Introduction: Portable Thought Bubble

Picture of Portable Thought Bubble

Ever want to know what your friends are thinking? What about the thoughts of cats and dogs and trees? They have to be thinking of something and now you have a chance to find out with the Portable Thought Bubble.

You've seen thought bubbles in action in comic strips and comic books and other comical environs, but now they can be anywhere you want them to be. So go and unleash the power of the mind.

Free the knowledge!

Step 1: Get Supplies

Picture of Get Supplies

Get stuff!

The big thing here is the nice circular dry erase board. Thoughts are ephemerally effervescent things that need a home or it's just poof! My thoughts need roughly 10 inches or so so I bought a 11" board. You can even fit a couple thoughts in there if you're careful and efficient.

Of course the thoughts require ink to appear. Some recommend the condensed nature of your ancestors, but I prefer dry erase markers. These new ones even have a little afro/eraser on the tip. Is this new? It's not like I buy dry erase markers that often so maybe this is old news. I'm not that kinda guy, right?

Thoughts need some structure and either some scrap wire or clothes hangers will be good enough.

No structure is complete without the most powerful glue on the planet, duct tape.

To provide some direction for your thought finder you'll need a stick. I have some bamboo that I scavenged and it worked great.

Some electrical tape is a help, but this has no effect on the thoughts or their surprising effect on your unprepared psyche. Watch out, this is some serious Jungian stuff.

Step 2: Make Support Bubbles

Picture of Make Support Bubbles

Thought bubbles are strong on their own, but every good bubble can do with a couple of support bubbles. You're not gonna leave your thoughts on their on their own are you? What kind of a person would that make you?

I'd say a bad one.

So cut some smaller bubbles out of the white ether that floats through your home and fix them in place on a couple pieces of wire with that wondrous substance, duct tape.

If you want the bubbles to have some extra dignity, wrap some of the wire with electrical tape. It's so ninja-style with its blackness.

Step 3: Duct Tape Is Your Friend

Picture of Duct Tape Is Your Friend

Remember that duct tape stuff? Tear off a few strips and stick the, erm, stick onto it to make a stuck stick.

While you're at it, cover more of the back of the board with duct tape. This gives you more areas to place the thought bubbles as they will stick a little too well to the cardboard and you won't be able to reposition them.

Step 4: Attach Thought Bubbles

Picture of Attach Thought Bubbles

This is that whole moment where it all "comes together." But how does this magic happen? With hopes and dreams and thoughts of summers past?

No, it's more duct tape. Go at it.

Step 5: Record Those Thoughts!

Picture of Record Those Thoughts!

Your tool is now ready. So go out and find out what people are thinking. Some people will eagerly display their mental inventory. Others have something to hide. Try and avoid these people as they are less fun.

You are now a thought hunter. You can even use caps and put it on a business card. You are a Thought Hunter!

Go and catch some thoughts!

Step 6: Say Stuff!

Picture of Say Stuff!

Thoughts are truly interesting, but sometimes your friends just won't sit there and think for you. No, they insist on saying stuff to you. It's totally rude because you're holding the camera and trying to get that perfect shot of them in their comfy work mode while they're just living life in their own way, but they just can't stop talking. It's a bastard thing. Maybe because they're from the east coast.

Don't these guys know that all we do on the west coast is chill? Dude, come on.

And what's with all the shouting? I'm like two feet from you. I can hear you.


Shiri1432 (author)2011-07-12

I would love to do this! I would definitely bring it to school on a collapsible stick I could fit in my backpack! Especially When I have Anime Club! No ones thoughts shall remain their own!!!! MWAHAHAHAH! Also, the last pictures are funny!

BrefelanDesigns (author)2011-03-25

A couple of years ago at the school I went to there was a play that was scrapped (for reasons I don't recall) anyways, all the props had all been made and since the play was scrapped so where some of the props, well being in theater tech at the time I got a hold of one of the props ( it was a grey cloud) that was to be scrapped and kept it... Anyways I added a pole so I could hold it over my head or someone elses' head... that way they (or I) would have a raincloud over their head....

louis perichon (author)2010-12-27

love that one!

chuck norris (author)2007-01-22

this just won the won the funniest instructable of the month award from me! ha ha ha brilliance in action!

Derin (author)chuck norris2009-01-06

OMG chuck norris


trebuchet03 (author)2007-06-26


That's right... like getting your post deleted. Next time you post, don't post spam or incentives to do so. Please be positive and constructive with your comments or risk being banned from our site.

dombeef (author)trebuchet032008-12-17

what happend

theburn7 (author)trebuchet032008-05-17

good one

Q-Branch (author)2007-01-21

There is an artists named Aram Bartholl who uses little hacks like this in a bunch of different variations like real world versions of google map pointers, World of Warkraft character names, and green SIMS markers.

check out this super simple hack.

fungus amungus (author)Q-Branch2007-03-07

You know, that Counterstrike thing always bugged me. It's a much better idea in theory. The gun is backwards and you can't see it anyway. I'm wondering if the visual language of video games is common enough for enough people to recognize it. Sure, millions play WoW and The Sims, but I had to look it up to see what he was talking about. It's interesting to see the virtual indicators switch over to the real world, but there's something missing. To me, those projects speak more to the artist's own personal interests in gaming than any potentially bigger message. And in providing some ironic distance from his own interests I feel that he's cheating a little, saying that he's above all that when I don't think he is at all. I think it's funnier when people are more honest about the projects, like this image.

and if you put it on a spring, it's funny!

AWESOME though thats a metal gear thing

schuchwun (author)fungus amungus2007-04-04

brilliant!. gotta love metal gear solid. i suppose you could also do one like that but with the question mark instead. pure metal gear genious(sp) .

fungus amungus (author)schuchwun2007-04-04

Yeah, but the exclamation mark works in all directions. Pretty classy.

Aeshir (author)Q-Branch2007-01-27

AHAHA! I've made movie with a friend by holding an airsoft gun in front of a camera and using the camera as your point of view for authenticity and recording the whole thing. Good times, good times...

torta10 (author)2007-03-05

Have you ever thought on sticking it to a ballon conected to your rist? That way you don't have to use the stick!

fungus amungus (author)torta102007-03-07

I'm guessing that you've never tried to write on a balloon. The experience is... squeaky.

true... but using a weather balloon and smaller baloons to make a GIANT thought bubble is an interesting idea.

And the ink gets runny when it deflates.

Hi, all. First post, ever. I like it, except having to hold a stick and the amount of thought bubbles are not adjustable. I know no originality here, others have already but it up. How about making it attach to back of one's shirt or jacket? Then make the thought bubbles connecting materials fold in half at the mid-point? I realize, it probably would make the weight of the object, while maintaining the strength of holding up the thought bubbles, a challenge to over come; however, one could put a funny message on the thought bubbles and then attach it to their friend's shirt.

Ward_Nox (author)2007-08-27

if you made it collapsible this would rock

zepman (author)2007-06-23

how did you come up with this???

Maxaxle88 (author)2007-06-03

ROTFLOL, now I can make a real-life comic strip of some sort (made of pictures with that kind of thing put in).

lookatmygrlyfont (author)2007-05-06

hahaha this is one of the best i have ever seen!

James (pseudo-geek) (author)2007-04-20

I've seen hats with a yellow exclamation point on it(quest available sign in WoW)
I've also seen shirts that say: level ?? humaniod
=(also from WoW, it means its at least 10 levels higher than you)

reedzilla (author)2007-03-13

For additional ninja stealth points, maybe use a clear acrylic dowel for the main support stick rather than the bamboo?

whiteoakart (author)2007-03-06

The true beauty of this is foisting it upon unsuspecting folks. The "thinking cap" is cute, but not as brilliant as this. Thanks, Fungus.

Exactly. You can sneak up on them and it's much more solid.

Zujus (author)2007-02-18

Cool! :D Cat roks! :D

photozz (author)2007-02-11

OK. I'm amused. You win.

hallifax (author)2007-02-04

The second and fourth guys (and, therefore, the first as well) are cuties! The chica, on the other hand, is just cool. :)

erigeeka (author)hallifax2007-02-05

That's my cutie!

fungus amungus (author)erigeeka2007-02-05

And that's my chica!

5Volt (author)2007-01-25

Troppo bello ! 5V.

fungus amungus (author)5Volt2007-01-27

Grazie tanto!

crapflinger (author)2007-01-22

oh sweet baby it legal in the US to marry an instructable? if it is...i may need a justice of the peace... this is just great...i love absolute lunacy geek version: one of those scrolling LED marquis as the end bubble...type up the message...and there she goes...would save on handwriting issues

If you can write "I do" in the thought bubble I think you're all set.

northernmenace (author)2007-01-23

excellent! very good instructable.

Kiteman (author)2007-01-21

Nice. Put one on a reeeeaaaaaally long bamboo pole, and you can hover it over the heads of completely unsuspecting peole in the street whilst accomplises [sp?] take their photos.

It reminds me of the Cursor Kite idea:
(some of the Blog images linked to are better than the windfire pictures, but they're not pointing at such interesting things).

Captain Pedantic (author)2007-01-20

That could be a great Halloween "costume". Carry around a whiteboard eraser made up to look like a beer can... Let all the pretty girls create your thoughts... I love it.

Andrew546 (author)2007-01-20

I could really go for some Thought Lube right now! :P

fungus amungus (author)Andrew5462007-01-20

That reminds me. I need a new six pack of Thought Lube as well.

trebuchet03 (author)2007-01-20

So I made one by recycling a sheet of acrylic that had a white protective film on the back (front?). You can kinda see the tape through it, but this was just for fun :P I then hung it in front of a clear wall using fishing line. So it's not portable, but now I can make a "chair of thoughts" :) If anyone else wants to hang it -- try holding it by the top bubble and find a where the center of gravity holds it in the proper position ;) Quick editing in photoshop gets rid of the fishing line -- if I spent more time, I could have removed the little bits of wire that hold it together. Then again, if I spent more time, I would have used proper lighting instead of the crumby flash :P

trebuchet03 (author)trebuchet032007-01-20

I just had another idea..... why not make a "thinking cap (or hat)" :P

So white acrylic works with dry erase, too? Good to know. You could make a thinking hat. Just make sure there's something to hold it in place. I like the stick because it's stronger, most people don't want to wear a hat, and you can sneak up behind someone and make them think something without knowing it.

Jezza Bear (author)2007-01-20

Can you suggest how much "Thought Lubricant" is required for this :-)

A strict minimum of 12 oz. for sure. When working in a bar or party environment I would hesitate to put a limit as to how much you should take.

AlexTheGreat (author)2007-01-20

awesome, I love it. I think it would be better as a hat though.

robonut625 (author)2007-01-20

I love it! Another awesome post from fungus amungus!

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at You'll like it.
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