Introduction: Mechanical Clairvoyant Halloween Prop

(Photo3)Materials Needed - Usually found at back of Appliance, Home Stores, Malls

The Ultimate box, with strong thick cardboard - Usually for small fridges, washing machines, driers, dish washers.

Approximate Dimensions - Height900mmxLength600mmxWidth500mm would best be suited for this project.

3 x Extra Large Boxes, Dimensions Approximately – Height500mm,Length600mmxWidth500mm.

Please note following: Height = H , Width = W , Length = L , Thickness = T

Then additional larger size boxes than the previous, if you are able to acquire one very large box for a flat screen, this would be great.

(Photo4) or the bucket of odds n ends like I got, with some wire.

(Photo5)and a few tools.

(Photo6) 2xPiece of 18mm Dowel +- 1.250metre, 1xPiece of 18mm Dowel +- 600mm (depending on width of cardboard box, just add 100mm to the length of the dowel), 1xPiece Pine L700mmxW30mmxT20mm, 2xPieces Pine L300mmxW30mmxT20mm, Self-Tapping Screws,

2x Postcards, Pair of White Gloves

Packaging Tape, Sticky Notes, Printing, Red Marker, Black Marker

Cheap LED Light Bulb (Color Changing or Frost White), Dome Shape Light Shade, Light Bulb Fitting,
Wiring Cable, Pressure Switch for Door Bell, Wall Plug,
Old Clothing,

Rice Lights 5meters (Batteries Not Included) if you got the cash, then make it 10metres, what's a couple of pennies among friends and of course the main reason you wasting my time, your patience while you drag through this Instructable.


Step 1: Making the Booth


This is made up of those cardboard boxes.

(Photo 1-4)First make sure the boxes can fit on top of each other, so that when you press down it’s not going to collapse in on itself.

The box you choose for the bottom, will be the most important as this will house the mechanics that make the Clairvoyant movements.

Choose which side you want to have facing the front.

(Photo2)If the box is not square, but longer on one side than the other, then choose the width side for the front and the length side, to run towards the back.

(Photo 5-8)On both opposite sides of the length side of the box, measure 100mm up from base of the box. Then along the length of your box measure 200mm in from the front to the back. (If your box is bigger, think of the length of your box size in 3rds, then make mark on 1/3 of box more to where the front will be.)

Example: My Box is 600mm Length x 500mm Width x 470mm Height.

(Photo5)On opposite sides of the 600mm length, I measured from the forward edge of the box 200mm on both sides. Where the 200mm and 100mm mark meet

(Photo 6,7) Poke a hole into the box with a pen or sharp object. The hole on the other side must be equal in height and distance from the front and base edge of the box, to allow you to push the dowel rod through to the other side of the box.

(Photo7,8)So it sits level and straight.

Measure the length of your W30mmxT20mm Pine to be the same as your length of the box, plus add another 100mm.

Example: If my box Length600mm, I measure the pine at 700mm and then cut it.

(Photo9) Find the center on the front of the box, in this case Width500mm which the center will be 250mm and mark it. Using that mark, measure from the base of the box up to 130mm.

(Photo10,11) If your piece of pine is W30mm, then measure 20mm to each side of that center line, just add 5mm to each side of the width of your pine if its wider. Draw a line down both sides meeting up with the line you drew at 130mm.

(Photo12)Then cut this piece out.

(Photo13,14)Just above the top of that slot you just cut out, measure 100mm up, that's the end point of the arrow, then draw the arrow facing down towards the slot, you just cut out now, and then cut the arrow out as well. Paste a piece of Red A4 paper to the inside of that arrow covering over the hole you cut out.

(Photo15) If you have the Ultimate Box, cut out the coin slot above that arrow, and another more squashed arrow above the coin slot. Do this in the center on the front of your box.

Step 2: The Contraption

Needed - 1x L600mm x18mm Dowel Stick or the Floor Mop depends on how cheap you really are, good excuse not to clean your room, the L700mmxW30mmxT20mm pine stick, Yes! and that box over there, No not that one, that one. 1xPiece L300mmxW30mmxT20mm Pine, 3x Self Tapping Screw, Packaging Tape (Thanks Mom), 2x 1.250mmx18mm Dowel.

