Try This At Home

by Stefani on 19-October-2008

If there's a more inspiring way for young creators to spend a Saturday than going to a Maker Faire, I don't know about it. 

For SEVEN hours we soaked in all the vast and varied things that human hands can do. 

It was mind boggling. I  began to think that perhaps Dr. Seuss had this very thing in mind when he wrote "Oh the Thinks You can Think". 

But then these folks don't just think, now do they? Oh no. They DO!


They glass blow and metal smith, they woodwork, weave, knit, carve, polish, build, hammer and dream. 

Metal Work

There were robot wars (at once the geekiest and most fun thing EVER), a life size game of mousetrap and entire cities built of Legos. 

There were bikes like nothing we'd ever seen – a rattlesnake and a butterfly bike with wings that must have been 10 feet tall,


Of course we'll never forget our once in a lifetime ride in a "Carmadillo!"


There were art cars, including our favorite, which had enumerable singing fish and lobsters performing everything from classical to Queen. 

Fish Car>

There were stone polishing devices and catapults, rockets and robots. Some painted, some launched ping pong balls, and still other robots that threw flame or drew intricate designs on eggs while others worked their way through mazes and obstacle courses. 

There were places to build with paper and tape, there were buckets of this and that and rows of glue guns just for your making pleasure – you could add your own touch to the giant sculpture in progress. 

There were sustainable food vendors and folks who've dreamt up new uses for solar power or built engines that run on warm water. 

And there was more, so much more. 

In the end, I think that it was the Diet Coke and Mentos guys who said it best. 

Diet Coke and Mentos

They told the crowd that if there was only one thing to take away from Maker Faire it was that everyone present should try this, try ALL this, at home!


And believe me, they were preaching to the choir. I know a couple of young men who left with nothing, if not hands that are just itching make and do. 
Maureen October 19, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Wow! That looks awesome. My kids, husband and I would absolutely love it. I had never heard of a Maker Faire before, so thanks for sharing. Unfortunately, it appears that as of now, they are only in Austin and San Fran. I hope they expand and one eventually comes to the East Coast.

cloth.paper.string October 19, 2008 at 8:18 pm

what fun! i’ve seen – and heard – that fish volvo at a art car parade in minneapolis… seeing your photo of it here makes my night.

kristin at prairie daze October 20, 2008 at 4:34 am

we may need to plan a road trip next year.

incredible, incredible.

SpiderWomanKnits October 20, 2008 at 5:43 am

I am trying to wrap my head around all the images you shared. This looks like the coolest event ever!This makes me want to load the family up and take a trip next year. Incredible! Thanks for sharing!

Kathleen October 20, 2008 at 5:53 am

Oh my gosh, that is so cool! I wish there was something like that close to where I live.

Thimbleina October 20, 2008 at 6:27 am

Love the Carmadillo. Heard about the coke and mentos experiment from one of the mums at school who tried it.

Bet they really want to get inventing now?

Caroline October 20, 2008 at 6:35 am

Looks like you had an amazing time! How fun and inspirational!

Corey Ackelmire October 20, 2008 at 6:57 am

I’m so jealous! My husband and I have been dying to go to Maker Faire for years, but we’re never in Austin at the right time. Someday, though! Someday.

Jonah Lisa October 20, 2008 at 8:27 am

Wow Stefani. See it’s things like this that make me wish we lived in Austin. There are so many funky cool things to do and places to go. If only it weren’t for the heat.

Kelly October 20, 2008 at 8:28 am

Wow! How cool is that?
My six year old has been asking to build a robot and that somehow led to us talking about robot wars. He thought it was cool too. 🙂

Lori October 20, 2008 at 9:47 am


also, now i want an armadillo car.

Katie October 20, 2008 at 10:36 am

Man that sounds like just our sort of fun! Wish we had something like it in our area.

Can’t wait to see what fun things your boys create in the near future!

Stephanie B October 20, 2008 at 10:43 am

That sounds like an outstanding day. So much fun. Very unique things, wish they had something like that in our area.

elissa Finger October 20, 2008 at 10:46 am

that looks like CRAZY fun!

Jennifer October 20, 2008 at 10:50 am

Right in my own backyard! I have never heard of it, definitely a must for next year.

Baba October 20, 2008 at 11:29 am

OMG what fun you must have had. Give the guys the tools and enjoy their exploration in creating now. I would love a chance to go to one of these.

Aunt LoLo October 20, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Oh, I’m sure your boys were in HEAVEN!

Hannah October 20, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Ohhhhh … envying … I SO wanted to go to M.F. this weekend. We still had a nice weekend, but … next year I will be diligent to secure the advance discount! Looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

Kelly October 20, 2008 at 1:35 pm

how awesome! your guys are SO lucky – lucky to have such a cool mama too to take ’em 🙂

Brittany October 20, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Thank you for posting about this! We have been wanting to go to a MF and if I hadn’t read your blog today I may have forgotten about it! Now I have a new obsession and inspiration! I wish they would come a little closer to us in the southeast, but we’ve always wanted to visit Austin, so maybe the MF will be our chance! It looks like you had a blast!

Maya October 20, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Wowzers! We’ve never heard of them, but we’re just a skip from SF. So this week we’ll be going to the Berkeley Adventure Playground, & when the MF comes around, we’ll be checking it out. Thanks for the idea(sssssss)!

Alissa October 20, 2008 at 4:31 pm

That sounds amazing!

Pewter Wings October 20, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Finally! A group of like minded folks who label themselves as ‘Maker’!

This label is so wonderfully encompassing that it can cover every one of the arts and crafts practiced by my family.

Thanks for the link.

wesleyjeanne October 21, 2008 at 10:18 am

Very cool! I wish there were something like that closer to my home so we could go!

Cassandra October 21, 2008 at 4:03 pm

This looks like too much fun! How lucky you are to be able to take your little inventors to something like this!

Relyn October 21, 2008 at 7:06 pm

If I move to Texas, will you please home school my little one,too?

lee October 27, 2008 at 6:47 am

Wow! I’ve never been to Austin and never heard of the Maker Faire. Now I want to visit during this extravaganza!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: