Your home is your element. Naturally, you want it to reflect your identify, and for most of us geeks, a big part of that identity is the shows, movies, games, and other pop culture staples to which we’ve dedicated ourselves for the majority of our lives. But here’s the problem: how can you decorate your house in a way that shows off these interests and appeals to both you and your guests, while simultaneously remaining cost-effective enough to be feasible additions? [Read more…]
Time for another giveaway!
Batman fans, DIY fans, and collectors in general, this is one giveaway that will add some more cheer to your Christmas. We’re giving away a cardboard comic book cover of Batman 9 (1942) PLUS a Cardboard Bible DIY Book, courtesy of Homemade Game Guru.
The creative brains behind Homemade Game Guru is L.A. Nuwame, who is one of us. His passion is making handmade cardboard upcycling ideas and inventions – from treadmills, swimming pools, lamps and house-sized standees, and of course, comic book covers. [Read more…]
No, Halloween is not a fandom, but it’s the theme of the month, so I thought it would be good to share some last-minute Halloween costume ideas. There’s still about a week left, and the weekend is coming up, so it’s perfect timing.
If you’re short on time, and you don’t want to spend tons on buying ready-made stuff, here are easy DIY geeky Halloween costumes.
Partners Erik and Demeter have their own YouTube channel called 2MooglesGaming, where they show you how to make easy DIY geeky Halloween costumes at the last minute. Here are a couple.
Lazy Gamer Halloween Costume Ideas
Feeling lazy? Here’s what you can do.
Last Minute DIY Printable Video Game Costumes
Get that old printer out and use it to make a cool video game costume.
That’s pretty self-explanatory, right? And any TV geek will surely appreciate this no-brainer guy and gal costume.
Since Snapchat is all over the place, why not make it easy for yourself with this costume?
One-up everyone at the party by letting them know, not-so-subtly, that you know your science. Enter the room and let your costume scream, “Here comes the science-tist!”.
As you can imagine, the possibilities are endless. Go as Einstein, Isaac Newton, or whoever your favorite scientist is.
Be sweeter than candy with this costume. If you don’t have a dog, I think it’ll still work. Just make sure you’ve got those red shoes.
Be a Sim
God knows how much I love the Sims. If you have been/are addicted to the game, then here is the perfect – and easiest – costume.
Here are more very easy ideas: Easy Halloween Costume Ideas for the Last Minute Geek
Move over, Han Solo in carbonite.
Darth Vader has arrived, and he’s in carbonite, too. Then again, this might just be the best revenge one can have.
This project is the brainchild of Salient Technologies, a company that offers services such as product design, reverse engineering, 3D modeling, prototyping, animation, and then some.
While all that sounds like so much work, the team also knows how to have fun (seems like a great place to work, doesn’t it?). And what better way to prove that than to make Darth Vader in carbonite?
Based on their blog post about how Darth Vader in carbonite was made, the process the team used is called vacuum foaming.
I’ll be honest here. I have no idea what that is all about, so here’s the explanation straight from the horse’s mouth:
Vacuum forming works when you heat up a sheet of plastic in a jig and lower it over a positive form of the shape you want to create. As it lowers onto the mold, a vacuum table (like the reverse of an air hockey table) sucks the air out from under the plastic, forming it around the mold shape. This is a really handy process for making cases, large panels, and packaging.
That makes more sense, doesn’t it?
Here’s a video of how Salient Technologies made this awesome thingamajig.
If you want to make your own – yes, you can! – check out the instructions here.
One last thing: the guys at Salient Technologies are really cool. They also 3D-printed a Dalek for Yahtzee! last year.
If this doesn’t impress you, you’re one tough customer.
You’ll also like: 12 Clever Homages to Han-in-Carbonite
Who doesn’t like doing a little bit of DIY now and then? One has to admit, though, that not everyone was awake when the gift of DIY was sprinkled all over the world.
If, however, you are a DIY geek – or you’re aspiring to be one – there are some tools that you ought to have in your arsenal. While you may not have a need for them all the time, you might as well get a tool/tool kit when you see a good deal. Excellent DIY toolkits are not built overnight, you know.
Here are some DIY geek tools you’ll want in your man cave.
Number one on our list is a 3D printer. If you have one, then you’re all set, really.
Sure, they are not exactly as cheap as a log and a chisel, but 3D printers are affordable now. Places like Home Depot have great prices for home 3D printers, and if you avail of Groupon Home Depot coupons, you can make considerable savings. Take a look at some samples below.
DIY Repair Anything Electronic Tool Kit
Tech geek? Always looking at iFixit instead of having someone else repair your gadgets? Then this “repair anything” tool kit is for you. It has 52 screwdrivers, and while specs don’t say it, you never know – one of them could turn out to be a sonic one.
Whether you need to repair something, or you are putting together an ultra-secret robotics project (Raspberry Pi, anyone?), you’ll need a soldering iron. It will always come in handy.
