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Creating a Secret Wardrobe Door | Thrifted & Upcycled Armoire Becomes a Fantasy Portal IRL

Updated: Mar 19, 2022

See how I transformed a closet into a fantasy portal by taking the back off a vintage wardrobe and attaching it to the door frame! What's inside? Why, The Fairy Forest, of course! Watch the step-by-step transformation here.

If you'd prefer to watch this discussion on YouTube (with lots more photos!) instead of reading through this whole, long post, please click here!

Now let’s see how I transformed this basic bedroom and turned it into a portal to an enchanted world by adding a secret wardrobe door into a magical fairy forest!

This room became not just a fun escape room, but also a popular spot for unique bookish events like storytelling and tea party events for kids, a place to practice Riddikulus spells on boggarts at our Harry Potter summer camp, a spot to interview suspects at our live murder mystery nights, and more.

This room is located at the top of the stairs of the house, just off the second floor landing. When I bought the property, it was just a bedroom with a very normal closet just off the side, and this odd little cubbyhole left over from the creation of a bathroom on the other side of this wall. What was interesting, was that this closet actually had another door at the back, which connected it to another long room that had been used as an office.

I decided to create an escape room in this space, specifically because the infrastructure was already there for two secret doors into unexpected spaces. As you have probably gathered, the theme of The Storyteller’s Cottage is living inside your favorite books, so I thought it would be really fun to create a secret wardrobe door from the bedroom to the closet space, just like the Pevensie kids found in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe!

Once I had that thought, the backstory for this escape game just about wrote itself. If you go back and watch the fourth video in this series, “How to Create a Hidden Bookcase Door to a Secret Castle Room,” you’ll see how I transformed the office space that I just mentioned, the one that the closet in this room connects to, into a room that looks like a medieval castle. So since THIS bedroom connects through two secret doors to THAT room, I wrote a game where the players start in a real bedroom, as if they’re staying with their grandparents for the summer, they find clues to unlock the secret wardrobe door, they walk through to an enchanted forest where they find more clues, then walk through the second secret door to the amazing castle room, where they find the items they need to solve the mystery and win the game.

I’ll explain exactly how the game works at the end of this video, but first, let’s talk about how I decorated this space and created the secret door.

This was actually much easier than it looks. Since this closet didn’t even have a door, all I had to do was measure the doorframe opening, then I went on Craigslist and without too much trouble, was able to find a freestanding antique wardrobe that was just a few inches bigger than the opening to the closet. And it was just $100!