Building with the Basics

Ross Creek Centre for the Arts
“Stay at Home” Maker Workshop

Links & Resources based on our meetings

I’ll be adding links here as a follow up to ideas and interests mentioned in our meetings. I hope they help.

This is the “submarine” I was talking to Lily about.

The Incredible, Gravity Defying “Tensegrity Man” from Rob Ives.

Visit Rob Ives project page for more and a video.

My Favourite Arduino Contraptions.


  • How to think like a Make
  • Obtainium is EVERYWHERE….but ask first :
    • Tools
    • Materials
  • A place for your stuff
  • Think with your hands & Make what makes YOU smile 🙂
  • Let’s Get Making!

I have included a selection of YouTube videos to help you get started. Some of them give you tips and tricks for working with materials like cardboard. Watch at your leisure should you wish to. There are several about creating “mechanical art” called “Automata” using very basic materials as well as some examples to provide inspiration.

This is the playlist I have gathered for the “Building with the Basics” workshop.
The menu button in the top right corner shows you all the videos in the list.
There is no need to watch them in order.

Projects, Possibilities and Problems

These are possible starting points if you need a little help getting started.

Remember, creating a prototype, playing with materials and thinking with your hands is not wasted time. It often leads to important answers to questions you might not even know to ask 🙂

  • Create a toy, play area or shelter for your pet(s)
  • Make yourself a toolbox. You can even try to make a super strong one out of cardboard using the tips and tricks found in the workshop playlist. Making a “Tool Bucket” is another great place to start.
  • Build a “robot” out of parts you scavenge from taking apart an old VCR or other APPROVED Obtainium. What is their name? Job? Where do they live? Do they have a pet?
  • Watch a video about something you’d like to build that DOESN’T have instructions and work out how you would make the same thing or something similar.
Could you make a similar tool bucket?
A bucket, cardboard and duct tape might let you build a working prototype….


  • Cardboard
  • Lids/caps of All Kinds
  • plastic soda bottles
  • Bamboo Skewers
  • Coffee Stir Sticks
  • Straws
  • Rubber Bands
  • “Altoids” type tins
  • Zipties
  • Pencils/Old Pens & Markers
  • LEGO
  • Wood
  • Natural Materials
  • hot glue sticks
  • And much more…

  • Scissors
  • Hammer(s)
  • Screwdriver(s)
  • Saws
  • Pliers
  • Ruler and Measuring Tape
  • Hacksaw
  • Japanese cardboard saw
  • Drills
  • Needle and Thread
  • clothes pins
  • paper clips

Connectors & Hackable Obtainium

  • GLUE
  • TAPE
    • Masking
      (does not work well with cardboard)
    • Scotch
    • Packing
    • Duct
    • Cardboard tape
  • Zipties
  • Wire
  • Screws
  • Nuts and Bolts
  • Nails

  • Electric Toothbrushes
  • “Talking” greeting cards
  • Old VCR
  • Old game controllers
  • Old Tower Computer
  • Old Printers
  • Old Rotary Phone
  • Old Remote Control Toys
  • Most Battery Operated “gadgets” are useful
  • NEVER Take apart!
    • TVs
    • Computer Monitors
    • Batteries

Other Resources & Links

Like Hammering? Try String art 🙂

Click the image to take you to the tutorial.

Like Pokemon? Make Pokemon string art! This tutorial shows you a different way yo make string art, or you can modify it and do it with hammering and nails 🙂