Extraordinary Projects for Ordinary People: Do-It-Yourself Ideas from the People Who Actually Do Them


Collected in this volume is a best-of selection from Instructables, reproduced for the first time outside of the web format, retaining all of the charm and ingenuity that make Instructables such a popular destination for internet users looking for new and fun projects designed by real people in an easy-to-digest way.

Hundreds of Instructables are included, ranging from practical projects like making a butcher block counter top or building solar panels to fun and unique ideas ...

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Collected in this volume is a best-of selection from Instructables, reproduced for the first time outside of the web format, retaining all of the charm and ingenuity that make Instructables such a popular destination for internet users looking for new and fun projects designed by real people in an easy-to-digest way.

Hundreds of Instructables are included, ranging from practical projects like making a butcher block counter top or building solar panels to fun and unique ideas for realistic werewolf costumes or transportable camping hot tubs. The difficulty of the projects ranges from beginner on up, but all are guaranteed to raise a smile or a “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Numerous full-color pictures accompany each project, detailing each step of the process along the way. It’s an invitation to try a few yourself, and once you’re done, see if you don’t have a couple of ideas to share at Instructables.com.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620870570
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/1/2012
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 573,439
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Instructables.com is a bona fide Internet sensation, a web-based community of motivated do-it-yourselfers who contribute invaluable how-to guides to the site on a wide range of topics, from gardening and home repair to recipes to gadgets that defy categorization. The site hosts more than 100,000 projects. More than 15 million people visit the site each month, leaving comments and suggestions on the ever-growing list of do-it-yourself projects.

Noah Weinstein is an editor at Instructables.com, co-founder of SF Media Labs and spends time making things both big and small at his shop in Oakland, CA. He has worked as a white water rafting guide, custom speaker builder, sheep shepherd, and tractor driver. He earned a BA from Brown University where he concentrated in environmental studies and visual art.

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Table of Contents

Home Improvement

Making a Motorized Secret Entrance 2

How to Build an Earthbag Dome 4

Automated Pop-up Kitchen Spice Rack 8

How to Build an Octagonal Deck 9

Air-Powered Star Trek Style Door 14

Make a Hardwood Floor that Looks 3D from Your OWN Trees 16


Cloning Sheep 22

The Droidalyzer-An Open Source, Bluetooth Alcohol Detector Accessory for Android Phones 23

Candied LEDs 25

Aurora 9x 18 RGB LED Art 26

Interactive LED Table 30

Digital Window Sticker (Arduino Controlled) 32

Clap-Off Bra 38

Turn Signal Bike Jacket 42

HDDJ: Turning an Old Hard Disk Drive into a Rotary Input Device 46

1300 Lumen Bike Light 49

The Eyewriter 2.0 53


Side by Side Bicycle 60

10 HP Hovercraft 62

Gravity Bike 66

Drainage Luge 71

Popsicle Stick Longboard Deck 72

Pencil Bike 74

Tall Amphibious Couchbike 77


Tree Climbing Robot 80

Groovin' Grover: A Microcontroller-Based Marionette 86

Build A Mobile Bar-BaR2D2 91

Build an Autonomous Wall-E Robot 97


The Worldclock Grew Up! 101

Lantern Clock 105

Lunchtime Clock 108

Linear Clock 110


Vintage Radio Computer Tower 119

Privacy Monitor Hacked from an Old LCD Monitor 121

How to Build Your Own USB Keylogger 123

USB Typewriter 125

Mineral Oil Submerged PC 131

Mouse Mouse! 133

Duct Tape 20-Sided Computer Server 135


Projection Bombing 138

Giant Squid Sculpture 143

Electro-Graf 145

Spin Painting Wheel 150

Building a Ship in a Bottle 152

Steampunk Goggles: 157


The Algae Experiment: How to Build Your Own Algae Photo-Bioreactor 161

Convert your Honda Accord to Run on Trash 165

Solar Powered Trike 172

Make Your Own Biodiesel Processor 174

Solar Kiln 176

How I Built and Electricity-Producing Wind Turbine 180

Plastic Smithing: How To Make Your Own HDPE Plastic Anything (DIY Plastic Lumber) 185

Building a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) 186


Star Map 190

Homebuilt 6" F15 Refractor and Mount 197

Air Quality Balloons 199

Giant Fresnel Lens Deathray: An Experiment in Optics 202

The Rubens' Tube: Soundwaves in Fire! 209

Build a 15,000 rpm Tesla Turbine Using Hard Drive Platters 214


Pocket Laser Engraver 217

Revive Old Nicad Batteries by Zapping Them with a Welder 221

Mini Metal Lathe 222

Make a Good, Cheap, Upgradeable Sheet Plastic Vacuum Former 226

Converting an Inkjet Printer to Print PCBs 232

The Smallest Workshop in the World 237


Bacon Roses 242

Rubik's Battenburg Cake 243

Tooth Cupcakes 245

Bowl of Worms, Anyone? 246

Chocolate Nut Assortment 247

LeGummies Brick-Shaped Gummy Candies 249

Lactofermented Granola 253

Quilt Cookies 255


Rubik's Cube Chest of Drawers 258

Building a Dump Truck Bed 262

High Functioning Coat Hooks 266

The Micro-Bus Bunk Bed and Playhouse 267

Mason Jar Candle Chandeliers 272

Moresque Lampe 274

Adjustable Modular Furniture 276

Wine Barrel Beer Table 278

Bottle Cap Table with Poured Resin Surface 280

Compass Table 282

Tennis Ball Chair 285

Pacman Pouf 287

Skateboard Table 290

Nine Square Chair 293


Super Awesome Digi-Cinema Camera Rigs 296

Budget Launch: Aerial Video Balloon 301

Time Lapse Dolly 302

How to Make a Snorricam 306

Digital Holga 308

Laser Triggered High Speed Photography 309


Quilted Mad Tea Party Set 313

Carving a Lattice and Acanthus Pattern on an Emu Egg Shell 317

Making a Custom Platinum Diamond Engagement Ring 320

Conductive Fabric: Make Flexible Circuits Using An Inkjet Printer 322

Identity Preserving Balaclava 324

Rhino Trophy Head 326

Nickel Ring/Pendant 328

How to Make a Brass Bird Cage Dress 330

Tatted Mask 335

DIY Cufflinks 337


Fully Functional Camera Costume 341

Full-Size Power Loader Costume from Aliens 346

Inspector Gadget Costume with Motorized Helicopter 350

[Real Life] Big Head Mode 355

Werewolf Costume 359

Can Suit 364

Catahedron Costume 366

The Ultimate T-Rex Costume 368


USB Biofeedback Game Controller 371

DIY Android Ball Maze 375

An Introduction to the Android ADK LED Pinball Coffee Table 380

How to Build an Arduino Powered Chess Playing Robot 382

Magnetic Acrylic Rubik's Cube 387

Giant NES Controller 389


Gigantic Bubble Generator 393

Iron Man Model Rocket 398

Magnetic Silly Putty 403

Build a Net Gun 404

Giant Match 413

Home Snowmaker/Snowgun 418

Make a Vacuum-Cleaner Bazooka 420

Kinetic Marble Track 421

Wood-Fired Ocean Hot Tub 425

Flamethrowing Jack-O'-Lantern 427


Build Your Own Marimba and Wrap Your Own Mallets! 432

The Homewrecker 436

How to Build Custom Speakers 439

Suitcase Picnic Table and Speaker System 447

A Carbon Fibre Violin I Made from Scratch 450

Building my First Bass Guitar 452

Build a Fiberglass Subwoofer, 459

Start to Finish Tree Speakers 462

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