Hot Construction Toys How-Tos

How To: Build hot air balloon out of a garbage bag

This is a simple and easy tutorial, and anybody can build a hot air balloon out of a garbage bag by following the instructions in it. All one needs is a garbage bag, some stiff industrial wire and fire starter bars. The important thing, according to the author, is to judge how many fire starter bars will be required to make the balloon rise without melting its plastic body. First, two long wires are twisted together in the middle to make an 'X'. A smaller wire is twisted onto the middle of th...

How To: Build a sturdy flatbed truck out of Legos

Looking for a new Lego project? Look no further! In this two-part series you'll learn how to build a great flat bed truck out of lego bricks! Each video starts showing you each brick that you'll need, the first video being the truck cab, and the second being the actual flat bed, and then goes into a great, step-by-step tutorial, showing you where each piece goes and before you know it you'll have a flatbed truck!

How To: Turn a 5MW laser into a 100MW laser

Tired of that dinky little 5MW laser? Turn the power up and convert your 5MW laser into a 100MW laser? A small amount of modification can produce a significantly stronger light coming out of your laser. You will need a small screwdriver (such as a jeweler's screwdriver), needle nose pliers, a soldering iron and some bonding glue to do this properly. This video tutorial will show you exactly how to turn your 5MW laser into a 100MW laser.

How To: Build a looping rolling marble machine with magnetic elevator

Wow! No longer do you have to buy those huge marble machine roller coaster toys — you can DIY one! This video covers the materials, tools and techniques used to make a homemade rolling ball marble machine. If you haven't seen this rolling ball marble machine toy in action yet, WATCH IT. It's a looping rolling marble machine made with wood, rebar tie wire and polyurethane tubing, featuring a magnetic elevator.

How To: Make your own mylar balloon

Mylar balloons are the best party favors. They are big and shiny and last longer than normal latex balloons. In this tutorial, learn how to make a mylar balloon at home, from scratch. Stop spending so much money at the party store, and next time you have a big event, make your own! Not only will you save money, but it will give your party a cool personal touch.

How To: Make a really good paper airplane

This video shows you how to make a very good paper airplane, that will fly in the air for about 10 seconds before it falls. Start by folding your paper in half length-wise, and then at one end fold triangles from the corners into the middle. Then flip your paper over, and fold the same corners in again, so that your paper looks like a taller point. Take the last 3 inches of the point and bend it into the middle of the paper, creating an X out of the folds. Then fold it all in half so that you...

How To: Make popsicle stick fences

If you've got a tiny farm, you're going to need some tiny fences. Don't shell out your whole allowance for a fancy store bought fence set. Instead make your own fences out of popsicle sticks. This video tutorial demonstrates how to create stalls and stables so your miniature farm animals won't escape.

How To: Make an Internally Lit Ice Sculpture with LED Lights

Why not make the best of an icy cold winter day and make something even cooler? In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a natural ice sculpture in your yard and light it up with LED lights for a cool, nighttime effect. You will definitely have the best house on the block once you start lighting up your ice, so check this video out and get started! This project is super quick and cheap to create, too!

How To: Take apart a laser pointer

Have you ever had a combination of extreme boredom and an unrelenting curiosity? If so one thing you may have attempted to do is to take apart or "de-engineer" a common office laser pointer. In this online video we are shown how to take apart a cheap laser pointer. It should be noted if you are going to attempt to do this you should only try it on a laser pointer that is inexpensive so your loss will not be great if you should make an error.

How To: NASA Engineer Shows You How to Build a Mini Curiosity Mars Rover Out of LEGOs

You might have seen our post on this last week: It's a working reproduction of the Mars Curiosity Rover made with LEGOs, but it's a bit complicated for anyone without a decent amount of robotics knowledge. Plus, you need to have some Mindstorms NXT and TECHNIC parts lying around. If you want something a little simpler than programming a working LEGO rover, you could always build a scaled model of the MSL out of regular LEGOs. Not only is this easy to build and looks great, but the step-by-ste...

How To: Make a boomerang-like comeback can kids toys

Boomerangs can be dangerous. Oatmeal containers aren't. That's what makes this kids toy the perfect build for school or play. After constructing this "comeback can" toy, you'll have a can or container that you'll roll on the ground or table, and it will always come back to you. You'll need an oatmeal container (or similar can), rubber band, nut, a couple paper clips and a pen.

How To: Make a basic rubber band car

To make a rubber band car you will need one sheet of card stock, four paper clips, two binder clips, one plastic straw, 8 inches of dowel that fits into the straw, two pencils and one rubber band. You will also need four CDs or round pies of cardboard, tape, a ruler and a marking pen. First, unfold the paper clips. Then fold the card stock and attach the paper clips. Cut squares out of the card stock. Then, cut the straw. Attach it to the card stock. Affix the pencils to the card stock with h...

How To: Build a LEGO snow plow

This video shows you how to build a LEGO snowplow. For this project you will need the following LEGO pieces: 1-1x4 plate, 3-1x2 plates, 1-1x2 plate with claws, 1-1x2 plate with handle, 2-1x1 smooth plates, 2-1x1 cylinders, 2-1x4 smooth plates, 1-1x6 smooth plates, 1-2x6 plates, 2 nozzle bricks, 2-1x1 claw bricks, and 2-1x1 slight slope bricks.

How To: Build a rubber band powered mini car launcher

What is it about boys and toy cars? Speed, motors, and lots of fun! In this video, Kipkay shows us how to make a mini toy car launcher that is powered by rubber bands. Make sure an adult supervises this project, as power drills are required. Once it's completed, your kid will have a blast with his or her Hot Wheels and some rubber bands. Don't forget to download the PDF of the project before you start.

How To: Make a catapult out of office supplies

Looking for something fun to do with all those office supplies you've been stealing from work? Or maybe you just want to goof around in your cubicle? It's possible that you are an honest, dedicated, hard worker, but whatever the case may be- no judgement, just a video guide to making an office supply catapult.

How To: Make a homemade stirling engine

Are you looking to build a cool home science experiement? Why not try out a Stirling engine? Wait, what IS a stirling engine? Well... a Stirling engine is a heat engine operating by cyclic compression and expansion of air or other gas, the working fluid, at different temperature levels such that there is a net conversion of heat energy to mechanical work. This project was made from parts around the house and you should be able to do the same. This is a great project to explain how gears work,...

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