Picture of Ouija Coffee Table
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.


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
Several brushes or rags
Sand paper (coarse, medium, and fine)
Acrylic Gel Medium (available at art supply stores)
Water-based Polyurethane

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

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

Step 2: Design and Planning

Picture of Design and Planning
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!
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LaneyLuck2 days ago

Fantastic tutorial! I'm working on mine now, can't wait to see the final product! I found this though, he's selling your work :(

annieves11342 months ago
I finally finished my table ! This thing is pretty eff'n sweet ! I have to thank Necarioc for his Amazing design . It was awesome for him to give me his file . Purpletheory's instructions were perfect .. Although I will say the transfer was definitely a test in patience !!! It takes a long time when you have fine details and you want to make sure you don't peel them up. Anyways thanks ! This was fun and everyone loves it .
15, 7:32 PM.jpg
What type of paper did you use???
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."
Hey bro. I love the design. Thanks for the step by step. Btw you said the font is called "Captain Howdy" thats also the name of the spirit Linda Blair contacts on the ouija board at the beginning of "The Exorcist"..... any connection? Hehe.
Thanks! Again, really great design and idea!!
DomDom.p777 months ago



they came out upsidedown but all handmade foldups not painted i use a Wood burnner contact for details

andrewennis77 months ago
Has you ever tried transferring a color image to a table or wood? If so how did that work?
I've been wanting to try this for a few months now and finally have the time to do it, but my question is this: does the type of wood make a difference on how well the transfer will work? I'm asking because I have a table, but its made of parawood. I was just wondering if anyone has had success with this type of wood in particular, or should I use a different kind? Any and all help/input would be much appreciated. Thanks.
scarletspider19 made it!8 months ago

Beautiful! Thanks so much for the inspiration and vector!

Gloominati10 months ago
One day I got the idea that I wanted a Ouija board table and an Internet search led me to this. I fell super in love with your design and process that I had to try it. I went to Kinkos to get the vector design printed and it turns out that they printed WHITE on the paper. So here's something different. I still like it a lot, but of course the attractiveness of the wood grain is completely covered. I still love it. Anyway, thanks for sharing this Instructable!
CITguy12 months 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.

Cozmo35 CITguy11 months ago

It is very important that a laser printer is used, as an inkjet will not work for this type of image transfer.

Cozmo35 CITguy11 months ago

This is not my project, but I have used a clothes iron in the past with steam and heat, it usually works.

Cozmo3511 months ago

How did you get the image to print out on several pages?

malice606 made it!1 year 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!

Johnny-No1 year ago

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

xantiago1 year ago

nice work!

Nefarioc made it!1 year 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.

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.

jturner301 year 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.
photo (10).JPGphoto (10).JPGphoto (10).JPG

would you be interested in sharing your design? I love it.

purpletheory (author)  jturner301 year ago

Wow, turned out great! Nice design too!


ddhix1 year 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.

Thats amazing!! what computer program is that?

jgalley11 year ago

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

asalcedo41 year 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?

sKarey1 year ago

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

phantelope1 year 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!

bkelly10121 year ago
Dude wow this is amazing
ragereaver1 year ago
Hello , i wanted to thank you , your tuto inspired me a lot, this is the result :

it's a bit more complicated to make , but worth it ^^.
purpletheory (author)  ragereaver1 year 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)  laurenmkilgore1 year ago
Thank you, I'm glad you like it! You can download the graphics on step 2.
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