- Craft an iPad cover from an old book
- Build a metal forge out of a busted microwave
- Cook a meal in the dishwasher
- Re-purpose an electric saw into a cocktail blender
- Fashion a Swiss army knife for your keys
- Outfit an unsuspecting co-worker’s office chair with an air horn
Each project is accompanied by a parts list and step-by-step photo instructions to get you building; often by hacking subpar stock goods or upcycling discarded objects into functional works of art and conversation pieces. No matter how off-kilter the project may appear on the surface, it's sure to payoff as a useful tool, an art piece, the punch line to a practical joke or, best of all, a combination of all three. Whatever the motive—to solve a problem, to play a joke, or for self-entertainment—Dude Crafts will get dudes off the sofa and into the workshop!
|Product dimensions:||6.90(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.80(d)|
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FINE FOOD & SPIRITS
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
HYDRATION PACK WITH BITE-STYLE DRINKING STRAW
FRONT-HARNESS BABY CARRIER
A NEED TO DRINK IN PUBLIC
Whether you're looking to sneak a beverage into a sports arena or just bring a beer to the movies, a fake baby is the perfect place to hide your hooch. Not only does looking like a parent elevate you to the status of "responsible person" in the eyes of others, but claiming your baby needs sleep and can't be bothered becomes a ready excuse to shoo away anyone who seems suspicious. (This buys you just enough time to make a hasty retreat before they get wise.) A baby flask for hiding your booze — what a time to be alive!
1. This build is simple, but the execution has a huge payoff. First, find an inexpensive baby doll with a plastic head and a soft fabric body. Then, find a soft plastic hydration system with a bite-valve drinking straw, such as those used for hiking and commonly found in sporting goods stores.
2. Drill an opening in the center of the doll's forehead to accommodate the bite valve. It's a good idea to undersize this opening so the valve is a tight fit.
3. Cut open the back of the baby doll and remove some of the stuffing.
4. There should be a clear opening through the neck and into the hollow cavity of the head, revealing the opening you just drilled. Detach the bite valve and feed the straw into the head and out the drilled opening, followed by the pouch, which is placed in the doll body.
5. Push the bite valve into the drilled opening to make a snug fit.
6. Cut the hose to length and reattach to the pouch.
7. Work the pouch into the body of the doll to conceal it and reattach the hose to the bite valve inside the doll's head. Re-dress the doll to cover the cut backing.
8. The baby flask is complete! To fill, just lie the baby face down and open the back to access the hydration pack. Fill with your favorite beverage and seal shut. Carry your baby flask in a front-harness carrier with the doll facing you. You can easily hide the drinking bite with a baby cap. If you ever hear the sentences "What a cute baby!" and "Why does it smell like whiskey?" together, it might be time for a new project.
BBQ BRANDING IRON
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
OLD BICYCLE WHEEL
HEAVY-DUTY SCOURING PAD
For me, there's nothing better than grilling outdoors. Sometimes when I'm staring into the fiery element, watching steaks cook, I wonder whether there's any way this could get better. Then, it hits me ... personalized steaks! Branding steaks is a great way to make your next cookout unique. If you make a few different branding irons, you can mark your meats however you like!
To make your own BBQ branding irons, all you need are a few stainless-steel bicycle spokes. It might be tempting to make a custom branding iron from a wire coat hanger, but don't do it! These coat hangers are made from a metal alloy that might contain lead or other toxic metals. Stainless steel is food safe and really the only option for this project.
1. I started by dismantling a discarded bicycle wheel. You can find these at any bike shop; just make sure the spokes are stainless steel. Deflate and remove the tire from the rim, then remove the rubber rim strip that protects the inner tube from the nuts holding the spokes. The nuts are usually unthreaded and removed with a flathead screwdriver; then the spokes can be removed through the hub.
2. It's a good idea to clean the spokes with warm soapy water and a very rough scouring pad. This will remove any grease, grime, and other road detritus.