(Photo1) Slide the pine into the cut out slot, on top of the dowel you already slotted into the holes on either side. Push the pine up against the back wall of the box, then move it forward by 50mm. Making sure it is lined up properly and straight, and not restricted by movement on the rear wall of the box,

(Photo2,3)with the other end of Pine protruding from the front of the box, where you cut out the slot, it should also balance by being held up by the slot you cut out in the front.

(Photo4) Mark on the dowel where the pine sits on either side of it, then mark the pine in the center where the dowel crosses it. Remove both and line it up where you marked it and drill a small hole, through the pine and a little into the dowel. Be sure to make the drill bit and little smaller than the screw you going to insert.

(Photo5,6) Here you can insert a screw to hold the two pieces together. But don’t screw it together just yet, will need to complete next step prior to this.

(Photo14,15)But you can now cut a shorter piece of Pine L300mmxW30mmxT20mm, then about 100mm from the rear of your other longer piece of pine, measure the two pieces of pine up against each other, with the shorter piece crossing over the top of the other, protruding to the right. Insure that the short piece of pine's end, that protrudes out to the right, is slightly moved away from the right side wall of the box, about 30mm. Remove it and where marked, line it up again and drill two holes side by side, again straight through the top piece of pine and a little into the piece under it, then screw these two pieces together.

Making the Cheap Hinges – Made from postcard thickness card.

(Photo7,8) Cut out 4x pieces of cardboard to the same size of the diagram I’ve provided, then glue two of each piece together so you now have 2x hinges.

(Photo9,10)Fold it in half, then glue the dowel end to the card, but allowing the dowel to be moved up by 10mm from the line of the fold in the hinge. Glue this down, and wrap the cardboard around dowel and

(Photo13)secure with 'zip tie. Can also use string or elastic band, wire etc.

(Photo11,12)do the same with other side of hinge, glue it to the main piece of pine, that runs through the middle of your box and attach to the end that sits to the rear of the box and with the mouth of the hinge facing to front of box.

(Photo14,15) Do the same with your second piece of dowel, except mount it to the end of the other shorter piece of pine end, which protrudes out to the right of the main piece of pine.
Now slide the other dowel back into the holes, you made in the side of your box and insert the Pine into the slot you cut open in the bottom front of the box. Allow the Pine to rest on top of the dowel, like a cross, the weight of the dowels and the pine jutting out front, should rest against the top of the slot you cut, helping to stabilize it. Now screw the pine and dowel pieces together securely, where you drilled the holes.

(Photo15,16)You should now have a seesaw type mechanism, with your longer dowels running up through the top of the box,

(Photo17)allow these dowels to rest against the top front of the box, which are then attached to the pine, with that fancy hinge, to the rear side of the box. Now check that when you press down on the leaver in the front of your box that the seesaw works and that, its not constricted by movement, up and down inside the box. Also check that the two dowels that stick out the top move up and down, be careful by holding the longer dowels so they don't tear the hinges.

Step 3: The Switch

Needed: about 3meters 2 core cable, Pressure switch for door bell, Insulation Tape, Packaging Tape, 2 Self Tapping Screws (to fix switch to pine), 1x L300mmx W30mmxT20mm Pine, Junction or Chocolate Blocks ( for connecting wires together)
2core cable

(Photo1) Make sure that you connect the same points on opposite ends of the cable to it's correct terminal, in this simple scientific case + and -. In other words Live must connect to Live and Neutral must connect to Neutral.

(Photo1,2) But on the side of the wire you choose to be live, snip this apart and shred off protective sheath, connect one piece to the terminal of the switch on one side, and the other to the other terminal, on the other side of the switch.

(Photo3) Take the 2nd piece of Pine L300mmxW40mmxT20mm and screw the switch down on the flat side and to the end of the pine. Tape the wires neatly with insulation tape, so they run along the pine to the other end. (Photo4) Push the piece of pine under the lever in the front so that, when you depress the lever the tip of it connects with the switch.

Now tape down the piece of pine attached to the switch, in that position, from the inside of the box, to the base of the box, making sure it does not move when you depress the lever.

(Photo5) Now feed one of the wire ends up to the top of the box, let it hang over the lid, until next step of making the booth,

(Photo6) the other end feed along the bottom, from the switch to the rear of the box, and cut a slot at bottom rear big enough to fit your hand in, don't cut it out completely just have it so it flaps open and closed, insure it does not constrict your contraption from moving freely up and down, then pull the cable through the flap, attach the wall plug to this end, but don't plug it in just yet.

