Cheap and useful styrofoam

We all know styrofoam. It’s that white light-weight material that protects your goods while it is shipped. It may come as chips, molded pieces or even raw blocks and sheets. It’s used as insulation, shock absorber, modelling material and much more. But most of all, it is cheap! You can buy big blocks of it for a few dollars or find big pieces in your nearest dumpster for free! This is probably why most people see it as trash and not a building material. Well Make: magazine is here to show you how useful it can be! In this particular tutorial they make Halloween tombstone props but if you watch the video, you should easily see how these techniques can be used to make almost any form out of cheap and feather light styrofoam! And by the way, you don’t need special tools like soldering iron or a hot wire foam cutter. Tools like scissors, files, knifes and sandpaper can just as easily be used, although the surface might become a bit rougher. But since acetone (nail polish remover) can melt styrofoam, perhaps you can use a acetone damp paper towel to polish those surfaces? Now that would be a neat experiment!

Making a photoresistor play music!

Photoresistors are very common electronic components that works like a normal resistor in total darkness, but as soon as light is hitting it, it changes. Increase the amount of light and the change will increase as well. This phenomenon is commonly used to detect when a light beam is broken, turning them into a light controlled switch. But did you know that they can also be used to make music? In this video Make: magazine walks us through a simple build that results in an electronic slide-whistle! Basically you transform light into music, and if you don’t think that is a cool idea, then what is?!

Futuristic decorations with fiber optics

Have you ever seen walls or ceilings with little tiny light spots on them, like stars in the sky, and though “I wish I could make that…”? Well you can! kipkay made this simple video in which he created this starry effect by using simple LED lights and fiber optic cable. In this case he made a frame for his computer monitor, but this technique is so general that you can apply it on almost everything. So why not make a cosmic picture, wall or even a ceiling? It’s simple, it’s cheap and most important of all, its gorgeous!

Make Hollywood grade costumes for cheap

Do you think foam sheets can’t be used for Hollywood grade suits? Then check out the video below! Foam materials are vastly underrated and have enormous potential, especially when it comes to props, costumes and movie-making! In this video, we hope you will be convinced that foam materials doesn’t only look great, it is also a very cheap and easy way of making beautiful costumes! Many thanks to Indy Mogul, not only for making this technique accessible for everyone, but also for their astonishing work on making a Hollywood grade 12 minute Sci-Fi short film on a backyard budget! Indy Mogul rocks!