Tag Archives: DIY Project

This Indie Rock Band Spent 3 Years Building An Incredible 20-Piece Hybrid Instrument To Be Played By 2 Guys

Having played three instruments myself, I always admired multi-instrumentalists. It not only shows that the musician has ample skill to pull off symphonies, but it also exhibits dedication to the art of sound.

The only problem with multi-instrumentalists is that they often have so much passion for music running through their veins that they want to play all of the instruments all the time. If only we as humans had more arms and legs to pull this off…

Oh, wait, we don’t need more extremities—we just need hybrid instruments!

An indie rock band from Ukraine wanted a special instrument for their music video

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Enter Brunettes Shoot Blondes and their ingenious 20-piece multi-instrument. One day, Andrii Kovalov, the frontman of the band, had an idea to play their then latest track—Houston—on something more special. They were thinking of using an instrument that did not exist yet, but one that they could design and put together themselves. Easier said than done, but it proved to be possible and worth it.

Brunettes Shoot Blondes is an indie rock-electronic band from Ukraine, consisting of members Andrii Kovalov, Roman Sobol, Yevhen Kobzaruk, and Dmytro Leonov. In the ten years that the band has been active, they have released a handful of EPs and singles, including Bittersweet, Houston,and Knock Knock, the last of which brought them international fame. Bored Panda reached out to Brunettes Shoot Blondes for an interview on their impressive “two-man-orchestra” piano.

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

After a bit of brainstorming & “crowdsourcing”, they came up with a 20-in-1 instrument design

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

“When I was a kid, I used to have this Yamaha keyboard where you’ve got all the sounds you can imagine: strings, percussion, organ, xylophone, etc.,” explained Andrii Kovalov the origins of the idea. “I could spend all day long just playing around with it. Years later, this weird idea popped into my head: wouldn’t it be cool to recreate this home keyboard, but using an actual grand piano? All other instruments could be built-in so that the piano keys would make them play. So, I told my friends Roman Sobol (bandmate) and Kirill Svetashov (director of photography) about this idea and they said: ‘it’s crazy but we should give it try’.” (Immediately, a huge thank you to everyone believing in this!)

So, the initial idea was to take a grand piano and to transform it to play several different instruments using the same piano keyboard setup. They also wanted to get something that has been old and broken so that they could breathe new life into it. Soon enough, the band went out and found themselves a vintage piano. They also went to Facebook and asked their friends to donate instruments that they don’t need. Roughly 20 instruments later, they had what they needed, so they got to brainstorming what (and how) they wanted to pull the instrument off.

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

They repurposed an old grand piano, shoved a bunch of other donated instruments & hooked it all up

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Needless to say, the Brunettes Shoot Blondes went nuts with the design. Apart from the grand piano still retaining a part of its sounds, albeit adjusted to fit the insane design, the hybrid instrument also featured a percussion set (drums, cymbals, tambourines, marimba, etc.) as well as an organ, melodica, castanets, and even other string instruments like violins and a cello.

We asked the Andrii whether they gave a special name to the piano, but no—they didn’t. “We just call it ‘The Piano’ because it’s the only one we have,” laughs Andrii.

However, there is a special reason why it was a piano in the first place, as explains frontman Andrii: “[The piano] was probably the only way to make everything work. Plus, we really wanted to experience this feeling when you press a piano key, but you start hearing cello or something else. We actually got lucky that the piano we found was very old. The construction was made in a way that allowed us to put everything inside. So, we basically divided everything into 3 sections: the left one for strings and organ, the middle one for the piano, and the right one for percussion.”

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

3 years have passed from the initial idea to the first rehearsal

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

What seemed like a DIY project quickly became a grand-scale (pun not intended) project that involved a number of craftspeople. On top of it all, it involved more than just piecing together a bunch of instruments—things like sewing machine mechanisms for the organ’s air supply and additional cables to imitate the bows for the violins also needed to be implemented. In the Making of video, Kovalov explained that the span between the initial idea and the first rehearsal was 3 years—something he was a bit terrified to admit.

When asked what was the hardest part about making the instrument, this is what Brunettes Shoot Blondes had to say: “The most difficult thing was to finish everything. We were working on the instrument for three (!) years and sometimes we had this feeling that it’s never going to end. We were lucky to find the right people who could help us with the engineering part. Also, we weren’t sure about the design. We spent days upon days on Photoshop just trying to find the coolest way the piano could be designed in.”

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

When the music video came out, it went viral immediately, garnering hundreds of thousands of views in mere hours. The song was also performed in Vidbir, Ukraine’s national music competition to determine the country’s representative in the Eurovision Song Contest, and the band continues to perform Houston in their concerts using the same authentic instrument.

