Soup Can Microphone

What’s more fun than eating soup? We’ll let you think on that one.  But lot of things can happen after eating soup.

Click here for full instructions by CuriousInventor on Instructables.

One of them is making a soup can microphone!

We found these instructions for making a real tin can microphone over at one of our favorite websites, Instructables.com. Maker expert CuriousInventor gives you clear explanations of the steps, plus helpful photos along the way to build a microphone that will give you a retro, lo-fi sound perfect for your new garage band or just giving yourself a bigger way to enter a room.

Look Closer: One of the key parts in this simple electronics projects is called a Piezo element. Piezoelectricity is electricity that results from applying pressure on certain materials.  The piezo element that you use for this project is a sensor that, when pushed by sound waves, creates a changing voltage to power your microphone. You can find a piezo element for about $1.50 online or for around $5 at your local RadioShack. It’s a fun example of a very affordable, easy-to-find part that you can use to make all kinds of fun sound-making projects. Read more of this post

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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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

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

Computer Monitor Cat Bed

Click here to see computer monitor cat beds by AtomicAttic on Etsy.com.

Did you just do a double-take, kid makers? It’s an old computer monitor, emptied of its parts and filled instead with a pillow and cat!

This cool reuse idea is catching on in the blogosphere and we found several examples. The coolest are for sale at the Atomic Attic Etsy Store (Etsy is an online marketplace for makers and crafters.)

But it’s always more fun to make one yourself, so click here for instructions!  If you don’t have an old computer monitor or TV at your house, check a nearby thrift store. As CRT monitors are being replaced with newer, slimmer LCD screens, this is a great way to upcycle something old into something useful.

One of the most fun parts of this project … Read more of this post

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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