Things in life don't always work out perfectly. It's how you handle those less-than-ideal situations that really matter. Take the people on this list for example. When they were faced with problems they came up with inventive (if a little unorthodox) ways of solving them. Whether it was something as simple as needing a webcam or something as complex as a remodeling job, some of the amateur engineers on this list took their creativity to a whole other level.
The Power Of Plastic
What do you do if you're a supermarket and don't want to spend money on getting someone out to fix a column? You get an employee to wrap it in saran wrap obviously. It looks like someone might have rammed into this column with their car or something, which left the bottom portion falling apart, but it's actually kind of surprising that the plastic wrap is holding everything in place.
Even if these columns aren't actually load-bearing, bricks are still pretty heavy and you wouldn't think the plastic alone would be enough to hold them where they are. They probably should have also put up a couple of warning signs telling people to stay away.
Making Your Own Batteries
This photo involves a pretty precarious-looking setup. Someone used some aluminum foil to fit in a couple of undersized batteries. Not only that, but they stuck a spring where the third battery should go. We know how frustrating it can be to not have the right type of batteries on hand, but this thing looks a couple of seconds away from either exploding or melting down entirely. However, it does work.
Also, what is that spring doing there? How is it working if it's just touching both terminals? We hope they didn't let their kid play with this thing after they finished.
Creating Your Own Webcam
With online meetings now looking more like the norm rather than something reserved for employees away on business trips, everyone needs a webcam. But, what do you do if you have an older computer without a camera? Well, apparently you do what this person did and fashion yourself a homemade webcam out of a cellphone and some legos. We're sure if you don't have any legos laying around you could use something else but they just look perfect here.
This person is also probably using some kind of app they downloaded in order to link the camera directly to their computer. It really doesn't get much more clever than this.
Good As New
Not everyone has a spare ceiling tile laying around somewhere and apparently neither did this office. So, instead of just leaving a large hole in the ceiling, they got a bit creative and used a copier to color match an envelope and just used that instead. The envelope might not be fire resistant like the inspector probably wanted, but at least it'll buy them some time to actually get a new tile.
It's actually really difficult to tell the difference, and we're left wondering if this fooled even the fire inspector. As long as they didn't reach up and touch it, we'd bet it did.
Even if you're a morning person, you've likely experienced the feeling of waking up late or sleeping through your alarm. If you're not a morning person then you can probably understand why this guy fashioned his own alarm clock. He made it so it'll give him a tiny shock when the alarm goes off. Heart problems and general electrocution are small prices to pay for being able to wake up on time.
Seriously though, while this is kind of ingenious, we wouldn't recommend making one of these yourself. There's probably a reason no one has brought this thing to market yet and it probably rhymes with health risk.
Rerouting The Air Conditioner
If like most of the world, you don't have air conditioners or vents in every room of your home then it can probably get quite hot in some rooms. If so, you could always do like this guy did and reroute the air from your one air conditioner to a completely different room. All you really need is a long plastic funnel and you can have cold air in any room of your home.
Of course, you also probably need some tape or something to make sure the bag or funnel doesn't just blow away, but this proves it's totally doable. You could even cool multiple rooms by adding some more plastic and routing them to different parts of the house.
Technology Is Great
It can be deeply frustrating when your touchscreen decides to kick the bucket and just stop working, especially if there aren't any visible cracks on the screen. Luckily, it looks like there's a workaround. Someone used a USB cable to hook a Bluetooth mouse up to their phone and it actually worked. While this isn't an iPhone (sorry Apple users), it might theoretically work the same way on one.
That is, as long as you don't mind hauling around a mouse everywhere you go. It doesn't look like it's really that practical for quickly scrolling through a feed while you're having your lunch either.
Ask just about any engineer and they'll tell you that often the simplest solutions are best. The more you over-engineer something the more likely one of those moving parts is to break, and a similar thing applies to interfaces. Who needs 60 different buttons on a remote when you only ever really use two? In this photo, someone decided to simplify things and tape over the majority of their remote's buttons.
The result was this elegant, yet still useful remote. They even wrote directions on it for anyone that might be tempted to go back to the old, overcomplicated layout. This would be especially useful for anyone out there with children as they tend to like to randomly press buttons.
Never Lose A Screwdriver Again
Screwdrivers are one of those tools (well actually all tools are one of those tools) that you can never seem to find when you need them. So, what do you do? Well, you make your own using a block of wood and what looks like a piece of metal that was filed down. Of course, you can also just use the shaft from a normal screwdriver to make your own.
The best part about this handy little invention is that if you ever find yourself in prison, it can double as a shank. Though, we hope you don't ever find yourself there.
Who Needs A Proper Plug?
