DIY enthusiast Eric Page will spend hundreds of hours crafting the perfect gift for his girlfriend, Shirin. So when the time came to propose, he wanted to make something truly special. “Growing up,” he writes, “Shirin loved to make fairy tale story books for her family so, for the proposal, I decided to create a fairy tale story based on our relationship.”
Page’s unique project is as impressive as it is extensive. Working off the theme “The Perfect Fit,” he created an eight-page book where each page was a chapter, and each chapter was locked until Shirin solved a puzzle about their relationship. After a correct answer, she moved onto the next chapter.
Page produced the book from wood and structured each spread as a box. The craftsmanship is impeccable, but it’s the surface details that are really stunning. Every chapter has a plethora of intricate illustrations and text etched via a laser cutter. “It was hard for me to get these [etchings] to come out nicely. I probably laser cut 30-40 iterations before I was happy with the result.” When complete, they were connected and held together by dow rods.
Once Shirn got to the last page of the book, she had one last puzzle to solve—an ancient Persian artwork with a hidden opening. “When I finally figured out how to open it, the ring was inside and he was down on one knee, asking me to marry him,” she writes. The answer was a resounding “yes!”—they’ll marry in 2017.
Here’s the happy couple. They met at Santacon in San Frasico. “Eric was dressed as Superman Santa,” Shirin writes, “and I was Flapper Santa (although later I became known as Ms. Gingerbread).”
A look inside of the incredible book: