“Just The Wheels Maam”
Who doesn’t love a barn door? Great space savers and can be used as functional artwork!
I am not one for really technical tutorials with exact measurements and what not because I tend to make things on the fly and make it up as I go along. So having said that I won’t be explaining how to make the actual door because, yeah nah, I just took the required measurements and made it. This door is for the bathroom off the upstairs landing, so it’s different on each side.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS NEEDED
It would probably be easier to make this using some kind of kids’ toy wheels, but I don’t have kids or toys so I had to come up with something using stuff from my stash. One thing I always have are press studs in various sizes, even when I wasn’t doing minis. The ones I used are about a centimeter across, I think any smaller might look a bit too teensy. I also used this method to make my mini barn doors that cover my TV in the livingroom – you can see them here.
You will also need some wood scraps, a round wood skewer, white glue, super glue, paint, nail polish, a mini drill thingy, a flat file, a round file, some wire that just fits the hole in the press stud, sandpaper. You can also grab some tiny flatback cabachon things for making faux studs.
The first thing we need to do is prepare the press studs. We need 2 of the same “side”. The bit that snaps into (male) the other (female) bit. The bits we need to glue together have a rounded edge, so we need to file that flat so we have more surface area to stick. Also metal sticks better if you rough it up. Make sure you do both sides.
Add a little super glue (or E6000 if you prefer) and make a press stud hamburger. Once you have it resting evenly just leave it be until the glue sets, yes I know that’s hard to do =)
Now that you have fought off the need to fiddle and let the glue set, it’s time to add a little strengthening. I ran a line of superglue around the join using a toothpick and let that dry.
After letting the strengthened “wheel” dry I painted it with a bronze nail polish because enamel. I let that dry overnight so I didn’t put fingerprints in the finish.
Now we need a piece on which to hang the wheel AND to connect it to the actual door. I’ll call it a wheel brace. It needs to be long enough to reach the hole in the wheel, account for the height of the rail and connect to the sides of the door. You can make this as long as you want depending on the look you want and you need two braces per wheel.
Each piece needs to have a hole that will allow the piece of wire to pass through but not be loose. I am using a piece of wire covered with plastic that came from a fake flower I had. It needs to pass through the hole in the wheel we made and be just thin enough to allow the wheel to turn.
I made a guide hole with a pin vice and then made the hole bigger with a tiny round file – very carefully and slowly so as not to split the wood. After making the holes I painted the pieces with white glue to strengthen them. Let them dry as long as needed. I then painted them and sealed them with varnish.
Next we need to pass our wire through a brace, then through the wheel and then through the other brace. I put a tiny bit of superglue around the wire where it emerges through each brace and let it dry. You can then use your snippers to clip off the wire at the face of the brace. when that is done add some superglue over the top of the end of the wire. I added a tiny flatback shiny thing on top of the end of the wire to act like a stud. I painted it with a tiny bit of the bronze nail enamel.
Next I prepared my “rail”. I found a bamboo skewer was too thin and prone to bending due to the length (twice the width of the door plus a couple of extra centimeters to allow some hanging space). I had some thin wooden craft rods that were just right. I sanded the rod very smooth, painted and sealed it with varnish.
Now we get to attach the wheels and braces to the actual door. The most important thing is to allow enough room for the rail to fit through comfortably. You don’t want the top of the door to rub along the rail, rather you want the door to hang with some clearance. Once again this is purely up to you. For this project I wanted the rail to be quite close to the door. If you glue the braces to the door with the rail as a guide you will ensure that there is enough room for the door to move.
After letting this dry overnight I added a couple more “studs” to each brace and painted them with bronze nail enamel.
As you can see from the first picture, I added tiny nuts to the end of the rails and painted them bronze. To hang the rails, I glued a hook from a hook and eye to a small piece of wood, painted it white and stuck them to the wall.
Here’s a video of the door rollllllling….