Ying Yang Zen Board




Introduction: Ying Yang Zen Board

About: Half crazy, half clever....you can decide. I enjoy experimenting with new materials and new mediums whenever I can, constantly striving to be a jack of all trades.

Have you ever needed to express your inner balance and just didn't have a way to get it out of your head! Now you can with your very own Ying Yang Zen Board.

The brillance of this product is that it is created with a beauitful duality of a combining a whiteboard with a blackboard! They are opposite mediums, yet they both share they same purpose, and together they create a perfect balance.

Bonus! The dots are the erasers! How fun and handy is that?

Now, to get you on your way to fullfilling your inner peace knowing you don't have to choose between the classic feel of chalk and the modern squeak of a dry erase marker.

Time: 2~3hrs


A round, flat surface (I used an old particleboard tabletop)

White paint

Chalkboard paint

Neodymium magnets

Solid sphere (or two sphere halfs if you can find them)


Spray Adhesive

Picture mounting hardware

Dry erase markers and chalk are pretty handy to have too.

I made this practically for free since I had already most of the stuff on hand. The round board I used is a cheap particleboard table that had fallen apart ages ago and I clung onto knowing I would need it "someday". Now that day has come and I can continue to justify hoarding all my other scraps in the name of art. Don't be afraid to use what you have! The only things I ended up needing to buy were the wooden ball and the magnets.

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Step 1: Setting Up the Design

Luckily a ying yang shape is easy to get perfect with a little geometry. Hopefully you can get an idea of the lines I used to map it out.

I decided it would enhance the middle line as well as help with painting, to route out the gap that serves to divide the ying yang. This step is by no means neccessary if you have better painting control than I do. I suited up my dremel and got ready to carve. I started in the middle and followed one line, then went back to the middle and followed the other line. The particleboard left a little to be desired in that it mostly frayed instead of cut; I ended up having to define it a bit better with a screwdriver and some sand paper.

Also, before I got to painting, I drilled in two screws; one on each intersection of where the dots will sit. This is what the magnetic erasers will stick to. Although in hindsight I will recommend that its probably better to just go ahead and use magnets for a stronger connection.

Step 2: Painting!

This step is pretty quick and easy.

I found the best way to paint with chalkboard paint is to do it in very thin, even layers. I used a simple foam brush since I had a bunch of those laying around. I ended up applying 4 layers, but they were thin and dried quickly. I'm sure a quick google search can shed light for a better ways to apply chalkboard paint, but I'm happy with my results.

I did the same thing with the white paint, thin and up to 4 layers.

I did appreciate my gap to save me from slopping over onto the other half, made things faster and much less stressful.

Step 3: DIY Whiteboard!

There are a lot of different ways to make a whiteboard but the cheapest and easiest option I found was to just use contact paper. You can buy actual whiteboard contact paper, or use clear over white paint like I did. This stuff works perfectly if you wipe the marks away shortly after making them, downside is, if you leave the marks for a while it tends to leave a shadow. Still, I found this to be the best solution for the shape I was required to work with and a little water helps clean it up again. ( I also happened to already have clear contact paper on hand).

Other white board options can be found throughout instructables or a quick googling.

I measured out a length of the contact paper, peeled off the backing, and laid it straight down over top of the white half. Using my hand I pushed out all the bubbles and made sure it was stuck down everywhere as well as it could be.

Taking a utility knife, I followed the line I had routered earlier (see? its paying off!). The contact paper cuts easily and its easy to cut the outside line by following the board edge with the blade.

Tah dah! You made your own white board! Now you can turn everything into a whiteboard!

Step 4: Cutting a Sphere (if You Need To)

I decided to go with a wooden sphere. This was not the easiest option, I think if I had to do it again I would choose styrofoam. I recommend that option because it would be easier to cut and the lighter weight would be an advantage. The wood still works, but its heavier and they tend to fall off if you bump the board or sneeze too agressively in the same room.

Anyway, I'll show you my janky way to cut a wooden sphere with a chop saw. I used tape and two sections of PVC pipe. By securing the ball to the PVC with tape I can keep a hold of it without loosing any fingers and having the ball fly in any direction. The little slice of PVC is to hold the ball still and stop it from rolling. Be prepared to sacrifice the PVC as it will get cut into with this process.

Find the mid-point, then be brave and put your cobbled mess to the test.

After all that work I did a noticeably terrible job of cutting it straight; so one is larger and heaver than the other. Once again, styrofoam is probably your friend here.

Step 5: Making Erasers!

With your half spheres, little neodymium magnets, and some felt we can whip up some handy erasers.

First, find a drill bit that matches the size of the magnet. Second, find the center of the ball and start drilling. I guessed at how deep to drill by lining up the edge of the magnet to the drill. You won't need to drill too deep. Simply push in the magnets and make sure they are secure. You can use an adhesive if you want, but I didn't find it necessary.

Handy Tip! When painting the sphere I used a screw stuck to the magnet to create a grip so my fingers didn't muck up the paint.

Cutting the felt is as simple as tracing the ball and cutting. You can also glue it down first and then cut around the edge for a close and accurate trim.

Finally, gluing the felt. I chose to use spray adhesive because it sprays on evenly and won't leave any lumps. Another reason is that, though it sticks well, its also possible to peel the felt off and replace it when the felt gets worn down and dirty.

Step 6: Display It for All to Admire!

I was lucky and already had hardware on the back of my board, but it is simple to set up a picture hanging wire with a couple of screws. I just used the screws that were left behind.

Now you are uninhibited to share your thoughts of inner peace, balance, and compassion!.... Or grocery lists work too.

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    6 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I want one of these! I didn't know there was dry erase paint! I prefer chalk so I could just make a white chalk board too! Thanks for the inspiration!

    zhamster rules
    zhamster rules

    5 years ago

    You're really creative! Nice job.:)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work,

    I didn't know what a zen board was. Originally I thought it was something you rotated according to ones mood.


    5 years ago

    Really nice design, but isn't it suppose to read Yin Yang?


    Reply 5 years ago

    You are absolutely right! I think I've known it wrong my whole life! Thank you for noticing, I'll work on fixing it :)