Author Archives: coreylynne

The Nerdy Derby is coming to the East Bay Mini Maker Faire!

nerdyderbynycBuild your own innovative car and bring it to the Faire for some fun, crazy racing.  Or come to the Faire and get ready to create your own personalized vehicle to speed down the 30+ foot track.  The Nerdy Derby is a twist on the Pinewood Derby, but where all rules are thrown out. With a larger, more undulating track and few restrictions on the size of the cars or materials participants can use, the Nerdy Derby rewards creativity, cleverness and ingenuity. See the competition categories below.  Cars can be made from metal, wood, plastic, legos, cardboard, cheese or whatever you can dream up.  The crazier and more inventive the better!  Just make sure the wheels are 1¾“ apart and the car isn’t more than 8” high or 5” wide.  The Nerdy Derby is presented by Park Day School; the roller coaster track is being built by students and parents as part of their Design Make Engage program.

Check out the Nerdy Derby from World Maker Faire NYC!

EBMMF NERDY DERBY Competition Categories

  • The Slowest
  • The Fastest
  • Funniest Epic Fail (does not win fastest; crowd chosen)
  • The Noisiest
  • The Cutest
  • Littlest Wheels
  • Big Wheels!
  • Powered! (motorized)
  • Parachuters
  • Balloon powered
  • Most Awesome Car That Didn’t Make It
  • The Underdog (least likely to win, but does)
  • Sweet Treat
  • The Ugliest
  • The Tastiest (most edible)

written by Jennifer Cooper

Here Come the Makers!


We are sending out our first round of Maker acceptances this week and are excited to start sharing them with you! One of the inspiring trends this year is the abundance of Young Makers who are applying–to perform, lead workshops, sell their artisanal wares, and showcase their skills.

IMG_1430 smlMeet Cooper Jacobus–a fifth grader from Redwood Day School who is coming to the Faire for his third time–to teach people how to make their own foam and duct tape swords. In the past, Cooper has sold pre-made wooden swords that he and his father had crafted. I asked Cooper if he wanted to share a little about why he likes to be at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire and how his project has evolved  over the years.

Here’s what he said:

This is our third year at the East Bay Mini Maker faire. We started selling wooden swords that we made in our wood shop. We tried lots of different designs for a year before we came up with a design that we liked. They looked great but you couldn’t really play with them without hurting someone.  What use are wooden swords if you can’t fight with them? We started trying new ways of making form swords.  So this year, we are selling foam swords that are fun to make and to play with.

We cut up all the foam and our customers stick it all together while expressing their creativity decorating and designing. Everyone’s sword is different.

This is a video I made using my stop motion animation characters showing you the steps in making a foam sword. 

Come on over to our booth and make your own foam sword!  -- Cooper Jacobus

Call For Makers Extended until Sept 12

EBX_ad160x600_083013 (1)It’s an exciting time at EBMMF headquarters….the applications have been rolling in over the summer and we are well into our preparations for the Faire–coming up Sunday, October 20.

As soon as everyone gets back from vacations and the playa, and we all settle back into school and work and all things autumn, our committee gets down to business accepting Makers for the East Bay Mini Maker Faire.

We’ll start sending out acceptances later this week, but we don’t want to miss out on any amazing Makers, Artists, Performers, Hackers, Builders, Speakers, Craftspeople, Homesteaders, and Urban Farmers that the East Bay has to offer. So, we’re extending the deadline for applying until next week. Click Here to learn more, fill out a Maker App and tell your friends too!

Make a Book, Tell Your Story

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Oakland International High School is a new public high school for recent immigrants to the US. Located in Temescal, there are over 330 students speaking over 32 different languages, and most of them have only very recently arrived here. These students are all English-Language learners at the same time they are trying to learn all their high school curriculum, and many of them have never had any formal education before OIHS.

Some of OIHS’ 9th and 10th graders are coming to the East Bay Mini Maker Faire with a very cool project–a mini book lab.

With their Art teacher, Brooke Toczylowski, they have created personal Art Journals, and in World History with Teacher Verónica Garcia the students have made geography books about their home countries. They’ll show you theirs and they’ll teach you how to make some too.

This is an example journal from the students’ art class. This is used as a sketchbook and research workbook. This student is from Yemen, and has placed the US flag on one cover and the Yemen flag on the other, to tell a story about her identity and journey.

Come on down and meet some inspiring Young Makers!

Makers: Crash the Faire!

Announcing the Pop-Up Maker Share Zone!
Hey Folks, this suggestion just popped up from Jeff Edmonston — East Bay Dad/Maker/EBMMF Facebook friend.  Thanks Jeff!

Got a great idea or presentation and didn’t have the bandwidth to apply by our deadline? Buy a ticket to the Faire and bring your project to our Pop-Up Maker Share Zone

Bring your DIY project, your hacked up wonders, your art, and your smile.
The Community Share Zone is an area where you can show off your projects and check out what your other Makers have been doing.

