Make your own Secret Wood Rings with these DIY tips

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Secret Wood Rings are pretty cool-looking, so Peter Brown decided to experiment with making his own using some resin and hand-splintered wood. Not bad for the first try! Read the rest

Insanely detailed model tree made of wire

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Luke Towan makes a lot of gorgeous model railroad items, but his tutorial on making tiny trees using wire, latex, glue, and paint is especially cool to watch from start to finish. Read the rest

Polishing 3D-printed bronze coins in a rock tumbler

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Barnacules Nerdgasm used 3D printing medium with 80% bronze to make some physical bitcoins. The result was cool, but it got even cooler when he threw them in a rock tumbler. Read the rest

Print Workshop – Print up all kinds of fun stuff with this step-by-step handbook for the DIY artist

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Print Workshop: Hand-Printing Techniques and Truly Original Projects by Christine Schmidt Potter Craft 2010, 176 pages, 7.5 x 9 x 0.7 inches (softcover) $16 Buy a copy on Amazon

A year after moving, I am still finding miscellaneous books tucked into previously unpacked boxes. Luckily, that means I get to rediscover favorites like Christine Schmidt’s Print Workshop: Hand-printing Techniques and Truly Original Projects. With step-by-step instructions, project templates, and illustrated project and resource guides, this book serves as both an exhaustive guide for the DIY-er just starting out in printmaking, as well as a jumping-off point for artists who need a nudge toward new ideas.

Schmidt, the creative force behind San Francisco’s Yellow Owl Workshop, organizes the book into several helpful and easy-to-navigate sections. She opens with a brief but thorough introduction to the processes of printmaking, followed by a comprehensive guide, complete with photos and drawings, to setting up a home studio and choosing materials. These initial images of materials-for-making reappear in the technique chapters, plucked from the original grid shots to become part of each project, transformed into visual verbs for the printing process.

As someone who has no formal training in printmaking, I was especially interested in the breadth of the form. The “Relief Printing” chapter, for example, hosts a wax seal project, and “Image Transfer Printing” includes refreshingly simple pin-prick stationary. This book is full of fantastic gift ideas (I’ll be making the sweet-potato-printed picnic set for a wedding present, and my holiday preserves are about to get gussied-up with water-slide decal jars), and because printing is made for multiples, I plan to make a whole cache of go-to homemade presents to pull from throughout the year. Read the rest

Charcoal sketching is more fun

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My kids and I like to sketch together on the weekends. My older daughter and I also frequently go to a weekly figure drawing session here in LA. For me, using charcoal sticks is more fun than pencils or pens, because it's faster and I can work on shading.

The Royal & Langnickel Small Tin Charcoal Drawing Art Set ($6 on Amazon) has a good selection of different kinds of charcoal for drawing. My daughters are starting to like charcoal, too, so I bought sets for them. If you enjoy charcoal drawing, you should also get a white stick for highlights.

Here are a couple of my sketches:

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How to paint the moon on a leather bag (or just order one)

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Space artist Alizey Khan painted the moon on a faux-leather bag and will make one just like it for you for just $100. Khan used Angelus leather paints; I can vouch for them as the best I've found, too, both creatively (in that they run and mix like standard acrylics) but have a convincing texture that doesn't crack.

Here's a tutorial she made, too:

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Incredible hand-stitched scenes from Dune

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Sarah Sumeray's mum made these incredible hand-stitched scenes from Dune novels; Andy Baio adds that they're covers by legendary SF artist Bruce Pennington

The originals:

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Mini wooden pallet coasters

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This anonymously posted guide shows how to make adorable little wooden coasters in the style of transport pallets. P.S. don't make things out of actual pallets unless they have the right stamp. Read the rest

Book with fun examples of painted rocks

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I bought a book about rock painting in 2001, and posted about it here. I still have the book, and more importantly, we still have some of the rocks my family painted 15 years ago. The book has lots of inspiring examples of the kinds of things you can paint on rocks. The book is out of print, but you can buy used copies on Amazon starting at just 24 cents, plus shipping. Read the rest

A psychotic person shows how to make a Christmas sweater out of tissue paper

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In episode three of Lyssue Paper, Lyss shows us how to make happy holiday sweaters out of tissue paper and pipe cleaners. Read the rest

'Tis the season to make Japanese nengajo cards!

