Sunday, November 30, 2008

How To Make a Beer Can Ashtray

Here is a quick article on how to make a beer can ashtray. They work pretty well in a pinch for gifts or decoration, and also make a pretty good party trick.

Be really careful with this one, I cut myself on the sharp aluminum pretty badly. You might want to wear a thick pair of gardening gloves for protection.

  1. Start with a beer can. Drink the beer.

  2. Cut the top off right where the can begins to straighten out (about an inch from the top).

  3. Snip the can from top to bottom into eight even strips. Start by pinching the can in half and making two pieces, pinch again to make four, and once more to make eight. You can vary the number of strips to achieve a different effect, but I like to use eight.

  4. Spread out the strips to make a star pattern.

  5. Take your first strip and fold it over the strip beside it, and below the next one. See the picture below for an example.

  6. Continue folding the strips all the way around by tucking a strip below the next strip. Make sure that it goes over the end of the previous strip.

  7. Continue around the can until you have only one strip remaining.

  8. Take the final strip and tuck it below the first strip. Make sure to go above the previous strip and under the first. If it does not fit, you may need to pull the first strip back a little bit.

Enjoy your new ashtray. Make sure to comment, and post any ideas you might have.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How To Make Some Ghetto Movie Glass

Did you ever wonder how people in movies can break a bottle over their heads or jump through a pane of glass without getting seriously injured? In movies they use a special kind of glass made of sugar. It is usually a pretty involved process that requires some special ingredients and lots of measuring. However, we figured out a simple way to make brown sugar-glass out of things that almost everyone has in their kitchen.
  • 2 cups of water

  • 3.5 cups of sugar

  • 1 cup of maple syrup

That's it! Here is how you make it.

  1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a pot. You probably want to use a taller one than I did, since it will eventually bubble up a lot.

  2. Bring the pot to a boil and move the heat down to low, just to keep it boiling. It is going to smell a lot like pancakes and you are going to seriously crave some. Try to fight the urge to cook and eat pancakes, I couldn't.

  3. Let the pot continue to boil until all of the water is removed. You will know that all of the water is gone when you smell the sugar start to burn and the color start to turn darker. As soon as you smell burning sugar, remove it from heat. You will have lost your craving for pancakes by now. This usually takes awhile, it took me about 45 minutes.

  4. Have your mold ready to pour the mixture into; I used a pizza pan. Be sure that you cover it aluminum foil and spray it generously with nonstick cooking spray. Also be sure to put a hot pad under it so that your surface is not damaged.

  5. Pour the mixture into the mold. It is going to be really bubbly and scary, so be careful. Let it sit out until it is cool to the touch.

  6. Move the mold into the refrigerator and let it sit for at least an hour. Only remove it right before you are ready to use it.

  7. When you are ready to use it, carefully peel back the aluminum foil. It is very brittle and breaks easily so be careful.
  8. And there you have it! You are done!

  9. Go ahead and punch through or head-butt your pane of glass. It breaks and sounds exactly like real glass. Have fun!

    For a less-ghetto version:
  • Use clear corn syrup instead of maple syrup to make clear glass
  • Add a pinch of cream of tartar to the mixture to keep the bubbles down during the cooling process
  • Use a candy thermometer and heat until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit instead of waiting for the sugar to start burning.

Have fun, if anyone makes any cool molds, be sure to link pictures in the comments!