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!

How to give your metallic object an old worn look

Whether you are making a cosplay costume, props, model figurines or anything else with a metallic look, you might want to scuff them up to make them look worn and old. This short video from Stan Winston School shows exactly how to do this in a cheap, simple and quick way that still gives you a very realistic effect. Isn’t it amazing how easy some things can be?

How to weather surfaces like a pro

Sometimes an old scuffed up object can be just as pretty or even more so then when it was brand new. But who wants to wait several decades to get the surface to be naturally weathered? In this tutorial, Adam Savage from Mythbusters shows us and Will from some of the techniques he uses to weather things, like this microscope case he has built. By using water, paint, sandpaper, mallets, bicycle chains and much more, he slowly tear down the surface of his case and ends up with a beautifully weathered look.