How to Propose - TTE (Time Travel Edition)




About: I am a British Graphic Designer and Photographer, when I am not working, I spend my time making an array of projects. I used to make a lot of props, but now I spend most my time building crazy cameras and sh...

No matter what words you use, no matter what pictures you can show, those of us blessed enough to have experienced it, know that it is indescribable.

All i know, is that i found that someone that i wanted to spend the rest of my life with, no questions, no doubts, it was her, for the rest of our lives.

Me and my (now) Fiance, both enjoy things that little bit different in life, so i knew, that when proposing, it had to be something different, but not cheesy.

Hannah is a creative person just like me, the greatest thing about this, is that i have someone who understands my creativity, and is proud of what i create. I knew that something 'handmade' coupled with a place that has been 'Godmade' would make for Hannahs (almost) perfect moment.

So, i will attempt to take your through how i made my proposal that little bit different, and more importantly, how i proposed with a 'time machine'

Step 1: Finding That Perfect Part.

At first, i had a rough idea what i wanted, but really, i had no idea.

As with all my projects i always like to push the use of scrap objects, i occasionally buy a few new items, but alot of the materials are 'scavenged'.

Then, i happened upon an old hand mixer. I new there would be a hefty motor in there, and i knew it would make for a great part in one of my weapons.

Then, i looked closer, and saw the outer metal enclosure of the motor, and i knew it was perfect.

Thus, the fun of getting it apart began, this was one well constructed mixer, the screws were tight, so tight, that no screwdriver created by man could undo what had been done,

So, i grabbed my trusty dremal-esque rotary tool, a 'parkside' branded no name from my local Lidl.

So, step 1 is, destroy the screws.

Step 2: Creating the Ring Box (part 1)

Firstly, i threaded a piece of metal through the hole located in the bottom of the box. The peice of metal i used was bendable, allowing me to easily thread it through and bend it around to give me the basis for a hinge.

Using pliers i bent the metal rod around, once i had got the angle placed correctly i then went about attaching some bits of card to either side of the hinge piece. A final piece of card to join these two pieces together to form a proper lid.

All these pieces were glued in place using PVA (elmers glue), i also used a small amount of super glue to attach the card to the metal.

Step 3: Creating the Ring Box (part 2)

I needed a section to fit the ring into. So i brought forth more card, i cut out 7 pieces of card, and stacked them up to make a little block. I measured the ring, and roughly worked out how big the slot needed to be.

I took my trusty dremal tool again, this time i used a rotary cutter attachment.
With it being made from card, i easily cut out a grove for the ring to sit in.

Next i took a piece of leather, and wrapped it around the block of card. Once wrapped around i could then feel where the slit was, and carefully cut out a hole using an scalpel.

This block then slots into the metal 'box'.

Finally, i coloured the card using a sharpie black marker, i could of easily spray painted it, but, i knew it would be a pain masking it off.

Once coloured in, i then dry brushed a little bit of metallic paint onto the lid.

Step 4: Drill Out the Birds.

The ring box is good, but, i knew it needed to be more. I also wanted to hold the suspense for as long as possible.

This wooden box had been waiting for a new life for many years, its an old artists brush and paint box that i picked up for a couple of Pounds.

The first thing i wanted to do was change the outside of the box.

I chose a small selection of little bird pictures, and taped them ontop of the box, i took a small drill piece and carefully traced the outline of the birds.

Next i took a small routing bit, and drilled out the shapes. For some bits requiring a tighter cut, i used a few files, and a stanley knife for getting the tight corners out.

Step 5: The Internals.

Next i needed to add a place to store the ring box.

Firstly i made a hole for the ring box to sit in. This was made by putting in a few bits of card to form a shelf, i then cut out a shape with a hole just the right size for the ring box. the top shelf was then covered with a piece of leather.

I then used the same method for one of the gaps in the back.

The final space in the box i then filled using some parts from an old rotary phone. I glued those in place using some epoxy resin.

Step 6: The Little Extras.

Ok, next i needed to add a few extras, just to add to the thing as a whole.

These included.

  • A note/poem i wrote, which talked about alot of soppy things, including talking about wanting to travel through time with hannah.
  • A few insulin glass tubes, which were taped together. I then sprayed the ends with spray paint, and slotted these in along side the note. These both slotted intern the 'paint brush holders'
  • Finally, i made a leather kneeler, i knew it might be mucky on the floor, so i made a leather patch that i could throw down.

Step 7: Propose

So, thats how i made my proposal unique.

So, on christmas eve we went upto a local picturesque part of the local country side, i waited till roughly around the sunset, and carefully gave this to Hannah, she loved it.

And she said yes.

So, all in all, a great success!

Thanks for reading.




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77 Discussions


This is amazing I'm a whovian and desperately want to propose time travel style when I am old enough, because I think I've found my companion XD this instructable is my salvation thank you so much. Congratulations I know it's VERY late but I might jump in the TARDIS so I can go back to when it was recent and congratulate you again. Top work I'm a big fan



7 years ago on Step 7

Awesome 'ible and congrats! ( I know I'm late Hope everything went grand)

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Step 7

It will be two years since we got married in November! So, things went pretty well I think.


9 years ago on Step 7

Now, that is true creativity, seeing an old mixer motor and thinking of a case for your engagement ring. Which girl in her right mind could refuse to say "YES" and as we know now, Hanna is a smart one. ^_-

1 reply

Reply 9 years ago on Step 7

 Hehe, been looking through my instructables since I commented on your keyboard eh?

It did take her somewhat by surprise even though she knew it was coming.
The best bit was the confusion on her face when I unrolled the knee pad!


9 years ago on Introduction

An Incredible project. Congratulations on both the project and how it worked out overall. It looks like the prop-makers for Dr. Who and Torchwood could learn a few things from you.


9 years ago on Introduction

Another awesome work. I'm your fan. Thank you for sharing and congrats.


9 years ago on Introduction

wow i didnt know you could be romantic and cool at the same time lol! cheack out my time disrupt grenade (still uploading)


9 years ago on Step 7

That ring is beautiful! The time machine is very nice, too. You're a very romantic man, and Hannah is a lucky woman!

1 reply

10 years ago on Step 7

Nicely done. I'm wondering if there was anything particular that made you think of doing a time machine? Did you guys often talk about time travel or something? congratulations btw

1 reply

Reply 10 years ago on Step 7

Im an avid sci fi fan, and a time machine seemed just right, there was a soppy letter about wanting to travel through time with her, which is a geeky way of saying i want to spend the rest of my life with her. Thanks for the comment!

This took my breath away I want someone to propose to me with something like that LOVE it :D You should sell the boxes I'd buy one !

1 reply

Haha! well, once im sorted with other things, i intend to work on making some more of the crafty things. Thanks for the comment.


10 years ago on Step 7

man, this instructable is amazing! i am sure she loved it! and good luck for you both!