MAKER MAYHEM: Low Moments in How-To History

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August 13, 2014

Burnt Matchstick Easter Decorations: When celebrating the Resurrection means looking no further than your ashtray

 

There seems to be something specific to the Christian faith that drives the non-trained artist to express their love of God with found objects, sundry recyclables, and repurposed household detritus. You don’t often see a Star of David hammered out in bottle caps, or a Muslim weaving a prayer rug from folded gum wra...

August 1, 2014

Automobile-Sized Refrigerator: When a cooler just isn’t cool enough

 

You’ve spent every spare second of the past month sequestered in your garage hacking your old Frigidaire; entire weekends have been lost to the obsessive sawing, sanding, and welding, the labeling of wires and tubes, and the exacting dissection and reassembling of its motor, compressor, and evaporator. Itchy from fiberglass dust and delirious from the cloud of...

June 19, 2014

Tin Foil Pigtail Wig: Because mom waited too long to buy you a Halloween costume

 

There was a period in the mid-1970s which many readers of a certain age will remember, when Anita Byrant—the insipid vocalist, former Miss Oklahoma, and infamous anti-gay activist—was hired by the Florida Citrus Commission to appear in a series of TV ads designed to convince the entire country that orange juice “Isn’t just for breakfast anymore.”...

June 13, 2014

Home Target Range: What could possibly go wrong?

 

You don’t need to wait for a surprise visit from an armed robber or a knife-wielding rapist to practice your marksmanship skills in the comfort of your own home. With a trip to the hardware store and a little elbow grease, you can have this bitchin’ rifle range right in your own basement!

 

“If indoor public or club target ranges are too expensive or inconvenient,” this How-To fro...

June 3, 2014

Ham Can Crafts: When daddy’s got no money

 

Life is what you make of it, especially when times get tough, and there’s no law that says toys have to be store-bought. So even if dad blows his paycheck at the track and mom’s credit cards are maxed, there’s no reason to pity the boy who’s forced to play with a toy wagon made from a discarded ham can and a used popsicle stick, or the little girl who puts her baby doll to sleep in a b...

May 23, 2014

Car Seat Dog Leash: A lesson in the laws of physics

 

Many people believe that a death by hanging is the result of strangulation. This is not true. A death by hanging is the result of a broken or dislocated second cervical vertebra called the axis, which, if the hangman knows what he or she is doing, should sever the spinal cord, arrest blood pressure, and force the subject to lose consciousness, all in a matter of about two sec...

May 16, 2014

Granny and Shady Lady: When “craft” crosses the line

 

If you’ve reached the point where you’re buying press-on fingernails and fake eyelashes and full-sized adult nylon wigs to glue onto life-size human figures made of old queen-size support pantyhose, you’ve slid way past the realm of “craft project” and crossed the threshold into some kind of personal hell for which there is probably a psychiatric diagnosis—and no return.

 

Thi...

May 12, 2014

The Floating Playpen: Summer fun, or cruel and unusual punishment?

 

Anyone who’s ever spent a weekend at the lake with a toddler knows that toddlers are terrible beach company. They never sit still, they never shut up, they’re too small to carry an ice chest full of beer, and if you’re the adult responsible for ensuring their safety, it’s a pretty much a given that you’ll never get a moment’s peace. So how does a parent contain...

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