After someone's T.V. inexplicably lost signal, they decided to take matters into their own hands. Their solution was to shove a fork in one of the T.V.'s ports and apparently hope for the best. The strangest part is that it actually worked. The second strangest part is the precarious positioning of the scissors they used to hold the fork in place. It certainly looks like a delicate balancing act.
We're also not electricians but this doesn't look too safe. We thought everyone was taught as a child not to stick forks into holes that contain some type of electricity?
They've Finally Done It
You don't have to invent a cure for cancer or solve world hunger in order to help humanity progress. Just look at these two guys. They apparently got tired of being scammed by chip companies and set out to prove a point. They fashioned an entire boat out of potato chip bags just to prove that they have enough air in them to float. Unsurprisingly, it worked and even held the two's weight.
Now, if only they can somehow convince the companies to package more chips we could all benefit. Seriously though, if anyone ever brought up a lawsuit we'd be surprised if this photo wasn't used as evidence.
Repairing A Garbage Can
Garbage cans might just be made out of plastic, but they're still pretty tough. However, even garbage cans don't last forever. That is until someone decided to repair theirs using what appears to be zip-ties. It even looks like the stitching you might get after having a cut sewn up. We aren't sure why this person decided to repair the can instead of just buying a new one but it certainly looks pretty cool.
How long the repair will actually last is just about anyone's guess though, as zip-ties are really only a temporary fix. One of them even seems to have already broken.
When You Really Need A Mallet
Unless you're a mechanic or a carpenter, you're probably not very likely to have a mallet on hand when you need it. Hammers are much more common but sometimes you just can't use the hard head of a hammer and need something a bit softer. This person found themselves in such a situation and instead of giving up, they made their own mallet out of a hammer and some rubber bands.
Now, it probably doesn't work quite as well as an actual mallet, but it beats using a hammer and inevitably damaging whatever they need to hammer into place.
So Obvious, Yet So Genius
Pretty much any kid out there with a bike can relate to this photo. The sharp pedals on bikes are meant to make sure you don't lose grip while riding, but what if you want to ride your bike barefoot? You either take the pain or you slip on some pieces of fabric to buffer your feet. Someone used what looks like some spare carpet in this photo but you could probably use just about anything that's thick enough.
We wish we would've thought of this when we were kids. It would've saved our feet from constantly getting stabbed while riding around the neighborhood.
Simplicity At Its Finest
Governments and researchers spend millions of dollars trying to predict natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Turns out all they really needed were a couple of googly eyes and a piece of paper. Some genius out there made this quick earthquake detection kit and it's truly a work of art. As long as the googly eyes stay taped to the wall, gravity will make sure any earthquake is quickly detected.
All they really need now is a button or something to press and sound an alarm if the eyes ever start moving around in there. However, that might be beside the point.
Better Than A Bumper Sticker
We've all seen those bumper stickers that warn people away from tailgating, but they rarely ever really work. Apart from brake-checking them while going down a freeway (don't do that), there really isn't much anyone can do to get tailgaters to back away. That is until this person came up with the ingenious idea to weld a wrench to the back of their truck so that it looks like it could go flying at any moment.
Of course, it could never do that since it's welded down, but we're sure just seeing this thing laying there on someone's tailgate while they're driving down the road would be enough to get most to back off.
Better Than Duct Tape
Washers and dryers can be expensive. So, when they go out you usually always want to try and fix them before you throw them away and go and buy a new one. That's what this person did when the start button had to stay pushed down in order to work. Instead of just standing there for an hour or so while the clothes were being dried, they used a c-clamp to keep the button pressed down.
It's probably the best solution for this particular situation, too. Since dryers tend to bounce around a bit, there really isn't much else strong enough to keep the button pressed down.
Who Needs Expensive Accessories
Buying name brand accessories for things like laptops and tablets can be ridiculously expensive, especially if you buy Apple. However, there's really nothing stopping you from making your own accessories. It turns out you can do so with as little as a fork. Someone bent the two inner tines of their fork to make an iPad holder for when they watch movies or just want to use it hands-free.
It beats splurging on something that would have probably ended up being way overpriced. It also looks like it works pretty well, considering it's literally just a fork. We mean, it even looks elegant to a certain degree, and it kind of matches Apple's design aesthetic.
The Best Revenge
We hope if you're reading this then you're never unlucky enough to get stuck with a crazy landlord. However, if you are then maybe you can take a lesson out of this person's book. His landlord shut off the heat while it was below zero. Instead of freezing, he took matters into his own hands and made do with what he had, which was a fan and an electric stove.
The best part is the landlord covers the electric bill, so instead of saving money, he's going to be spending a lot more of it. This really is poetic justice at its finest.