Amaze friends and strangers, start an impromptu circuit bending music jam, let your LEDs shine.  You don’t need to have a full scale booth or fancy presentation to share your stuff at the East Bay Maker Faire, just be willing to demo and talk about your project, meet others in the community and exchange ideas.  Have something awesome you made from Adafruit, Sparkfun, Make Weekend Projects, Instructables, or any of the many kit makers and idea markets that have exploded to fill our idle hours with joy? Bring it out and share your enthusiasm with others.  This is not for adults only – let the kids bring their first soldering creations, bugbots, models, science fair projects, EVERYTHING!

Don’t have something to share?  Make sure to come by here and see projects that people have made their very first time soldering or creating, get inspired at the Pop-Up Maker Share Zone

Crash the Faire!


  • Table space will be provided
  • No consumables (food and drinks) please
  • No high voltage or dangerous/hazardous items please
  • If you have a really big project or lots of stuff, please only bring what you can carry while enjoying the rest of the fair.  There is no storage space.
  • Please do not leave any presentation items unattended that are of personal value to you.
  • This is an “impromptu” or “pop-up” space that will be self-staffed by the faire participants.
  • You are entirely responsible for the items you bring.


Get yer Swap on Folks!

If you’re coming to the East Bay Mini Maker Faire, you gotta make stuff while you’re here. What better place than our Hands-On-Everything Zone at Studio One?

Tip from the Top: plan ahead for the Swap experience and bring a shirt to screenprint, and some clothes you either want to donate or something you’ve been dying to jazz up.

Swap-O-Rama-Rama is the brainchild of Wendy Tremayne, an inspired artist/maker/yogini/homesteader. Basically, its a clothing swap, a sewing room, a hackerspace, and a series of DIY/DIT (do it together) projects. Bring along some clothes or all that extra fabric you’ve been meaning to use. Grab something and turn it into something else. Make a Halloween costume, a cape, a costume, a monster or a miniskirt. Make a stuffed animal or a tea cozy or a shopping bag, a book cover or a tutu….use your imagination or avail yourself of ours!

This year, our sewing maven CC Clark is back in action with her rotary cutters, sewing machines, notions, trims, fabrics and projects galore. In addition, workshop artists Cedar Casper (young maker extraordinaire) will teach you to make a jeans purse and Jennifer Williams will get you cutting up old t-shirts to make TARN (t-shirt yarn) you can crochet into all kinds of neat stuff. Iggy from the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse will return as well, and make cars out of old floppy disks. Remember those?

Next door to the Swap/Sewing room is the Screenprinting Zone. This is the place to take any t-shirt, hoodie, skirt, totebag or any piece of fabric you can lay your hands on and transform it into something cool. The artists and homies from Oakland’s  Homeygrown collective will bring their original designs and help you create your very own work of art.

Also–thanks to 510 Families for helping promote the Faire and all our crafty efforts!

field day and a Handsome ’96 Toyota Warrior

Trinity Cross is a local clothier and her small indie label, field day, offers wearables made from reclaimed materials, organic cotton, and bamboo. Everything is made, printed and dyed one at a time in Oakland.

But that’s not all–she sells her lovely, soulful clothing and accessories from a pimped out, upcycled 96′ Toyota Warrior motor home! She completely gutted it and made in to a traveling store front.  All the materials were reclaimed or recycled down to the very screws.

“I kept the bed up above the cab for sleeping when I travel for shows and fairs.  It’s been a dream come true and I’m not quite sure what I did before having it. “

field day is one of the East Bay Mini Maker Faire’s 20+ “commercial makers”—crafters, artisans, and purveyors of handmade delicacies—who will be exhibiting and selling at the Mini Maker Faire. >>YES THE TOYOTA WARRIOR WILL BE PRESENT!

The faire is actually a great opportunity to get ahead of your holiday shopping!  So between workshops, exhibits, rides and food next Sunday, plan for a bit of time and find that special gift or two.  You’ll be proud that your present is local, maker made, unique and undoubtably fabulous.

Food For Thought

One of the very coolest things about the East Bay is that we have serious food folk—growers, makers, bakers, eaters…Seriously, it seems Oakland is all about cuisine these days whether its our amazing farmers markets, restaurants, pop-up food truck pods, canning & jamming parties, crop swaps, eggs from your neighbor’s chickens, urban food foragers…an embarrassment of riches, truly.

If you attended the East Bay Mini Maker Faire last year, you may have been a little frustrated by the dearth of food by mid-afternoon. But fear not—we promise this year the food will be a MAJOR highlight of the day, and while we can’t promise zero lines, there will definitely be a whole lot more to choose from.

The Food Truck Alley at the EBMMF is being curated by Temescal’s own Karen Hester, a community activist and event organizer extraordinaire. Karen started Bites Off Broadway, Oakland’s first recurring food pod in an effort to push forward a mobile food policy for the City of Oakland.

