add studs that appear to hold the wood slats together. These ones I use here are not the gems (although if you don’t have this particular type, the gem ones are fine also. Failing this you can use small pieces of cut cardstock)


Once dried, cut the door out and trim it from the card stock. Repeat this process for the other side.


Next, furnish your door with some faux hinges, cut from cardstock. When you glue them down, make sure the sides match up so they don’t look odd. Do this on both sides.


Again, add the studs as before.


Next add a plate for the handles, cut from a piece of thin cardstock.


Repeat the door handle process from the previous article using the drinking straw to form a ring for the handle.



Next your going to need more of the straw, this will form your hinge that the door pivots on. Glue this to the hinge side (I used contact adhesive for this to achieve a good fix, although you can use superglue, but the impact/contact adhesive is quicker and stronger overall)


Next we’ll form the rest of the hinge. Take a hand rolling cigarette filter (I get them given to me, but they are cheap to buy (£1 form ye olde poundshoppe) and are great craft materials. I’ll be using them on other builds, so try and scope someout. Anyway, cut one in half then insert your chosen stick that will accomodate the rest of the hinge. Glue it in with some superglue.



Take this and get another piece of cardstock, we’ll construct the door on this piece so make sure its big enough to give you some working room. (We’ll trim it off later)


Again, use superglue, just make sure it is dried completely before adding any more to the build, you don’t want to get any working parts stuck with glue or it won’t open (and thus eliminating the whole point of the build!)

Dry fit your door by slotting the upright wooden dowel through the straw hinge you attached to the side of the door.


The door will now pivot on the hinge. Usually I would use a snugger fitting straw/stick combo, but I didn’t have a better fit. You sometimes have to just go with whats available to you. Don’t go buying everything you need or it’ll cost you a fortune, make sure you get collecting your bits as that saves you money in the long run. Just buy stuff you can’t get by raiding the recycle and you’ll be ok!


Now, cap the top with the other filter piece. Make sure its slightly bigger than the height of the door to make sure the door will clear the frame and open freely, too tight and you’ll have to add more in the process (which takes up time, so do this right first and it’ll save time later)

Next measure two lollypop sticks to the same size as the capped stick. You’ll also need a long stick to make the top of the frame, measure this and use impact adhesive toform a frame around the whole thing.



Make sure the whole mechanism works and the door moves freely.


Add two small strips of cardstock to hide the edges at the chosen front. The hinge side was left slightly showing to illustrate the process in working, you can cover the entire side to hide it if you like. Also yo can now trim the card to its final shape. make sure the sides at the bottom of the base are cut off so your finished door will fit flush with the rest of your dungeon walls.


Cut a piece of cardstock to glue to the top and finish the frame, ready for glueing the next bit.


Use the method for covering the dungeon walls to create some texture detail to match the rest of the dungeon, it’s up to you as you could make the frame a wooden one, then you just use wood bits to frame it, but as I’m matching my own dungeon, I’ll go for this method.

Next your ready for painting, so you’ll need the undercoat. I used spray and black acrylic to make sure I got everywhere without the paint sticking everything together. Keep the door moving during the drying process to avoid this problem.




Next, just paint your door to match the rest of your stuff. I used exactly the same method as my chunk doors just with the addition of the hinge assembly being painted silver.



Paint some flagstone designs on the bottom of the base to finish of, then seal in using your chosen finish.





And there you have it. a fully working opening dungeon door. Using this priciple you can make them as simple or complex as you wish, or as large or small. The idea is just the same. Here’s a pic of it in situ (note that I hadn’t finished the base when I took these pictures!)



So, please let me know your comments, suggestions etc, I’d love to hear from you, and if you try it for yourself, don’t forget, pictures or it never happened!!

I’ll be back next time with another dungeon make and more stuff from Grim’s Dungeons of Doom


7 Responses to “Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: If you choose to open the door, go to part 6…”

  1. daggerandbrush August 19, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    Excellent tutorial. I think that moving doors add even more awesomeness to any dungeon layout. I think I will give this a go, too, but might use plasticcard for the wood and greenstuff for the stones. However, the hinge is the central part and it is good to see how it is constructed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • grimace73 August 20, 2015 at 12:28 am #

      Thanks! Yeah you could use all manner of stuff to create a door on this system. Its the hinge part that is the key here. The tutorial one was one I knocked up quick for the article, so all manner of door types can be done on the principle. don’t forget, show us what you come up with too!!



  1. Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Need storage? Help yours(h)elf! Creating Mini Shelves. | The Grinning Skull - September 5, 2015

    […] two small hinge shaped pieces (like the ones used in the chunky doors article and opening doors article) leave a gap as in the pic, you’ll be adding more detail capping bits […]


  2. Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Adventures in expanded foam, part 2: Cavern entrances & Doorways | The Grinning Skull - October 2, 2015

    […] Also, you could affix a chunky wooden door within the construction or even the mechanism for the opening door can be hidden inside a foam doorway structure if your careful, however it will be tricky to get the […]


  3. 4xD: But hey Mr Grim, I wanna’ game my dungeon in 15mm…. | The Grinning Skull - October 5, 2015

    […] can be found for sale by several mini companies, so that’s an option too without much outlay. Opening doors like in the article are still do-able but a little fiddly, as with anything if you shrink the size. Maybe if […]


  4. Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Restore 2 Stamina; Miniature provision markers. | The Grinning Skull - October 31, 2015

    […] to it. Then carefully snip off a ring (Similar to to the door rings in the simple door and opening door […]


  5. A Narrow Door for Dwarven Forge | Alba Chronicles - April 30, 2016

    […] We have only two of Dwarven Forge’s Narrow Doors. Often this is just too less for setting up a nice dungeon. However I was struggling especially with the constructive design, until I found the inspiration I needed at Grim’s Blog. […]


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