If you are unable or unwilling to spend over $3k on one of Richard Clarkson’s interactive thunderstorm cloud lamps, Eclectical Engineering has provided a way for you to obtain a reasonable facsimile – although it will reqiure some DIY chops.

Their homemade Bluetooth Cloud Light utilizes an Arduino Uno, Adafruit’s NeoPixel strips and a body fashioned from spherical paper lanterns covered with polyester fiber. The result allows users to program the light’s LEDs to create flags and Aurora Borealis effects, as well as Fart from Rick & Morty.

See how it’s done in the video below.

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Over a period of two weeks, Imgur user tylerfulltilt hand-built this spectacular NES-themed entertainment center using some plywood, some clever paintwork, and this lowboard from Overstock which was heavily modified to look like the NES console itself.

We’re properly impressed with tylerfulltilt’s work, though I really want that TV to be bigger and lower. Check out the full gallery detailing the build process after the jump.

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You can tell how many startups a person has worked for by the size of their Nerf collection, and you can tell how seriously they take their Nerf by how many custom modifications they’ve made.

Well, RobotGeek have us all beat – they’ve made this automated Nerf sentry gun that can be programmed to fire when a specific color is detected. What’s more they’ve posted full instructions so you can build it yourself.

Unfortunately, the project won’t be cheap. You’ll need a Pixy CMUcam ($85), a foam dart gun kit ($40), and Robot Geek’s own Desktop RoboTurret ($100).

The major drawback is that it only holds the one Nerf dart, so you’ll have to reload manually after each shot. So make sure your target is the only one in the office wearing your pre-programmed color.

Here’s a video of the completed turret in action:

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17-year-old engineering prodigy Angelo Casimiro decided he wanted a BB-8 droid of his own, but the $140 Sphero version just wasn’t good enough. Instead, he invested $120 and made his own full-scale, functional example using an iPhone, a paper mache-soaked beach ball, and a domed styrofoam head fixed in place with a set of speaker magnets.

For the brains of the operation, Casimiro used an Arduino Uno microcontroller board which, in conjunction with other boards, controls a set of wheels inside the body to move the droid around.

The final product looks amazing. Check out the instructional video below to learn more about how to build one yourself.

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Roses are so yesterday. This Valentine’s Day, Piranha Plants are where the love is.

Show your sweetheart that you really care with this homemade present. You can make a single Piranha Plant or a whole bouquet of them. Tally’s Treasury shared a little DIY info you need to make these awesome creations.

The process isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. But if you lack the skills to make your own, keep an eye on the TallysBestiary Etsy store where these Piranha Plants show up from time to time. You can also inquire about a custom order.

See more photos below.

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A dad who happens to be an artist in the video game industry put his skills to work crafting a tree-shaped reading room for his daughter.

It’s definitely among the most impressive parent DIY projects we’ve ever seen.

The process required 350 hours of free time over an 18 month period and cost about $4,250. The final result includes a sitting area with a reading light and illuminated knot hole fairy windows that are on a dimmer, providing “awesome nightlights”.

The project is detailed in the gallery below, and judging from his daughter’s smile, it was well received.

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What did your dad get you for Christmas? Oh, some socks? That’s cool. Want to know what David Weiberg did for his son? He built a playset of the Bridge of the Enterprise, as seen in the original ’60s Star Trek series. No big deal.

That’s right, the above photo features part of a hand-made playset, though you might be forgiven for mistaking it for the real deal if you weren’t paying close attention. Built in part from the original blueprints from the set, then scaled down and tweaked to suit the child proportions of Playmates’ Star Trek action figures from the early ’90s, Weiberg built the base frame of the Bridge from pine, and used a number of other materials including MDF, PVC sheet, filler putty and RTV silicone to meticulously recreate the iconic Bridge set. He even cast and built identical recreations of the seats from scratch!

Check out more photos of Weiberg’s handiwork below.

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Karyn Tripp of the homeschooling education site Teach Beside Me decided to repurpose the classic Battleship game to teach the kids the elements.

The new version was created using four copies of the Periodic Table which were labeled alphabetically by row and inserted into two file folders with jumbo paper clips. Game play is as follows:

The kids can then mark where they want to place their ships by circling rows of 2, 3, 4, and 5 elements on the lower table. They play by calling out coordinates. If they miss, they put an X on the spot they chose on the upper table. If they get a hit, they circle it. They can continue playing until one person sinks all of another person’s ships.

The game has received an enthusiastic response, although it has been suggested that the rows be labeled with each row’s corresponding number rather than letters, and that players eliminate groups rather than sink ships floating on the science sea.

(via Make)

diy companion cube

It’s a great day for gamers and DIYers everywhere, because the latest DIY Prop Shop video demonstrates how to construct your very own weighted companion cube from  the Portal video game series. And it won’t even put a dent in your wallet.

See how it’s done in the video below.

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If there’s one thing Star Wars: The Force Awakens proved, it’s that little girls love seeing a kickass lady hero. However, while many a Mini-Rey cosplay has been spotted, actual Rey dolls remain few and far between on store shelves.

Fortunately, Parts and Crafts in Somerville, Massachusetts found a way to help little girls create their own Rey doll and learn more about crafting along the way.

During their recent Winter Camp session, the kids were given used Bratz dolls along with instruction on how to re-paint and re-costume them, dye their hair and even add accessories like Rey’s staff. One of the kids even made a Maz doll. I’m thinking it’s the only one right now.

Maybe they’re not store bought, but they look like something Rey herself made in the movie. That just makes them even cooler. Check out more pics below.

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