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Several months ago I ran across this excellent tutorial by DaveInTheGrave on how to make an animated Ouija board.
I can't seem to get the post to show up here but it is currently on page 8 of this forum. Maybe someone can get the link posted on this thread for me. I set about making this really neat small animated prop and then subsequently DaddyO asked a question about what else could this be used for other than a Ouija board. This started me thinking about making a spell book with an animated spider so...here it is:

Here is what you will needed:

Small piece of stiff corregated cardboard cut to the inside dimention of the spellbook - free
1/8" piece of clear plexiglas cut to the dimention of the inside of the spellbook - about $10 including cutting if at a glass store
Spray adhesive - about $6
Scissors
Computer paper
Access to a computer with a graphic program (publisher or similar)
Acrylic craft paint - $2
Paint brush
1 - Reindeer motor - about $18 (mad max has them)
6 - 3/4" magnets - $3
1-Small furniture slider about 1" in diameter - $3 box of 6
3' of 3/4" square dowell - $3
Glue gun and glue sticks or Elmer's or Gorilla glue or similar
Measuring tape
Pencil
Straight edge
Aluminum bar or similar for reindeer motor drive arm
Razor knife or exacto knife to cut the cardboard
Saw to cut the 3/4" dowell
Book box - $7 - $19 depending on what you buy
and of course...a spider - $1 at the dollar store for a package of 3
1.jpg

Now for step one: Make the spell book
Start with a book box. Since the spellbook box itself is already made all you have to do is decorate it to your liking. These can be purchased at craft or hobby stores like MIchaels or Hobby Lobby. You can either find them plain or decorated. I could not find a plain one so I purchased this on sale for $7.95.
2.jpg 3.jpg

Paint the book box a color of your choosing. You only have to paint the outside. I painted the first coat a darker color to cover the design and then a lighter color that I wanted for the spell book.
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Now, since I have absolutely no artistic talent at all, I simply went online to get some clipart for my spell book.
5.jpg

I painted the spell book my final color and then cut out the computer clip art and using the spray adhesive stuck it to the spell book.
6.jpg

Now for the inside. Using the tutoral by DaveInTheGrave fabricate the interior of the spellbook for animation. Cut the 3/4" square wooden dowel for support pieces. These supports are to support the cardboard and plexiglass that will be installed later. Each of mine were about 2 3/8" long. I also put some along the top edge of the supports for additional support. The support pieces should be short enough to allow the corregated cardboard and plexiglass to sit on top of them and still allow the spell book to close. Then using the hot glue, Elmer's or Golilla glue glue them in place. The adantage of using the hot glue is there is very little waiting time to set up and it is plently strong for this project. Follow DaveInTheGrave's tutorial to make this. Since I was using a reindeer motor when I made my Ouija board rather than a vent motor that he used he provided a link to BuccaneerBabes post on using a reindeer motor for her Ouija board prop.
7.jpg

Now you are ready to install the motor. The motor and drive arm should be high enough to for the magnets attached to the end of the dirve arm to just clear the bottom of the corregated cardboard when it is placed on top of the supports. Follow DaveInTheGrave's instructions on how to place the magnets on the drive arm. The motor drive arm will move back and forth reversing direction each time it hits either the support at the top center of the book or the support at the bottom center of the book.
8.jpg

Ok, now for the spell book pages. Either print your own or go online to get clip art of spellbook pages. Print them out and then using the spray adhesive glue them to the spell book inside cover and to the corregated cardboard. You will need to use the razor knife or exacto knife to cut the cardboard to the size of the inside dimension of your spellbook and use the straight edge to get...well...straight edges as you cut.
9.jpg 10.jpg

Spider time. Again follow DaveInThe Grave's tutoral but instead of glueing the magnets to the Ouija board planchet you will be glueing them to the spider. I used the gorilla glue for this as it holds the magnets very well.; but the drying time is significant. Now glue the furniture slider to the magnets that have been glued to the spider.
11.jpg 12.jpg

Now put the plexiglass in place over the spellbook page and your are ready to have the spider run up and down the spellbook. I highly recommend having the plexiglass cut to the proper size at the store where you buy it. There is no additional cost and the edges will be much cleaner and no chance of breaking or cracking the plexiglass as there would be if you cut it yourself. A little car wax on the plexiglas and furniture mover makes it move a lot smoother.
13.jpg

To see it in action look here:
http://s1051.photobucket.com/user/scarypapa/media/MVI_0030_zps307f9551.mp4.html

Of course, If you don't want to make the spellbook you can purchase them already made and then just add a spellbook page and the interior mechanism. This one is a candy box from Hallmark.
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Here to burgle your turts
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What a brilliant idea, Scary Papa!

