Sunday, January 31, 2016

Cupid Faux Mechanical Display

Vintage or steam punk style Valentine decor 
(or wedding, engagement tea, etc.) 
Cupid on stand that has faux mechanical gears 
(which means that is DOES NOT ACTUALLY MOVE!)
and finger crank (add your own metal accents, studs, gears, 
screw head brads, and other findings like those shown on model). 
Multiple layers of shapes imply plywood construction, 
and make it sturdy. 
Use cupid figure separately for wreath decor, 
suspended from ribbon, etc. 
Measures approx. 10" tall x 6" long x 3" wide. 

ASSEMBLY: 1. Get familiar with the components
of this design by looking through this labeled image.
This project is composed of components with
multiple layers for strength.
Since my aim was to imitate thin plywood,
the outer exposed face layers are cut from beige
(this often requires cutting a left & right shape),
and the inner layers were cut from a deep chocolate brown
(unless otherwise noted within the instructions;
it may prove helpful to browse the text here
prior to cutting.)
2. Identify and cut the shapes for the stand
in quantities indicated in the cut file:
A tower box   B base platform
C top base layer with slots to accept A & B tabs
D tower post    E base layer #2 that accepts D
F remaining base layers (1 beige, 3 brown))
G main gear (2 beige, 4 brown)
H main gear "washer" (2 beige, 6 brown)
I main gear handle base (beige) and handle (1 beige, 6 brown)
J (should show 2 of J) swing gear "washers" (2 beige, 6 brown)
K heart gear (2 beige, 4 brown)
L post hex "washer" (2 beige, 6 brown)
M flywheel spokes (2)    N flywheel ends (2)
O flywheel scallop top
P swing gear (2 beige, 2 brown)
Identify and cut the shapes for the cupid figure:
Q cupid body "back" (1 each beige and brown)
R cupid body inner with cutout for swing gear (4 brown)
S cupid body "front" (1 each beige and brown)
T & U right and left wings (2 beige, 3 brown)
and wing overlays (1 each beige)
V "back" bow arm (1 l & r beige, 4 brown)
W bow (2 beige, 2 brown)   X bow overlays ( l & r beige)
Y "front" arrow arm (1 l & r beige, 4 brown)
Z arrow shaft (4 beige), head & fletch (1 each set beige)
AA cupid leg/body "back" (1 l & r beige, 4 brown)
BB cupid leg/body "front" (1 l & r beige, 4 brown)
3. As noted above, most of the components are cut
from multiple layers for strength and dimension.
Cupid body components (arms, legs/body) are cut
like this example: 1 left & 1 right from beige (face),
and 4 interior from choc brown.
Shown here is arrow arm shapes (below)
and completed bow arm (above).
When layering, take care to glue each shape in place,
one by one, taking special care to match punch hole
and ALL edges. 
Use a flat bottom weight of some kind 
to help keep assembled components
 flattened while liquid glue dries completely.
4. Cupid head/body is composed of back and front
layers (1 face and 1 beige of each) that are joined
to the interior build up of 4 brown.
This allows for the invisible attachment to the
swing gear of the stand.
5. The heart gear has top layer with added accent hearts
(model has hearts cut from same beige then inked)
with 4 interior choc brown layers, 1 beige bottom layer.
6. Swing gear has front and back cut from beige,
2 interior layers cut from choc brown.
7. Left and right wings have L & R "whole" layers
cut from beige, 5 interior choc brown, with beige overlay.
8. Bow is composed of 3 left + 1 right beige,
with offset face shapes L & R attached to outer layers.
Arrow is composed of 4 beige layers with L & R
heart arrowhead and fletch shapes attached.
9. Washer shapes are built up similarly:
left: hex post washer 2 beige, 14 choc brown
right (create 3): main gear & 2 swing gear 2 beige, 6 choc
10. Prepare all cupid shapes by gluing together layers as noted 
in steps above.
11. Position "front" leg/body over head/body as shown,
lining up the punch hole plus similar "chest" and bum shapes
as shown. Glue together the surfaces that touch.
12. Position and glue  "back" leg/body similarly on opposite
head/body face.
13. Position the wings with punch holes aligned,
one wing slightly above the other as shown,
and glue to attach the surfaces that touch.
14. Prepare to position and attach the arms and bow
or arrow by completing a "dry fit" of the swing gear 
and cupid in order to determine rotation of each arm, 
and positioning of the bow or arrow.
Shown here is first the bow and bow arm . . .
. . . and then the arrow and arm.
Once optimum positioning is determined,
glue bow or arrow to appropriate hand,
and glue arm in place to appropriate body surface.
Attach optional brad through punch hole on each side
(NOTE this may necessitate trimming ends of brads
slightly to prevent interference inside the hole,
and extension beyond it.)
15. Prepare the base platform by bending back on
all perforations and tabs, as shown.
16. Bend end tabs inward, ends and sides down
to create platform corners. Overlap straight edge
to tab perf line, and glue in place. Complete 4 corners.
17. Bend the interior opening side flanges inward
