Asphalt Linoleum Mosaics

Linoleum asphalt mosaics, also called Toynbee Tiles, are artworks permanently embedded in pavement. In this video I’ll show you how to construct your own from inexpensive materials. You can get real linoleum (don’t use vinyl flooring) for this project by ordering free samples online. By cutting out a mosaic design in the linoleum and sandwiching it between layers of paper, wood glue, and asphalt crack filler, you can affix the mosaic very permanently to an asphalt surface, such as your driveway. You may choose to use a heat gun to make the linoleum easier to cut, or even a laser cutter. The earliest examples of these tiles were found in the 70s and 80s on streets in Philadelphia, all bearing the same (or very similar) message: “Toynbee idea / in Kubrick’s 2001 / resurrect dead / on planet Jupiter.” They are speculated to have been created by the same person until they began to gain a following. There’s an active message board on the topic which shares sightings and other information.

Thanks to my pal Matt Mechtley for his help on this one. In this video I used this cc-licensed photo by Flickr user mojunk. The music is “Regurgitation Pumping Station” from the World of Goo soundtrack by Kyle Gabler; used with permission. Reposted from CRAFT.

LED Sewing Kit

This LED sewing kit is a supplement to my Electronic Embroidery tutorial featured in CRAFT, Vol. 09 (preview article) and online in step-by-step photo and video tutorial forms. If you’re already into embroidery or needlepoint, this is a good way to start experimenting with electronics.

It contains:
-1 sewable battery holder
-1 coincell battery
-2 LEDs (you choose the color)
-1 snap for making a switch
-about 7 feet (~2 meters) of conductive thread, enough for 1 or 2 projects

Blank Books from Office Paper in The Best of Instructables Volume I Book

My tutorial for Blank Books from Office Paper was included in the book The Best of Instructables Volume 1

Here I will give a simple bookbinding tutorial using a Japanese stab-binding technique for making blank books from paper that is printed on one side. These books are useful for all kinds of notes, and tell an interesting story about the place they came from. I work in the computer lab at my school, where a lot of printer paper is wasted. I go through the recycle bin to find my papers.

This is a great little book for phone numbers and other random notes. You can make it any size you like, and the paper never had to go to the processing plant! Using a string binding instead of glue is easier on the environment, too.


Recycled paper (blank on one side)
Thicker recycled material (postcards, envelopes, cardboard, etc.) for covers
Twine, yarn, or other string

Awl, drill, or drill press
Large sewing needle or bookbinding needle
Paper cutter, scissors, or utility knife
Cutting mat


Knitted Pelts

Blonde Squirrel

Spotted Cow
Spotted Cow

Purple possum
Purple Possum

These animal pelts are knitted from 100% nonwool yarns.


Steampunk Sewing Machine

I got an old sewing machine at goodwill and steamed it up with brassy bits! The propellers spin when the drive wheel and thread move. See the whole flickr set. This was an assignment in my sculpture/metalworking class. What can I say, I have a totally superfluous understanding of the movement, with little of the patience and attention to detail indicative of steampunk. I did learn how to use a bead blaster, though.

Steampunk Sewing Machine

Steampunk Sewing Machine

Twitchie Scorpion

I made a robotic toy scorpion in 2008. Here’s a video about it! Originally posted on MAKE.

I made this scorpion toy with a Twitchie Robot Kit. I’m really afraid of scorpions where I live in Arizona, so I thought a friendly toy would help me get used to them. I made his plush body from some fabric I had around, aiming to make him look like an Arizona bark scorpion, which are tan/yellowish/translucent.

Music is “At the Crack of Noon” by Shuutobi