THE BEST Art & Design

DIY Plywood Workspace

DIY Plywood Workspace

In today’s work-from-home world, having a good desk is a must. You could buy one, or you could do what HomeMadeModern did and build one to your own exacting specifications. We love how Jessie incorporated walls and sound-deadening felt to make it her own. We’d probably do corkboard for tacking up notes.

The Hidden Art of Disney: They Drew as They Pleased

The Hidden Art of Disney: They Drew as They Pleased

Didier Ghez’s six-volume series delves into the lesser-known art of Disney Animation. Each book is filled with rare images gathered from the depths of the Walt Disney Archives and the Disney Animation Research Library, along with untold stories of the artists behind the scenes. Start with the 1930s and work your way to 2020.

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3D-Printed Expanding Mechanism

3D-Printed Expanding Mechanism

In the 1800s, an engineering reference book showed off a pulley design that could expand its size. Angus of Maker’s Muse wanted to see if he could replicate the part using 3D printing, and along the way found a different use for it, and incorporated the mechanism into a nifty looking puzzle box.

Letterfolk Tile Floor Mat

Letterfolk Tile Floor Mat

This rubberized vinyl floor mat lets you create your own custom patterns. Each mat comes as a blank white canvas, along with 150 black hexagonal tiles which easily snap into place. The tiles are removable and repositionable, and you can buy additional tiles in a variety of colors.

Ping Pong LED Video Wall 3.0

Ping Pong LED Video Wall 3.0

Bitluni’s Lab continues to upgrade his DIY video wall project by supersizing it to 1920 ping pong ball pixels, each illuminated by an RGBW LED. With its latest circuit, it can stream live video at up to 74fps. Unlike the prior versions, he didn’t have to drill tons of holes, and it’s made up of multiple small panels instead of one big one.

Computer-Milled Wooden Pixel Art

Computer-Milled Wooden Pixel Art

There’s software out there that can stylize images, but this technology makes images from real wood. Its algorithms compare greyscale levels between images and patterns in wood veneer, then instructs a CNC machine to cut out pieces that can be assembled to form a complete portrait. Two Minute Papers explains.

Wood-turning a Jingle Bell

Wood-turning a Jingle Bell

Woodworker Frank Howarth likes to celebrate Christmas by making his own ornaments. This year, he took some wood from a maple tree and turned it into a segmented sphere on his lathe. He then used his CNC mill to cut the “X” pattern into it. The 6″ wood ball has a smaller wood ball inside that makes a rattling sound.

DIY Chroma Cube

DIY Chroma Cube

If you want an impressive work of glass art, you turn to Jack Storms, but his works take months to complete and cost thousands. After seeing one of Jack’s amazing Spectrum Cubes in Guardians of the Galaxy, ResinAce tried to approximate the effect using resin and dichroic film. It’s not as intricate as the real deal, but still very cool.

Infinity LED Tail Lights

Infinity LED Tail Lights

We’re not sure if they’re street legal, but we think every car should have taillights like the ones on this 1991 Nissan Skyline GTS-4. Steve Molans of Skeptik Innovations built these custom lights which use RGB LEDs and mirrors to create an infinite effect and can change colors. They still work as normal brake lights and turn indicators.

Making an LED Sphere Ornament

Making an LED Sphere Ornament

Last Christmas, maker Jiří Praus decided he wanted a unique ornament. So he set about building a light-up sphere that can display colorful patterns. He built the orb using meticulously-soldered brass wires, 194 individual RGB LEDs, and an ESP32 microcontroller. Check out the full build details on Instructables.

Pop-up Wood Castles

Pop-up Wood Castles

At first glance, this looks like an ordinary log. But there’s something hiding inside of it. When it’s given a firm shake, a series of castles rise from its surface, much like the opening credits of Game of Thrones. These ones were posted by Ctoom, but you can find similar pop-up sculptures over on Etsy.

Nature of Form

Nature of Form

This hardcover art book catalogs hundreds of forms, patterns, textures, and colors extracted from natural things like fruits, veggies, insects, fish, and more. It’s a great addition to any artist’s or designer’s reference library, providing a fresh source of creative inspiration.

Sculpting Darth Maul

Sculpting Darth Maul

While Darth Maul might not have turned out to be the most impressive villain in Star Wars history, he sure looked the part. Watch as artist Dr. Garuda crafts an picture-perfect sculpture of the spiky-headed baddie. He just needs to team up with Boylei Hobby Time to add a light-up version of his double lightsaber.

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Portraits from the Woods: Photography by Norman Reedus

Portraits from the Woods: Photography by Norman Reedus

Norman Reedus is beloved for his portrayal of Darryl Dixon on The Walking Dead. Reedus is also an avid photographer, and he took advantage of his time deep in the woods of Georgia to capture intimate, humorous, and macabre portraits of his co-stars, film crew, and friends. Available in Hardcover or a Collector’s Edition.

Karakuri Mechanical Paper Models

Karakuri Mechanical Paper Models

Karakuri is the Japanese art of making papercraft automata. Originally published in Japan by artist and “paper engineer” Keisuke Saka, this book is filled with designs for fourteen different Karakuri models, including a tea-serving robot and a penguin on an iceberg that moves when you turn its crank. Best for ages 13+.

NanoCoasters

NanoCoasters

Do you love roller coasters? The guys at CoasterDynamix make teeny models of virtual thrill rides for your desk or bookshelf. They come in a variety of designs, including traditional, looped, and adventure-themed rides, each sold as an easy-to-build kit. Find more variants here.

How To Build a Wearable Robot

How To Build a Wearable Robot

What you’re looking at here isn’t a real robot, it’s a really impressive costume, built by artist XiaoQianFeng. She created the wearable mech outfit for her brother using wire mesh, paper mache, cardboard, wood, and if you can believe it, ceramic tile. The finished costume is too heavy to move around in, but it looks amazing.

Fidget Flip

Fidget Flip

The Fidget Flip is a unique stress-relief toy that combines visual and audible stimuli to keep your mind occupied. The laser-cut acrylic plaything is filled with exactly 750 tiny metal spheres, which create a calming sound and mesmerizing visual as you tilt it from side-to-side. Not recommended for young children, lest they crack it open.

Volkswagen Bus Desk Organizer

Volkswagen Bus Desk Organizer

Show your love for the classic VW microbus with this cast metal organizer from Troika. It’s based on the 1962 VW T1 Samba Bus, and offers storage for paperclips, business cards, pens, and other small office supplies. Its top works as a magnetic paperclip holder, and its pull-back friction mechanism lets it roll across your desktop.

The Coin

The Coin

Each Chinese New Year, a girl receives a lucky coin in one of her dumplings. After years of collecting the coins, she loses them and has an unsettling experience during her journey to a new land. Siqi Song’s stop-motion short is a beautifully-animated allegory about leaving home and adjusting to a new culture.

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Gradient Sphere Puzzle

Gradient Sphere Puzzle

This colorful, challenging, and unique 540-piece jigsaw puzzle from Uncommon Goods features a gradient field of color that wraps around a spherical surface. Its pieces are made from plastic which ensures they hold together firmly, and the finished globe measures 8.66″ in diameter.

Beautiful Bulgaria

Beautiful Bulgaria

While travel is on hold for many of us these days, we rely on videos like this one from Little Big World to keep us inspired. Joerg Daiber takes us on another tilt-shift trip – this time to the Eastern European country of Bulgaria, with its dramatic landscapes, bustling cities, ancient fortresses, and abandoned Soviet monuments.

MicroMolder Desktop Injection Molder

MicroMolder Desktop Injection Molder

Injection molding is the process of injecting melted plastics into a mold to create parts. It’s typically reserved for large, industrial machines, but the MicroMolder changes that. It can accept aluminum, 3D-printed SLA, or high-temp cast urethane tooling, producing production-quality parts from pellets.

Long-Exposure Drone Photography

Long-Exposure Drone Photography

Photographer Reuben Wu employs drones in an unconventional way, using a bright light aboard the UAVs to create perfect halos, straight lines, and arcs in the sky, illuminating landscapes in long exposure images. See more of Reuben’s work on his Instagram page. If that’s not enough, he’s also 1/4 of the awesome group Ladytron.

Istanbul Sessions: Hurri-Mitanni

Istanbul Sessions: Hurri-Mitanni

Backed by the jazzy sounds of Ilhan Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions‘ track Hurri-Mitanni (Güzel Haber), director Gökalp Gönen’s music video is loaded with eye-catching images, as a series of dancers wander the streets, transforming into surreal and colorful figures with the help of computer graphics tech.

Photon LED Chess Board

Photon LED Chess Board

Between the popularity of The Queen’s Gambit and quarantining, there’s no better time to improve your chess game. This chess set from Showcase Plastics has a 12″ x 12″cast acrylic board with LED lighting. It’s available in a choice a variety colors for each side of the board, and includes a set of laser-cut acrylic chess pieces.

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