For the House and Cottages

Sand painting table (illuminated table)


For several years, I dreamed of buying a light table for drawing with sand. The finished tables that I saw were of a rather large size and a decent price. In addition, I did not want to force the overall furniture of an already small apartment.

In this article I will tell and show you how I made a table for drawing with sand with my own hands.

For the basis take the table LAKK from IKEA. It has a very small size: 55 cm x 55 cm and height 45 cm, there are many different colors, I chose green. He was worth at that time 600 rubles.

Stage 1: Choosing the right acrylic (glass)

Ideally, I wanted to make the upper part of the table out of one thick piece of acrylic with a step on the perimeter. However, acrylic should be milky (white) for uniform light diffusion, but it is quite expensive and generally difficult to find with a thickness of more than 5 mm. In addition, in order to make a step a milling cutter or something similar is needed. My friends in the advertising workshop (where I took the glass) did not have such equipment. Instead, I ordered two sheets of acrylic from them. One transparent, 8 mm thick and one milky 3 mm thick.

Sizes of glasses

  • clear acrylic 480mm x 480mm
  • milk acrylic 550 mm x 550 mm (according to the size of the table)

* in the photo, thick acrylic is also white, in fact it is transparent, just a protective film on it is white

Step 2: Measure seven times, cut once

  • Carefully mark up the top of the table. Check your markup, you can attach a sheet of thick acrylic to make sure that it will fit the cutout in the table. Sheet can cut not quite the correct form, so it is important to check this point.
  • I recommend using only new blades for the assembly knife. To make an even cut, use a ruler as a guide. The ruler should not slide over the surface. Do not rush, because It is very easy to jump off the cut line with a knife.
  • Remove the cut outer surface of the table. There we will see cellular filling, it also needs to be completely removed.
  • Make sure the cutout matches our acrylic.

Stage 3: Cutting the corners

Every corner of our table is reinforced with chipboard bars. They prevent us from installing thick acrylic. If they are cut, they will serve as a good support for the glass. It is necessary to cut the thickness of acrylic, it can be done with an ordinary mounting knife. Be careful, the main thing is not to cut yourself, if you cut more than you need, it's okay, with the help of trimming and PVA glue, you can increase the required height.

When we make sure that a thick sheet of acrylic fits perfectly into the box prepared for it, you can start painting the inside of the table. This may not seem necessary, but it is not. White color will help to more evenly disperse the light and increase the brightness of our light table.

Stage 4: Electrics

Then I had to turn to specialists (familiar advertisers).

  • They took 5 meters of self-adhesive LED tape. This tape is powered by 12 volts, so you need a power supply so that the sand painting table can be plugged into an outlet. The tape can be of different colors, but was chosen in cool white. Since it feels the most vivid.
  • They wanted to make a switch, but it was not at hand
  • A hole was drilled in the bottom of the table through which the plug was passed. At the opposite end of the plug tightened several clamps so that it does not fall through the hole.

Stage 5: Lighting Installation

Lay the tape on the table, but do not fasten / glue it. Make sure that the chosen laying pattern is perfect and that the tape fits entirely. It’s better to start sticking with the end, which is near the connection cable, so that eventually you don’t have to drill a new hole. The adhesive tape is quite strong, although I added a few strips of double-sided tape, at the folds and corners, just for reliability.

We connect the tape to the power source. Tests show that everything works.

Stage 6: Acrylic Installation

Mark up and drill holes in the first sheet of transparent acrylic. Next, use this sheet as a template for drilling milk acrylic. The holes must be larger than the screws, otherwise the acrylic may crack when tightening.

The corners of milky acrylic can be rounded.

Choose fasteners suitable for your size. There are screws of different colors and with a different head, I liked the shiny round head, which I chose.

Twist it all together and ready! Try to keep the glass clean, otherwise specks of dust and dirt on the inside of acrylic or between two sheets will be very noticeable when you turn on the light table.

Stage 7: Conclusion

I am sure that there are many other ways to make a sand painting table with my own hands, but I really liked my end result, it has a nice appearance. It shines very brightly and is suitable not only for drawing with sand, but also for viewing slides and for copying drawings and drawings. And most importantly, it is quite suitable in everyday life!