Choose Your Own Adventure For Your Day Off: Make Something Or Learn To Relax

You've got a day off. That's 24 hours of extra time to spend as you please. You could make something awesome, or you could take that time to recharge. So what's it going to be? Here are some great ideas for both approaches.

Jump straight to your choice below, or scroll on through to weigh up your options.

I Want To Make Something I Want To Relax And Recharge

Illustrations by Lorelyn Medina (Shutterstock) and Leremy (Shutterstock)

I Want To Make Something

You don't want to sit idly by as your free time passes away. You're going to use this day to make something awesome, or make some serious progress on one of your side projects. There aren't enough days off during the year. You're going to make this one count.

Make Your Own Tech

You don't have to buy great gadgets and technology when you can just make it yourself. Here are a few geeky projects to tackle on your day off.

Charge Your Phone With A DIY Candle-Powered Charger

So the power's out, and you've broken out the candles to keep things well-lit-but your phone's about to die too, with no working wall outlet in sight! More »

Build A Hackintosh

Building a hackintosh — that is, installing Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware — used to require extremely restricted hardware choices and quite a bit of know-how. Now it's actually pretty simple. Here's a look at picking the right hardware, installing OS X, and configuring your Hackintosh to work just the way you want it. More »

Modify Any iPhone Headset Remote To Work With Android Devices

Everyone loves the iPhone's headset with volume and music controls on the inline remote, but if you have an Android phone, you can actually get iPhone-designed buds working with your device. More »

How to Balloon Map Your Neighbourhood

Ever felt like Google Maps doesn't provide enough detail of the aerial view of your neighbourhood? Ever wanted to make your own maps or participate in a little homegrown science? Balloon mapping is a cheap way to take aerial pictures for all sorts of purposes-even events like weddings, graduations, or parties-and it's dead simple to do it yourself. Here's how it works.More »

Put Together Your Own Arduino Board (For Half The Price Of Buying One)

You can make a lot of cool DIY electronics with an Arduino board, but you can actually make your own Arduino for a fraction of the cost-with a bit of room for customisability, too. More »

Build A DSLR Shoulder Rig

If you're a filmmaker or just like to have family videos that don't evoke The Blair Witch Project you may be interested in acquiring a shoulder mount to stabilise your DSLR camera when shooting videos. More »

Build An Arduino-Powered Doorbell Alert System That Sends You A Text And Photo

Ever wonder who rings your doorbell when you're not home? Or do you crank music up too loud most of the day to hear it anyway? If so, Make Projects user Clement Storck built a simple Arduino powered notification system that sends him a text message and an email with a photo every time someone... More »

Make A Whistling-Powered Remote Control

The problem with remote controls is that they're often never in your hand when you need to operate them. This hack will really let you control your devices from afar. More »

Get Your Game On

Whether you're putting together a retro arcade or hacking a system old or new, there are plenty of gaming projects you can tackle on your day off.

How To Turn Your Computer Into A Retro Game Arcade

Whether you're looking to relive the past or experience the origin of gaming you missed in your youth, your Windows, Mac, or Linux PC can take you back to Mario's salad days, the birth of the Final Fantasy series, and much more. Here's how to get started with retro game emulation and turn your computer into the ultimate retro arcade in just a few minutes. More »

Top 10 Gaming Hacks And DIY Projects

We love our games and consoles, but there's a big world that lies beyond the product you pull out of the box. Your console is capable of so much more than you may realise. Here are our top 10 video game hacks and DIY projects to prove it. More »

How To Hack Your Wii For Homebrew In Five Minutes

Hacking your Wii hasn't been difficult, but it has required a somewhat detailed process. Now we have LetterBomb, which is an incredibly simple way to hack your Wii. It only takes about five minutes to accomplish. Here's how to do it. More »

The Boardgame Remix Kit Combines Your Old Games Into New Ones

If you're looking for a way to mix things up, The Boardgame Remix kit takes classic games — like Monopoly and Cluedo — and remixes them into fun new games. More »

Combine A PS3 And An Xbox 360 In One Computer Case For The Ultimate Gaming Machine

If you're sick of switching inputs, unplugging devices, and just plain dealing with too many game systems, DIYer Tim combined his PS3 and Xbox 360 in a computer case for one mega gaming console. More »

Make Some Awesome Non-Tech Stuff

Not every DIY project ought to require a power source. Here are some cool things you can do unplugged.

Turn A Key Into A 10-In-1 Tool

Ever wished your key could do more than open doors? Instructables user Vitizop did, so he cut, chopped, and screwed a single key into a multi-tool. Using a drill, saw, and a variety of files, Vitizop managed to make a key into a Philips head screwdriver, saw, bottle opener, rope cutter and more. More »

Hack A Carabiner With Heat Shrink Tubing To Build The Ultimate Keychain

A good carabiner or s-biner makes a great keychain-it can clip to your belt or your bag so you never lose it, and you can keep more than one ring of keys on it if you have to. Plus, it hangs up nicely on hooks or magnetic holders with no fuss. Even so, Instructables user elplatt lost a keyfob from one because the carabiner latch came open one day. Committed to never let that happen again, he grabbed some heat shrink tubing, a heat gun, and went to work. More »

