Crafts AND Wearables


Making encompasses a broad range of activities—from ancient crafts to modern electronics. Each issue of Make: features projects and skill builders aimed at a variety of levels and interests. Making is often a blend of science, technology, and art. The technology may be as old as humanity or as cutting-edge as the latest developments, but the goal is always to inspire you to take it into your own hands, try it yourself, and make something in the world.

Making helps us understand how the products we consume are made. We all use soap every day, but how many of us have made our own? In “Making Bar Soap,” journalist Alastair Bland tells you a bit about the history of soap and then shows you how to make an inexpensive, long-lasting supply for yourself, free of the toxins often found in commercial products.


Wendy Jehanara Tremayne is committed to the off-the-grid DIY lifestyle, which she chronicles in her book The Good Life Lab: Radical Experiments in Hands-On Living and her blog Holy Scrap. Wendy provides a quick introduction to one of the world’s oldest food technologies, fermentation, in her article “Three-day Kimchi.”

Larry Cotton and Phil Bowie team up to present a medley of projects that use humble PVC pipe from your local hardware or home improvement store to create attractive furniture and décor. Sean Michael Ragan contributes a piece on how to stain PVC pipe if you prefer that to painting it.

Art critic Robert Hughes once described the effect of modern art as “the shock of the new.” Make: magazine editor Jordan Bunker shows you how to make conductive ink for your next art project that may not necessarily shock but will certainly carry an electrical current.


Scott Heimendinger was fascinated by sous vide, a technique in which you vacuum-seal food and cook it for long periods at low temperatures. Commercial sous-vide cookers were expensive, though; so Scott decided to make his own economically from scratch—and now you can, too. Scott took the concept he developed for this article and Kickstarted it into a commercial product called the Sansaire. He’s successfully gone from maker to maker pro!

If you like to make an impression with your outfits, we have a trio of wearable electronics projects for you.

Clayton Ritcher wondered why kids should have all the fun when it comes to light-up shoes. The adultsized footwear he hacks in “Luminous Lowtops” contains force-sensitive resistors and an Arduino mini that let you control the color gradient of the LED strips. Kathryn McElroy is a user-experience designer for IBM. In her article “The Chameleon Bag,” she builds a messenger bag flap that responds to different RFID tags with colorful displays and animations. Becky Stern and Tyler Cooper combine an Adafruit Flora microcontroller with the NeoPixel LED ring, a GPS module, and an accelerometer to create a seriously cool watch with navigation and compass modes.

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