Homemade Backup Sensor
There are things out there that you get and then wonder how you ever lived without them. For us, that thing was coffee. For this person, it turned out to be a backup sensor. But, instead of going out and buying a brand new car for one little feature, they taped a rubber chicken to the back of their car. Not only does it pad any impact, but it even lets out a yell when they back into another car.
Of course, this solution might not be for everybody. It takes real guts to ride around town with a rubber chicken taped to the back of your car.
The Clock You Never Knew You Needed
With people's lives busier than ever, it can be easier to lose track of time, and surprisingly easy to lose track of days. However, you no longer have to fear because apparently, this thing exists. It's a clock, only for the days of the week. We aren't sure if this was actually made by a single person or by a company, but it's definitely appealing.
With one of these, you never have to worry about waking up and suddenly scrambling for your phone in order to figure out what day it is and make sure you didn't miss an appointment.
When You Can't Use a Vehicle
What do you do when you're Amish and need to move a barn but can't rent a truck? You get together with the entire community and carry it by hand apparently. We're not sure how many people are actually helping to carry this thing, but it's pretty astonishing that they're moving an entire barn using nothing but people. It probably also takes a lot of coordination to turn and lift at the same time.
As cool as it would be to be a part of this experience, we'd probably opt to be the guy walking around out in front. It looks a lot easier to manage than to lift.
Homemade Pool Heater
Pools are great, but do you know what pools are also? Expensive. They're especially expensive if you have a heated pool. But, the finer things in life shouldn't just be for those that can afford them. This guy decided he wanted a heated pool and instead of going out and spending extravagant amounts of money, he made his own. And he made it using nothing more than a wheelbarrow, some logs, and fire.
We're not sure how safe this actually is, but hey if it works. You'd probably just have to be extra careful not to touch the flaming hot wheelbarrow floating in the middle of the pool.
If you've ever owned a dog then you probably know how difficult it can be to keep them from trying to roam around outside your yard. No matter how well you fence in an area, they always manage to escape and cause trouble. Well, this little guy seems to have gotten out for the last time before his owner decided enough was enough. The owner put a spoon on the dog's harness, so it couldn't slip through the gate anymore.
It's quite unfortunate for the dog, but at least he'll be safe inside the yard and can't get out and into trouble. It also makes for a pretty adorable photo.
A Makeshift Lock
This one is actually kind of similar to the last photo. Someone found themselves with a lock that wouldn't fit their barn or shed door. Instead of going out and buying a complete lock set, they used the hole in their wrench and their padlock to secure their belongings. It's really quite crafty. It's not the prettiest looking thing in the world, but at least it gets the job done.
It's also worth mentioning that when you see someone with a lock like this, you automatically know they're going to be pretty mechanically inclined. It takes a special kind of smart to think of something like this.
Another Pool Heater
Heated pools must be all the rage now, because we have another one here, only using a different technique. Someone connected their pool's water pump to a radiator and then lit a fire underneath it. It actually takes some creativity and solid engineering skills to put something like this together. It also looks a bit safer than the last solution we looked at. At least this way, you won't be forced to dodge a fiery cauldron while swimming.
If you're unfamiliar with what a radiator does, it's actually the thing in your care that displaces and gets rid of heat. They can also apparently work as heaters for pools.
Haul Your Home
Here's another photo showing how someone managed to move an entire building without renting an expensive truck. This time, it's a mobile home, and instead of renting a semi to transport it, they rented a Uhaul. They also saved some serious cash. However, we can't help but think they might've had to pay extra after bringing the truck back with what had to be some broken parts.
The entire back end of the Uhaul is squatting to the ground, which is pretty impressive. The most we've ever seen someone tow with one of these was another vehicle.
Makeshift Dust Pads
Swifters can be great for removing dust. However, their one big drawback is that you have to go out and buy new pads every time you run out, which can add up pretty quickly. But, this person thought ahead and apparently knitted their own reusable pad. This is a pretty cool way of getting the best of both worlds and not spending money on pads designed to be thrown away.
We only hope they have more than one pad, or else they'd have to wash this single pad every time it gets too much dust on it.
Upgrading Your Car's Defroster
If you happen to live in a colder climate then this photo is for you. We all know how underpowered most cars' defrosters can be, so why not make your own as this person did? It looks like all you really need is some duct tape and PVC pipes. Pipes from a vacuum cleaner could also work. Just route the pipes from your front-facing vent and tape everything together.
It's certainly not pretty, but you really just need it to be functional, and we're sure this thing works a lot better than most defrosters, which can take a long time to start working.
A Bit Of Overkill
To be honest, this isn't one of the best examples of amateur engineering on this list, but it's still pretty funny. A landlord decided to put up a clothes rack for a tenant and this piece of art was the result. We call it a piece of art because it can't really be anything else. We're sure they sacrificed any structural integrity that might have been present by using so many screws.
