Make: a wifi internet Valentine

Becky Stern writes, "Send your valentine a note through the net! This DIY electronics project uses a small vibrating motor to gently wave a tissue paper heart and flash an LED when it receives instructions over the internet from another device. I built two versions of the ESP8266 wifi circuit, also equipped with two buttons for triggering the two commands. The devices talk over the Adafruit IO cloud data service to communicate with each other from anywhere with wifi, and I'll show you how to activate your valentine with the API gateway service IFTTT as well, in case you only want to build one valentine circuit." Read the rest

Make: an Arduino-based soda vending machine that fits in your school locker

Mistablik is an American high-school student who put his mind to finding alternate uses for the lockers that lined his school's hallways -- lockers that sit empty as students switch over to electronic textbooks -- and decided to build a tiny, secure, Arduino-based vending machine that would sell soda to his fellow students. Read the rest

Bake: spooky chocolate chip cookies

Long story short: start with a reliable chocolate chip cookie recipe (this one has chia!), bake and decorate with sugar pears, slivered almonds, food coloring markers (I didn't know that these were a thing, but these are a thing!) and some sculpting tools. (via Geeks Are Sexy) Read the rest

How to make a tiffin lunch pail from used tuna fish cans

Tiffin pails are the ubiquitous, ingenious and practical lunchpails of Indian workers, delivered daily by an army of spectacularly well-coordinated "dabba wallahs." Read the rest

Howto make Zombie Mouth cupcakes

The severed, animated, flopping zombie appendage is a staple of horror films, and these zombie-mouth cupcakes look like someone has decorated an amuse-bouche with a bouche coupé. Read the rest

How to make a Sugru-sealed rainbow gatling water-gun

Sugru's R&D department blew off a little steam by making a Sugru-reinforced gatling water-pistol that fires multicolored streams of dyed water. Read the rest

HOWTO: Post-bureaucratic flotsam kayak

Johntonta grew weary of the meaningless modern round of office slavery, so he created a kayak made from desk-lumber, a business-suit skin, computer-wire lashings. He documented the Post-bureaucratic jetsam kayak on Instructables so you too can sail away on the careless seas. Read the rest

HOWTO make your own head-in-a-jar illusion

By photoshopping a pair of mirror-flipped profile-shots of your face onto either side of a full-on shot, you can make a gimmicked photo that, when curled and placed in a jar of water, creates a convincing illusion of your head in a jar. Mikeasaurus's Instructable has easy-to-follow instructions for making your own. Read the rest

HOWTO build a nixie clock from near-scratch

Jeffrey sez, "The renowned 360 photographer Andrea Biffi has posted complete instructions for building your own Nixie Tube clock, even including how to etch your own circuit board. While the process seems to be slightly more difficult that 'total noob' difficulty (also, with nixie tubes, hazardous voltages are involved, so be careful!), it looks like loads of fun, with an absolutely beautiful end product."

Simple user-adjustable DIY Nixie Clock by andrea biffi (Thanks, Jeffrey!) Read the rest

HOWTO make a $10 digital microscope kit for your phone

On Instructables, Yoshinok explains a clever, simple method for building a digital microscope stand that uses your phonecam, focused by a laser-pointer lens. Read the rest

3D printed open SLR camera

Bozardeux, a recent French graduate and Instructables user, has undertaken a project to make an open, 3D printed DSLR camera. All the parts and designs are licensed CC Attibution-ShareAlike.

The OpenReflex is an Open-Source analog camera with a mirror Viewfinder and an awesome finger activated mechanic shutter (running ~ 1/60°s). What's more, it's compatible with any photographic lens with custom mount ring.

All the pieces easily printable on any recent RepRap-like ABS 3D-printer without using support material ! Everything should print in less than 15h and anyone should be able to assemble it within 1h.