So, that leaves us with one more question: are there going to be any more songs using this instrument? “Currently, we don’t have any plans for new material,” explained Andrii of Brunettes Shoot Blondes. “We released our own song using the piano and I think that having one video is enough for us at the moment. There is also a cool thing about it: we don’t want to keep the instrument forever, so we decided that it will now be available for sale. Anybody can buy it and perform their own music using the instrument. Simple as that!”

If you are interested in acquiring this hand-crafted piece (or should I say, 20 pieces) of musical art, the band has set up a website to sell the piano. It is currently going for 99,999 US dollars, so this is a heads up to all music instrument aficionados, collectors, and devout musicians who want to get their hands on a unique musical experience.

Take a look at the band’s music video featuring the 20-piece hybrid instrument

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

The band also released a video explaining how they pulled it off

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Check out the rest of the photos of the grandiose instrument provided by Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Image credits: Brunettes Shoot Blondes

Continue reading This Indie Rock Band Spent 3 Years Building An Incredible 20-Piece Hybrid Instrument To Be Played By 2 Guys

Woman Turns IKEA Lamp Into A Death Star

Don’t want your home to look like hundreds of others you see in IKEA’s catalogs? How about making it more like a Darth Vader’s den? Just put your construction hat on and follow this do-it-yourself guide on turning IKEA’s PS 2014 lamp into a glowing Death Star.

The tutorial is made by a self-proclaimed Star Wars geek Lylelo, who “always saw the IKEA PS 2014 lamp and thought ‘it looks so much like a Death Star!’”

She seized the opportunity for the DIY project when she was moving with her boyfriend to a new place, and “converted one of those plain white lamps into the exploding Death Star floating over our bed. We absolutely love it,” she told Bored Panda. Now take a look how to make one yourself!

More info: lylelo.blogspot.de (h/t)

I made this Death Star from a plain IKEA lamp and you can do it too

First step, of course, is to buy an IKEA PS 2014 lamp and a can of spray paint

“I used a can of light gray spray paint from the local hardware store. Do this outside because of the fumes and the necessary ventilation. If you want to have it perfect – cover the copper insides BEFORE you spraypaint the outsides. The mist of the spray dulled the sheen a tiny bit – it doesn’t bother us, but if you want it super shiny – cover it up. Or don’t use spray paint and brush the light gray instead. In my case, it was a matter of time and not wanting to paint them all by hand.”

We used masking tape for painting walls to cover the areas that should stay lighter

“Using an x-acto knife and a cutting mat with a ruler proved to be helpful to have a variation in the strips. Cut some wide, some small, some long, some short. Alternate to create the pattern, the death star wasn’t all the same, neither should be yours.”

We created a stencil of the round weapon on a piece of paper first and traced that onto the lamp with a pencil

Once you’re satisfied with the look of your pattern, you can paint a darker shade of paint over the whole ball

“We decided that black was too dark and sharp as a contrast, so we mixed a darker gray color. The paint is a mix of acrylic paint and a chalk paint, to give it a not so glossy finish. We found this paint in the hardware store.”

Paint the ball completely or work in segments – it all depends on your taste

“We peeled the masking tape not long after painting. Make sure to press the tape very well down before you paint, avoiding blotches and noses doing so. But even if you have some slight uneven lines – the end result will be great, because the Death Star has so many little bits and dots, it will look like you wanted it this way.”

The round weapon was painted by hand with a fine brush

Hang it on your ceiling as instructed – you will need a hook for that – and enjoy your Death Star lamp – it’s awesome!

Watch it in action below:

For more DIY lamp ideas, check out these 21 designs.

Continue reading Woman Turns IKEA Lamp Into A Death Star

Reddit User Turns His Living Room Into A Home Office And It Looks Amazing

A Reddit user named RajenK (Rajen Kishna) has recently shared his DIY project where he turned their formal living room into a home office. He provided many images and detailed descriptions that will surely inspire you to tackle a project of your own!

Rajen says the plans were to eventually convert the unused formal living space in the front of the house to a home office down the road. “When we found out we were going to have a baby, I figured this would be a good time to tackle this project,” said the author. He also says the project took him over 4 months to complete, working mostly on the weekends and evenings. It seems that Rajen is quite the handyman: “In between, I tackled other projects like building a patio dining set and a greenhouse, so I definitely took my time with it.”

Check out the amazing living room conversion in the gallery below!

