MAKER MAYHEM: Low Moments in How-To History

was a bi-monthly feature on                               

June 5, 2015

Head Hunter String Holder: Decades before anyone thought to use the term “trigger warning”                                                                   

Safe to assume the Head Hunter in this application is not a white-collar employment recruiter, but a member...

May 19, 2015

Indoor Shooting Gallery: Because guns are fun, it’s just that simple  


All boys love guns, so what kid wouldn’t want a motorized shooting gallery right in his own living room? It’s “just like the large ones at penny arcades,” says this How-To from 1959, but this pr...

May 8, 2015

Pantyhose Casserole Carrier: Potluck be a lady tonight


There are few less appetizing marriages than the one of hosiery and hot casserole. This How-To from the pantyhose-crafting craze of the ‘80s is one in which dinner and webbed nylon unite by way of navy blue knee-highs. On that point alone, The Pantyhose Casserole Carrier deserves a special prize in the world of How-To misfires.


To be clear, the instructions call for a pair...

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...

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.



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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