And they are easy to make, especially if you have a leather scrap lying around. It’s a matter of cutting out the template (which you can print from the site), then sewing and gluing up the envelope. Great Christmas gift potential!
Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:39 am on Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Awhile back, I told Mr. Savvy that I was going to stop buying plastic things made in China because they kept breaking on us. Unlike things made out of wood or metal, plastic is nearly impossible to fix… or it was. Then Mr. Savvy became fascinated with 3D printing.
3D printing is a way to create three dimensional objects out of plastic (or other material). To do this, we purchased a Printrbot.
The way a Printrbot works is, a spool of plastic is threaded through the machine, which is melted and squirted out in a pattern, kind of like a hot glue gun. Once it cools, you have a usable object. Here’s a short video of the Printrbot in action:
The Printrbot costs $550. I mention this because a short time ago, the most affordable 3D printer cost $2000. We’ve experimented with different plastics and settled on PLA, a nontoxic plastic made out of corn and sugarcane. It costs $35-$50 a kilogram.
The Printrbot is not something I could use on my own–it took Mr. Savvy’s considerable technical skills to calibrate it when we first got it. But it’s still pretty cool. Here are some of the better things we’ve printed out:
The end of this plastic watering can (made in China) broke, so we printed out a new tip and attached it with duct tape. It works great now.
Paper towel holder.
A plastic case that converts an AA battery into a C battery. No more purchasing of different battery sizes for us. We use it to run our Roomba.
This little plastic doodad fixed our dishwasher. When we first got our dishwasher, the plastic washer cracked and the spinner on the top broke, making the machine not work as efficiently. We replaced the broken washer, and it works great now.
A bottle opener.
A tube squeezer.
Giant keys, a baby toy for Savvy Junior.
A hedge hog, another baby toy for Savvy Junior. The wheels roll.
A case for a Raspberry Pi, a $35 computer. (But that’s another post.)
Plus much more.
3D printing is the manufacturing of the future. Instead of buying crap from overseas, we will be able to print our own crap in our own houses. Imagine the creative possibilities.
These will look great as seasonal decoration or as part of a centerpiece on a table. (Thanksgiving is coming up, you know.) Use a dried-out gourd, and they might make great Christmas gifts. You can even re-use wax from an old candle to save some money, too. [Craft]
Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:46 am on Wednesday, September 5, 2012
I really like the TV show Mythbusters, but I gained true affection for Adam Savage when I saw this talk about his obsession with building a replica of the Maltese Falcon. (See below.) It made me want to make something! And so does this post on Adam Savage’s toolbox. He goes over how he organizes it and tells how he made the toolbox itself:
I wanted to make an impression at my new job, so I spent an entire weekend remaking the bags out of aluminum. My supervisor suggested scissor lifts to keep them even with me when I was seated. He might have been joking, but I added them. The finished boxes housed everything I needed, but I repeatedly rebuilt the insides until finally no tool had to be moved out of the way to get to another.
The best thing about making things yourself is you can have them exactly how you imagine them, which is a lot of what Savage stands for. Here is the talk about making a model of a dodo bird and the Maltese Falcon:
Mr. Savvy has been working from home more and more, so we decided to invest in an outdoor office. In our state, you’re allowed to build an 120 sf dwelling without a permit on private property, which is the perfect size for a personal office. And the easiest way to do that was to convert a standard shed into an office.
After some debate, we decided to put the office in the side yard, which has not been used for anything and had been taken over by the neighbor’s Afghanistan ivy. Here’s a picture of the side yard after we cut the ivy back and cleared out the space. The fence still needs replacing, but that’s another project for another time.
Next, the shed. We looked into building one from scratch but decided to purchase from Sonic Sheds instead. We opted for a slightly smaller 8X10 shed with a nicer door, larger window, and lapped siding. The owner of the company came and installed it himself with his son. They were done by mid-afternoon. Here it is:
I think it’s pretty cute!
Of course, there’s still a bit of work to do before this is a usable office. We’re going to paint the outside, wire for electricity, sheetrock the walls, and build a stair. Stay tuned for an update.
Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:53 am on Monday, August 13, 2012
What do you think of Craft Wars, the TLC reality show competition around crafts? Three people are challenged to make a craft out of specific material and three judges pick the best one. The winner gets $10,000. For some reason, Tori Spelling from 90210 is the host of the show.
I recently watched the first two episodes and thought the show was a missed opportunity. There are so many amazing craft people out there, and the show doesn’t seem interested in showcasing them. Instead, it is promoting the kitchy side of craft, the kind of thing where people make bags out of sports equipment:
Or bird houses with playing cards glued to the top:
The New Yorker has a review of Craft Wars. The writer didn’t like the show, and I can’t help thinking she makes some good points. I also like that she went into what the word “craft” used to mean:
Craft used to mean something, and it would never have been made with Mod Podge. You can buy a tea towel with the William Morris quotation, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” (It is a hundred per cent linen, so it is both.) What Morris, a designer, entrepreneur, futurist, and leader of the late nineteenth century Arts and Crafts Movement, proposed was a return to the medieval craft tradition, in which objects were made by hand by skilled workmen, and priced accordingly. Rather than three sets of elaborately decorated transferware china, you would have one set of handmade and glazed plates. Rather than rooms full of elaborate Victorian furniture, you would own a few chairs, hand hewn and joined with wood, not industrial glue.
I love that quote, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” This is my ideal and a standard I am always trying to move closer to in my own home. (And here I thought I made the concept up!)
By the way, PBS had an excellent series called Craft In America that goes over the more serious, less kitchy side of craft. And you can watch the whole thing online for free!
Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:07 am on Friday, July 13, 2012
Here’s a tutorial that goes over How To Stencil A Quote On A Pillow. Rather than spend $159 for a throw pillow with a quote already one it, Wit & Whistle got a blank pillow cover, a fabric marker, and some letter stencils and set to work.
Great way to get the look that you want without having to shell out all that cash.