DaveintheGrave alone has enough amazing ideas, that if i put in some effort thinking how to repurpose them like this, I'll likely never run out of idea. I think it takes a bit of extra creativity to see beyond the stuff that's already there and come up with something new.

Looks really fantastic. Great job!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the nice comments. I really don't think I have ever actually had an original idea in my life but sometimes I can figure out a little twist on someone else's idea. I did notice when I watched the video that there is a click each time the drive arm reverses direction. This reminded me that I forgot to put a little piece of felt on the wooden supports that the drive arm hits to reverse direction. I will add this felt tonight. This will muffle the sound. Also, I don't permanently mount the cardboard and plexiglass to the supports. This way I can easily remove these parts and store the spider and the electric cord under them inside the box when it is not in use. I also did this with my animated Ouija board to store the planchete and electric cord inside.
 

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Funeral Crasher
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Gee, you're really thinking outside the box, Scary Papa! That's a great idea and a fantastic execution of it!
You spider looks great! Nice tutorial, also.
I did have the thought of doing something similar, like having a candle moving on top of a large book. But your spider idea is even better.
It's amazing what you can make with a small motor and a few magnets.
Thanks for the "shout-out" on my Ouija Board. I appreciate it.

Great prop!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks DaveInTheGrave, your animated ouija board was so cool I had to make one. Then when DaddyO inquired about other uses for this concept I thought about the spell book and spider and just couldn't get it out of my mind. I finally just gave up and made this as well. The animated ouija board is going in my new fortune teller shack and the spell book will be in the new witch's cottage in the haunted forest.
 

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The Undead Diva
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THAT IS SO COOL! And the sound it makes when it is going across the page is disconcerting at best. ;) I have GOT to try this, or even better, get my husband to build it. He builds custom car stereo enclosures, so this should be cake for him! Hmmmmmmmmmm


<Too many ideas, not enough time in the day>
 

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Thanks Immortalia,, the sound was totally by accident. I think I failed to bend one of the spider legs high enough and it scrapes on the plexigalss. The good think about this is you can get the box for the spellbook already made and just decorate it and build the interior mechanism.
 

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It might be your motor itself making that sound, Papa. I have several of those same motors and they sometimes emit that chattering sound as they rotate.
I don't know why, but they do.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey Dave, I think you are probably right. I remember when I made the Ouija board there was some sound that the motor made when I installed it in the box. It didn't make the sound when running outside the box but I think when it was in the box the sound was amplified by the box itself (sort of like a drum) and made it more noticeable. I bet that is what is happening here as well. Hey, could you post a link to your tutorial for the Ouija board here? I wasn't able to get it to post. Guess I just don't know how to do this. Thanks. By the way..Wicked Grandma's cat HATES that spider.:D
 

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"Dave's not here, man" (Always wanted to say that.)

But since Dave isn't online at the moment, I'll just point out that the thread I linked to was a couple years old - back in a time when vent motors were cheap and plentiful. Not the case anymore - and I don't think Dave is using them anymore.

I'm sure Dave will chime in with alternatives, but I know member MadMax is selling something similar to the animated reindeer motors.

Here's another thread that might help.
http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/128978-vent-motors.html
 

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Thanks for posting that link, Gobby! Yes, I'm sure you found it faster than I would have. "Dave's not here..." LOL. I used to hear that all the time in the Navy.

Daddywoofdawg--Those vent motors haven't been readily available for a couple of years now. In the "For sale by merchants" category on this forum, one member is selling a newer version of the vent motor. I've never used one myself. Another option is the motors that MadMax is selling. They work great and I have found those on E-bay, too (from China). It's just like the one Scary Papa used.

Great prop again, Scary Papa! That sound goes perfectly with your spider!
 

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GobbyGruesom, thanks for posting that link. For some reason I just could not get it to post. Guess I simply don't know how to do this.
Papa---just click on the web address of the page (in the upper left hand corner of your screen). It will turn blue. Hold the CTRL key and hit letter "C". That copies it.
Then go where you want to post the link and hold CTRL again and hit letter "V". This pastes it. VIOLA!!
 

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GobbyGruesom, thanks for posting that link. For some reason I just could not get it to post. Guess I simply don't know how to do this.
Happy to help, Papa! Computers just rarely work as expected - I wouldn't worry about it. I get frustrated uploading photos all the time.

If you can put together a post as complex as the tutorial that started this thread, and STILL make it THAT clear and easy to follow, you're unstoppable! :D But if you ever have any questions - feel free to holler.

Dave, hope I didn't step on your toes jumping in there. :)

Looking forward to seeing any other takes on this concept. I think this thread might open the creative flood gates!
 
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