Doily Lamp

Click here to learn how to make your own doily lamp.

We love this idea of creating a lampshade out of a balloon, doilies and lots of glue! The simple steps with awesome results make this project perfect even for young kid makers.

Doilies are decorative lace shapes that people put under collectibles and plants to make them look prettier. Lots of people have extra doilies stashed away at home or you can find them easily at thrift stores or yard sales. The design of doilies makes this project more interesting because once the glue sets and the balloon is popped, your lampshade is full of lovely holes for the light to shine through. The light casts designs on your ceiling and walls (making it a cool night light, too). This project is a creative reuse of an existing material, making the best of its design for a new function.

Click here or on the photo for the full instructions for Doily Lamp at the Dose Family blog. Interestingly, though, the instructions aren’t the only thing we love about this post …

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Light Painting

A light painting by a young maker in the MAKESHOP at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Yesterday in the MAKESHOP™, makers of all ages had a brilliant time “light painting”, a photographic technique that uses a camera with slow shutter speed to capture images of fast moving lights. With materials you probably have nearby right now, you can have hours of fun experimenting with goofy, dramatic and surprising visual effects!

Below is a slideshow of just a few of the hundreds of light paintings we made yesterday. Send us YOUR favorite at info@makeshopshow.com.

Read on for materials, instructions and inspirations for making your own light paintings!

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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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Giant DIY Light Bright

Kid makers, check out this bright way of reusing things in your basement to light up your life! With peg board, old holiday lights and some masking tape, Christian shows how YOU can create a giant lit up version of  the classic 1980′s toy.

Just imagine the cool uses for this: A happy birthday sign for your kid brother’s birthday party? A new headboard for your bed? With an added battery pack, we bet you could even build a costume for next Halloween!  Send us photos of what YOU build at info@makeshopshow.com.

MAKER TIP: In this video, Christian mentions that your design will need to be a backwards – or “mirror image” –  so that it reads correctly from the front. This is most important if you are writing words. Using a bathroom mirror during your graph paper design step will really help. Click here for a simple tutorial on writing in mirror image.

Music: “Strings of Night” © DJ Nicos

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Light Up Wristbands

These light up wristbands are an awesome intro to adding lights to your clothes! We’re thinking about all the things to do with these, lighting up socks, shoes, shirts, headbands … Don’t worry about finding the special supplies for this project. Click here for the soft circuit sewing kit.

Download the instructions for this project here: Light Up Wristband Instructions.

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