and glue to the interior sides of the platform.
18. NOTE: there is a small 'F' cut into back area
within slotted areas near the narrower edge margin
(during design phase, this was assumed to be the "FRONT"
of the display, but the other elevation of display proved
move interesting and therefore became the front instead).
Orient the platform side with the punch hole toward
the 'F' side.
Fit the tabs into the slots of the top base layer,
bend tabs outward on bottom and glue in place.
19. Bend the remaining interior flanges down
to insert "tab" ends through base slots.
Bend tabs outward toward ends, and glue in place.
20. Prepare tower box by bending back on all
perforation lines and tabs.
21. Form tower into a tube to overlap and align
long side edge at tab perf line, and glue.
22. Bend top flange tabs inward, bend tower top
panel into place and glue to tabs.
(NOTE it may be helpful to turn tower top down on
flat surface and reach a long tool such as new pencil
or eraser end inside to press against tabs.)
23. Insert tower box into platform opening (be sure
to match up the punch hole sides)
and insert tabs into slots (already contain
tabs from platform but will still accept these) . . .
. . . and bend tabs, glue in place.
24. Center and attach the main wheel washer
on backside.
25. Layer the handle, with the beige slotted shape 
(slot provides recess for brad prongs) on back,
middle 5 dark choc in the middle, beige on front.
26. Position and glue "washer" as knob
on wide end. Insert brad through knob punch hole
(this may require prong ends to be trimmed),
.and through narrow hole.
27. Position and attach knob on main gear aligned
with one of the wheel "teeth".
28. Add decorative brads through remaining
wheel holes. 
Position and glue wheel on "front"  of tower with one of the
spaces between teeth centered at top, 
then attach using larger decorative brad 
(screw head style used here).
29. Prepare post tube by carefully folding back on
all long perf lines. Bend nib tabs and top cover back.
30. Insert 5/16" dowel (if available, or equivalent),
into tube as a press-against surface,
then overlap straight edge over tab to perf line,
and glue side seam.
31. Bend hex cap down and glue nibs to tube
(leave dowel or tool in place to assist).
32. Insert post through base hex hole, push through,
and glue bottom tabs to backside of base shape.
33. Position base through bottom of slot base,
up through tower and through hex hole there.
(Pole should extend approx. 3/8" above top.)
34. Position heart gear hex opening over post,
positioning one of the arms into the top tooth gap,
and glue in place.
35. Position the hex washer over the top of the
post and glue in place.
36. Prepare the fly wheel spokes by bending in according
arrangement, also bend end tabs back.
37. Join the two spoke strips into a ring by overlapping
straight end edges over opposite tab perf lines.
38. Bend tab sections and plain section pairs together
and glue back to back to create . . .
. . . 8 spoked wheel.
39. Insert tabs through slots of end circles . . .
. . . bend tabs back and glue in place.
Repeat for the other end circle.
40. Position top scallop circle over assembly,
with each valley at a spoke arm, and glue in place.
41. Insert decorative brad through top punch hole
(through center of spokes assembly also)
and then insert and glue to post and post washer.
42. Attach washer to backside of swing gear at
punch hole.
Also attach final washer, centered and about
half way up above first washer (this will
provide a "spacer" to keep swing gear appropriately
away from tower assembly when installed.
(NOTE: this washer can be doubled in thickness, if desired.)
43. Attach decorative brads at top of swing gear.
Position on "back" of tower assembly,
with bottom punch hole aligned with platform hole,
and with one of the flywheel arms inserted
through center slot near top,
and glue washer faces in place.
Insert brad through punch hole at bottom.
44. Position layered base shape under
assembly base, align edges, and glue in place.
45. To position cupid figure, insert the
top extension of swing gear into the space . . .
. . . on the underside of cupid.
NOTE this is a tight fit, and may not need glue,
particularly helpful to detach for off-season storage,
or to potentially use as a separate ornament or decoration.
Here is a side view of the finished display.
Front view of finished project.


  1. What material did you use for this project? It’s beautiful.

    1. This is cut from multiple layers of card stock (textured) that was purchased from Michaels Craft & Hobby. Many of the shapes are built up with 8 layers (sample uses outer layers of light brown like kraft color, and inner layers of a deep chocolate brown.

  2. How many sheets of each color would you say are needed? Absolutely amazing!

  3. How many sheets of each color would you say are needed? Absolutely amazing!

  4. made this..was a bit tricky with the wheel but got it done..its so cute....thanks for sharing