More info: Reddith/t

I used blue painters tape to mark off the space to get a sense of the size. The ceilings are 9.5 feet, but notice the slope in the front (that turned out to be an interesting challenge)

Since I’ve never done anything like this before, I took my time to model out everything in Autodesk Fusion 360. This was incredibly useful, as I knew all measurements beforehand

I bought 2×4 lumber at a local lumberyard in 8, 10, and 14 foot sizes. I also purchased the plywood I needed for the desks and upper cabinets (the latter which I still have to build)

After cutting everything on my new miter saw, I laid out the large wall on the floor before facing my fears and use a framing nailer to fasten it all

This is where math comes in. Thanks to the Pythagorean theorem, I couldn’t get the wall upright after framing. So I took off the top plate and clamped it off to the side and hoisted the wall up

Getting the wall in place was quite a chore, and my friendly neighbor helped me out. Took a lot of brute force, but we got it in place eventually and then squared it up

The smaller wall was much more manageable in size, but the sloped ceiling took a lot of measurements and trial/error to get perfect

After the framing, I bought 8 sheets of drywall at a local lumber yard (of which I only needed 5) and cut it up before screwing it in place

Drywall was another first for me, so I probably cut it into smaller pieces than I should have

After recutting the top piece at the sloped ceiling to go the full height, everything looked very clean…

…But then the drywall mudding began and everything turned into a huge mess again. A friend helped out with the taping and first layer, which is probably why it looks decent in the end

Drywall was definitely my least favorite part of this project. A lot of sanding and layering on the mud made a huge mess. Lesson learned for next time: cover the floor first

This is after a few days and 4 layers. Everything was smooth and square

The little wall was a bit more of a challenge to mud completely smooth, as the existing wall wasn’t 100% square to the exterior wall. I had to compensate with more mud. Next up, the door in the background!

Installing the door was quite easy, except for pushing it in place. We went with 8 foot high french doors, which are super heavy

The drywall cleaned up nicely with just some warm water and rags. Starting to look more and more like a room!

Before painting, I actually took the time to lay down plastic drop cloth. This is after the coat of primer

Two coats of white paint later, everything was neat again. It turns out we didn’t have any of the existing ceiling paint, so I improvised with something that was close enough

I looked at the existing trim and figured it was simple to recreate. A quick trip to the hardware store and some standard MDF trim later, I got everything to match

Now that the wall is done, on to the desks. As per the design, I made 3 cabinets underneath each desk out of 3/4 inch plywood

Here you can see all 6 cabinets. The one without the middle shelf is the cabinet for my full tower PC

For the top, I laminated a 3/4 inch sheet of walnut plywood to a cheaper one to create a 1-1/2 inch sturdy desk top

I applied iron-on walnut edge banding to hide the plywood edges. The notches in each top are so the curtains can hang down without bending around the desk top

I applied 4 coats of satin polyurethane to the tops (1 coat on the bottom) with some light sanding in between each coat for a super smooth and durable finish

I primed and painted the cabinets white. I used an enamel paint, which was self-leveling. The end result is a very smooth and hard surface, but it took about a week to fully cure

Here is my wife’s desk installed. I retro-fitted some toe-kicks underneath to raise her desk a bit, as the initial height was too low for her

At this point we started moving everything down. One problem remained: not being able to close off the space

I cut some 3/4 by 1/2 inch strips from left over 2x4s to become the window trim. Here you see the difference between big-box 2×4 (right) and the quality 2×4 from the lumber yard

After cutting everything to length and mitering the corners, everything was ready for paint (after more sanding)

I bought an HVLP sprayer, as I had more things to spray for the nursery in the end. This saved a lot of time and got a very smooth coat on everything. Here you see the primer on the framing strips

I glued and nailed in the strips on 3 sides and then cut the 4th strip to exact length to fit in snugly

Here you see the 4th strip installed, and nail holes filled with wood putty

And after the 1/4 inch glass panes were in, this project was a wrap! My wife just had her baby shower and I’m excited about finishing this before the baby arrives

There’s a lot of light from the big window in the home office and all the interior windows and french doors really let that light through to the dining space

I added RGB LED strips to the back of each desk for some subtle lighting while in the office

Here’s how it looks

Here you can see my wife’s smaller PC allowing for more storage. I also swapped the chair casters with rollerblade style rubber ones to preserve the floor

While the walls are not insulated, the thick glass and strips underneath the doors isolate the room plenty for our purposes

Ta-da!

Thanks for following along!

Aušrys Uptas

One day this guy just kind of figured “I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?” – and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that’s trending around the web. Something that always peeks his interests is old technology, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness so if you find something that’s too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

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