10 DIY Thanksgiving Mason Jar Ideas

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

 


Vox & Dolly's Pac-Man Electric Guitar Pillow

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If you played a lot of guitar and Pac-Man growing up, then Natalie and Wolfgang of Vox & Dolly may have just stuffed all your teenage nostalgia into one plushy package with this beautiful Pac-Man electric guitar pillow.

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This pillow is just one of many that the crafty duo have put together, and it’s amazing how well fabric patterns work with the iconic shape of a guitar, which is perfect for snuggling up with, especially while listening to a Pac-Man themed lullaby played on electric guitar by Youtube user The Cesar Experience.

And, if you happen to be an electric guitar and Pac-Man lover, then you can learn how to play the theme on guitar for yourself with this handy video tutorial by BobbyCrispy!

[via Technabob]


Crazy Cat Home Improvements

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What does one do who loves cats? You can always become a “crazy cat person” that has 20 or so felines running around the house. On the other hand, if you have a serious amount of skill and dedication to home-improvement projects, you can modify your house to accommodate their climbing needs with a series of platforms, miniature stairs, and holes to climb through.

Greg Krueger is decidedly in the second category. He seems to have a manageable number of cats, and given how well he was able to “catize” his house, the felines living there seem to live like royalty. Living in Minnesota, it must be especially nice for them not to have to go outdoors to find an interesting place to climb.

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In the video below, Greg says “I almost don’t wanna finish what I’m doing,” a sentiment that many people who make things as a hobby can relate to. I suppose most of us would also realize that you never actually finish something like this; it just gets to a good “temporary” stopping point.

If you’re looking for something for your cats to play in without permanently modifying your house, why not build a minuature AT-ST walker for him? Sure, you won’t get credit for being quite as dedicated, but if you live with other humans, they may have a greater tolerance for the project.


Dollar Store Hack for Christmas: DIY Superhero Wall Clock

Dollar Store clocks transformed into handmade masterpieces!

Dollar Store clocks transformed into handmade masterpieces!

With Christmas just around the corner, our collective minds are already contemplating what gifts we will battle the masses for after the Thanksgiving holiday.

While we know there are certain gifts we want to get for loved ones and friends that will require tolerating excessive mall crowds, cutthroat parking and a dedication to Zen patience even Buddha himself would struggle to master, there are ways to produce some amazing and desirable gifts without the need to relive Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Jingle All The Way.

Homemade gifts created with passion, detail and thought can translate into a deeper level of appreciation from the recipient than any mass-produced trinket could muster.

Many of you already know this fact and have given thoughtful handmade gifts during past holidays. But have you ever considered a dollar store item as the go-to medium to produce that handmade magic?

I’m not referring to those horrific dollar store toys made with flimsy plastic and designed to break after one use. I’m referring to items at your local dollar store that have a sustained useful purpose! Clocks, door hangers, cozies, plates and the like! Items people actually use for practical reasons.

Now what if we took those same items and tailored them to the people on your gift list?

As an example, let’s look at the common household wall clock.

Every household and apartment has at least one and it’s a practical item a person can use throughout the year. Beyond just telling the time, a plain wall clock on its own doesn’t say much. Now what if you have a comic book fan on your gift giving list who can use a new clock? What if you can make a wall clock featuring the exact superheroes your comic book loving friend adores?

It is at that last question where our creative journey begins! Taking a simple and practical item like a wall clock and making it into an amazing nerdtastic gift!

For less than $10 and ten minutes of your time, you can convert a plain dollar store wall clock into a superhero mosaic of awesome! Marvel superheroes, DC superheroes, The Walking Dead, Sailor Moon, Attack on Titan – whatever images you can create can be used to make a killer looking clock!

With some basic Photoshop skills, a printer, glossy paper and the clock, once completed, your friend or family member will think you paid mucho money for a gift that was tailored to his/her specific tastes! They will thank you and so will your wallet.

And there is no need to stop at superheroes! This ‘Dollar Store Hack’ technique can be used to make a clock based on anything. Any character, any design…anything you know the recipient likes!

There is no stopping a creative imagination and with the help of your local dollar store, your gift list will reflect a level of inexpensive personalized zeal that will make both Santa and Scrooge Disco together during Christmas morning!


How-To Video: Ghosts from Packing Tape

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This project was inspired by my recent post about packing tape sculptures other people have made. I really wanted to try it out myself and show you guys just how easy it is to do!

To make this project you’ll need the following:

  • A large roll of clear packing tape,
  • A small roll of clear tape,
  • A weighted tape dispenser, and
  • A pair of scissors

Check out this video for the full how-to.

 

Don’t forget to add some LED lights to your sculpture to take it up an extra creepy notch. I just used some small flashlights I had handy (no pun intended).

These would make a wicked front lawn installation with rows of hands coming up from the ground. Now that I’ve got that image in your head, I hope you’ll grab a roll and start wrapping!

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How-To: Packing Tape Ghost Sculptures

There is something about Halloween decorating that brings out the creative energy in people. It’s not quite the same as Thanksgiving and Christmas. At Halloween you get to really let your imagination run wild with all the fantastic and spooky things you can do to creep out the neighborhood kids.

I am loving these packing tape sculptures, especially when lit up! These suckers are even able to withstand the damp October weather– perfect for an outdoor installation.

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Glowing Lady

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Legs in a school classroom

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Mark Jenkins

As I was looking for more examples of packing tape ghosts, I came across the work of Mark Jenkins. His public installations are too great– humorous and creepy at the same time. I love how he integrates his sculptures into public spaces, causing you to take a second look at what’s around you.  He’s done tons of sculptures that I encourage you to check out on his portfolio website.

Here’s a couple images from his baby series, Storker Project.

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Check out Mark’s video showing you how to turn a baby doll into one of these hallow plastic babies seen above.

If you want to take on your own full body sculpture, check out this Instructable that takes you through all the steps.

You’ll be creeping everyone out in no time.

 


DIY Faux Flesh Table Cloth

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Planning a pestilent potluck? Will there be a brutal buffet at your gruesome get together? Proper ambience is an important part of any meal, so go ahead and stimulate your appetite for gory horror this Halloween with this macabre faux flesh table cloth tutorial by Instructables member and props specialist Tye Rannosaurus.

Tye Rannosaurus orginally made this project as a prop for an actual horror film called A House Is Not A Home, before making another one for herself, so this could be a great project for any aspiring prop makers or filmmakers out there!

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It turns out that realistic gore actually takes a lot of TLC to create, but using a combination of headliner foam, liquid latex, acrylic paint, and waxed leather thread, you too can dine in (almost) authentic serial killer style!