Introduction: Animatronic Christmas Book "Elf Yourself"
Every year I like to make a Christmas gift for my wife, while I had a couple ideas in my head I remembered that she loved those "Elf Yourself" emails so much so I though maybe I could make an actual one.
In the end I think it turned out great and she and the kids loved it.
Enjoy and please let me know what you think.
Watch the video here
Step 1: Find a Good Platform
I found this little Christmas book at a local used book shop. I know its a shame to destroy it, however I feel I am breathing new life into it. This was the smallest book i could find to hold all the components and not to be to bulky.
Step 2: Glue the Sides
Mix half PVA glue and water and brush the mixture on the sides of the book. I placed a piece of plastic rap around the top two pages and cover to prevent them from being glued to the rest of the book.
For more information on how this is done, check out another of my Instructables;How to make a Hide-A-Book
Step 3: Dissect a Tacky Christmas Card
I found a animated Christmas card at a local shop for a couple dollars. It came with a switch, speaker, motor and circuit board. Carefully remove the components from the card and place to the side. Double check it still works or if required, solder any broken connections.
I chose this card for two reasons, one it was very animated, and secondly it plays Feliz Navidad (my wife has her PhD in Spanish)
Step 4: Start Cutting
Cut out the required pages to fit the components from the card. I wanted a tight fit for mine, and make sure you have clearance for the elf's, so I removed about a third of the pages before I cut out the space for the components.
Make sure to save some of the pages, as we will be using them later.
Step 5: Make Your Elfs
I found an elf template online and printed them with a couple of photos of the faces of myself and my boys. I then glued them to am old file folder and cut them out.
I carefully glued some thread to the back of the bodies and thread them through the arms and legs and glued the ends again. This was tedious, but turned out great.
Step 6: Clean Up the Book
Next, I took a piece of card stock and measured where the arm of the motor and the switch will be. I cut those out and glued one of the saved pages to it. I then cut the opening for the arm of the motor. I left the page over the switch to conceal it, I think this looks better this way.
Step 7: Attaching the Elf's
Next I took another piece of card stock and cut it to size to fit the 3 elf's on. I covered it with one of the saved pages. I then glued on the elf's making sure to space them properly and to make sure it did not obstruct the movement of the arms and legs. To accomplish this, I added a spacer behind each elf (small pieces of card stock cut and glued together.
Step 8: Thats It.
Attache the elf's to the arm of the motor with some glue and your done. I hope you have enjoyed this Instructable. Please let me know what you think and I hope everyone has enjoyed their Holiday and New Year.