All parts are separate ( Film receiver, Shutter and Viewfinder ) to simplify builds and modifications. The source files are available under the CreativeCommon By-Sa license, fell free to modify them if you want a new feature, and don't forget to share your improvements on the web ;)

3D Printed Camera : OpenReflex by Bozardeux (Thanks, Gregory) Read the rest

HOWTO make a multi-book secret stash

Here's a great Instructables for hiding a stash-box behind a wall of cut-away books. In some ways, it's a lot less fiddly than creating a single hollow book, though it does require you to use a scroll saw.

1. The height and depth of the books are the important dimensions of the book. The size of the cover is what limits storage space. Since you are using multiple books, the thickness of each one doesn't matter.

2. The books do not need to be the same size, but it is convenient if they are. Sets of reference books like encyclopedias work well because they are all the same and it is a reasonable excuse to have a bunch of large books all in one spot on the book shelf.

3. Hardback books hold their shape better than paperbacks do after being cut up.

4. The secret compartment only remains a secret as long as no one tries to read any of the books. So it helps if the book are relatively uninteresting while still looking like something that you would have on your shelf.

Multi-Book Secret Storage Compartment by DIYHacksAndHowTos (via Make) Read the rest

HOWTO make a magnetic detachable stapler for center-stapled booklets and the like

On Instructables, DIYHacksAndHowTos has a great method for separating a cheap stapler and sticking magnets on both halves, enabling you to center-staple booklets and the like. Every year or two, I do something zine-like that requires this sort of thing, and I always end up wasting money on a long-reach stapler that's always lost by the time the next project rolls around. (Don't get me wrong, long-reach staplers are awesome, but if you only need to do booklets once every year or two, they're a lot of investment). This is what I'll do next time (and as a bonus, it'll be great for kid craft projects where we want to use a staple in th center of a large sheet of paper).

One limitation of a typical office stapler is that it only lets you staple about 3 1/2" into the paper. This isn't enough for a lot of projects. If you want to put together your own comic book or a large banner, you are usually stuck stapling your project onto a piece of cardboard or carpet and then bending the legs of the staple by hand. They do sell extra long staplers or staplers with swivel heads but they still have their limitations.

A better option would be to make a stapler with a detachable base. The base would be positioned under the paper and aligned to the top half of the stapler with magnets. This would allow you to staple any area of a project regardless of location.

Read the rest

Instructables based on Little Brother and Homeland

The awesome people at Instructables have launched a series of HOWTOs based on my novel Homeland, written from the point of view of Marcus, the novel's hero. They previously posted 11 of these for Little Brother, and the new Homeland ones should be kicking off any day. Watch this space!

m1k3y's Instructables Read the rest

HOWTO make a set of junk-bagpipes

Instructables user smartin014 wants to show you how to make your own set of bagpipes out of PVC pipes and a plastic bag.

HOWTO make a DIY bioprinter out of an old inkjet

Instructables author Patrik has rigged up a homemade bioprinter, a 3D printer that "prints" in biological material.

Electric candle that runs on the heat from a real candle

Instructables user Randofo has created a tutorial for his ingeniously perverse candle-powered electric candle. As the name implies, it's an electric candle whose power comes from the heat given off by a real candle.

I have been thinking a lot lately about being more prepared, and what supplies we should have on hand for when the 'big one' hits. After prioritizing the three most obvious things to have in a severe emergency - water, food, and a fair-sized crowbar - it came down to figuring out what else one needs to survive. It did not take me very long to conclude this item was electric lighting. I use that all the time. How can I live without that?

After assessing the problem, it became apparent to me that after a few days of constant lighting, all of my batteries will be dead. This means that either I need rechargeable batteries, or a way to generate electricity without them. Not needing batteries to begin with seemed most sensible to me. I explored different options and finally figured out a low-cost, long-term, and portable, method to keep my electric candles lit. I am going to use heat generated by tea lights. The nice thing about this solution is that they are dirt cheap, small, and will last forever. You can buy about 1,000,000 tea lights at Ikea for $1.99. With a fair-sized stock of small candles, I can keep my electric candle lit indefinitely. Thanks to my candle-powered electric candle, I know that I will never be left in the dark.

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