Author Archives: ocminimakerfaire

Call for Makers 2015 is Open!!

Look what I made!

Surf’s up Orange County it’s time to get your make on! The OC Mini Maker Faire is back in town and we want to see what you’ve been up to lately. Our Call for Makers is open so whether you are young, old or somewhere in between we want to see what you’ve been making. Just click that Makers Apply Here button on the right and show us what you’ve got!

The IEMMF Needs YOU!

The Inland Empire’s first Mini Maker Faire is happening next weekend and they need volunteers to help run the show.  By being a volunteer not only will you help to support an amazing event but, you’ll also get a free ticket! Many of the OCMMF Core Team members will be on hand to lend our support, won’t you join us? It’s bound to be a great day!   Contact to sign up.                            IEMMF FLYER w RIVERSIDE LOGO

Give an Old Card Table New Life!



What you will need:
1) An old vinyl topped card table
2) Thin plastic table cover (not flannel backed)
3) Scissors and hex screw tool
4) Parchment paper
5) Iron set on high


Clean the table top of loose dirt and dust then flip the table upside down to remove the legs.


Using the appropriate sized hex screw tool, remove all the screws and separate the table top from the legs.


The legs have been separated from the table top. Now you can turn the table top over.


Lay out the plastic table cover in the pattern you want. You can use pieces of different table covers cutting them into the shape and size you need.


Make sure you have 1 – 2 inches of table cover hanging over the edge of the table top.



Lay parchment paper down on the section you will be ironing.  This prevents the plastic from melting all over your iron.  Iron on high for just a few seconds. Please note that if there is no padding under the vinyl it will only take a second or two for the plastic to melt.  To check to see if the plastic has melded let the parchment cool for a few seconds then carefully lift the corner.  You will be able to see that the plastic is melted on to the vinyl. If it’s not then lay the parchment back down and iron for a few more seconds.



Make sure to run the iron along the edge of the table top so the table cover wraps around easier.


If you have rips, thin patches or you ironed for a moment too long causing the plastic to burn, don’t worry! Just iron more layers on, they’ll melt right in.


Iron the whole table top a section at a time adding layers as needed.  Make sure to leave 1 – 2 inches of plastic table cover hanging over the edges all the way around.


Turn the table top over.


Wrap the plastic around the edge of the table top.  If the plastic is long enough you can press it over the brackets that hold the screws to help hold the plastic in place.


Place the parchment over the plastic and roll your iron up from the edge to the underside of the table top.


Be sure to fuse the plastic to the underside of the table top, this should only take a second.


Fuse the plastic all the way around the edge on the underside of the table top. You really only need to tack it into place because the frame on the legs will help hold it too. Once it’s all melted on you can put the legs back on and turn it right side up.


Now you have a beautiful “new” table! If you’d like, while the top and legs are separated, you can spray paint the legs and frame what ever color you’d like.







Urban Workshop

The Maker Movement is growing and Makerspaces are popping up all over the country, Orange County is no exception.  With President Obama’s declaration of  June 18th as a National Day of Making and Mini Maker Faires continuing to blossom in all 50 states, as well as around the world, we are becoming a #NationOfMakers.  One of the newest additions is Orange County’s own Urban Workshop which will hold a soft open celebration on Tuesday July 15th.


Recently Urban Workshop owner Steve Trinidade invited members of the OC Mini Maker Faire to hold their Make:OC  Let’s Build a Smoker! Meet-up in the brand new facility.  We built some smokers, ate some great smoked food and got a sneak peek at some of the cool things Urban Workshop has to offer.

From the website: “The facility includes 3D printers, laser cutters, a welding shop, wood shop, machine shop, CNC mills, Textiles area, vinyl cutters, electronics lab, and computer lab. Members have access to advanced software including SolidWorks, Photoshop,  illustrator, and more. A huge work area with large tables, compressed air and electricity is ideal for working on projects and collaborating with others.”

Classroom/work space Urban Workshop

Classroom space and general work area including storage bins for rent so you don’t have to haul all of your materials with you every time.

Urban Workshop wood shop area

A wood shop area in the works.




Steel top rolling tables.

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If you’re thinking about becoming a member ask them about the Make:OC Special discount and let them know you heard it from the OC Mini Maker Faire.



