Picture of The Illusionist's heart
You're in love.
You like woodworking.
You hate to buy industrial-made junk-jewelry.
You want to give something personal and special.
You don't want to cut your heart out to give it away either.

This Instructable is for you!

I'll show you how to make a wooden 'cartouche' - just a piece of wood - that can be transformed into a beautiful heart.

Give the cartouche to your love. If after two hours she's still asking you what it's good for: take it back, and change her into a smarter version.

Where I got the inspiration from? Did you see 'The Illusionist'? That famous movie with an outstanding Edward Norton? Remember the wooden heart? Didn't it inspire you to build one your own?

All you need:
- a beam of hardwood (square shaped - three inches thick)
- the usual woodworking tools
- a lot of patience
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Cut the beam

Picture of Cut the beam
Sand ONE side of the beam to get a smooth surface. No need to sand the other sides.
Cut two cubes out of the beam.
Use a circular saw. Don't forget gloves, goggles & ear plugs.

Step 2: Glue the cubes together

Picture of Glue the cubes together
Mark the midpoints of the cubes ON THE SMOOTH SURFACE.
Drill a hole in each cube - I used a drill bit with a diameter of 3mm (0.1 inch) and drilled 1 inch deep.
Put the drill bit in one of the holes, the bit will serve you as axis.
Put wood-glue ON THE MARGINS of the smooth surface of one cube.
Put the other cube on the axis.
Glue the two cubes together and press them with a clamp.
Let it dry.
1-40 of 88Next »
themortalphoenix made it!29 days ago

Lacquered Teak. Amazing finish and texture.

Basic idea was from here!
Thanks a tonn

adam.reupert made it!1 month ago

Made it(:
It's a little edged but I like it...

ankitz2 months ago

is it possible to make it more foldable such a way dat we can put photo of two love birds in each fold of heart?

bricobart (author)  ankitz2 months ago

Someone realised this in another instructable. Yes it can!

etolar2 months ago
Would you have to start with the 4x4? Or could you use a board of appropriate thickness?
bricobart (author)  etolar2 months ago

I discovered that the bigger the initial blocks, the preciser I could work. My very first was a complete disaster since I started with two small planks. Give it a try, and good luck!

DanielGlasgow4 months ago
Made my own, I liked the idea and used several ideas from your post! However I didn't drill all the way through for the screw

It's beautiful! Can you elaborate on how you did the screw part? I have been having difficulties with the last few I made.

For my own I screwed half way through each piece, and then I cut a screw in half and screwed each side in, it can unscrew but using a screw with lots of threads.
bricobart (author)  DanielGlasgow4 months ago

Congratulations Daniel, you made a wonderful piece of art! What wood did you use? The colour is just splendid!

I used Purple Heart and mahogany! :) after this picture I used a natural oil too! I like the idea thanks
winchman made it!5 months ago

What a fantastic project. I made mine out of Purple heart and deviated from the original in that I screwed the two blocks together right from the start. Eliminated the gluing and it allowed me to drill all of the holes accurately to accept the pivot screw and then the plug that I put into the hole. It also allowed me to check the fit while shaping. Very chuffed.

bricobart (author)  winchman4 months ago

Congrats my friend, you did a hell of a great job! Excellent wood choice btw, this turns out really nice! How were the reactions? ;)

Thank you! Reactions were very good and it had a wonderful impact on the lady in question. I had it couriered to her just yesterday and she could not believe I made it myself. Thanks for the project.
bricobart (author)  winchman4 months ago

Because you threw it to her head?

Just kidding!!! Glad it inspired you and I hope it won't disturb your life too dramatically...

oddwon5 months ago
Made with babinga and no holes for the post.
mysweetlife6311 months ago

Love this!

akinich1 year ago
This is spectacular, I guess I'm going to be taking at least 5 tries to get it right. I would like to know if it's possible to do this without wasting so much wood?
bricobart (author)  akinich1 year ago

With this method, not really. For what it's worth, you can easily get a piece of scrapwood for free in your local sawmill and what you're calling 'waste' can be reused in other projects. Good luck!

Thanks for the instructable! I made one for my girlfriend with 25 year aged pecan, I just had to make blocks out of it at first. The first time I used a crappy 4x4 and it broke apart on the samder as I was finishing. Anyway, great job!
bricobart (author)  Wolfbane2211 year ago

Great! Do you have a picture?

Daftehh2 years ago
Hey thanks man!
That is beautiful. Nice eyehole up top, I was planning on doing the same thing.
bricobart (author)  Daftehh2 years ago
Nice work! Congratulations!!!
sevenden1 year ago
I'm making one at the shop pronto! thanks
mads2810862 years ago
Hi bartolo
It´s a great instructable and I want to go out and get started now! but.. one question. The screw. When you turn the finished pendent, wont the screw separate the two pieces?
bricobart (author)  mads2810861 year ago
Nope, because the tip of the screw is glued in one half (step 7). Good luck!
I mean.. I can see from the pictures that it isn´t so.. But my mind is baffled!
Mojizao1 year ago
hey bricobart, really nice job!!

I am going to make this for my girl, in fact I already started, I just glued the 2 pieces of wood together (of course with the axis inside it)

Now like many people I also don't quite understand the 5th step, the mechanical part:
I understand the fact that you put a bigger hole (5mm) on the outer side of one and also a few milimeters bigger on the inner side on the other, but at the end of part 5 you say: screw it very solid. But on the photo I don't see a groove anymore at the head of the drilled screw. And I thought this part is supposed to be rotating and the other side (the inner part) is supposed to be glued tight? So both of the sides will be solid? Or do you screw it a little loose after you have put the glue in at the inner side? It is just a little confusing.

The rest is clear to me and the result looks great. Thanks for sharing! :)

Best wishes from Holland!
bricobart (author)  Mojizao1 year ago
Hi collegue!

I suppose being a bit late with my answer, many sorrys!!! In case you didn't find the key of the problem already, here's a bit more explanation.

Step 5 goes together with step 7. In step 5 you'll preparing the holes & setting the screw temporarly, in step 7 you'll consolidate it. Aim of 'screw it very solid' is to avoid that the two halves will move while sanding them (step 6).
In step 7 you'll de-screw the screw, put some glue in the enlarged inner hole of one half & put some oil in the other half. The end (pointed side) of the screw will be anchored in the first half while the head (large side) of the screw will move freely in the other half.

Hope this helps! Good luck, and post a picture of the result!
really cool! but i still can't understand on the screw part.
dermord1 year ago
nice job!!, but isnt exactly like the ilusionist movie (the one from the movie can contain a picture inside)
bricobart (author)  dermord1 year ago
Thanx and yes, it isn't the same at all. This is a simplified version of it - 'The Illusionist's Heart For Dummies' ;-)
still its really difficult xDD hehehe
tech dawg2 years ago
I don't understand how to do the screw part I'm building this and I understand everything up to the part with the screw how does the price turn?
bricobart (author)  tech dawg2 years ago
The bolt side is fixed all together, the screwhead side turns.
so the thread side is locked in place but the head is filled down enough to fit in the hole but not come out the other side?
bricobart (author)  Travpena2 years ago
That's it! Screw & side A are glued solidly together, side B (the side which only has a hole) turns.
I only have hand tools and a regular drill, no drill press. I tried first with purpleheart. It was pretty infuriating. It's just way too hard a wood to shape and drill accurately without a press. So finally, I decided to use the basswood I have. This is unfinished, but I'm pretty satisfied so far. It actually lines up! I'm thinking about using a dowel as well.
Very nice instructable!!
the basswood heart
1-40 of 88Next »