Instructables
Picture of Ouija Coffee Table
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I wanted a cool, unique coffee table for my house, but couldn't find anything that I liked in my price range. My goal for this project was to keep costs to a minimum and keep the structural design fairly simple, but ultimately wanted a fun project and conversational piece. I was inspired by old Ouija Board designs, which had wonderful curved typefaces and intricate illustrations. This was a fun project and cost me around $120 to complete, and requires only basic tools.
 
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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
The table structure is very basic, I tried to use readily available sizes of wood that would require little to no cutting. I chose stain-grade pine for my table, but other types and sizes could be substituted.

Materials:

5/4" x 24" x 48" Pine panel (1)
21 1/4" Pine table legs (4)
3/4" x 3 1/2" x 96" Pine boards (2)
1 1/2" Screws (1 box) - Or glue, dowels, biscuits, etc.
0000 Fine steel wool
Mason jar
Vinegar
Several brushes or rags
Sand paper (coarse, medium, and fine)
Acrylic Gel Medium (available at art supply stores)
Tape
Water-based Polyurethane

Tools:
Miter saw (Or hand saw, table saw, etc.)
Drill/screw driver
Access to laser printer
Computer with image editing software
Scanner
Exacto knife or scissors
Brayer, roller or spoon

Other helpful tools (not required):
Clamps
Power sander
Light table
Pocket hole jig

Step 2: Design and Planning

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Once you know the size of the table top, you can start planning your design. I started with a pencil sketch and later scanned and traced my design in the computer.

Tip: When setting up the color black in your image editing software, it is a good idea to crank up all of the CMYK sliders to ensure that your printer lays down the densest amount of toner on the paper possible. This will increase your chances of having a bold transfer to the wood table top later on.

Edit: I have gotten several requests to post my vector design, so here it is. Please only use it for non-commercial purposes. Thanks! 
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/33347305/ouija_coffee_table_24x48.pdf
CITguy3 days ago

That's pretty bitchin'! I didn't know about the technique you used to transfer the image to the wood. I'll have to keep that in mind for future projects.

malice606 made it!8 days ago

Thank you for sharing your art! I just finished the transfer and it turned out great. I made my table differently, I have no idea where to find a solid piece of 24 x 48 wood, but yeah, it turned out really awesome. Thanks!

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Johnny-No11 days ago

Great work! The steelwool and vinegar is also great for dying tooling leather black. It's called vinegaroon.

xantiago27 days ago

nice work!

Nefarioc made it!2 months ago

Thanks for the inspiration. I used some of your vector art and created my own version. Except I have access to a flat bed printer which printed directly on the surface of the tabletop.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202149747444038&set=a.1309848345158.2042800.1199083207&type=1&theater

Non Serviam.jpgouija board.jpg

Could you share with me how you made the changes. I love the design, there are only a few things I would like to change.

I made the changes in Coreldraw X6. Imported the vector file (.eps) and used the scrolls, some of the text and the alphabet. Everything else was created in the software with clipart and personal drawings.

That looks amazing Nefarioc! Would you be willing to share the vector file for that? It would be for non-commercial usage. Thanks, JP

Sure...message me your email and I'll attach an .eps.

jturner305 months ago
Thank you so much for your tutorial! I just finished rubbing all the paper off mine... gonna do a few touch-ups around the edges and seal it up tonight. Very generous of you to include your design file-- I drew on it heavily for inspiration.
 
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would you be interested in sharing your design? I love it.

purpletheory (author)  jturner303 months ago

Wow, turned out great! Nice design too!

chrissyin3d1 month ago

I LOVE THIS!!!

ddhix2 months ago

My wife and I did this. We loved the process. It was very easy.

We did notice, though, that when you are rubbing the paper off it seems that no matter what you do you can never seem to get all the paper totally off. So it will be wet and appear to be all the way off, but never totally come all the way off. This may have been the matte medium we used.

