DIY Seinfeld TV Aqaurium

seinfeld-tv-aquarium-1

If you’re a fan of shows about nothing, then you may be hard pressed to find anything more entertaining than this old television that’s been outfitted with an aquarium featuring a model of the set from Seinfeld, as well as the entire cast played by fish.

Luckily, Matt Davidson thoroughly documented the process he used to create his spectacular feat of upcycling in this Seinfeld TV aquarium tutorial.

There are a ton of old school TVs for sale now that flat screens TVs are a dime a dozen. [Why] not repurpose that old TV in grandma’s house into an awesome fish tank[?] With some basic tools and some common sense you can be watching your own fish on the small screen. I’m a huge Seinfeld fan so [I] turned the set into Jerry’s living room, complete with furniture and cast.

Davidson even outlined all of the materials costs in a spreadsheet, which clearly indicates that watching this aquarium is much cheaper than paying a monthly cable bill in the long run!

[via Neatorama]


Dollar Store Hack: The Hunger Games Gold Collectible Plate

Does anyone out there remember the passion people had in acquiring collectible decorative plates back in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s? Names like The Bradford Exchange, The Franklin Mint and Royal Doulton were pumping out limited edition decorative plates destined for the dining room hutch and our parents’ ‘do not touch anything on there’ tables everywhere. Ah, those were the days!

Since that time, collectible plates have lost a lot of their luster as sought after collectibles due to over-production. However, there’s still a unique allure to having a fancy looking artistic display piece you will never ever eat food off of. To me at least, collectible plates still have a niche appeal to them.

After discovering my local dollar store sells real tempered plates for $2 apiece, I decided the time had come to create a one-of-a-kind decorative plate based on a more personalized sense of style, versus the over-produced dust collectors that killed the collectible plate market in the first place.

My first collectible/decorative plate is a homage to The Hunger Games and Jennifer Lawrence’s iconic character Katniss Everdeen.

I will honestly say that I do greatly enjoy The Hunger Games franchise. I was surprised how much I enjoyed watching the first installment after my young niece dragged me to the theater kicking and screaming (I was still traumatized from the forced Twilight movie outing nightmare). But now thanks to my bragging niece, I love The hunger Games and was excited to make my first collectible plate about the strong and respectable Katniss character!

Making a collectible plate is ridiculously easy! Just get a quality dollar store plate (sounds like an oxymoron, but they do exist now), spray paint of the color you want and create an image on your computer. Spray paint the plate and while it dries, print the image, place double-sided tape on the back, cut out and stick down on the plate. Easy-peasy!

The finished plate will look gorgeous and will make a great personalized gift for Christmas. This technique can be used to make a collectible plate about anything your heart desires.

So happy designing and let’s fill that hutch or shelf with some amazing and personalized one-of-a-kind masterpieces!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


DIY Cable Ties from Corks

0fbca5ad058ff40d80f70140629aae40

I spotted this fantastic idea for cable ties floating around on Pinterest. By the looks of it, the source comes from a magazine clipping (title unknown). This is a super simple idea, and all of the instructions are written in this clipping.

The key to this hack is using the synthetic corks, since natural corks would be too brittle and likely crumble under pressure. You could certainly get a similar result using pieces of doweling as well.

A great DIY gift for someone who likes to keep their stuff tidy and organized!


13 Things That Make A Maker’s Day

View All

When talking with friends and co-workers you may notice a tendency to bring up things that bother you. Its normal, we generally share the negative sides of things and identify and empathize over our similar frustrations. It is a really easy thing to do, to start a conversation with “I really hate it when …”. Usually there’s no shortage of annoying items on our lists.

I thought it might be fun to share some of the little things that really feel good. These little things happen all the time around us and maybe we haven’t taken the time to even realize that we enjoy them. What part of making brings a smile to your face? What do you look forward to?

Here are 13 things that make my day, I’d love to hear yours.


How-To: Mold Making for a Missing Handle

Missing-hardware-heres-a-fix-make-one-to-match-1024x519

One day you may find yourself with the same conundrum Nancy found herself facing– having a gorgeous antique furniture piece with one missing handle.

With a trip to the craft supply store and a little advice from the staff, she was able to make a replica handle by molding and casting it in Sculpey oven bake clay.

There are definitely fancier mold making materials out there, and ones that will produce a better long term solution to replacing a piece of hardware. However, for a one-off mold and for the price, I am quite impressed with the results.

Aubusson-Blue-Dresser-Plus-Missing-Handle-I-Made-to-Match

Before trying something like this, consider how much the piece will get used. If you will need to pull on it, or is it simple for decoration? All of these factors will determine which materials are right for your project.

