MAKE Volume 25 Zombie Attack

MAKE Volume 25 Zombie Attack

make volume 25 zombies
When MacGyver creator and author of our MakeShift feature Lee Zlotoff sent us the text for the current issue, we instantly knew it was going to be a fun photo shoot to set up. If you’re not familiar with MakeShift, it’s a challenge that’s posed in each volume of MAKE, where you’re given a scenario, a challenge, and a list of what you have to work with. Your task is coming up with the best solution, and the winner is awarded a prize. “Zombie Attack” is the theme of Volume 25‘s MakeShift, and when the word was out that we needed volunteers to get zombified for the photo shoot, a handful of our MAKE crew stepped to the plate. The picture above is one of the outtakes that we couldn’t resist sharing. From left to right, we have Rob Bullington (operations manager), Nick Raymond (engineering intern), Laura Cochrane (editorial assistant), Lindsey North (former CRAFT intern), and engineering interns Tyler Moskowite and Brian Melani.

Here’s the image that ran in the magazine, shot in MAKE founder Dale Dougherty’s barn, and the MakeShift text, so you can get to work on a solution:
make volume 25 makeshift zombie attack

The Scenario: You’ve noticed a few underground reports on the web of a spreading epidemic causing hordes of undead to rampage through suburban neighborhoods in search of new victims. You dismissed the postings as just hype to promote some new horror movie. But now you’re home at night relaxing with a friend when you hear screams of panic. You look outside to see a throng of, well, zombies terrorizing your street — a pack of which is shuffling hungrily toward your house. Good God, the internet was right!

Grabbing your cellphone and laptop, you quickly retreat to the garage and lock yourself in, trying to shut out the methodical pounding on your walls and the moaning cries of “Brraaaiiinnnnssss!” Furiously surfing the web and calling, you learn that the police are overwhelmed but have secured a school two miles from your house from which they can evacuate the uninfected by helicopter. Too bad your car is at the repair shop tonight.

The Challenge: Trustworthy sources say that the mindless zombies can be kept at bay by flames of sufficient size and — worst come to worst — incapacitated by a forceful blow to the head. But it’s clear from the shaking of your garage door that you have at most an hour before you face those suckers head-on. Bottom line: You’re going to need whatever’s in the garage to fight your way out and through the zombies to get yourself to that school on foot!

What You’ve Got: You have your set of tools (hammers, saws, screwdrivers, wrenches, etc.),
a working sink, two towels, a first-aid kit with adhesive bandages and hydrogen peroxide, an acetylene torch, a chainsaw (out of gas), a propane grill (with a ¾-full tank), 50′ of Class 315 PVC pipe, a framing nail gun with a box of 500 3½” framing nails, 3 full cans of oil-based ceiling paint, a bottle of turpentine, a case of 10W-40 motor oil, a six-pack of empty beer bottles, your camping gear (backpack, tent, sleeping bag, and a handful of lighters and matches), a disassembled lawn mower (half full of gas) and 3 bottles of 30W lawn mower oil, a cricket bat, and of course, some duct tape and your Swiss Army knife or Leatherman. It’s time to show those zombies what happens when they cross a real maker. Good luck and good hunting!

Send a detailed description of your MakeShift solution with sketches and/or photos to by June 3, 2011. If duplicate solutions are submitted, the winner will be determined by the quality of the explanation and presentation. The most plausible and most creative solutions will each win a MAKE T-shirt and a MAKE Pocket Ref. Think positive and include your shirt size and contact information with your solution. Good luck! For readers’ solutions to previous MakeShift challenges, visit

make volume 25 makeshift zombie chorus line

Check out MAKE Volume 25:

MAKE Volume 25: Arduino Revolution
Give your gadgets a brain! Previously out of reach for the do-it-yourselfer, the tiny computers called microcontrollers are now so cheap and easy to use that anyone can make their stuff smart. With a microcontroller, your gadget can sense the environment, talk to the internet or other hardware, and make things happen in the real world by controlling motors, lights, or any electronic device.


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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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