Transforming Ordinary Objects into Cool and Useful Stuff

DIY skeeball machine foam board

Here at OctoGifts headquarters, resourcefulness is a core value. We get a huge kick out of engineering solutions using ordinary household items. We relish a challenge! 

One of the most important pieces of work equipment for OctoGifts is this light box. It enables us to take product pictures against a white background. Sebastian designed it himself. We bought an 18" x 18" x 24" box and two work lamps from Home Depot. He used foil, tissue paper, and white paper to line the box.  

OctoGifts homemade light box

We haven't written DIY instructions (yet) for the above. However, you can find a great YouTube tutorial by an Australian photographer, Luke Ayers, that covers similar territory. 

However, we also love making things purely for play. Books like Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare help you see the play potential of paper clips, binder clips, and the like. We've given this book to friends, along with a kit of office supplies! 

Here is a video of a working skeeball machine made from supplies from the dollar store. 

So before you dismiss something as "just a toothpick," think about its shape. What does it remind you of? That can give you ideas for how else it can be used. A toothpick can serve as an axle. 

We think it's fun to figure out how to use ordinary things creatively -- whether for work or for play! 


  • Thanks for reading and commenting, Catherine!

    Melanie Flores
  • How cool is that!

    Catherine Faddis

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