Ruining Zelda – A Story of Failing Gracefully

One of the running themes at MAL is to show off your ugly things. We’ve talked about the shame that we experience when we botch something up, when we can’t make our product match our vision, or when we look back in anguish at our cringe-worthy creations of the distant past. …


4 reasons to have a MAD laser love affair.

3D printers are the hot new technology all over the news.  But so far home 3D printers haven’t lived up to the Star Trek replicator hype.  Many of the early companies are struggling as consumers realize 3D printers have severe limitations such as complicated software, slow speed, and a small …

ActivitiesArtCraftingElectronicsFeaturedGeneral Art

LED all the things!

These days adding LED lights to art is easier than ever and doesn’t require a degree in electrical engineering.  Below are my favorite kits I use in STEM outreach with teens to LED ALL THE THINGS!   I have seen all of them used in elaborate art projects too. Circuit …


Armour for Cosplay 4 – Cut It Out

This week, we finally start making something. We’re cutting out pieces for a pauldron (shoulder armour) and a full articulated arm. I’m working off of patterns found on the Armour Archive. Pauldron Arm Harness I’ve made two versions of the video. The first has been edited down and had the boring bits …

MAL contributor Brian in a lightsaber battle with Kelly. Both are in Star Wars costumes.

MAL-o-ween Costume Review of Awesomeness

Welcome, November! That fine autumn month, full of pumpkin spice and everything nice. But wait, what’s that I hear? The sound of… CHRISTMAS MUSIC? Waitwaitwait, I’m not done with Halloween yet! Personally, I’m a bit resistant to jingling bells prior to Thanksgiving week, but YMMV. Since Halloween may be the craftiest of …


Last Minute (no, really) Halloween Costumes: Pippi Edition

I’m a big fan of a good closet costume. Having dug too deep into the cosplay mine, though, I rarely get to participate in that field as I’m typically too busy crafting my costumes from raw ore. This year, though, I had the delight of helping a friend assemble a …

Two carved jack-o-lanterns on either side of a closed wooden door on a front porch
AIArt InquisitionCrafting

Art Inquisition: Do You Wanna Carve a Pumpkin?

Happy Halloween, you gorgeously creative folks! Have you carved a pumpkin (or other decorative gourd-like thing) for this weekend’s festivities? Is it awesome and in need of being shared with the world? Did your carving attempts go hilariously awry? Did you know you can now share photos in our comments? I …


Respect the Wood: When Pinterest Goes Well

There were a good couple of years between when I first saw Pinterest and when I finally made an account. It seemed smug and precious, and my friend who was planning a wedding described how addictive and demoralizing it can be to see other people’s immaculately crafted and “curated” wedding …