Our pal Derek “Deek” Diedricksen, of Tiny Yellow House and RelaxShacks.com, sent us a video tour of his 100% indie-produced, “trash-funded” book, Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts, and Whatever Else We Could Squeeze in Here. The book is a hoot and an inspiration, crammed with Deek’s designs — from practical to pie in the sky — for “micro-houses,” small backyard retreats, kid forts, treehouses, and other no-cost/low-cost outbuildings. The emphasis here is on fun and clever use of recycled materials. Deek did all the hand-lettering and the book is obsessively illustrated with wonderfully wacky cartoons and design drawings. As he himself describes it in the video: “A carpal tunnel-inducing barrage of dime store pen sketches.”
I used to be heavily involved in zine and small press comics publishing in the 90s and this book captures that same spirit. It’s hand-written and drawn, hand-assembled, GBC-bound, and the printing was funded by selling recyclables. It doesn’t get more DIY than that. The book sells for $18.95 and you can order it from Derek’s website.
We thought this book was a perfect companion for our summer MAKEcation coverage. What a great idea for a family project — make a backyard retreat, kid fort, or treehouse! So we’ve asked Deek to do some micro-house project videos for us. Stay tuned for those. In the meantime, we want to give away a signed copy of Humble Homes to one MAKE reader. In the comments below, tell us what sort of backyard retreat, fort, or kids hangout you fancy building, or tell us a story about building forts and treehouses when you were a kid. This Friday, at noon PDT, we’ll announce a winner.