It's also baffling how they managed to actually use this many screws. They would've had to drill through the metal base, which might explain why they ended up using so many.
This photo is pretty much the opposite of the last. It's also a good example of working smarter, not harder. Someone was installing a deck for their pool and it got a little too warm to work outside. So, they took two boards and a gazebo and made some shade for themselves while they worked. They didn't even have to nail or screw anything down, they just slid the boards under the railing.
This would actually make for some pretty cool temporary shade if you happened to be swimming. Of course, we're sure they could probably just build some out of wood, too.
Sometimes It Doesn't Have To Make Sense
Sometimes, the best inventions or fixes don't really have a point at all, other than to be really cool looking. Take this guy for example. He threw together a lawn chair and a motorized skateboard to make; well, we don't actually know what to call this thing. But, it looks really cool and he looks like he's living his best life. Now, he can ride around the city in comfort instead of walking like all the other normies.
However, this does make us wonder how the heck this guy turns this thing. There doesn't seem to be a steering wheel anywhere on there, so maybe he has to get up to reposition.
If It Works, It Works
Don't try this one at home, lest you're bent on voiding any type of warranty you might still have. But, if you're warranty is long gone and your laptop is about to be, too, then you can install a makeshift power button as this person did. However, you might need a decent understanding of electrical parts and wiring to do so. Oh, and apparently lots of electrical glue.
Just be careful not to shortcircuit anything or else a messed-up power button might be the least of your worries. Actually, you should probably just take electronics to certified repair shops.
Just Use That Old Hockey Stick
Shower curtains aren't hard to replace, but when a rod comes flying down, the last thing you want to do is abandon your shower to run to the store and get a new one. Instead, just throw a hockey stick up there and hang the curtain from that. The bend at the end of the stick will ensure it doesn't fall and your curtain will keep your floors nice and dry.
However, there is the question of what to do the next time you want to go and play a game of hockey because that stick probably has a bit of water damage now.
There really is nothing more satisfying than fixing your own vehicle, especially when that vehicle happens to be a huge bus and you happen to fix it like this. The driver's radiator fan apparently wasn't working but instead of taking the bus to a mechanic, the driver came up with his own solution. He strapped two totes with cutouts to the side of the radiator, along with two fans right next to them.
The totes work to push air in while the fans blow it back out. We've never seen such a genius use of totes before this and we hope this becomes standard after this photo.
If you've ever played video games then you're probably aware of the term "drift". If you haven't, then it's basically where one of the analog sticks on a controller constantly pulls to one side. This makes the in-game character pull and it can be quite frustrating. Luckily, one gamer got tired of his controller's drift and came up with a solution. With a couple of carefully placed rubber bands, they managed to make sure their controller was no longer pulling to one side.
However, it looks like the rubber bands would have to be perfectly placed and this doesn't look like the most comfortable setup to have while playing for a couple of hours.
Weigh Things With Wii
Another videogame-related post, this one involves using your Wii Fit to weigh random objects. You only really need this if you don't happen to have a scale around, but it's still a pretty cool hack to know. The Wii Fit was made to help people be healthier and as such, it apparently has something built-in that allows you to weigh yourself or in this case random objects, such as the gas cylinder pictured in this photo.
However, we really aren't sure what's going on with the Fit commenting on this person's posture. Perhaps it's referring to the cylinder and thinks it's human? Technology still has a little way to go.
The Simplest Solution
We said it before and we'll say it again, the simplest solutions are usually the best. In this case, the simplest solution for cable management was a single spoon. And it looks to work perfectly. Instead of dangling down, the cable is now hidden and out of sight. The best part is that nobody can even tell there's a spoon under there holding up any cables. There's only one problem.
This guy happened to have a pretty convenient hole right next to where they ran their cable, meaning you might have to go and drill your own if you want to use a spoon for hiding cables.
Is That A New Flat Screen?
While T.V.s have gotten pretty cheap these days, there's still nothing wrong with saving a bit of money. That was apparently the thinking behind this guy's effort to make his old T.V. look like a new flat screen. He cut a hole in his wall just to be able to slide the T.V. back and make it appear as though it's much newer than it really is. However, we're sure the picture quality is still the same as before.
We're also pretty sure the space lost in the back wasn't really worth the sacrifice. He'll probably have to also repair that wall one day, so while this might look like a money saver, we're not so sure.
Shower Head Holder
If your shower head holder has ever come toppling off your bathroom wall then you probably know how frustrating it can be to use a shower head without one. The water just goes flying everywhere, (but mostly in your face), and it's just a general pain. Well, this amateur engineer decided to fix the problem by using a potato masher. And it looks like the showerhead pretty much fits perfectly.
It does require that you have a potato masher, but if you do then you're good to go. No more water flying in your face every time you have to set your showerhead down.