This guy built his own Oculus Rift. What can you build this weekend?

Life in an agency is (in)famous for its hectic pace. Overwhelmed by simultaneous projects, overlapping deadlines and little down time, it’s pretty easy for even the most creative people to find themselves with some serious tunnel vision.

But many are beginning to discover a way to clear their heads and recharge: the side project. Jon Jackson, executive creative director at Huge, personally designed the invitations and other collateral for his wedding in his free time. “A lot of the work we’re doing is digital,” he said. “And that’s great, but you don’t get to hold onto it.”

May is Maker Month, so this Memorial Day weekend, feed that creative impulse by making something with your hands. There are many ways you can get started, from cooking to creating basic shelving or woodwork; you can work your way up to more sophisticated projects like building your own kite-surfboard or walkie-talkie. Take Steve Nowicki, a creative technologist at Saatchi & Saatchi, who de-stresses by concocting modernist cuisine in his kitchen with odd chemicals and unusual tools.

“The act of making something forces you to think about its construction, to contemplate the nature of that thing and how it comes together,” he said. “Being creative is all about making connections, and it literally helps your brain when you’re physically constructing things.”

While you cultivate your mental dexterity by creating something, you may end up with answers or at least renewed energy that you can take back with you to the office.

Check out the unorthodox projects we’ve assembled below, then head over to for more accessible ideas like an easy desk organizer or cool recipes to start on your own passion project.


The Bat Shelf
Let’s start simply. Maybe your workspace is bleak and dreary, or maybe you can just use some extra room for storage. Regardless of the reason, try your hand at making these corner shelves and give your desk some much-needed character.


Vintage-style MP3 Radio
Who needs a radio, right? Everybody listens to streaming music and podcasts now. But this vintage unit gives you the best of both worlds: A beautiful set and access to your favorite digital tracks. You know you want it.


Lens Flare Creating Filter
If you’ve always wanted your home movies to look more like a J.J. Abrams blockbuster (and have access to a 3D printer), spend some time building this lens flare filter for your camera. Just remember not to put any of your loved ones in red shirts…


The Nova (a DIY Oculus Rift)
Are you ambitious when it comes to your side projects? Are you in love with the idea of virtual reality but haven’t gotten your hands on an Oculus Rift just yet? This fairly low-tech alternative will give you a taste, and you’ll learn quite a bit in the process.


  • Instructables provides the DIY maker community a place to explore, document, and share their creations. We are focused on building the most authentic, supportive, and friendliest creative community of makers in the world.
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