Monday, January 31, 2011

What to do with soda can (part1)

I'm a big fan of Umbra design, most of their products are affordable if you like design; but I wondered if it would be possible to "get inspired" from the wallflowers using soda cans.

The aluminium from soda can is flexible and is easy to give a 3D shape. I have started with the same flower shape, then I also tried butterflies.

The Result

My picture does not look as professional as the original Umbra design, but the aluminum  gives a pretty nice touch to the wall.

The Tools needed

Scissors and double face tape.

The material

A soda can

How to make it

The can can be cut with scissors on each end and then flatten as a rectangle.
It's very easy to find butterflies template on line using any search tool with butterfly as a keyword.
For the flower this is the template I used, just resize it to play with any size you want.

The double face scotch sticks aluminium easily on the wall.

The cost

If you have scissors and tape, the cost is almost nothing, you just have to enjoy your soda cans and keep them for your projects. By the way, keep more because more projects are coming.


It's unbelievable all that can be done with soda can, I'll try to bring more exciting projects later. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Torch made of a wine bottle

Recently at work, I saw an old ice machine ready to go to the trash. I had a closer look at the back of the machine.
This is what I saw:

This pipe holder reminded me of an interesting project I saw on Design*Sponge website..

The Result:

The tools needed:

Deck screws
Screw driver

The Material:
Copper Cap
Pipe adapter (1/2 inch diamter)

Teflon Tape

How to make it:

There's nothing complicated about this project the trick is to fit the pipe adapter by using Teflon Tape around. Then you just have to attach the bottle holder to your deck.

The Cost:
Less than $10.
$4 for the wick, $2 for the copper, $4 for the holder.


A New look for your backyard, different from the usual Tiki torch.

[****Safety Note: This is for outdoor use only. The wick should never be set higher than 1-inch, and it's recommended that you exercise the same discretion and common sense that you would with any small open flame.*****]

Friday, January 14, 2011

A clock made of an old Mac G4

I told you that clocks would take some space on this website.
I had an old Mac G4 and wanted to keep some part of it as a souvenir.

The Result:
A clock with a mouse pendulum

The tools needed:

A drill, a jigsaw

The material:

The side of the Mac G4, an old wired apple mouse, a clock pendulum mechanism from, a clothes hanger, 8 deck screws, piece of wood.

How to make it:

Through the front panel, I attached the pieces of plywood through the 4 holes. The shapes don't need to look like mine, I was lazy and let the wood shape the way it was.
I made a hole to let the shaft of the clock to go through the panel and attached it with the nut provided.
On the back, I used 4 more screws to "push" the clock a little bit more away from the wall.

The mouse had to be emptied from it's heavy electronic and I also emptied the cable from all the wires to insert a piece of the clothes hanger to hold everything and to avoid rotation of the mouse.

I "epoxied" a piece of the original pendulum that comes with the clock mechanism to get a good attachment.

The cost:

Assuming you are only buying the clock mechanism, it's around $12.

Where to buy it from:

I was lucky enough to find some more G4 parts, and I decided to sell few clocks $150 plus shipping, if you are interested in buying one let me know in the comment section or by email at


At least, you can give another life to your expensive outdated equipment...

Monday, January 10, 2011

A holder for my Ipad made of chopsticks

Once again, part of the MacGyver Challenge in the readyMade magazine, I submitted a project that was higlighted 3 days ago in the ReadyMade blog. Using 13 chopsticks and one nut and bolt. The holder can also be used as a dock station and is very stable.

The Result:

The tool needed:

The Material
13 chopsticks
1 nut with bolt (4/40) 

The cost
Very cheap

How to make it
Just click on the link here.


It takes half a day to glue the chopsticks together and have a fun rack different from what you could find anywhere else.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A lamp made of plastic spoon

This one is not my project, it's the kind of project you wish you had the idea. I won't put any specific tutorial since it's not my project, but I wanted to share the great idea.

The Result:

The material:

Plastic spoons, glue gun, bottle of water (gallon), bulb and its receptacle, cutter, pliers

Pictures from

The cost:

For less than $10, this lamp looks amazing and with a cold light is safe to use.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A clock with pendulum for your kitchen

Clocks were the first items I made when I started upcycling. So be ready to see this topic on the blog. Today I'll show you one of my first clock that still stands on my kitchen. It actually has 2 roles: It shows me what time it is and it also hides the glass breaking sensor of my alarm system. I tested this sensor and it is still functional with the clock on it.

The Result:

The tool needed:

A can opener (old fashion way is better for the result)
A drill or dremel


The material:

A can you like
A whisk
A paper clip
A clock mechanism

The cost:
Less than $15
Clock mechanism is $9 with hands, without shipping form, the can and the whisk are not so expensive.

How to make it:
Open then from one side, just half the way to let the pendulum move freely.
Using the drill, gently make a hole to let the shaft of the pendulum go through. The mechanism come with a nut that will maintain the mechanism attached to the can.
To attach the whisk to the pendulum mechanism, a piece of wire such as a paper clip will do it.
You can make a hole on the back of your clock to hang it to a nail.

It's an easy project that will allow many variation in style, I will post plenty of them in the next weeks.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Bowl made of Chopsticks

Why such a crazy idea?
ReadyMade magazine called out a challenge to use chopsticks in a functional and creative way, the Challenge is called: MacGyver Challenge.

I decided to try a bowl by using as few material as possible. My first idea was to make something that would look like this great Blow up basket from Alessi with chopsticks instead of metal:

The wood glue is pretty strong on the chopsticks and this project is doable, but I decided to try something slightly less minimalist by adding a piece of plywood at the bottom.

The Result:

The tools needed:

A jigsaw, a hammer and a compass should be enough, but if your jigsaw can not cut with angle you'll need to have a file.



The material:

A piece of 3/4 inch plywood or pallet.
30 Chopsticks
wood glue

The Cost:

If you like asian food and collect the chopsticks, it almost a free project (assuming that you have the tools of course). If you don't have a jigsaw, you should get one anyway!

How to make it:

On your piece of wood, draw a 8.5 inches circle, if you have the angle cutting jigsaw, cut the circle with 30 degres angle. If you don't have a jigsaw, you'll have to be patient and with a file, remove enough material to get the 30 degres angle.

Once this is cut, you did the most difficult part.
Now you need to nail and stick the chopsticks all around the circle like this:

I left the equivalent of a chopstick between two chopsticks.
A trick to nail easily, I pre-drilled with a tiny drill bit to help the nailing.
And Voila.....


An easy to do project. The nails + glue give a very sturdy creation. The post on readymade can be seen here.