Build A Simple, Stylish, Industrial-Style Clothing Rack With Pipes

Although not the first industrial-style clothing rack we've seen, the folks over at Simplified Building have put together another great option for easy clothing storage. More »

Hipster Habit App Is A Pocketable, Printable Mini-Book That Helps You Create Or Remove Habits

Killing a bad habit is easier said than done, but the Hipster Habit App-which is less of an app and more of a miniature printable book for your wallet-can help you through the process. More »

Plug Your Keys Into The Wall With A Keychain and Wall Dock

There are plenty of products you can buy to hang your keys on the wall for easy access, but none with the geeky charm and stability of plugging them in to an RJ-45 port. More »

Make Custom, One-Off T-Shirts The Cheap And Easy Way

Making your own customer t-shirts is awesome, but it can get a little pricey and excessive if you have to order in bulk. The quality of inkjet transfers isn't exactly ideal, either. Fortunately, Instructables user Matthew Vieke has a great solution that requires just a shirt, a sharpie, and a few other optional items. More »

Upgrade Your Workspace

It's hard to get things done in a crappy home workspace. If yours could use an upgrade, here are a few things you can try.

DIY Ikea Franken-Desk: Storage And Space In A Sharp-Looking Package

Building your own desk doesn't have to be difficult, especially when a place like Ikea already has the parts you need to assemble a sharp and functional workspace. More »

Create A Large Mobile Workstation Out Of IKEA Bookshelves And Some Board

Need a big space to work? Need lots of storage? Need to be able to move it easily? This IKEA hack from Panyl-a company that's turned IKEA hacking into a business-can provide all three. More »

How To Ergonomically Optimise Your Workspace

We spend a lot of time sitting at our desks every day, and while it may not look like it, it can wreak havoc with our bodies. Here's how to set up a healthy, ergonomic workspace to keep you comfortable and injury-free. More »

Build Computer Cooling Into Your Desk

If you store your PC in a closed cupboard, it can get pretty hot. DIY weblog IKEA Hackers shows us how to build a bit of PC cooling into our desk. More »

Build a DIY Wide, Adjustable Height IKEA Standing Desk On The Cheap

If you've been convinced to switch to a standing desk, you might have been deterred by the cost and small size of many common options. Fortunately, as usual, IKEA comes to the rescue with a cheap, simple alternative. More »

Turn An IKEA Shelf And Picture Ledge into a Monitor Stand

Check out this clever monitor stand made from a shelf and a picture ledge. IKEAHacker reader Lauri made a very clean looking monitor shelf from nothing more than an IKEA Lack shelf and a Ribba picture ledge. More »

Make Something Tasty

Sometimes the best thing you can make is something delicious to eat. Here are a few fun cooking and baking projects to learn on your day off.

Make Ice Cream With Ingredients You Already Have

If you're looking for a tasty warm-weather treat, ice cream does the trick, but if you don't have an ice cream maker or have no desire to do all of the shaking required for our last method for making ice cream in a bag, this method is decidedly lazier but just as tasty. More »

Make Your Own Ice Cream Topping At Home And Dress Up Your Desserts

Ice Magic ice cream topping, or that chocolate syrup that hardens as soon as it comes in contact with the cold ice cream in a bowl, is tasty, but it's made with a world of stabilisers and other chemicals with long names. Plus, it can get pricey for the amount you get. Surprisingly, it's super-easy to make at home, with ingredients that you may already have in your pantry. All you need is chocolate and coconut oil. More »

Make Your Own Pancake Syrup

Syrup for pancakes and waffles at the grocery store can get pretty expensive by the bottle for something that's caramel colour, corn syrup, and a few stabilisers and additives. More »

DIY Citrus Salt

Specialty salts can bring a lot of flavour to foods but can be expensive-especially citrus salts that cost several dollars for a bit of salt and fruit zest. More »

I Want To Relax And Recharge

It's called a day off for a reason: you're not supposed to work. This is your opportunity to take a break, rest and recharge so you're in good shape when it's time to come back to the real world. You're smart enough to know that taking a hard-earned break will make you more productive in the long run.

Relax Your Mind And Body

Meditation and yoga are two great ways to keep your mind and body active without the process feeling like work. We've got guides to help you get started with both.

How To Send Anything To Your Kindle For Later Reading

So you've loaded up your Kindle with free books, but you have a few other non-book documents you'd like to read on it. Here are some easy ways to send any web article, PDF, or document straight to your Kindle (or smartphone with the Kindle app). More »

Readlists Creates Ebooks From URLs

The team behind Readability has released Readlists, a new webapp that can easily turn a set of articles into an Ebook and send it directly to Kindle, iPhone, iPad, or over email with just a few simple clicks. More »

Bookmark And Read Later Apps Compared

Chances are, you stumble upon a lot of articles during the day that look interesting, but that you don't have time to read right now. Lots of services have cropped up to solve this problem, and today we're looking at the most popular three and pitting them against one another: Read It Later, Instapaper and Readability. Here's how they stack up. More »

How To Make Reading On Your Computer A Better Experience

A lot of us stare at a computer monitor for the bulk of our day and reading long articles or books is rarely a comfortable experience. With that in mind, here's a few steps you can take to make you reading experience less terrible. More »


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