(Tip) Most cables have either small writing or color coded, so you can use this as a way of knowing you are connecting the right cable to the right terminal. If you are unsure seek advice or acquire someone who knows to assist

Step 4: Booth Continued

(Photo1) Now attach the other box on top of the first, but open all the flaps top and bottom, tape them down also insuring the dowels sticking up and mechanisms are not restricted by wires or scrap cutouts .

(Photo2,3)Cut a hole in the forward facing flap, just smaller than your globe size, if your globe came with a fitting, push it through this hole, connect the wires and attach the globe to it.

(Photo3) You may need to cut a hole in the underlying flaps to allow the globe to sit more flush. Insure the wires behind are not in the way when you cut the box. The cable end you lifted through the top of the box, you can connect the light fitting to this.

(Photo4)I did have a nice colored LED bulb, but that blew from too much testing the switch,

(Photo6)so I had to settle for standard energy saver. Again! insuring you have the correct terminals matched to those of the switch and the wall plug Live Is Live.

(Photo7) Now cut the coin slot and other squashed arrow.

(Photo7-11) I used that Big screen TV box, and cut a sheet of it out, to fit the front and clad my booth, just so it looks neater, just be sure to cut out the same arrows and coin slot in the box behind it, you can do this by measuring where you want it to be, on the flat screen box sheet, then cut it out , then trace inside the cut out onto the box behind it, that way it will be more accurate. Glue or stick the Red paper or material to back of the arrows. Recut hole for coin in back of Red paper, and attach with tape or glue a paper cup just under the coin slot, on the inside of the box.

(Photo12-14) Close the box flaps with dowel sticking out, cut a hole on top of the top box, about 100mm back from the center of the box, about the size of a toilet roll tube, which you will insert in there and tape it down later on.

(Photo12-17) I was so lucky to acquire me those blue columns, must have been someone's display or POS, but it's mine now. This I used to make the pillars going up, but you can use the 3rd box here, just place it on top of the 2nd box, cut out the front side of it to make a window type look. Or if you wish to use the remainder of your TV screen box, just cut the folded edges off it, and stand them upright and basically build the window look, also around the top edges of the columns. Build it so that it squares off the whole top section as you will drape a sheet or curtain over it later

(Photo18) With the dowels that protrude out of the top, you will need to measure where your dome shape light shade will sit when you place it over the globe on the forward flap of the second box, just to the right of it and a little back, away from the dome shade, poke a hole so the dowel that sits to the right can be pushed through the box and rest neatly just to the right of the dome shade. This will be her hand and insure that when you press the foot lever down and the dowel raises up that it does not knock or push against the light shade, but rather slips passed it. The dowel you should have already cut a hole in the center of the top of the second box and pushed a toilet roll through, this is where can attach the mask or head of the clairvoyant. Tape down the toilet roll or any areas that lift up when the dowels push up through the box when applying the foot lever.

(Photo19)Attach a wire frame that resembles and finger to the dowel on the right, where the hand will be, bend it to fit into the glove like a finger, then wrap the remaining wire around the dowel and strap it tight. This is where her hand will be, and the glove will be fitted over the wire frame.

Step 5: The Clairvoyant

You should now have your main booth built with the foot lever and the lighting as well as the dowels sticking out the top.

Dress your clairvoyant up with those old clothes and pin where needed to cover it up so no sticks or boxes are sticking out.

(Photo4) I attached a clothes hangar by screwing it to the dowel, hung a long sleeved shirt over the hangar and brought the sleeves up to the dowel on the right, I wrapped the end of the sleeve around dowel to hide the stick. After stuffing the glove with tissue paper or cotton wool, then slipping it over the wire frame, that's for her index finger. I took the old clothes and stuffed them inside the shirt and socks along the sleeves, to give her more body and puff it up a bit. I tucked the other glove into the sleeve and also pinned or sewed it together, to keep it in place, I just rested on top of the box.

Here you can use material, plastic bags whatever is cheapest for your project. If you wish to create your own character for her head, then please refer to my other Instructables (Paper Clay Mask - https://www.instructables.com/id/Paper-Clay-Mask/) on how to do this.