For your dining pleasure Karen has put together a lineup of some of the East Bay’s finest mobile food vendors:

Fist of Flour (wood-fired pizza – pictured left), Tina Tamale (nachos and tamales), Blue  Saigon (Banh Mi sandwich/noodles), Boffo Cart, (pop-up gourmet         sandwiches) Doc’s of the Bay (meat and veggie burger) , Tante’s, (falafel, knishes, garlic fries)  Big Wheel Cookie Company (see pic above), Indie Cakes (breakfast  pastries and cupcakes), and Paul’s Sweet and Mellow Truck (coffee, chai and breakfast pastries).  Also

In addition to these “Bites off Broadway” delectable offerings, there will be multiple stands with grab ‘n-go sandwiches & yogurt & fruit, cookies, kettle corn, fresh fruit popsicles and more courtesy of the Park Day Parents Association, as well as sausages from Studio One Art Center. We highly recommend you come hungry!

Our Version of Craft Heaven: Swap, Sew, Screen, Repeat

For me, it’s like being a kid in a candy store— In room 1 are sewing machines all lined up in neat rows; shiny new scissors, spools of thread and heaps of fabric. Peek into room 2 and see long tables covered in crisp paper, silk screens, and brightly hued tubs of ink ready to be opened. It’s Christmas morning, first day of school, that sweet anticipation.

If you like to craft you will likely spend a good chunk of your day in the Swap-O-Rama-Rama* with us.

In the Sewing Room ALL DAY:

Clothing Swap—Donate your old adult or kid clothes; Come pick through our piles of available freebies—hack them, mod them, print on them, cut ‘em up and use them for some other project. This is the spirit of the Swap!

No Sewing Necessary:
▪            Make a Cape—be a superhero, a bat, a wizard, a princess, whatever…Halloween is right around the corner folks;
▪            Make a Tutu/Mermaid Seaweed Skirt/Hawaiian Hula Skirt without touching a needle and thread;
▪            Mod your T-shirt –you can make those fringed, beaded shirts all the cool kids are sporting; use scissors, fabric pens, glue on some bling, add beads and more.

Some Sewing Required:
“Little pocket monsters” with brilliant artist Meredith MacLeod. She’ll help get you started and supervise some machine and hand-sewing monster making.  Go as simple or elaborate as you want; and if you feel the need to adopt or a Monster of hers, you may be in luck.

For More Sewing: We have sewing machines for you to use, with experienced sewers on hand to help troubleshoot, teach and inspire. Take full advantage. And if you want to really get your game on—stick around and maybe we’ll have a catwalk in the afternoon so you can strut in your new threads!

Screen Printing Room

Idiot or Genius These Portland based artists are designing a special one-off poster for our event! You can come and print the final color layer on the poster and take one home with you! They’ll also have their own work to show and sell, and can help you print on almost anything;

Rock, Paper Scissors Collective If you don’t know your hometown RPS from Art Murmur or from their admirable outreach work with teens, you should. These returning artists are coming with a cool new batch of silkscreens, as well as some of their member-crafted zines, shirts and paperie to sell.

Park Day Screening Zone Add some cool, original graphics to any fabric, paper or clothes you find in your visit—or even the shirt or hoodie off your back.

*Swap-O-Rama-Rama by Wendy Tremayne is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Maker Supply Chain: East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse

Probably you’re already hip to the re-claim, re-use, re-cycle thing….  and you may even be one of the many people who likes to take things and repair, hack, mod, alter or otherwise transform them into other things…  This is the resourceful spirit of maker culture.  The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse is a non-profit at the center of this movement toward more creative sustainability.

Since 1979, when it was founded by two Oakland public school teachers, the Depot has been a treasure trove of arts & craft materials, educational supplies, vintage furniture, home décor, paper goods, fabric, and much more.

According to their website: The mission of the East Bay Depot is to divert waste materials from landfills by collecting and redistributing discarded goods as low-cost supplies for art, education, and social services in our Depot Store. The educational mission is to increase the awareness of school children and the general public regarding the green benefits of reusing materials.

It should come as no surprise then, that the Depot is one of our biggest supporters over here at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire! In addition to giving us carloads of fabric, yarn, cardboard, paper, inks and whatnot….they also loan us Iggy, one of their Artists-In-Residence who will be coming to the Faire and leading a very cool hands-on project converting old floppy disks (remember those?) into toy cars, pinwheels and other fun take-aways.

Besides all these artsy endeavors, the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse has a HUGE impact as both an environmental and humanitarian aid organization. The Depot diverts approximately 200 tons of reusable material from the landfills each year!

And, in partnership with the Central Contra Costa County Solid Waste Authority, the Depot distributes discarded winter clothing and other humanitarian aid supplies to crisis areas in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mississippi and Japan, as well as in our local communities.

Go Depot Go!

**Pictures from