I met my girlfriend at a gaming store, so for her birthday I wanted to give her a copy of one of my favorite tabletop games, Hive. The game plays much like chess and the pieces are similarly very simple, but I wanted to make her something special. I set to work on some custom pieces and a fancy box to hold them.
In May of 2017 Insomniac Events hosted Middlelands music festival. Held in the Texas Renaissance Festival Fair Grounds, it was on of the biggest Electronic Dance Music festivals of the summer. I wasn’t big on EDM at the time and had never been camping at a big festival, but I love crazy lighting, costumes and all things Renaissance, so my friends had a pretty easy time talking me into going.
While hiking out to a campground I found a unique rock. I’d just been telling my camping partner how my dad, a sculptor by trade, used to collect rocks and old gnarled roots that he could envision as the home of elves, tiny bears, aliens and other characters that he created from polymer clay.
As a Casual Geocacher, I’ve always wanted to find a trackable item. I just like the idea of something being moved around the globe, or even towards a specific destination, by total strangers, all while being hidden in ordinary locations. Alas, most of my finds were micros, so I scanned the map for a cache likely to hold a trackable. I noticed one with “travel bug” in the name and biked across town to find it. It was a clever hide and big enough that there were lots of things inside. And there I found… only one trackable. And it was pretty boring.
I took it anyway and resolved not to release it until I had spiffed it up a little.
After making the VSauce-in-the-Box, I had some left-over castings of Michael’s noggin, which were perfect for a bobblehead. I used the best remaining castings to make the bobblehead, but there were also a lot of imperfect castings, including large holes where no resin got to that part of the mold. This looked pretty cool, and I realized I could make a zombie version of the bobblehead too– a zombobble, if you will. The process was pretty much the same for both, so I assembled them at the same time. Keep reading for more gory details!
In my last semester of college, I took a costume craft lab class. This was one of the most fun and satisfying classes I’ve ever signed up for. We learned the fundamentals of designing, sewing, dying, constructing, assembling and storing all kinds of costumes. Our final assignment was to select a fabric and follow a pattern to sew a pair of pajama pants. I had already been doing simple projects on my mom’s Singer for a while, and I needed a Halloween costume, so I asked my co-professors if I could do something a little more ambitious.
They agreed to let me tackle a jumpsuit. I loved the Ender Series by Orson Scott Card and I had been waiting about a decade for the movie to finally get into production. It was, at long last, due to premiere on the big screen, right after Halloween. I knew it would be the perfect time to cosplay one of my favorite characters.
Having spent most of my life in New Mexico, I love the show Breaking Bad. While it was still on air I found myself thinking of cool Breaking Bad memorabilia I wanted. When I couldn’t find it, I made it myself.
Anyone who’s watched Attack on Titan, the anime series by Hajime Isayama, has at some point wished they could strap on the 3D manuevering gear of the Scout Regiment and zip around like a katana-wielding Spiderman. Acrobatics aside, I realized that dream when I made one of the most detailed and source-accurate cosplay I’ve ever taken on.
As a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, I’ve naturally made my share of wands. Every wand is unique and every wandsmith has their own techniques. I’ll tell you a few of the ways I’ve made them, and explain my favorite method.
I found out at an early age that I’m allergic to white walls. Everywhere I live or work ends up plastered with T-shirts, posters, flags, toys, projects, tapestries— whatever it takes to make it feel more like home.
When I moved to a new city, I knew I’d be living completely by myself for the first time in my life. I’ve been lucky in the past, in that all my other cohabitants have enjoyed (or at least tolerated) the eclectic nonsense that went up on the walls. Starting fresh though, I wanted a decor that was unique, thematic and at least a little classy. I always wished I could have grown up at Hogwarts, so I settled on trying to make my apartment feel as close to the Ravenclaw Common Room as possible. In this post you’ll find the DIY details I managed to document while taking on one of the biggest customization projects of my life.
I knew setting out that this was going to be a lot more time consuming and expensive than just thumb tacking a few items to the drywall, so I started by taking a look at the space as it was, planning out the major components, and budgeting the supplies.
I spent a lot of lunch breaks at work sketching or making lists.
I even went so far as to make a Gantt chart on smartsheet.com to try and have it finished as soon as possible (This was actually helpful because I tend to get side-tracked easily by other projects in progress).
As you can see, I had a lot of ideas, but it boiled down to a few important components: