Made By Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - excerpt

Scott Bedford is creative director at an ad agency in London and for the past several years has been writing and illustrating a how-to column of kid-friendly projects for MAKE. His sense of humor and artistic skill appeal to me, so I was excited to find out that he's got a new book out: Made By Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff.

Here's a few of the projects in Made by Dad: Martian Door Decal, Earthquake Coat Hook, 1-Ton Lampshade, Cat-Trap Birdfeeder, Table Leg Moon Mine, Snappy Toast Rack, Titanic Bookshelf Art, Slingshot Car Launcher, Marvelous Marble Bouncer, Teddy Through the Center of the Earth, Snail Soup Decoy, and Surveillance Camera Stash. How can you go wrong with a list like that?

Below, complete instructions for making a Godzilla Skyline.

Made By Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff.


  1. Absolutely delightful!!! Thanks for the tip, I’m so going to order it (I hope it’s ok to use the book even though I’m a mom). I also really liked that the “look inside” feature in Amazon shows a lot of the projects… the one that sold it to me was the “Alien abduction” mobile, I’ve absolutely got to make it!

  2. Remember, kids: moms are hopeless neatniks, dads are slobs, and moms _never_ help their kids with maker projects.

    Kids as impressionable as it gets, and this sort of stereotyping turns into unconscious attitudes that are really hard to unlearn.    It is really harmful for authors of kids’ books to engage in this sort of thing.   We really don’t need these memes colonizing the future.

    1. Amen. It’s extremely frustrating when an otherwise awesome project book falls into these tropes. I know these are the mentalities that are out there, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to help contribute to my kids picking up on them.

    2. Mine is going to feature a gigantic weeping troll instead of Godzilla.

      Godzilla is in fact a crypto-fascist metaphor for nuclear war.

      1. But aren’t giant weeping trolls crypto-fascist metaphors for armies with siege engines?   :)

        1. That’s OK, I live in the Punkin’ Chunkin’ state, so we’re always up for a good siege engine.  My kids could tell the difference between an onager and a ballista when they were in kindergarden.

    3. While you are generally right, the author in question is an actual dad, so I see no problem with the book title/concept.

      1. Assuming that he did half the cooking, the cleaning and the laundry while he was writing it.

      2. Why does the fact that an author who is reinforcing stereotypes is male and a dad make it okay?   I don’t follow your logic.

          1. Did you read the article?   I’m not complaining about the title.  I’m complaining about the stereotype that Mom cleans house and dad makes messes.   It doesn’t matter whether Mom writes this or Dad does—either way, it’s reinforcing the same stereotype.

    1.  More cool… indeed!  This will be just the ticket for number one daughter’s giant window that roasts everyone in summertime.

      Especially if I can sneak it on there without prior warning, muahhahahahaha!

      1. You would be better off to put the shade on the outside, if possible.   Otherwise the heat will still be in the room—just not as evenly distributed.

        1. Yes, good point!  I didn’t realize the one pictured was on the inside, but looking now I see you’re right.  Thanks.

          I think I will use some of the plastic political signs I tear down every election cycle, that are stacked up in the barn.  The hollow cored white plastic should be a reasonably good insulator.

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