Electronic Jack-O’-Lantern

Tech-loving makers around the world are inspired by Halloween to create pumpkins that shoot lasers, flash messages with lights or shoot silly string when someone walks by … all using LED lights, sensors or arduinos. They call them Hack-O’-Lanterns. Roll up your sleeves, clean that cold goop out of your pumpkin and get making.

Click here to learn how make a “hack-o’-lantern” from Instructables.com!

This easy how-to, Tiny LED Jack-O’-Lantern, from Instructables.com is a great start for YOU, kid makers!

  • Maker Zack Scott takes you step by step through the lighting of a pie pumpkin with an LED module. He shares photos for each step. When its done, you have a little jack-o’-lantern that lights up with the flick of switch on the back of the pumpkin!
  • Zack draws his circuit diagram to show you just how the electricity needs to run between the batteries, switch and light. Learning to build a simple circuit like this opens the door for all kinds of other projects. For example, make your Halloween costume light up with the simple circuit in our Light Up Wristband how-to.

Wondering where to find the parts to make your own hack o’lantern?

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T-shirt Bags

Click here to make this no-sew fringe bag from Tealou and Sweetpea.

On a rainy weekend, nothing is more comfortable  than sitting around at home in your favorite T-shirt and jeans. If you’re like us, kid makers,  you may have a whole collection of clothes that you don’t wear but dont’ want to throw out … especially favorite t-shirts. Whether you outgrew it, it’s stained or it’s just last year’s style, we have the perfect upcycling fix: BAGS!

We all carry a lot of things this time of year, like a book bags for school, grocery bags for apple picking, and of course, trick-or-treat bags for Halloween! Grab your oldest summer tee and start making.

T-shirt Bag Project Ideas:

T-shirt bags are a great example of one of kid-makers favorite types of making: UPCYCLING! What is “upcycling”?

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Glow in the Dark Projects

Fall is here and the days are getting shorter. The sun sets earlier and earlier until it’s dark before supper! Of course, here at The MAKESHOP Show that inspires us to make things – things  that gloooooowww in the daaaaark. (And just in time for Halloween!)

We hunted the internet for the coolest Glow in the Dark Projects for kid-makers just like you!

Click here for Glow in the Dark Nail Polish instructions from Cut Out + Keep!

Why do these materials glow?

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Leaf Blower Hovercraft

Have you ever dreamed of building your own flying machine, kid makers?

Learn to make a leaf blower hovercraft with kid maker Ethan and his assistant, maker Matthew Beckler of Wayne and Layne. It’s cheap, SO EASY and can even lift the weight of an adult. We can’t wait for you to try it yourself.

Click here for full project instructions.

Let us know how your hovercraft flies at info@makeshopshow.com.

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Upcycled Books

Click here for this secret compartment idea from Better Homes & Gardens.

Look around your house, and you may be surprised to find books that you do not read anymore, or ones that are slightly damaged. As more people start using e-readers, makers are finding creative uses for beautiful old books as objects with new purposes. Grab some old books and try these projects:

  • Sew pages of books to create storage pockets with this easy step-by-step on S. C. Johnson Co.’s blog Family Economics. It’s a unique way to keep track of your favorite photos, movie tickets and valentines!
  • Hollow out a book to create a secret compartment like this one from Better Homes & Gardens’ project ideas site.  Another way to do this is to glue a bunch of book spines to a box and slide it onto your bookshelf between real books, like in this photo. Voila! Your treasures are now safe from your little brother.
  • Make hardcover books into shelves like these examples we found at realsimple.com. They give the term “book shelf” a whole new meaning!
  • Build furniture out of old bookswith simple brackets and hardware.

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Upcycled Necktie Father’s Day Gifts

Necktie Wallet – Click here to learn how!

The old joke is that all dads get neckties for Father’s Day. But not your dad – YOUR dad is lucky enough to have a kid-maker! Makers love using old things in surprising new ways – its earth-friendly and, in the case of Father’s Day, can put a hip new spin on familiar gifts.

So we hunted the internet for the greatest gifts for dad made from old neckties:

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Water Bottle Sprinkler

Kid-makers, we know you just can’t wait to run into the sunshine this summer break to play. This cool project idea can quickly turn your backyard into a DIY water park!

Click the photo for project instructions from Curbly.com

Click here for instructions from Curbly.com on how to make your own backyard sprinkler out of an empty water bottle, old ball point pens and a garden hose. You do need 2 things you won’t have lying around the house but together they cost less than your $5 allowance.

And why stop at one? Add a garden hose splitter . . . Read more of this post

Hardware Jewelry

Kid-makers, do you want to make an awesome gift for a girl or boy you know? Something that looks tough (but is really kind of easy)? Our newest video will show YOU have to make one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets, keychains and more from things you have in your garage, basement or toolbox.

Find some hex nuts, washers or any other hardware with a hole in the center. Find some string, twine, rope or ribbon. Then watch this video to learn how to braid it all together into seriously tough jewelry you made yourself. Maker Rebecca shows you how!

Stay calm and make on.

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Drill-Powered Skateboard

Check out this MAKESHOP Show original project, kid-makers! Watch makers Christian and Marie hack a skateboard by adding a giant scooter wheel and a PVC pipe that holds a simple power drill. Sit on the skateboard, pull the trigger on the drill and propel yourself across the floor on a one-of-a-kind rideable! Along the way, you’ll learn a few maker techniques with real tools. This is one of our most advanced projects and requires an adult helper for guidance and safety, kid makers.

Can you come up with any other hacks for skateboards, scooters, bikes or rideable toys? Want to help us try to build something on the Show? Leave a comment below or send us an email at info@makeshopshow.com.

Stay calm and make on!

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Upcycled T-shirt Mother’s Day Gifts

T-shirt Flower Ring – Click here to learn how from Homemade Ginger!

Somewhere in the back of your drawers, kid-makers, is an old t-shirt just waiting for you to make an awesome Mother’s Day gift out of it. Surprised? Makers enjoy upcycling tees because the jersey knit doesn’t need to be hemmed, so you can make tons of projects without even needing to sew!

We hunted the internet to find the greatest wearable gifts for mom out of old t-shirts:

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