Make:OC Smoker Build

One pleasantly sunny Saturday in Southern California a group of people got together, their mission: to hack, modify and re-purpose a few items and create a portable smoker. OC Mini Maker Faire Team Members Chris Reyes and James Howarth organized this project with design advice from advanced Smoker Maker, Barry Bates. Barry’s  Mini Weber Smokey Mountain Grill is “an easy modification creating a competition tested, portable, compact smoker that can be used as an introduction to the world of home-built smoking”. If you’d like to have a go at building this smoker at home here’s the parts list.
Parts ready to be made into a smoker.

Our venue was provided by Steve Trinidad who invited us to hold our Meet-up at his new makerspace facility, Urban Workshop.  More about Urban Workshop in a later post.

James and Chris brought their smokers and cooked some food to give attendees a taste of what they were in for. Two chickens, corn and biscuits made a fine smoked meal along with an assortment of chips, bread, brownies and beverages.

Delicious moist, tender chicken stuffed with apples, onions, lemon and rosemary.


Seventeen intrepid Makers showed up and three completed smokers went home.










Richard Platts took his home and gave it a coat of paint.

Join our Make:OC Meet-up group where you can join group projects, go on field trips or suggest your own field trip or project.

Until next time, keep on making!



No OCMMF in 2014

The OC Mini Maker Faire Team is taking a break for 2014.  However, there is a Mini Maker Faire in the works for the Inland Empire for October and hopefully San Diego will put on another show as well.  

Many heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported us and made it happen two years in a row!  Whether you are a maker, club, vendor, sponsor or attendee it never could have happened without you all!



Happy Holidays from the OCMMF Team!


Slideshow From 2013

Do you have photos or videos from OC Mini Maker Faire 2013?  Please, share them with us in the comments here or on our Flickr account or on our Youtube account

Happy Holidays!

Here’s a slideshow of the photos caught by our photographer Greg Gebhardt.

Self-Watering Recycled Bottle Seed Starting Planters

One of the many hands-on projects that will be featured at OC Mini Maker Faire 2013, are the self-watering recycled bottle seed starting planters!  Here are the details on the project, if you want to try it out at home:

Self-Watering Recycled Bottle Planters

Remove the label from the bottle.


Carefully poke or cut holes into the bottle, near the neck, to help water seep into the soil.  A soldering iron, awl, knife or scissors can be used.  (Note to parents: This step should be completed by adults or older children.)


Carefully cut the bottle in half.  If using scissors, it helps to pinch the bottle slightly to allow the scissors to grip the plastic.  Trim the base down until the mouth of the bottle nearly touches the bottom, when inverted inside the base of the bottle. (Note to parents: This step should be completed by adults or older children.)


Place a piece of paper towel to cover the hole in the bottle, or use a coffee filter to line the bottle opening – both methods help keep the soil from escaping.


Add water to the base, add soil to the top, plant desired seeds, and place the top into the base.  You’re ready to grow!



There are many variations of this project on the interwebs!  Many thanks to for the photos you see here!

Arduino Laboratory Workshop

Arduino Laboratory Workshop is coming to

OC Mini Maker Fair!


What is an Arduino?  It’s not the latest shoe from Italy.  But it is a cool very inexpensive Single board computer designed in Italy.  This is digital technology that everyone can afford and use for both practical and far out projects.


Come learn how everyday people are taking control of the digital revolution.  Arduno’s are used in all kinds of projects: robotics, flying things, musical instruments, movie props, Halloween decorations and anything you can dream of.

Organ in box

There is a large ecosystem of suppliers that can sell add-ons to make them do or react to all manner of interesting things.  


The development Environment is free and simple to use. At this workshop you will actually build an Arduino project.  Learn how to make techno cool gadgets Italian Style! 

Organ Builder

Arduino Workshop

AliveIn the workshop you will be able to purchase a kit with everything you need: parts, software and plans to construct your own Arduino projects.  Technical expert with infinite patience will be on hand to assist!  We will do our best to help.  You will be able to select projects of varying complexity. There is a craft element to these kits.  The physical part of the project will mostly be foam board.  Some assembly required.  For extra credit apply your own graphics. We will have a PC with the necessary Arduino software.  But if you bring your own laptop you will have more time to play. This can be a team sport.  Having a lab partner can be fun.  Things to bring to the workshop if you can:

A laptop*.

A #2 pencil*.  Or similar with a large eraser.

A sense of adventure and creativity.

Coloring outside the lines is encouraged.

* Laptop not required to participate.


 Check out my page for more info: