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I proposed to my girlfriend Shirin on the eve of her birthday this year. She liked it and so did her friends so thought I'd share it here on Instructables. Above, you should see some exterior views of the book plus a video describing how the book works.

Overall, I wrote this Instructable assuming that anyone recreating this is going to want to swap out their own story, images and even puzzles to a certain extent so I've focused mostly on the overall process and not on the specific text, images, etc.

This project was made at TechShop in San Francisco. Unfortunately, I don't have a laser at home yet ;)

Edit: got some feedback from people who DMd me that they actually created versions of this as Christmas presents. That was awesome to hear! Based on those suggestions, I've made some updates to the Instructable to make things more clear. If anything could be made more clear, let me know!

Step 1: Background

Growing up, Shirin loved to make story books for her family so I decided to create a fairytale story based on our relationship.

The book is about the two main characters - Super Santa (me) and Ms. Gingerbread (her) and and their quest to find The Perfect Fit. What is the Perfect Fit? Neither of them know.... yet. Each chapter in the book is accompanied by a puzzle based on unique details of our relationship. She has to make the pieces of the puzzle fit together, hopefully perfectly ;), in order to get to the next chapter. I'll share details on the story as well as how I made it.

<p>Hi there, this is amazing but I dont see how I could make something like this, do you make custom puzzle boxes?</p>
<p>hi, i like this idea.</p><p>I want to gift this to my gf.</p><p>Can you prepare one for me according to my requirement.</p>
<p>Man this is amazing!</p>
<p>Congratulations on the win in the CNC contest!</p>
<p>Wow! Incredible.</p>
<p>Good Job!</p>
<p>Cool. Would you be able to cut this out on a scroll saw?</p>
<p>probably not realistic. you'll need computer controlled cutting (e.g. a laser) because several of the parts are measured down to the 0.01&quot; level</p>
<p>You are Genius!</p>
<p>This is a fantastic project and you did an excellent job!</p>
<p>This is fantastic! No wonder she said yes.</p><p>What was your thought process in designing the actual moving components? I've been looking to do something similar (yet far, far different) and the mechanisms intrigue me but I'm having a hard time finding ideas online.</p><p>Any thoughts?<br></p>
<p>hmmm that's a tough question. Not sure I had any formal thought process beyond thinking through the theme of each chapter and then coming up with a puzzle for each. so the life of adventure and change -&gt; road. </p><p>Mostly I'd start with the story then work towards the mechanics, not the other way around. Not sure this helps but hopefully it does a bit!</p>
<p>This has got to be the most amazing and intricate wedding proposal gift (including the ring) that I've ever seen. Let alone an awesome Instructable.</p><p>We're fellow rVers. Our wedding pics are at: <a href="http://rvthereyet.ca/photo-gallery" rel="nofollow">http://rvthereyet.ca/photo-gallery </a> if you're curious. We had wooden rings made for us by a lovely friend! Photos are there.</p><p>I'm blown away by your cre8tivity and talent. Well done!</p>
<p>love it. RVing is the way to go!</p>
This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. It is intricate, insanely well designed and incredibly beautiful. I wish you and your wife blessings in your new life together.
<p>very sweet of you to say, H2Powerman. I found myself a winner in my wife</p>
<p>I think you have a potential career as a watchmaker. Absolutely brilliant, needless to say. May your future be full of wonderful adventure!</p>
<p>I second that!</p>
<p>Wow! Where do you even start to learn how to do stuff like this?</p>
<p>I go to a place called TechShop in SF that has a whole bunch of equipment like lasers, metal working, wood working. I started with their Safety and Basic Use classes then just learned on my own + leveraged the community there and online. </p>
<p>You are absolutely brilliant! This is so incredibly cool!</p>
<p>thank you so much!</p>
<p>Great Project!</p><p>-Full Spectrum Laser</p>
<p>Wow! Just - wow!</p><p>But I think Step 12 isn't quite right. It seems as though this a &quot;beginning&quot;, not a &quot;finish&quot;.</p><p>What a fantastic project.</p><p>Good luck both and congratulations &lt;3</p>
<p>Thanks, Crafty Welsh Grandma. very well spoken - it's really the next chapter. and all my friends are now asking what I'm going to do for her next year ;) </p>
<p>You've set a precedent now ☺ so I'm just going to have to &quot;follow&quot; to find out the next chapter in your &quot;book&quot; </p><p>I'm looking forward to it </p>
<p>hi, so I've been thinking more about your comment that Step 12 is not the finish. through that comment, you've given me the inspiration for the next project, which will allow us to continue the journey, wherever it may take us</p>
<p>Loking forward to reading it x</p>
<p>Sweet project! Makes me want a laser cutter. Just voted for ya.</p>
<p>thank you! yes, laser cutters are amazing!</p>
<p>What an amazing idea! great inspuration!</p>
<p>Beautifully and admirably done! Thank you for sharing your work; very inspiring. :)</p>
<p>thank you ;) much appreciated</p>
This is such a wonderful piece of work, it shows quite obviously how much love you have for your future wife. You have my vote for all 3 of the contests you entered.
<p>I'm glad it is so obvious because it's true ;)</p>
<p>Ladies and gentleman, that&acute;s a man truely in love.</p><p>You crafted something that is a complex artifact, a work of art, and a proof of love, ALL at the same time. And now you share all this hard work selflessly, as the way love should be; thanks a lot.</p><p>Kudos for you, and I hope you have a long, prosper, and lovingly marriage.</p>
<p>thank you so much, Zamario, for the compliment. Obviously, I created this for her but am happy to share with anyone, especially on Instructables, which has been so helpful in taking me from a complete novice to [wherever I am now!]</p>
Genius. Makes me want to go back a start again so that I could do something this cool. Well done, sir!
<p>hi zanahade, nothing to go back for. I just learned how to do all of this stuff on the fly... I had a lot of false starts, iterations, etc. but it's just a matter of patience and perseverance! I did some smaller pieces first, to get the hang of things, of course. but there is no reason why you, or anyone, can't do something similar!</p>
I already proposed and married her... proposing again seems a little... funny. However, this did give me an idea for something else down the road, so cheers!
<p>Ha! totally misinterpreted what you were saying. yes, I would agree that the 2nd proposal would come across as a little odd...</p>
<p>ive been on instructables for about ten years now, ive built a lot of stuff, i consider myself a maker but THIS has got to be the best thing ive ever seen, congratulations man!</p><p>I have a question though, im trying to understand how the 3rd page works, on the .ai file im pretty sure the left page is from the mechanical iris isnt it?</p>
<p>hi and thanks so much for the compliment. The files ended up getting a little messed up when I switched from design to cutting mode. I tried to put it all back but must have missed something. Give me a few days to take another look and both I'll update the files and let you know when it's done.</p>
<p>hi, I have updated all of the files and they should be accurate now. I now have a single file per chapter of the book. Hope that helps</p>
<p>WOW! Really nice!</p>
<p>Great project,thanks</p>
<p>This is spectacular, I love it so creative,</p><p>Great project,thanks</p>
<p>Классно!!</p>
<p>Спасибо!!</p>
<p>Incredible. What a thoughtful proposal. Also exposed some real talent. </p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: My name is Eric Page. I did some woodworking in my Dad's shop when I was young but took a 25 year hiatus to ... More »
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