How to Make a TARDIS (Doctor Who)

Doctor Who is an enduringly popular TV show, with a large fan base among adults and children. So what could be more appealing to the mini Doctor Who fan in your life than their own homemade TARDIS play house? While this project will take a few hours and needs some rudimentary DIY skills – namely the ability to saw pieces of wood and hammer them together with nails – how effective the finished product looks is more than worth the effort. Here are some simple instructions for how to make a TARDIS.

* Unless you have a suitably sized, unused TV cabinet or cupboard available to you, your first job will be to construct a box from 5 bits of wood. The minimum depth the wood needs to be is about 5mm, otherwise your TARDIS will not be sturdy enough. You will need to, of course, leave the front of the box open ready to attach the doors.

* Next you will need to cut two pieces of wood to the height of the box and half the width, to form the doors. Long slats of wood can be purchased cheaply from DIY stores which you can superglue or nail onto each “door” to create a panel effect. The TARDIS has 8 panels – 4 on each side – but if you don’t want to build a TARDIS to its full height, six panels looks just as effective. Once you are happy that you have created two panelled doors, screw on some silver handles and attach them to the box with hinges.

* Using thick blocks of wood, cut two squares of wood slightly smaller than the top of the TARDIS and hammer these onto the top to create the shape of the roof.

* Paint the entire TARDIS dark blue. Crown do a suitable colour called “Dramatic”. Once this is dry, paint the windows black (acrylic paint gives the best finish).

* Next you want to add a light. Shop around for a push-light or torch which looks suitable. If you get a handheld torch which comes with a magnet on, you can make the TARDIS light detachable. This will allow your child to take it off and take into the playhouse to use as a light.

* The finishing touches are the Police Box sign, the public notice and – if you want to bring your Doctor Who TARDIS up to date – a St John ambulance sticker. The St John ambulance symbol can easily be found as clip art on the internet. The signs can be created on programmes such as Word and paint programmes such as Paint Shop Pro. A suitable font to use is Sergoe script.

If your homemade TARDIS is for a child, let them decorate the inside with their favourite Doctor Who posters!