Skills: Making Do

This SKILL post is all about improvising and throwing something together out of whatever you have at your disposal. Many times I find myself in need of a prop for a costume or a part for a project, but don’t have the time or money to spend on making or buying a high quality version. This is one of my favorite kind of challenges. At times like this, hot glue, cheap plastic goods and spray paint will be your best friends.

But just like drawing, Making on the fly is a skill that involves studying a subject, breaking it down to its constituent parts and working from the abstract to bring things into greater and greater resolution, until they are recognizable. To show you what I mean, let’s look at a few examples of times I kludged some crap together and ended up with a passable version of what I needed. 

Continue reading “Skills: Making Do”


R2D2 Bike Helmet

I love riding my bike. When I moved to a big city I knew there would be plenty of great places to go for a spin, so I bought a familiar model roadbike but didn’t want to ride it in an unfamiliar place —where there was more traffic than I’m used to— until I had a helmet. My uncle solves that right away by giving me an old motorcycle helmet.

It’s incredibly big and awkward looking, which also describes my head to begin with, so it I feel kind of like the Mushroom People from Mario Kart while wearing it. I realize how dome-shaped it is and immediately know what needed to be done.

Before starting a project, I like to do a little research to see if someone has made something similar before. In some cases it’s a good thing because it will provide inspiration or instruction, while in other cases it may just make it not feel worth the trouble. If I want to appreciate the process of making something, I’ll assemble a model or a Lego set. When I make a project from scratch I want to end up with something unique that cant just be bought. 

Unsurprisingly, I’m not the first person to think of doing this. Someone named Jenn made a pretty good version a few years back and blogged about it. Hers was just a paint job though and I already know I want mine to have all the bells and whistles. Speaking of bells, the bike accessory company Bell makes an R2D2 bike helmet, but only in todler sizes. While this version is a little more 3D, it has holes in it and just isn’t as cool as it could be.  Continue reading “R2D2 Bike Helmet”