Unless you have the muscle power of Arnie, then you’ll want a power drill around. You might have to drill into your wall for some reason, or drill into a slab of wood, and you’ll be grateful for your power drill.
Paint, glue, scissors, and other arts and crafts tools
DIY-ing is not all about hardware, as you very well know. When it comes to DIY-ing your own costumes for the next convention you’re going to, you’ll need all sorts of little things. From fabric to scissors to makeup – maybe even a sewing machine!
As we mentioned earlier, DIY-ing is all about building up your collection of tools over time. Whenever you have a new project, you’ll probably need to buy a new tool or two.
Your collection of DIY geek tools will also depend on what you like creating. Remember, it doesn’t matter what you build. What matters is that you’re totally into it!
So, DIY geeks, what are your must-have tools?
Some cool DIY:
Every year, kids and kids at heart look forward to Easter when they can call forth their creative juices to paint, dye, and decorate eggs – not to mention the actual Easter egg hunt, which is always fun. (Though it sometimes results in frustration getting to people who can’t sniff out the eggs.)
No matter if you’re not actually holding a hunt this Easter. With these brilliant geek Easter egg ideas, you’ll still have tons of fun making them, not to mention showing them off.
Forget the usual “just dye or paint” and you’re done. Go one step further and dress up your dyed eggs with a bit of paper craft.
The Eggvengers are ready to take on Yolktron…
Don’t blame us for the bad puns. That’s on the guys of Halloween Costumes. ;)
Still, you have to admit that these are brilliant Easter egg ideas. For full instructions for each Eggvenger, check out their post.
2. DespEGGable Me
Here’s another punny Easter egg idea: dress up your eggs as Minions! Who doesn’t love these little buggers? You and your kids will certainly have a lot of fun making these eggs.
Step by step instructions here.
3. Shellock: The Reichensplat Fall
Sherlock fans will love this one.
— Sherlockology (@Sherlockology) March 29, 2013
We couldn’t find instructions, but I bet with your skills of observation, you can come up with something close enough.
4. Baymax Easter Eggs
“Hi. I’m Baymax…”
If everyone loves the minions, then we love Baymax even more! So when we saw this simple Baymax-inspired Easter egg, we knew we had to mention it.
It’s really so easy, you don’t even have to dye the eggs; and if you think it’s too simplistic, just see how the kids will react. Make sure you’ve got Baymax’s voice on your phone and play it during the egg hunt.
5. Tattooed Eggs
Kids love sticker tattooes. And adults who can’t bear the thought of needles, but want to have fun. (Or maybe something else.)
In any case, this is a brilliant way of making Easter eggs without much of a hassle. Just buy some sticker tattoos and stick them on to the eggs. Done!
6. Harry Potter Eggs
This one doesn’t need much of an explanation, does it? It will take you quite a bit of effort to get them done just right, but it’s probably going to be worth it.
7. LEGO Minifigs
Of course, we had to have some LEGO. There are many LEGO Easter egg ideas out there, but this one is similar to the tattooed eggs we showed earlier. Mom blogger Autumn says she bought Silhouette Temporary Tattoo Paper and printed the minifigs on them. The rest is history…
If you think about it, with this tattoo paper, you can print whatever design you want and make your tattooed Easter eggs.
8. Super Mario Bros.
Sure, everyone’s heard of (and probably implemented) this idea, but it’s too cool not to do again. And again. And again.
In case you need really good-looking Super Mario Bros. Easter eggs – professional standards, you know – follow the instructions here.
Because Easter eggs:
You’re almost out of time! You might be able to get one-day shipping from Amazon or whatever online costume store you prefer, but you’ll definitely have a difficult experience if you have to go to the mall for a Halloween costume.
Then again, there might be a way that you can DIY into things. I could be wrong, but just in case you’re feeling DIY-ish, and you have the materials (or easy access to them), here are 5 DIY comic book costumes you can try out.
You might recognize the woman in the Poison Ivy costume and think you don’t have the same resources as she does, but this tutorial will help you with that.
Harley Quinn Makeup Tutorial
As much as I like Poison Ivy, no one can compare to the nuttiness of Harley Quinn. If you feel the same way I do, then this makeup tutorial is the one for you.
DIY PopArt/Comic Book Girl- Halloween Makeup & Costume
There certainly is no shortage of DIY comic book costumes following the pop art trend. A simple Google search will give you more results than you can sift through in time for Halloween. Here’s one that seems simple enough and looks great, too.
Groot Makeup Tutorial
It’s hard to choose a favorite among The Guardians of the Galaxy characters, but if you want the attention but not hold long conversations, then Groot is the one to go for. This tutorial will show you how to make yourself look like Groot, and then every time someone comes up to you, you can just say, “I’m Groot.” Unless you do want to talk to him/her, that is.
This one’s rather easy, and you can be as badass as you want. You just need parts of his ensemble, which you might already have in your closet. If you need a guide for the specific items, take a look at this.
You can find online stores to buy those items from, but you can always substitute and do with what you have for a real DIY experience.
Bonus: Ultimate Guide to DIY Comic Book Costumes
If all of the above are too complicated for you, here’s the ultimate, but simplest, guide you can refer to, courtesy of TSGL.
Are you going as a comic book character? Share your pics!
Anyone who has watched My Neighbor Totoro will know just how cute the ginormous creature is. No matter how huge he is, he is adorable and brings happiness to children – and adults, too. Of course, it helps that the animated movie has Hayao Miyazaki behind it.
So it’s not surprise that blogger Cation Designs came up with the Totoro Baby Bouncer. An veteran in arts and crafts, she is also a sell-confessed geek. She tells her tale of having to look all over the place for a baby bouncer when she was expecting. To her dismay, most of the items for girls were pink-themed, not to mention pricey.
Enter her creative juices.
She gives all the details in her blog, but as you can see from the photos, she has done a pretty darned good job creating the Tototo Baby Bouncer. Can you imagine all the work she put into this? I don’t think I’m capable of even thinking about it. One thing’s for sure: if this goes on sale, people wouldn’t hesitate to buy it.
Can you think of any other DIY baby bouncer that can beat this? If you know of any, let us know!
P.S. The only thing I can think of are a Batmobile baby bouncer or a Kal-El’s escape pod.
Because we love, love, love Miyazaki:
The Gatling Gun is a classic weapon, the forerunner of the machine gun as we know it today. Of course, we’re not endorsing violence here, but there’s something about toy guns that give you satisfaction without actually hurting anyone. Ask the makers of NERF guns.
Now what if you could make your own Gatling Gun, but with rubber bands as bullets?
Enter the Gatling Rubber Band Machine Gun, something I stumbled upon via Instructables.
According to the instructions, all you need are basic tools and materials – most of which you might already have. If not, you can easily go to the store and buy them.
Here are a couple of photos to entice you to make your own Gatling Rubber Band Machine Gun.
You can also watch the video, to see it in action.
And in case you do have a particular affection for the Gatling Gun, here’s a nice video snippet about the weapon.
Got a DIY craving? Here you go.
3D printing is all the rage these days, and it has gone so far that you almost anyone can buy his own 3D printer. If you’re in the market for one, Tom’s Guide has a handy reference on the best 3D printers in the market, with prices ranging from $349 to $2,899. Then there is the Peachy Printer, which was a successful Kickstarter campaign, aiming to sell the first $100 3D printer. Yup, it is easy as pie to get a 3D printer without breaking the bank.
But what’s a geek/nerd for if he can’t build one for himself, right?
If that’s a measure for you, then Michael Ball may very well be crowned the 3D printer king, for he is working on a DIY 3D printer using old inkjet printer parts! How awesome is that???
While there is no doubt many of us still use laser printers and inkjet printers, asking questions like, “Why HP Toner Cartridge?” and “Should I use inkjet refills?”, I am pretty sure that you have one or two old inkjet printers that you can use to emulate Michael Ball. And, even if you don’t have one sitting around, it’s still easy enough to get your hands on the devices that Michael Ball suggests for the project – even easier and more affordable than buying a ready-made 3D printer.
He shares his story in his blog, where his journey starts with the question:
Why are there not many hobbyists re-using old All-In-One or Multifunction printers to scavenge parts from?
For sure, there must be a good reason why this is not happening, but that did not deter Michael, and he went on to purchase a printer and a printer/scanner and took the parts he needed to put a DIY 3D printer together.
But that was the easy part. He shares that his project couldn’t be totally made out of salvaged parts, and that he still needed to buy certain things such as some 80/20 T-Slot aluminum extrusion.
In short, he’s made some progress, but he’s still got some ways to go. In a more recent post detailing his work on the DIY 3D printer, he talks about DC motors – so you know this is going to get even more complicated. But you have got to admire this guy!
While it is so easy to shell out several hundred dollars for a 3D printer (assuming you have the money, of course), it takes something else to commit to a project that will not only take time and money, but also a lot of creativity, research, hands on work, and patience.
Take a look at what he has got so far, and be motivated and impressed!
Sure, a DIY 3D printer may not be the easiest and most cost affordable option, but imagine the immense sense of self-achievement that you will have at the end of it all. Not to mention geek cred. Sky high geek cred.
What say you? Challenge accepted?
Postscript: In case you’re wondering who the heck is Michael Ball:
He has survived various roles in the IT field for the past 25+ years from Hardware developer with the National Research Council, through Network Administrator, and teaching Computer Science, to Network Architect and CISO of a prominent Insurance company. Most recently, he is currently in the Position of Information Security Architect for a Canadian Financial Institution.
So check out his blog, Arduino-Pi Ramblings. Who knows, you might make a new friend!
Here’s a little more on 3D printing to whet your appetite: