This is an update to a classic practical joke I loved as a kid. My grandfather used to keep a small yellow envelope that had ‘Rattlesnake Eggs’ written on it inside the door of his refrigerator. It was there to freak out anyone who visited his home. If you got curious enough to open the yellow envelope of rattlesnake eggs, you would be frightened by the loud spinning button mechanism inside.
The envelope contained a simple device. First a paper clip was straightened out and bent into a V shape with a loop bent in each end. Two rubber bands were threaded through the hole of a metal washer. The rubber band was stretched across the wire loops of the wire V. My grandfather would spin the button until the rubber band was wound tight, then he would slip it carefully inside the envelope. Once he closed the flap on the envelope, the button could not spin until opened by some innocent bystander. When opened, the button would make such a loud vibrating sound, it often got tossed across the room in fright. People were convinced rattlesnakes had hatched inside the envelope!
Grampy even put a few dry beans in the envelope so there were ‘snake eggs’ rolling around inside the envelope, because the curious would often shake it before they open it. Once they heard the eggs rolling around, they were even more curious to see them.
What I have done is design a little wood box with a lid. When you open the lid, the button spins and rattles. It’s a fun prank gift. There’s even little fake eggs to put in there so they make a sound if the box is shook. This is a fun Glowforge laser cutter project you can make at home using 1/8″ thick Proof Grade Medium Plywood for best sound. Put a box of delicious Rattlesnake Eggs on your kitchen counter and see who opens it first.
My Udemy course, Learn Inkscape For Glowforge has been a great success, so I wanted to offer my students fun projects they can download and cut on their Glowforge laser cutter.
My first offering is the Q-Tip Crossbow. Would you like to make a toy crossbow that shoots cotton swabs? Of course you do! All you need is access to a Glowforge laser cutter, 1/8″ thick Proof Grade Medium Plywood, sand paper, glue, 3 rubber bands, and lots of cotton swabs to blast around the room as ammo.
My course includes the crossbow.svg file designed in color to properly separate layers for cutting on a Glowforge. You’ll get detailed video instructions, a troubleshooting guide, and supplemental photos to help you along. It’s a slam dunk.
This project is intended for folk age 15+ because it’s a working mini crossbow made with lots of small parts. Anything this fun requires parental supervision. Kids love this project because it feels slightly dangerous. They love to build it, take it apart, replace the rubber bands. Be a hero – share this project with a kid… but remind them to not shoot it at people or pets.
If you are new to laser cutting, I suggest that you check out my first course, Learn Inkscape For Glowforge. Once you get through that and understand the process and lingo, move on to the JEMTOY laser projects I offer. You will learn tons, and have fun while doing it.
Here’s a fun way to turn common trash into a fun toy. We all know those little square plastic bread tabs that keep plastic bags closed. This is an easy project anyone can make at home. All you need is a hard wood stick from outside. A 3/4″ maple or oak branch off the ground will do. Other than that, all you need is a few bread tabs as ammo, and a saw to cut the branch. Sandpaper 100 grit is good to make it all finished and feel smooth.
You can use pretty much any type of saw, from electric jig saw to a hack saw. Just a couple swipes is all you need to make a shallow cut groove. You want the groove to be deep enough to catch the bread tab when under pressure, but not so deep it doesn’t shoot forward when released. If you cut your groove too deep, cut the branch off and cut another groove until it works. I angled my cut slightly forward to help it release and shoot.
This is a fun toy because it’s slightly dangerous. Please do not aim or shoot at people or pets. Don’t put an eye out, because that’s when the fun stops! If your bread tabs are the type with bumps on each edge, use scissors or tin snips and cut the little bumps away so each edge is straight and fits easily into the groove.
Watch how I made the Wiggly Loaf House: from designing it on Inkscape to cutting it on Glowforge and gluing all the pieces together. You can win this house if you are hardcore enough to play the Wiggly Loaf game until you unlock at least one of the bonus characters. It’s a free download for iOS or Android phones. Check out WigglyLoaf.com and click on Contest. Good luck and enjoy the game!
I love dice! Until someone throws them right off the tabletop and the dice get lost. This made me wonder if I could come up with variations to the way we traditionally depict dice. For that, I turned to Inkscape, the Glowforge Laser Cutter, and my imagination.