Mini Maker Faire Summer Series


MAKE’s most wonderful editorial assistant, Laura Cochrane, has been helping us host a series of Mini Maker Faires this summer. Here she files a little report about last weekend’s event, held at Copperfield’s Books in Petaluma, CA. The video was shot by Brian Rawson for Copperfield’s. – Gareth

Last Saturday, I helped out at the Mini Maker Faire that was held in a local bookstore in Petaluma, CA. This was one in a series of Mini Maker Faires that we’ve held this summer in and around MAKE’s hometown of Sebastopol, CA.


I was making toothbrush bristlebots and LED throwies along with one of the Make: Labs engineering interns, Eric Chu. Other makers that came out on Saturday included David Nutty, working with basic electronics; Elaine Barr, cranking out some sweet t-shirt stenciling; Terry Reilly with High Tech Bikes, showing solar and dual motor bikes; Peggy Jo Ackley crafting collage greeting cards; and Brad Prather with his fun, quirky solar gadgets. All in all, it was a stellar lineup, and the day was a huge success.

The bristlebots project was probably the most involved, and I’ll be honest – this was my first time making one. The step that I (and seemingly everyone else) found the most challenging was making a solid connection between the end of the stripped wire and the contacts on the pager motor. We weren’t soldering, so we used conductive tape instead, which unfortunately, isn’t very sticky! That fact, combined with the fine motor skills required to manipulate the wire and tape on the tiny motor contact, made this step a real challenge. I ended up making two bristlebots, and I used regular tape on my second generation, which seemed to be a better option, given what we had to work with.

The final Mini Maker Faire is this Saturday, Aug. 8, at Copperfield’s Books in Montgomery Village, Santa Rosa, CA. It runs 11am to 1pm. Stop by if you’re in the area!

Featured makers: Bob Peak from Beverage People with a cheese making demonstration, David Nutty demonstrating the basics of electronics, Brookelynn Morris with needle felting, the MAKE team making bristlebots and LED throwies, Francois Cordesse with astronomy gadgets, and Community Bikes, showing you how to fix your bike.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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