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MZ_MAKEcation_Badge2010.gifOur 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.”

humbleHomesCover.jpgI 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.

Relax Shacks

 

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Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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