(Photo5,6) Except don't cut the balloon structure in half, keep it full but build only the front of her head, as the rest will be covered with a scarf or material.

If you used a mask just stuff it with clothes or material whatever you can find just to give it some body and fill it out, and pin it to top of dowel, but first dress her up.

Pin up any areas that may fall down when you press the lever, or make her look untidy, as well as add a scarf and some cheap jewelry to her head. You can be creative here and make her up as you feel, to enhance the look.

Make sure your light is unplugged when pressing down on the lever, don't want you to blow that globe.

Step 6: The Lighting FX

This is where you bring in the rice lights you should have bought cheaply from China Town, or hijacked from your pre-Christmas tree

(Photo1) You can poke holes in the front pillars of the booth, just big enough to push the point of the LED into the cardboard.

(Photo2) Poke the holes at intervals that the rice lights have a little slack on the cable in between each one, approximately 80mm between each LED bulb.

(Photo1) Feed them all up the side columns and along the top and then back down the other side, ending with the remaining lights being dropped into the boxes. Tape them down where needed, but if you have left over then run them down and tape them over the arrow and coin slots, so the light shines through the red paper. Again cut a small slot in the Length side of your box, just big enough to fit your hand in and fiddle around to line it up. If you don't have enough Length on your rice lights, then just attach whatever other lamp you can find, and fit it behind the arrows and coin slot.

(Photo3) Feed whatever remaining cables out the back slot you cut in the rear of the box, insuring they don't restrict the mechanism and then attach to a plug. With whatever lights, cables or connections you have left that may make the booth look untidy you can throw in the box.

The Light Box

(Photo4) If you had a recent parcel delivery or you can find a box that closes by fitting one half into the other, then this would be ideal. If not acquire a box that can close back a front then use the decent looking side as the front of the light box.

(Photo5) Stencil out the name you wish to have and then cut it out, be careful not to tear the box or destroy the writing.

(Photo6)Once all the lettering is cut out you can paint over it, prior to next step.

(Photo7) Keep the center pieces of the lettering, so you can glue them on afterwards or just cut them from some cardboard to fit, but paint them before gluing them on, so you don't spoil the color paper behind it.

(Photo8,9) To create the color effect, I just happened to have sticky notes, which I then pasted over the lettering from the inside. You can use color paper, plastic bags or material. Whatever you use insure its not flammable or can melt when you insert the globe.

(Photo10,11)Cut out a hole on the top of the box to fit a light fitting and a globe, make the hole just big enough so you can still screw the fitting to the box. I used a standard soft white energy saving globe. Be sure the wiring is correct and the cable long enough to reach from the top of your booth to the wall plug.

(Photo12,13)Cut a slot out again at the top rear of the box, but just so it flaps open and big enough to insert your hand and fit the globe. Leave the flap slightly open after just so air can get in and allow the globe to cool.

(Photo14) The finished product ready to light up your life

You can add lighting as you like to enhance the look and create better effects, but keep in mind, you don't want to have too much light to detract from the Clairvoyant.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

(Photo1) This I leave up to you to decorate and find whatever materials and creative artwork you would like to apply to your clairvoyant booth.

(Photo2) Stencil the words on to color paper then stick them on to the cladding.

(Photo3-5) You can download star shapes and moons from the internet and print them out onto card. Just add glue and sprinkle glitter till your stars come out to shine. Tape a safety pin to the back, with the non-opening side taped down, so you can pin it up. Same can be applied with the letters and writing, unless you want to stencil and cut them out, like I tediously did, after realising how shocking my writing was. I chose to paint the front of the cardboard cladding in different colors.

(Photo6) I also drew around my own hand and made the marks look similar to a palm reading chart.

(Photo4) Attach your light box to the top of the booth and secure it so it doesn't fall over, I would also make sure the dome shade is either glued or taped with double sided tape or some other means to secure it in place.

(Photo7)I measured the thickness of the pine and switch together and folded a color piece of cardboard, around the foot pedal and switch just to cover up any unsightly looking parts. Be sure that the switch is not pressed down and there's a little space between the card and the button.

(Photo8) Drape a sheet or curtain and cover the entire booth on both sides and back, insure the material is dark in color, preferably black

(Photo9) Test everything to see it all still works and that you not going to electrocute anyone when they use it. Neaten up any areas that may make it look tatty or unreal, and there you have it.

Thank you from Jason

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