How-To: Salvage a Lawn Chair


Many a beloved lawn chair has been ravaged by the hands of time (and the backsides of their owners) until being rendered useless and forsaken. Thankfully, Instructables member operate has devised a way to kill two upcycling birds with one project stone by resurrecting a broken lawn chair with some salvaged vinyl in this ingenious tutorial.

While walking down the street a few weeks back, I found a rusted old folding chair in a trash pile. Its PVC banded seat was busted, but the frame (minus the rust) was in functional condition. I decided to rescue it from a future at the landfill and carried it home. A few weeks later, I tripped over a muddied and retired “road work ahead” sign. Though it needed some serious cleaning, I decided the reflective vinyl would be an ideal material for the chair’s new seat back.

Hamtramck Disneyland

When Ukrainian immigrant Dymtro Szylack retired from the GM plant, he found himself with lots of free time and nothing to do. He decided to fill his time with art. Szylack collected items from all over and glued, stapled, and welded them all into this impressive structure referred to as Hamtramck Disneyland.  Bridging two garages and easily reaching 30 feet tall in spots, this creative explosion boasts tons of pride for both the Ukraine and the United States. The locals in the Hamtramck neighborhood don’t seem to mind it a bit either.

Visiting Hamtramck Disneyland is a surreal experience. It is just nestled into a residential neighborhood amongst a bunch of normal houses. You follow a few street signs or directions from wikipedia, to find yourself pulling down an alley looking into a few back yards. About halfway down the street you can spot a towering structure of miscellaneous debris. As you pull closer the oddities just keep compounding. There are odd bits and knicknacks amongst parts that appear to have once lived in theme parks. In the gallery below you can get a bit of a feel for how marvelously odd this place is. There are paintings, sculptures, ceiling fans and much more. It really does take a little while for your eye to take it all in and hunt out what exactly you’re looking at.

After a few pictures there really isn’t much to do other than move on. It was over all a very pleasant, if short, experience! While you might think that something like this might be extremely well known to those in the area, our driver who was a local Detroit-ian had never heard of it. She thought it was pretty peculiar.

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I know not everyone shares my personal taste in things, but I think the world could use a whole lot more Hamtramck Disnelyands!

How-To: Homemade Lightbulb


There are few things that I use everyday (and night), but have no idea how to make, more than lightbulbs. Luckily, Instructables member Mr. Fishers3 has put together a terrific homemade lightbulb tutorial to help us create and appreciate these everyday electrical wonders.

This lightbulb is made entirely out of simple, mostly household materials requiring very little in special equipment. The basic construction includes a glass jar filled with CO2 and a graphite filament(Pencil Lead). This makes it a carbon filament bulb analogous to those made by Edison before tungsten became the norm.


LED Constellation Wall Art


What’s your sign? Bring the cosmos into any room with this simple DIY LED wall art!

Materials needed:

  • plywood (select desired size)
  • knowledge of the free downloadable program Inkscape
  • any constellation star map
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • electric sander
  • drill + various sized bits
  • black wood stain
  • black spray paint
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • dremel tool
  • battery LEDs (for as little as $6 on Amazon)
  • epoxy putty

The artist shared their experimental walk-through as they mapped out their constellation, drilled the holes, painted the wood, an mounted the lights. The results are stunning!

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Stellar! Not only could this project be integrated into classrooms all over for a fun and engaging learning experience, but kids and adults alike can brighten any room with this creative DIY project. What other parts of the galaxy could one make into LED wall art? The universe and beyond is the limit!

Mayor Rob Ford Cardboard Rocking Chair

The one-of-a-kind Rob Ford Rocking Chair

The one-of-a-kind Rob Ford Rocking Chair

If you haven’t heard about the antics of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford as yet, most likely you have just now emerged from a hibernation that started before May 2013 or you have arrived back home to Earth after battling an alien invasion in the Kepler galaxy for the past year. Understandable! Unfortunately, for the rest of the world, everyone has heard about Toronto’s notorious mayor in one way or another.

The City of Toronto’s beleaguered mayor Rob Ford has been ridiculed, lampooned and relegated to mock celebrity status worldwide. After over a year of Rob Ford’s continuous public outbursts, embarrassing moments and inability to stop providing the media with more ammunition to use against him, I was inspired to make a rocking chair based on this man who constantly moves “forwards and backwards” in how he acts and retracts. As someone who was born and raised in Toronto and cares about how the world sees our first class city, the international Rob Ford saga has constantly been top of mind for me.

As to why I made a rocking chair specifically, the answer comes down to Rob Ford’s ability to do outlandish things, apologize publicly, promise to change and then do something else completely outlandish month after month. The chair acts as a physical metaphor for Mayor Ford’s behavior and retractions.

