Baby Steps

MadCity Maker signageWell, we’re just starting to plan for a space to hang our hats (and tools), but we have the essentials already – signage!  :)

Now we just have to find walls to post them on…

Nice to Meet You, Mr Arduino

Arduino circuit

Evidently, Mary had a little lamb.

Last Sunday, Karen brought a couple of Arduinos and an experimentation kit, and we worked on making things light up, play tunes, and spin.  One note – children’s nursery rhymes, when repeated over and over (and over), lose all joy and pleasant feelings associated with them.

There was some head-butting against walls when some newer Macs weren’t playing nice with the (Arduino) Unos, but it seemed to have been related to a faulty USB cable.  Harmony was restored.

Central Library’s community space on the 3rd floor was gorgeous, with a wall of windows overlooking the capitol, and we even got a tour of the technical wonders of the room and the Descending Great Wall That Eliminates Sound – very fun for geeks like us!

We’ll definitely be creating more Arduino-themed meetings in the future, so stay tuned to the Calendar or for more details!  Want to get started now?  Check out Adafruit’s Arduino Kit!


Halloween Craft: Tie Dye Bats

Coffee Filter Bats

Coffee Filter Bats 1

This Halloween I wasn’t satisfied with the amount of decorations I had, so I set out to make some cheap and easy additions. I found the idea for these bats while searching for kids crafts. These were fun to make and so cheap! I did have colored finger tips for a couple days, but that’s the price you pay for craftiness.

Supplies needed:

Coffee filters (I bought a 200 pack for $3 at Menards)

Pipe Cleaners ($1 for 25 at Michaels, don’t forget your 40% off coupon!)

Washable Makers (On hand or you can grab a pack at the $1 store)

Spray Bottle filled with water (Spray bottle can also be purchased at $1 store or just reuse an empty bottle from household cleaner)

Hot glue gun and sticks

How to:Coffee Filter Bats 3

Take a coffee filter and fold it in half. Cut a wing shape by cutting six half circles out along the rounded edge of the filter. Then cut the filter in half on the folded line.

Color blocked sections of the filter in colors of your choosing. The color blocks do not have to be completely filled in, some white can show.

Place your colored filter on a dinner plate or tray and spray with water. The more water you use, the more the colors will blend, but also the less saturated the colors will be.

Remove wet filter from plate and lay out to dry. Since I had so many coffee filters, I just set another one on the table and laid the wet filter on top of a new one. You can also use a metal drying rack if you have one.

Coffee Filter Bats 2

Take a pipe cleaner and coil one end into an oval, body shape and the other end into a round, head shape, the two pieces will come together at the neck. I used one pipe cleaner per bat.

Once your coffee filter is dry, bunch up the center a bit and hot glue the pipe cleaner body to the filter.

Helpful Hint: I found that only coloring one half of the filter but keeping the two halves together while spraying transferred the color from the top, colored filter to the plain, bottom one and left the top filter with a more saturated look.

Happy making and happy Halloween!

3rd Sunday @ Central in the Bubbler

If you enjoy making, building, hacking, and/or tinkering, join the Mad City Makers for their monthly Sunday meetup at Central Library in the Bubbler Room.
Bring a project to show off or bring a project idea to talk about. Halloween is just around the corner, have you made anything yet?
Please email any questions to

Welding Workshop

Welding-signThis Sunday, from 1-4 pm, we’re hosting a Welding Workshop on the East Side of Madison.  Matt Amero will be bringing his machines to John’s garage to teach welding techniques. For beginners and beyond.

TIG, Flex Core Welder and Plasma Cutting demo. BRING WELDING MASK if you have one!  Bring metal to weld if you’d like or anything you need repaired.

We recommend you wear leather shoes that cover your entire foot, long pants and a long sleeved shirt. Natural fibers are best. There is a small chance that sparks from welding can burn a small hole in your clothing.

LOCATION: contact John Eich for address.

We are…

The MadCity Makers is a social club made up of people who love to build, make, tinker, mod, and hack things, getting together to do just that. Located in Madison, Wisconsin, MadCity Makers welcomes geeks, nerds, and weirdos alike. If you’re feeling a little unsure, chances are, something Sci-Fi related will come up in conversation, so that may make you feel a little more at home. Anyone is welcome to join in. This is an adult group, but children are welcome, unless it is a workshop where safety would be a concern.

MadCity Makers will be hosting multiple monthly meetups (Holy alliteration, Batman!) where they will take things apart, experiment with electronics, make crafty stuff, and talk about geeky things. Sometimes we might just play games.

Check the MadCity Makers’ Google Calendar for Wednesday meetups at Pinney Library and Sunday meetups at Central Library. Other classes, workshops, and events posted by the group can be found on that calendar as well.