Intro: MakeKit: a Boredom Kit for Makers
This is an on-the-go kit of general making and fixing supplies.
Occasionally I find myself away from home and looking to pass the time in the way I prefer most: Making and fixing stuff!
If you're like me and are inherently driven to tinker, fix, and create, you ought to put together a MakeKit for yourself, customized to match your interests. Throw it in your car or bag, and always have something to do!
Read on to see how I made mine and what I included. Hope you enjoy this!
Step 1: Items Not Included
For me, a decent multi-tool (like a Leatherman) and a lighter are essential tools to have in conjunction with a kit like this.
However, I did not physically include them in my kit since I tend to use these items on a daily basis. Having them stuck in a box like this just wasn't practical.
The intention was to include supplies I would want in order to create things with "found materials" . . . like sticks, paper, cardboard, soda cans, etc. Conveniently, the basic supplies in this kit are incredibly useful for general fixing of existing objects as well.
Note that this is definitely not airport-friendly, nor was it intended to be.
Step 2: Choose a Case
I have several of these two-sided plastic Plano brand cases that I use for a variety of things. They're great.
I get them for $4 at Walmart in the fishing section, although they are surely found at a variety of stores.
There are any number of cases you could use for a maker's kit like this. You should choose a case that fits whatever you want to put in your kit. (Knitting supplies? You're probably gonna need a bigger case than this, for example.)
For the case I used, it comes with removable compartment dividers and each little bay has protruding lips that hold the dividers in place. I found these divider lips to be in the way, so they were carefully scraped out and removed with a sharp 1/4" chisel.
Step 3: Side One
The following steps cover the details of what is included in the first side of my case.
Step 4: Compartment 1: Wire
This compartment holds a small pile of large paper clips, as well as 10 feet of rebar tie wire.
Large paper clips are infinitely useful, as they provide small, ready-to-go bits of strong, fairly stiff wire.
Rebar tie wire is perfect for general making and fastening because it is fairly soft and flexible, and easy to manipulate by hand. With a Leatherman for cutting as well as more intricate bending and crimping, you're good to go.
Step 5: Compartment 2: Cordage
In this compartment I have 10 feet of paracord, 20 feet of thin cotton string, and a simple homemade sewing kit.
The sewing kit was made by wrapping about 15 feet of a variety of threads around a piece of thin cardboard. Four of the threads are common light-duty thread, and two of them are thicker upholstery thread. I included a couple of regular hand-sewing needles, as well as a couple of heavier duty needles for the upholstery thread.
(If you're thinking "Only 10 feet of paracord??", keep in mind that this is a kit for simple making and fixing, and not intended for wilderness survival.)
Step 6: Compartment 3: Heat Shrink Tubing and Rubber Bands
Rubber bands and heat-shrink tubing come in handy for a variety for fixing and making situations.
Step 7: Compartment 4: Little Tools
I'll be honest, this is the compartment I'm most proud of!
In this compartment I have sandpaper in a variety of grits, a modified x-acto handle with blades, a modified paint brush, a piece of a hacksaw blade, toothpicks, and a bit of paraffin wax.
For the sandpaper, I used an old pair of scissors to cut up quarter-sheets of 60, 150, and 220 grits into 8 sections each.
I used a cut-off disc in my rotary tool and cut down a metal x-acto handle so it would fit in the case, and made a small pouch out of paper and duct tape to hold six new blades. (The handle was covered with black heat shrink tubing to add a rubbery grip.)
I cut the handle of an older (but still good) paint brush so it would fit in the case, and sanded the end to a point so it could double as a sculpting tool.
A piece of a metal-cutting hacksaw blade was trimmed to fit the x-acto handle as well. (This was a brilliant idea from user K.hall86--thank you!) I think this will be especially useful for actually cutting small pieces of wood, rather than metal. Either way, it's a good thing to include as it takes up practically no space.
Toothpicks are great for a variety of uses, from sculpting clay to intricate painting, so I included a few.
And I added a small chunk of paraffin wax. You never know when a bit of wax will come in handy.
Step 8: Compartments 5 & 6: Paint
I wanted to include some small tubs of water-based craft paint.
However in order to make them fit, I actually had to modify the case further. I carefully scored the plastic separating two end compartments with a hobby knife, popped the piece out, and then trimmed away any remaining bits of plastic.
Six little tubs of paint now fit in this double compartment, although I had to first trim off the little tabs and hinges from each tub. I had room for six, so I went with the primaries plus green, black, and white.
Step 9: Side Two
The following steps cover the details of what is included in the second side of my case.
Step 10: Compartment 7: Glues
In this compartment I included two tubes of basic super glue, and three straw packets filled with wood glue.
To use the straw packets, I will just nip off a corner and then seal it back up when I'm done.
Step 11: Compartment 8: Gorilla Tape
I love Gorilla Tape. It's like duct tape on steroids . . . thicker, stickier, and more durable.
I bought a narrow roll of it (the width of which happens to fit perfectly in the case compartments!), and carefully wrapped a bunch of it onto a piece of a paint stir stick.
Step 12: Compartment 9: Epoxy Putty and Some Oil
I also love two-part epoxy putty.
It has some uniquely beneficial qualities and is incredibly useful for all kinds of applications. For that reason, I didn't fee bad dedicating an entire compartment to hold a whole roll of the stuff.
Since there was room on top of the putty and I was looking to include some basic lubricating oil in the kit somewhere, I added it here.
A bit of oil was sealed into a straw packet just as was done earlier with the wood glue.
There's actually room in this compartment for a few more straw packets if I think of any other types of liquid I want to include. Ideas?
Step 13: Compartment 10: Clay
In the final compartment I included some oil-based clay, which will never dry out.
This is great for making non-permanent, time-passing sculptures. The colors will likely all get mixed when my kids get ahold of them, but that's okay.
Step 14: That's It!
Well, that's it! I'm all set for on-the-go making and fixing.
If you were to make a similar kit, what would you include in yours?
If you make one, I'd love to see and hear about it in the comments!
Thanks for taking a look.