3. Now the fun part! Decide what shape you want the brand to be. YOU can find a shape template by searching for silhouettes online. This image was printed in a few different sizes on regular printer paper.
4. Determine the size that best works for you, and with your pliers bend a spoke around the printed shape.
5. Because one spoke probably won't be long enough for the entire outline of your shape, create your outline in sections that will be easily joined together later. Finish bending the shapes with pliers and then bend another spoke to act as a handle.
6. Use a welder to combine the shapes into a complete brand. This might sound difficult if you've never welded before, but this is a great project with which to get started welding since there are no points requiring super-tidy welds. Once you finish the welding, hit any high spots of the welds with a grinder to smooth out the rough edges, then use a scouring pad to refine any edges.
To use the brand, fire up your grill and bury the brand into the heat source until it's red hot. When your meat is on the grill, pull out the brand and plant it firmly into the steak to transfer the image. The heat dissipates quickly from the steel, so after each use bury the brand into the heat source before branding again.
BEER ADVENT CALENDAR
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
Cardboard shipping tubes used to mail posters and blueprints also happen to be just the right size to hold a standard beverage can. And they're long enough to be cut in several sections. Why not upcycle those old tubes in a fashion that will help spread Yuletide cheer?
1A and 1B. Use a saw to cut tubes into sections, each the same height (slightly taller than a can). Since this is an Advent calendar, you will need twenty-five sections.
2. Smooth out the cut edges of the tube sections with sandpaper.
3. Place the tube sections side by side, then use hot glue to join the sides of two tube sections.
4. Continue joining tube sections together on all sides until you have a rectangular honeycomb structure.
5. Cut a flat piece of cardboard to the size of the honeycomb structure. This will serve as the back side of the Advent calendar and prevent the cans from falling out the back.
6. Use more hot glue in select areas to join the cardboard back to the tubes.
7. Cut more flat cardboard to make a frame around the perimeter to neatly enclose the tubes, using hot glue to hold everything in place.
8. Fill each open tube with a canned beverage of your choice. I chose a mix of different styles of beer.
9. Once it's full, cover with wrapping paper and use clear tape to secure. Gently feel around the front of the box to determine the position of each can opening, then label each opening with a number from 1 to 25, in any order you like.
The last step before gifting this boozy present is to make a small incision at each numbered spot to make opening the event easier. And remember: the wrapping paper will be toast by Christmas Day, but the tube-and-cardboard structure can be rewrapped and used again year after year.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
NEEDLE AND THREAD
PLASTIC SIDE-SQUEEZE BUCKLE
Not all heroes wear capes — some wear combat bandoliers. Go prepared to your next patio party with a bandolier full of cold ones. That's right ... the bottle bandolier will allow you to stay out and party without leaving to get a refill. Although this project involves sewing, it's dead simple and requires no fancy tricks.
This fashion statement will also bring the party to you, as you'll have enough refreshments to keep your friends happy too. The bottle bandolier has room to hold six cans of your favorite beverage and even a pocket to keep your phone handy for those Instagram moments. And when you're wearing this thing, there are going to be plenty of Instagram moments.
1A and 1B. If you can figure out how to thread a needle, you can make this. Start by ripping the seams from the jeans to separate them in half.
2. Cut each half down the length of the leg to open it flat into one sheet of denim. Cut along the seam to halve the denim material again (not shown).
3. Fold over both sections of the pant-leg denim to make two strips of denim about as wide as a beverage can is tall. Use pins to hold the shape of the denim once it's the right shape, then sew the length of the pinned denim to make two long sashes. One sash will be the base for the bandolier, and the other will be the holsters for the cans.
4. The sash with the former front pocket of the jeans is used as the base of the bandolier.
5. Sew one end of the holster sash to the base sash near the pocket, then place a beverage can under the holster sash and drape the sash over top. Hold the holster fabric over the can, against the backing sash, to determine where to sew the holster to the base and create a pocket for the can. Pin this location, remove the can, and sew the pocket with a single line of stitches. Continue these pockets along the length of the base sash until all pockets are created.
6. The pockets need bottoms to prevent the cans from falling out. An easy way to achieve this is by using nylon strapping available in fabric stores. When strapping is cut, it leaves a frayed edge, which can come unraveled over time. To prevent this, simply pass a lighter under the frayed edge to singe the plastic and melt the loose ends into a solid and clean edge. Cut strapping to span the length under the pockets, making sure to singe each cut end of the strapping.
7. Sew the strapping into place using a beverage can as a spacer. Repeat this for all can pockets on the bandolier.
8. Fold the end of the base sash to a taper and sew a length of strapping to the end. The clip end of the plastic buckle will attach here, so make sure to allow for plenty of extra strapping, which can be trimmed up later. Repeat this for the opposite end of the base sash, where the other half of the buckle will attach. Feed each half of the buckle through its respective end on the strapping. Wrap the sash around yourself to determine how much excess strapping you need. Then trim to length, singe the end to prevent fraying, and sew the strapping to prevent the buckle from coming off.
Now you're ready to be the beer commando at the next patio party, launching sudsy grenades to your friends for emergency hydration. At ease, soldier!
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
PAINT-STIRRING STICKS (OR SIMILAR THIN WOOD STRIPS)
DRILL AND SPADE BIT
WHITE PAINT (OPTIONAL)
DOUBLE-SIDED MOUNTING TAPE
SCISSORS FOR CUTTING TAPE
There's nothing quite like a refreshing cold one after a hard day of whatever, but sometimes it's hard to find room for food in your fridge alongside your beer supply. Take advantage of all that wasted vertical space between the shelves. How? By hanging bottles from the underside of a shelf, thus creating much-needed additional space below ... for more bottles, of course.
1. Thin strips of wood will support the magnets that hold the bottles. You can use any thin strips of wood, but the frugal among us will use those paint-mixing sticks you can find free at most home improvement stores.
2. Place three bottles side by side in a straight line and then place a wood strip next to the bottles. Mark where the bases of the bottles fall on center and use a small saw to cut the thin wood to length.
3. Neodymium magnets are super strong and perfect for holding the weight of bottles by their metal caps. Find a spade bit of the same diameter as the magnets you are using.
4. If you use round magnets, you'll just need to drill holes partway through the wood strip; if you use square or rectangular magnets (like I did here), you'll need to trim the corners of your partially drilled holes with a utility knife to accommodate the square shape.
Sand the edges and corners smooth and rounded.
5. Most refrigerators are white inside. Painting the wood strips to match makes the bottle loft more visually appealing.
6. Strong epoxy will hold the magnets to the wood. Use a dab of epoxy in each drilled hole, then place one magnet into each and secure it in place until the epoxy has completely cured.
7. For the double-sided mounting tape to hold the bottle loft to the underside of the refrigerator shelf, you will need to remove the shelf from the fridge and allow it to acclimatize to room temperature — the tape will not stick to cold glass, plastic, or metal. While the fridge shelf warms up, cut small sections of the mounting tape and affix them to the back side of the bottle loft.
8. When the shelf is room temp, place it back in the fridge and stick the bottle loft to the underside of the shelf, ideally in the back corner to maximize fridge space. Press the bottle loft to the shelf to ensure it is securely adhered, then allow about an hour for adhesion before loading with bottles.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
HEAVY-DUTY ALUMINUM FOIL
COLD CUTS (OPTIONAL)
CAR WITH A MUFFLER
There are times when the destination is more important than the journey. Like when you're driving through Kansas or New Mexico to get somewhere. Times like these are when stopping to enjoy a meal is not a high priority. Instead of trying to choke down some food at a terrible roadside diner, why not kill two birds with one stone: driving and cooking? It's easier than you think!
Though this trick can work for a variety of foods, the easiest thing to cook using this method is grilled cheese, partly because you can buy bread and cheese almost anywhere, but mostly because it's still safe to eat whether it's over- or undercooked.