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See sample photos at Wink.

Here in Japan, ’tis the season to make nengajo. Nengajo are specialized New Year’s postcards sent to friends, relatives, acquaintances, former classmates, current classmates, co-workers, and anyone and everyone else in one’s contacts list.

These days, the vast majority of nengajo are either pre-printed or made on a computer and printed at home. Even then, however, many people still make a few cards by hand with stamps and ink. To that end, every year, stores display and sell rubber stamp and ink pads, along with markers, glitter, and all kinds of other utensils and accessories. The stamps are made primarily by two companies: Beverly Japan and Kodomo no Kao (Child’s Face). Both companies produce a full line of New Year’s themed stamps as well as stamps featuring popular characters like Snoopy, Doraemon, and Hello Kitty.

2016 is the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese Zodiac, so, for my card this year I chose a stamp called “Banana Kara Konnichi wa,” or “Hello From the Banana,” and a small banana stamp for accents. I toyed with using a multicolored ink pad but, in the end, I chose a standard black ink pad for the outline. Once I had the outline stamped on all my cards, I colored the cards using stiff brushed markers. I used the same marker to color directly onto the banana stamp in lieu of using an ink pad and it worked very well. What I have yet to do is write individual messages on the cards and then haul them down to the post office to be stamped (different kind of stamp!) and sent. Read the rest

Hello Tokyo! is jam-packed with Tokyo-inspired images, ideas and fun craft projects

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Born in Australia, Ebony Bizys made the move to Tokyo five years ago and hasn’t looked back since. As the founder of the popular blog Hello Sandwich, Ebony has always been obsessed with Japanese culture, as well as cute stationary, colorful home décor, and all things DIY. This 224-page book manages to cram in as many pretty images, kawaii ideas, and adorable craft projects as it can hold. From a whimsical look into Ebony’s daily life and apartment in Tokyo, to tutorials for pom-pom cardigans and handmade camera straps (among many others), to insight into ‘bento’ and even tips for entertaining, Ebony is certainly one talented and creative lady.

For those who aren’t familiar with Ebony’s blog or even Japanese culture, they’re still sure to enjoy this publication for its overload of cute images and inspirational ideas. Ebony’s aim in producing Hello Tokyo was to inspire people to bring more fun and beauty into their everyday life. After reading this book numerous times, I truly believe that she has achieved this. – Melanie Doncas

Hello Tokyo!: Handmade Projects and Fun Ideas for a Cute Tokyo-Inspired Lifestyle by Ebony Bizys Murdoch Books 2015, 192 pages, 7.1 x 9.5 x 0.9 inches (paperback) Read the rest

MAKE: a tiki-mug menorah

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Polyhai's tutorial for creating a tiki-mug menorah is all the sholem aloha you need for eight nights of candlelit grog-swilling. Read the rest

104-year-old crocheter yarnbombs her town

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Grace Brett, 104, is part of a guerrilla crochet group called the Souter Stormers who yarn bombed landmarks in Selkirk, Ettrickbridge and Yarrow, Scotland. The installation was tied to an arts festival in the area. Video below.

“I liked seeing my work showing with everyone else and thought the town looked lovely," Brett said.

Her daughter Daphne, 74, added "She thinks it is funny to be called a street artist.”

More at the Daily Record.

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Swingline Thermal Laminator on sale for $15

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My daughter Jane has been asking for a laminator so she can make bookmarks, club ID cards, and other projects. I just learned that Amazon is selling a Swingline thermal laminator for $15 (regularly $60) so I ordered it. It comes with 5 letter-sized lamination pouches. (A pack of 100 lamination pouches costs $10.) Read the rest

Spectacular, swirling custom-built stone walls and furniture

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Stonemasons Andreas Kunert and Naomi Zettl of Ancient Art of Stone elevate the art of stonemasonry with carefully designed and positioned decorative stone walls. Read the rest

10 totally insane videos of handmade rubber band guns

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Some of the artisanal rubber band guns in these crazy videos are faithful replicas of real guns.

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