If you love nothing more than building useful stuff at home, we have compiled some great homemade gadgets you can sink your teeth into. The examples listed here are far from exhaustive, but you can also use them as inspiration to create your own inventions.
Confused about where to begin? "Necessity is the mother of all invention", as the saying goes. So, if you do want to invent something of your own, you first need to find a problem to solve. But of course, that's just the start of the process. Developing an invention will take dedication, hard work, and determination.
While you can't really be taught how to do this, there are some critical steps you should take to develop your idea and ensure you have a truly useful invention.
- Document and record your invention ideas.
- Make sure your invention is not already patented.
- Do some research to make sure your idea has a market.
- Make a prototype (i.e., prove your idea can work in real life).
- File a patent.
There are countless examples of "life hacks" out there on the net already. But here are some great problems you can use to come up with your own innovative ideas:
- How to easily transport hanging clothes when moving.
- Prevent bandages from always slipping off.
- No more frozen veggie avalanches.
- Fit all your tank tops on a single hanger.
- Separate yolks with a water bottle.
- DIY Sprinkler.
- DIY Ice packs.
- The Ninja Fold.
And here is a small selection of some fun and useful homemade gadgets you can get to work on now.
1. This homemade WiFi booster
Using a tin can and some other bits and pieces, you too can make this great WiFi booster for your home. Assembly is pretty straight forward and the rewards are impressive.
Humorously called the "cantenna", this DIY tech project will make your day.
The "cantenna" can really boost your WiFi signal strength if it's a sub-par. Not only is it easy to make but it won't break the bank either.
For less than $5 you can get all the bits and pieces you need. Apart from the tin can, or cans, you'll need some nuts and bolts, and N-Type female jack panel mount connector, wire, and some other tools and items you might have lying around.
If this interests you, check out Shtfpreparedness' handy tutorial.
2. Here's a cool homemade air conditioner
Getting a little hot under the collar at home and can't afford a domestic air conditioner? Then why not consider making your own?
This tutorial by ladyleeshome will show you how to do just that using materials you might have around the house. Assembly is very simple indeed, and you can make the whole thing for less than $25.
Using a simple fan, a car battery (for of the grid applications), a cooler and some plastic pipes, you can have your own, cheap, homemade AC unit in no time.
3. This homemade video projector is simple and effective
Do you want to project your favorite video from your phone onto the nearest wall but don't want to fork out for a projector? Then why not consider making your own at home?
This tutorial, by lovethispic, will let you project anything you want from your smart device in no time at all. All you'll need is a decently sized cardboard box, a magnifying lens, and some other basic household materials.
It's cheap to make and actually works very well indeed! Try it out for yourself.
4. How about making your own rocket stove?
If you like to camp out a lot but are getting fed up with paying out for propane canisters, you might want to consider building yourself a rocket stove. Assembly should take less than an hour, and you can use many items from around your house.
This tutorial, by Prepared Housewives, features a handy step-by-step guide to do just that. It won't cost much to acquire the bits you'll need and the final product is simply awesome!
As for fuel, you can use anything that burns, but solid fuel like twigs or sticks are preferable. According to the creator, you can cook an entire family meal using "just a handful of twigs"!
The best bit is that you can use it over and over again. If it does break, just make another one!
5. "Bluetoothify" an old antique portable radio
If you have an old antique portable radio lying around, why not repurpose it as a Bluetooth speaker? Not only will it turn heads at a party, but you can return an old piece of tech from the dead.
If you are interested in having a go yourself, check out the tutorial on Instructables. Be warned, however, that in order to complete this project you will need some experience with soldering and working with basic electronics.
Of course, the final result may vary for you depending on the design and gubbins of the antique radio you are using.
6. Fancy making your own night vision goggles?
If you fancy an interesting home science and tech project, why not consider making your own night vision goggles? Once assembled you can walk around at night, safe-in-the-knowledge that no one will be able to creep up on you in the dark.
Assembly is fairly easy, and it shouldn't cost you too much to duplicate the project. For full instructions check out Techwalla's great tutorial on how to make your own.
7. Make your own speakers from mason jars
And last, but by no means least, check out these mason jar DIY speakers. They look great but also work as good as other portable speakers you can buy on the market (within reason of course).
Assembly is as easy-as-pie and it shouldn't cost you too much for the materials needed. All you'll need are a couple of mason jars (obviously) and the necessary speaker components to place within them.
If you want to make your own, check out the tutorial in the video above.