The handmade chair is 100% made out of recycled cardboard and glue and is capable of supporting upwards of 250 pounds in weight. It features digitally altered pictures of Rob Ford originally taken by photo journalist Mark Blinch. It took around two days to complete – most of that time dedicated to letting the industrial glue dry and for spray painting.

As I told local media and Yahoo News, this chair is available for “…weary and tired individuals to relax their crack on while rocking back and forth between personal problems.” Thus, I gave this invention the colorful moniker ‘The Rockaford: Crack Rocker’.

With Toronto’s election in full swing until fall of this year, the soap opera of Rob Ford is far from over. Even in rehab, he can’t stop making international headlines. At least now I have a comfy chair to rock back and forth on as I watch the ongoing soap opera from home. Ah, Rockaford!

Upcycled Smart Phone Gramophone Resonator

Looking for a good old-fashioned way to enjoy listening to music on your phone? Why not build your own gramophone-style resonator, like C.E. Dyer did using some beautiful upcycled materials, including a 1930s DuPont explosives container!

It uses no electricity except that of your charged phone. The inside of the box can still be used as storage for anything you wish to hide. Please listen and enjoy.

[via Tiny House Darling]

Sliding Door Made from Old Pallets


Who doesn’t love turning trash into treasure? Pallets are typically found in warehouses for the compact-support and easy transport of goods. Anyone can pick up pallets possibly for free or less than a dollar. A family from Malaysia had the idea of connecting two pallets to create an interior sliding door.

“I’ve always wanted a barn door in my house. Since I am living in Malaysia where barn doors are practically non-existent, I’ve decided to make one.”

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In only 6 simple steps people from all walks of life can create this trendy piece of home furnishing that will fit the thrift store budget.

  1. Dismantle the wooden pallets and arrange them based on door measurements (usually 2 pallets).
  2. Arrange planks vertically then secure them in place.
  3. Attach horizontal beams for support. Cut off excess wood until planks are flush.
  4. This step being most difficult for the Malaysian family will differ for everyone. Sanding. Pallets are rough and are in need of some TLC from the power tools.
  5. Attach two wheels of whatever size to the top of the door and the bottom. The top sliding track is held in place by any remaining boards from the pallets.
  6. Stain the wood and add additional spotlights for ambiance if desired.

Viola! A rustic and cozy custom door that you can create with the whole family! Kids will love to learn some basics of woodworking with this easy DIY project!


[via Reddit]

Cardboard Superhero Sundial

A simple cardboard Wonder Woman/Powergirl sundial design

A simple cardboard Wonder Woman/Powergirl sundial design

To honor the splendor of summer and the awesomeness of female superheroes like Wonder Woman, I would like to present a simple summertime craft idea that is fun to make and quite practical for telling time. Using recycled cardboard, some $1 issue copies of Wonder Woman, tape, spray glue and a couple of Photoshopped images, a sundial can be sculpted to give any room or backyard a stylish timepiece.

I decided to make a sundial based on Wonder Woman – with Power Girl too – because I felt female superheroes were underrepresented in the mass media. Even looking back at the myriad of crafts I’ve made about superheroes over the years, I failed to make any concepts purely spotlighting female superheroes (shame on me). The more I explored You Tube; the vast majority of comic book crafts viewed were for the likes of Wolverine, Iron Man and Batman. I felt it was time to give female heroes their due and this sundial is just the beginning!

The base of the design is a collage of Wonder Woman comic book pages. As a comic book collector, tears were shed when I began cutting up the handful of issues needed to cover the cardboard base. Ultimately, a few comics had to be sacrificed for the sake of art (or so I tell myself)! They will be remembered and missed. Let’s have a moment of silence.

The main disc that displays the intervals of time was originally a large baby gate box slated for the recycling bin. I’m always promoting ‘up-cycling/re-purposing’ cardboard and that large box was begging to be made into something! A very large flower pot was used to cut out a perfect circle from the box and Photoshop was utilized to create the time interval design to fit the dimensions of the circle.

The combined images of Wonder Woman and Power Girl, used as the ‘pointer’ to yield the shadow for indicating the time, were originally comic book images scanned and blown-up in Photoshop. The finished image was printed twice as mirror reflections so that the pointer would reflect the same image on each side.

The trickiest part of making the sundial was figuring out where to place it in my backyard to properly reflect the time. My yard is at an unusual angle from where the sun raises and sets – plus abundant tree cover, thanks to my neighbors, makes positioning the sundial tricky. But with a little time, a bright sun and my trusty watch, the sundial found its home and now works like a charm!

Choose your favorite superhero and try making your own. Happy summer everyone!!