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Made by Visitors

C.H.I.C.K.E.N.

What do you say when someone says that they want to make an egg-laying robotic chicken? In MAKESHOP we would typically answer that question by first searching through our recycled materials to find just the right thing to make a chicken. Apparently an empty milk carton makes a great chicken shape. The plastic eggs were from a donation of materials brought in by a regular visitor to the Museum. If I had to guess I wou
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Stuffed Animal Care & Repair

April was a month of care & repair in MAKESHOP. Lots of stuffed animals and dolls were cared for and repaired. Some of our guests brought in stuffed animals from home that needed some TLC. MAKESHOP also had a collection of toys that had seen better days. This was a great opportunity to explore sewing. As always, we had visitors that had never sewn before, all the way to very experienced sewers. There were a varie
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Finishing MAKESHOP’s quilt

In February, we began working on a collaborative quilt in MAKESHOP. I wrote about it almost two months ago here. Here’s our update: it’s finished! It has been a true labor of love shared by so many people and an amazing learning experience. I wanted to share some updated photos of the process and getting it hung on the wall. We began by cutting 5×5 inch squares out of scrap fabric. We provided fabric
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If Something Breaks…

Sometimes things break at our Museum. This particular case involved a computer with a broken power cord. This computer was designed to specifically run our Digital Dream Lab programming blocks station. Without this computer it meant that could not have the programming blocks out. Instead of just leaving a sign on the machine saying “broken, we are working on fixing this” we decided as a team to build a te
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Scrap Wood Mallet

I have always liked the idea of making my own tools. While the complexities of an electric drill are far beyond me, a simple wooden mallet is well within reach. By making your own, you can customize it to fit your needs and aesthetic. A wooden mallet is great for tapping chisels and easing joints together. Unlike a metal hammer, it isn’t hard enough to dent chisels or mar a wooden project. Additionally, it is l
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A MAKESHOP Art Show

Our Teaching Artists and one of our interns recently had the chance to display some original MAKESHOP creations in an art show at Tula Organic Salon and Spa here in Pittsburgh. The Salon hosts a different artist every month and allows them to display their artwork throughout the space.  The MAKEHOP Art Show included a light-up jacket created by Christian as a Halloween costume/night light. Some DIY guitars (one was m
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