Category Archives: DIY

20+ DIY Resources For Your Halloween Party

It’s Halloween Week, kids! I thought I’d put together a week long series of posts to get you in the spirit. As the week goes on, I’ll give up music, movies, graphic design resources, and maybe even a game, but today, we’re going to focus on DIY resources for creating that perfect Halloween party.

You need three main things for good Halloween party: something to wear, something to eat, and a creepy atmosphere. Below are costume, decoration, and food ideas for people with more time than money, so there won’t be any store bought junk or kiddie crafts in here.

Be sure to stay tuned this week because there are a lot of resources coming out every day that you probably won’t want to miss…

1. Clever Costumes

First, let’s get you a costume. You’re not going out as a hobo again this year, and it’s 20 years past the point where you should’ve retired your Max Headroom costume. Costumes don’t have to be expensive, they just have to be clever, so your first step should be to check out the How To Have The Best Costume At The Party Guide from Mahalo and get your braaain in motion. If after getting through the guide, you still don’t have any ideas, maybe the following do-it-yourself costume instructions will spark some genius.

$50 DIY Optimus Prime Costume

Sesame Street Yip Yip Costume How To

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Cartoon Eyeballs Part Deux: Mr. Sparkle

Hello, Chief. Let’s talk. Why not? In Yesterday’s post, Cartoonify Your Life Using Ping Pong Balls, I mentioned that I wished I had created a pair of Mr. Sparkle eyes before running out of ping pong balls. After I published, I found that there were still two ping pong balls that hadn’t yet left for the land of wind and ghosts. To the left is my fire alarm, which is busy banishing dirt. Join him or die. Can you do any less?

Because of the way the Sportcraft logo is laid out, the only version of Mr. Sparkle’s eyes that can be done on a Sportcraft ball is the one from the original commercial. I’m not going to admit to talking a screenshot and doing an SVG drawing of the eyeball just to get it correct as I could, but that secret dies with this week’s recycling.

To Make Your Own, Read On…

Cartoonify Your Life Using Ping Pong Balls

You’d think that sticking googly eyes all over the house would only appeal to 7 year olds, but it has a surprisingly wide appeal. I made up a set of these out of ping pong balls, and #1GF! and I have been hiding them around the house to make each other laugh for a week now. To test my sanity, I brought a set to my parents, and they had the exact same reaction as #1GF! and I did. They kept hiding them in plain site to see if anyone noticed that the faucet was looking at them. It’s a bizarre phenomenon.

These things cost a couple of bucks to make, so there’s no huge loss if you happen to leave them somewhere to make someone laugh. And because they’re only attached to things with a twist-tie, you can stash the ones around your own house so that company doesn’t think that you’re out of your mind. My only regret about this project was that by the time I thought of making a Mr. Sparkle version of the eyes, all my ping pong balls had already been sent to the land of wind and ghosts.

If you want to know how to make your own set, read on. I send you premium answer question, hundred percent.

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How To Convert Your Old Casette Tapes Into MP3s

cassette tapeIf you’ve ever wanted to convert your old cassettes into MP3’s, then this is your lucky day. The process is simple enough for almost anyone to undertake, but it requires a fair amount of time and tends to produce MP3’s that are slightly noisier than those ripped directly from CD. There are, however, a few cases when it might be worth it:

  1. You have more time than money,
  2. You can’t possibly justify spending money to re-buy music that you’ll stop feeling nostalgic about next week,
  3. You don’t want the judgmental eyes of the record store clerks to realize that you secretly still like Winger, or
  4. Sadly, the band on your tape is out of print, never made the jump to CD, or broke up before getting a recording contract.

What You’ll Need

  • A walkman that plays tapes.
  • A set of headphones or speakers.
  • A male to male 3.5mm stereo cable. You can usually pick up a stereo cable for a couple of bucks at an electronics store. You don’t need a fancy, brand name cable for this as long as you make sure that the cable is stereo and not mono. A stereo cable has two black lines on the tip, while a mono cable will only have one.
  • Audacity, the free, open-source audio editor.
  • A fair amount of time.

Continue reading How To Convert Your Old Casette Tapes Into MP3s

10 Tips To Get You Started With Google Sketchup

Considering an architect can cost up to $250 an hour, having professional renovation plans drawn up can get expensive fast. While there is no replacement for a professional when determining your final plans, creating a 3D model of your renovation can save you some cash by presenting the architect a general idea of what you’re looking for.

Google Sketchup is a free 3D modeling program that I’ve been using for a couple of weeks to do just that. It allows me plan the renovations to scale and then walk around the house as if I were in it, giving me a better idea of where what works on paper and what works in the real world coincide. I did this once with a kitchen renovation, and it worked out extremely well.

In my short time working with the product, I’ve compiled a number of tips and resources to help minimize your frustration and get you up to speed faster with your own project.
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The Gentleman’s Guide to Trimming And Grooming

The Gentleman's Guide to Trimming & Grooming

Because men have been trained not to spend excess amounts of time on their personal appearance, they generally fail to recognize a few simple aspects of personal grooming that should be undertaken to keep them attractive to the moister sex.

But how does a gentleman know that his hair is unsightly? Because this type of revelation is reserved for close friends or people that can take a punch, he generally doesn’t. That’s where the Gentleman’s Guide to Trimming & Grooming comes in. The Gentleman’s Guide is a cumulative set of tips to give men the trimming and grooming info they need whether they are 5 or 45. All you have to do is match your age to the sections below to find out where your personal grooming may need adjustments.

Remember that the guide is cumulative, so you’ll need to read all of the tips up to your current age. When you’re finished, stash it in your library or rumpus room and come back to it when you hit another milestone age. The Gentleman’s Guide is guaranteed to transform even the most disheveled dork into a lifetime ladies man.

The ladies are waiting, so let’s get to it!
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Make Your Own Kubb Set For Dirt Cheap

Kubb is a fun Swedish yard game for 2-12 players that is similar to horseshoes or bocce. It always attracts a crowd when we play the game on the beach, and I’ve yet to meet a player that doesn’t want a set of their own after a couple of rounds.

my home made kubb set


The Kubb set that I am presenting here is not exactly standard, but the Kubb Governance Committee rarely travels all the way to a tiny beach town in Massachusetts to harass me about it. Continue reading Make Your Own Kubb Set For Dirt Cheap

How to Make a Ringtone From Your Favorite Song

Here’s a question: If a song costs you about $.83 to buy on CD, and $.99 from iTunes, how can you justify buying only a fraction of a song as a ringtone for $3 a pop? If your cell phone is capable of playing MP3 ringtones, it makes sense to replace that boring default ringtone with a snippet from your favorite song, but there’s no way that you should have to pay $3 to do it.

Here’s how you can create a ringtone from one of your MP3s for free.
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1KBWC: Hours of DIY Fun for Less Than 6 Bucks

1000 Blank White Cards (1KBWC) is a card game for 3-6 people in which the players create all the cards used in the game. It’s so simple and fun to play that I can’t believe I never mentioned it here before.

One of the most common things that people say when I tell them about 1KBWC is that they’ll just make a card that says “infinity points” and win. Because they are thinking linearly in terms of a single winning scenario, they don’t immediately realize that there are a number of ways to creatively trump a seemingly unbeatable number of points in a game with flexible rules. A couple of simple examples are below.

Continue reading 1KBWC: Hours of DIY Fun for Less Than 6 Bucks