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Coffee Table Fortune Teller Box Tutorial by Sarah Whitmire

Filed under Art Projects, Design Team, DT Recommendations, Tutorials

Note: most of the links on this post no longer work, as we moved to a new Web site in 2018. But you can try searching on the same names (as links below) on the new site.

Sarah Whitmire has provided an easy to follow tutorial for you to make a beautiful coffee table fortune teller box of your own!



Tim Holtz Large Game Spinners

Game Spinners Collage Sheet

Fortunes Collage Sheet

Mini Numerals Collage Sheet


6 Empty matchboxes


6 brads

Ribbon or similar attachment to make drawer pulls

Small numbered tags 1-6 (more info on options below)

Acrylic paint

Color Box chalks (matte ink pad ink)


  1. Cut 2 pieces of 4" x 6" chipboard with an X-acto knife (make sure you have a cutting mat under your chipboard)
  2. Arrange matchboxes (see photo at right). The top and bottom boxes should be flush with the top and bottom edges of the chipboard. The middle matchbox should be centered. Glue down the boxes using a thicker-type tacky glue such as “The Ultimate.”

    Don’t worry if the matchboxes hang a bit over the sides of the chipboard. Attach the top piece of chipboard. Allow this to dry so it can be easily handled without shifting.

  3. Attach metal spinner to spinner paper from collage sheet. Check for “spinability.” I added two small washers to bring my spinner up and away from the paper.
  4. Remove all matchbox drawers. Set aside.
  5. Paint all “hangover” edges of the matchboxes with Acrylic paint. (I used dark green)
  6. Cut 2 pieces of decorative paper to 4" x 6" and glue to the front and back of box. Center and glue the spinner paper with spinner (that you made in step 3) to the front of the box.

    (Picture of back of box)

  7. Now using tacky glue such as “The Ultimate” add bits of paper sized to fit the top and bottom open sides of the box.

    I used brown papyrus paper and made my side pieces fit by holding the paper up to the opening and marking my cut lines with a pencil. Adjust size as needed.

  8. I added brown Color Box chalk to all of my edges to finish them and started making handles for my drawers. To start I poked holes in all of my drawers using an awl and then added twisted wire. You can also use brads, ribbon or any other kind of “pull” you can think of.
  9. I attached some number tags, one each per drawer. You could use some of these 7mm hammered disks. (I glued on some small paper numbers, you can also use the Mini Numerals Collage Sheet.)
  10. I added some pre-made fortunes I saved from Chinese take-out, but I think it would be tons of fun to add your own handmade fortunes too! Don’t have any fortunes laying around? You could also use fortunes from the Fortunes Collage Sheet.

Thank you and I hope you had fun making this little table top game!

Posted by MizBella, September 5th, 2008

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