1. Pull out a long sheet of thick aluminum foil and lay it down so the shiny side faces up. This will be the inside of our sandwich wrap. The dull side of the foil will absorb heat, which will force the sandwich to get hot, and the shiny side will reflect the heat inside the wrap. Construct your cheese sandwich however you like-adding cold cuts here is a good option. Wrap the sandwich tightly with foil.
2. Looking under your car, find the muffler. In case you don't know, the muffler looks like a wide, squashed metal cylinder and has a tailpipe coming out of it. The muffler baffles the sound of exhaust gas leaving the engine so your car runs at sensible volumes. The exhaust gas is very hot and heats up the muffler. The muffler's temperature depends on what kind of engine and car you drive, as well as how you drive your car. However, under normal driving conditions (like on a road trip) a muffler can reach anywhere from 700 to 1,000°F (370 to 540°C). Above the muffler is a good place to wedge your sandwich to heat it up. Because mufflers are suspended from the car's undercarriage, they can move around a bit while you are driving. It's a good idea to secure your wrapped sandwich to the muffler with some steel wire. It's also a good idea to wait for the muffler to cool down a bit before sticking your hand up there.
Once your sandwich is secured to the muffler, drive on as normal. Check on your sandwich after about 30 minutes. By this time you should be able to notice how melty your cheese is and whether the sandwich needs more time on the "grill."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Dude Crafts"
Copyright © 2018 Mike Warren.
Excerpted by permission of The Quarto Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
FINE FOOD & SPIRITS,
BABY FLASK, 10,
BBQ BRANDING IRON, 13,
BEER ADVENT CALENDAR, 16,
BOTTLE BANDOLIER, 20,
BOTTLE LOFT, 24,
CAR CUISINE, 27,
DISHWASHER LASAGNA, 29,
JIGSAW MARTINI SHAKER, 31,
COIN RING, 36,
CUSTOM BLEACH-SPRAY T-SHIRT, 38,
TIMING BELT, 41,
THE GREAT OUTDOORS,
BOOZE-BOTTLE ICE SHEATH, 46,
THE GENTLEMAN'S GOLF CLUB (OR SKI POLE), 49,
PARACORD BULLWHIP, 52,
POLAR-BEAR TUBES, 60,
SWEDISH TORCH, 62,
CUTTING EDGE DESIGN,
AUTOMATIC SHOWERHEAD SOAPER, 66,
BARBIE BOTTLE OPENER, 69,
SUCTION-CUP SHOWER HOLDERS, 72,
SWISS ARMY KEYS, 74,
TAPE ORGANIZER, 77,
TENNIS BALL MOUTH HOLDERS, 80,
WIRE COIL, 82,
WRENCH COAT HOOKS, 86,
CANDLE BOTTLE TOPPERS, 92,
CONCRETE-BALLOON CANDLE HOLDERS, 95,
MAGNETIC CEILING STORAGE, 101,
SINGLE-FLOWER VASE, 104,
STRING LAMP, 107,
TOY CAR SHOOTERS, 110,
VINYL RECORD BOWL, 112,
WHISKEY-BOTTLE LIGHT, 114,
WINE-BOTTLE GLASS, 117,
FOR MEN LETTERS OF,
BOOK SAFE, 122,
DINOSAUR PENCIL SHARPENER, 126,
INVISIBLE BOOKSHELF, 128,
TABLET BOOK COVER, 131,
CAR-EXHAUST HORN, 136,
FIRE BREATHER, 139,
HEAD IN A JAR, 141,
OFFICE-CHAIR AIR HORN, 145,
OFFICE-SUPPLY CROSSBOW, 148,
RAINY-DAY GRAFFITI, 152,
SPILLED COFFEE, 155,
BETTER LIVING WITH PVC,
AIR HORN, 160,
BALLOON SLINGSHOT, 163,
BATTERING RAM, 165,
CO2 MORTARS, 169,
TENNIS-BALL CANNON, 172,
TOOL CLIPS, 179,
TOOL HOLDER, 182,
TOOL RACK, 185,
TOOL TROUGHS, 187,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, 191,