When we put the polyurathane on it, though, it dissolved the white haze over the black, and made it perfectly clear with no problems whatsoever.

elementofone2 months ago

Thats amazing!! what computer program is that?

jgalley12 months ago

Thanks for the inspiration and the grpahic, it came out really well!

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asalcedo43 months ago

I love this! You said wait "overnight" to rub the paper off. Could you be more specific? What is the minimum amount of time until I can start removing the paper? Is it just until the acrylic gel dries or does it have to sit longer for the ink to set?

sKarey3 months ago

This is just too RAD!!! I can't make one, how much for you to make one and sell it?

phantelope3 months ago

this is really cool! Thanks for sharing the art too, I might use this for a side table I want to build. Love the idea of the vinegar stain too!

bkelly10123 months ago
Dude wow this is amazing
ragereaver5 months ago
Hello , i wanted to thank you , your tuto inspired me a lot, this is the result :

http://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/FV6/ZNCZ/HN825KB4/FV6ZNCZHN825KB4.THUMB.jpg

it's a bit more complicated to make , but worth it ^^.
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purpletheory (author)  ragereaver5 months ago
Turned out awesome! Well done!!
This coffee table is so fraking awesome, I can't even contain myself! I went online looking to make a Ouija board for my kitchen table for Halloween and found this. Mind=Blown. This is getting made this week for our house. I was wondering, though, why I can't see the file for the print outs? I saw you mentioned it was posted but I am new to Instructables and think I must be missing something. Again, it's just amazing. Thanks again for the instructspiration.
purpletheory (author)  laurenmkilgore7 months ago
Thank you, I'm glad you like it! You can download the graphics on step 2.
Hey just wanted to say thank you so much for the inspiration. My husband and I had been searching high and low for the perfect coffee table for our new place and when I found this we both agreed that this was it. Your instructable is awesome and really helped me make this happen. Because we are apartment dwellers and ill-equipped to bust out handmade furniture, we found and purchased an unfinished pine table, (46x26) on Wayfair.com. You and your readers might be interested to know I had the ouija design printed out in large format at our local staples. After much deliberation I ended up using acetone to transfer the image with.."interesting" results. Although the transfer technique was almost instantaneous it was not without flaw. Nearly half of the "Hello" grim reaper did not transfer and I had to sand out the mistake, reprint that portion and re-transfer. Ended up with a very distressed finish on the top so I stained the legs ebony, wiping off excess to create a distressed look to match the top. Over all I am very, very happy with this piece. Just wanted to share with you and thank you again for the inspiration and for the amazing art work.
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purpletheory (author)  insilvermoonlight7 months ago
Well done, it turned out great!! I really like how the acetone transfer looks, especially around the edges. Looks great in your apartment too, thank you for posting your results!
Very Cool, i'll be trying this out soon.
badkim8 months ago
OUTSTANDING!
dsmithtx9 months ago
really bad idea to mess with this kind of stuff.
Kickersteve110 months ago
Hi!

I like your instructable, it is awesome!

But i have a question. Did you use normal paper to print your design?

greets from Austria ;)
purpletheory (author)  Kickersteve110 months ago
Yeah, just regular printer paper. The important part is that it has to printed with a laser printer, because the toner is what adheres to the wood.
Cheers!
OK thank you!!
opticalfx10 months ago
Awesome instructable! I tried giving it a go a few weeks back but I didn't have any matte medium so I just used waterproof wood glue. work ok. This is my first try at it. I later found out that the wood has to be truly smooth and flat.
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purpletheory (author)  opticalfx10 months ago
Turned out awesome!!!
DevilSign10 months ago
Awesome idea! any chance to get the graph?

Thanks for share this amazing work!
rvijulie11 months ago
klaatu barada nikto haha, well thought :)
cblum11 year ago
Great table/graphics! I was wondering what font you used for this project? Sorry if you answered this before ;o)
purpletheory (author)  cblum11 year ago
Thanks man! The font is called "captain howdy."
Thanks! Again, really great design and idea!!
Easy to understand and beautiful result!
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