To see how Nancy completed her project, check out her blog, Artsy Chicks Rule.


Open Source Water Testing Platform is 3D Printed

J.M. Pearce’s water-testing platform uses open source electronics and 3D printed components.

J.M. Pearce’s water-testing platform uses open source electronics and 3D printed components.

 

Clean water is a tough commodity to come by in most of the developing world or even California for that matter. There are several low-cost methods to treat ‘shady looking’ water but the equipment needed to test the water before and after its cleaned are costly and some are even lab bound, meaning they’re not portable.

To get around those issues Joshua M. Pearce and his team from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Michigan Technological Institute designed a new low-cost open sourced 3D printed Water Testing Platform.

 

Their platform was designed using OpenSCAD modeling software with the inner electronics consisting of an Arduino, microcontroller and LED display shield, which is paired with firmware acquired from GitHub (also open source) that provides menu navigation for the devices various functions.

All of those electronics are packed inside a portable polymer case created using a RepRap 3D printer, which makes for a truly open sourced, cheaply produced efficient water tester that can be used anywhere. For more information on the Open Source Water Testing Platform head here for the academic paper. You can find the files for building one on Libre3D.


10 DIY Thanksgiving Mason Jar Ideas

[bs_slideshow]

Thanksgiving is coming up quick! If you’re looking for last minute DIY decor ideas, here are some that using mason jars. Mason jars are great for crafting because of all the things you can do with them! You can paint them, stuff them, hang them, and give them as gifts. And since there are lots of fun things involving painting, baking, and making, you can even get the kids involved too!


DIY Backyard Ice Rink

If you’ve got the open space in a large backyard, freezing cold temperatures, and a love for ice skating, you could make you own ice rink. Imgur user legojerry created his own with lumber and polyethylene plastic.

View All

Using 2×4s for the perimeter, he first laid them all out to create his outline. He used 50 1″×2″×18″ stakes for stability, and 1×4s on all of the seams for added strength, inserting the screws from the inside and screwing them in flush so that they wouldn’t interfere with the liner. To correct the 5½ inch incline of his yard, he added 7/16″ oriented strand board to add height, since water self levels and since it was such a large level difference. After it is all inserted and screwed in, you can add the plastic liner. He used 6 mil 20’×45′ polyethylene plastic, but adds that a bigger liner would ensure at least a foot of excess on each side of the boards.


The Fortress of Sugar Crystals

fortress-of-rock-candy-1

An ordinary jar of sugar crystals were being grown by Maika of Geyser of Awesome until she transformed it into a sweet, little Fortress of Solitude with the simple addition of a small Superman figurine.

fortress-of-rock-candy-2

Remember those sugar crystals I started growing over the summer? They grew so numerous and large that I couldn’t bring myself to destroy my little science experiment and eat them. Instead I just bought a wee Superman figurine and positioned him inside what is clearly a tiny Fortress of Solitude.

fortress-of-rock-candy-3

If you’d like to try and grow a miniature Fortress of Solitude of your own, rock candy is a great project to make with kids from just a few common household items. Unfortunately for Superman, all it takes is a little blue food coloring, and those rock candy crystals could look a lot like kryptonite!


LittleBits Gives You AC Control With Its New Smart Home Kit

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 1.09.24 AM

This summer, littleBits promised a world of DIY connected devices when unveiling its access-from-anywhere CloudBit module. Today, they move closer to that promise with the release of their Smart Home Kit, which includes among its 14 components an IR-controllable AC electrical socket.

This AC accessory is the star of this kit. It interfaces with your littleBits circuit using a companion IR transmitter bit that can signal the socket to turn on or off. It has a range of about 10 meters, and works on five different channels, allowing you to have multiple IR components in the same room working independently. The socket can handle 15 amps, enough to handle coffee makers, AC units, lamps, and more. And by giving it a remote, wireless connection, it keeps the circuit maker clear from high-current electricity.

AC_Switch_1LR

Early image of the IR-controlled AC socket, from the littleBits website.

 

The kit is designed around the CloudBit’s remote internet capabilities. LittleBits has created a variety of example projects that highlight this, including retrofitting a coffee maker to be powered over the internet, a smart fridge that tweets you when the temperature rises too high from an open door, and the “DIY Nest” smart AC unit that they posted with the CloudBit launch.

Also included in the kit are a few new bits that are focused on IoT connected home projects: a temperature sensor, a threshold bit, a new number bit with various counting functions, and an MP3 player.

The full Smart Home Kit will cost $249.