THE BEST Art & Design

Hidden Compartment Coffee Table

Hidden Compartment Coffee Table

Carpenter David Lundell enjoys making furniture that incorporates hidden storage compartments. Each one works like a puzzle box, requiring a specific sequence of actions in order to access its contents. Here’s another version he built for hiding away guns, booze, and a poker set.

Le StandUp Transparent Paddleboard

Le StandUp Transparent Paddleboard

Loeva is showing off their design for a standup paddleboard that lets you see through to the water below your feet. It’s made using a crystal clear material for its middle, wrapped in a lightweight carbon frame. Integral LED lighting provides illumination to a depth of up to 15 meters (49 feet) in clear water.

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James Bond 007 Playing Cards

James Bond 007 Playing Cards

Theory11 presents an elegant deck of cards inspired by the world’s greatest secret agent. The cards and their embossed box feature a black and gold foil color scheme with intricate details such as Secret Service emblems, and court cards carrying iconic Bond weapons and gadgets.

Amazing Pop-up Art

Amazing Pop-up Art

Artist Peter Dahmen shows off a series of intricate paper-cut sculptures, greeting cards, and packaging designs that he’s created over the years. Some of them are one-off personal projects, while others are available as DIY tutorials on his website. Check out more of his sculptures here.

Laser-Cut Orrery

Laser-Cut Orrery

Dreipunkt’s flat-pack wood kit lets you build your own orbital model of the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon. As you move its lever, each astronomical body rotates relative to the others, as an arrow indicates the date on which they take up those positions. From Laserdeko, who has all kinds of nifty laser-cut stuff for sale.

Human Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzles

Human Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzles

This series of three jigsaw puzzles come together to form the major anatomical structures of a 5-foot-tall human being. Choose from head, thorax, or abdominal sections, each certified for accuracy by medical illustrator Mesa Schumacher. They make a great gift for biology students, or just anyone interested in science.

Dry Out

Dry Out

Water is critical to the survival of almost all living things. This fascinating time-lapse short film by Christian Stangl provides a close-up look at what happens to organics as they run out of moisture. Stangl captured the images using a combination of macro lenses and microscopes. View a selection of stills on Flickr.

Tattoo Stories

Tattoo Stories

Tattoo Stories is a party game that gives players three minutes to doodle a design for a tattoo based on a selection of attributes. Each artist pitches their tattoo to the customer, who gets to judge and choose the winner of the round. For 4 to 6 players ages 12 and up.

Mountain Surfing the Austrian Alps

Mountain Surfing the Austrian Alps

Drone pilot Shaggy FPV takes us on a ride through the mountains of Austria with breathtaking footage of the Dorfertal Valley he captured with his aerial photography rig. The reverse perspective offers a great sense of speed and changes things up a bit from the typical forward view.

Rain Dogs

Rain Dogs

Head to the Pacific Northwest in this epic snowboarding film from KORUA Shapes. The black-and-white photography evokes quite the mood as boarders take to the slopes in the days before the pandemic lockdown. The title is based on the nickname for Washington state’s Ranier Beer, which served as lubricant for the cast and crew.

Event Horizon Spin Coin

Event Horizon Spin Coin

This unique metal memento from J. L. Lawson & Co features a concave shape and spiral pattern inspired by the gravitational pull of a black hole. Thanks to a ceramic ballpoint, it can spin like a top for up to 15 minutes. The 1.25″ diameter coin is available in blackened iron or fine silver.

Time for Machine Iconic Series

Time for Machine Iconic Series

Wood model makers Time for Machine have a new series of kits that let you assemble objects that move. Each plywood model features a splash of color in its wheels or spring-wound mechanism. Designs include a supercar, vintage car, hot rod, minibus, locomotive, and a lockbox.

Color-changing Filament Bulbs

Color-changing Filament Bulbs

Feit Electric’s unique smart light bulb can produce the warm amber glow of an old-fashioned Edison-style filament lamp, or one of millions of colors from its RGB LED strips. Works in any standard E26 base, and can be controlled remotely via Alexa, Google Assistant, or the Feit Electric app.

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Making a Giant Wood LEGO Minifig

Making a Giant Wood LEGO Minifig

“Giant Minifig” is an oxymoron. The idea of LEGO’s little people is that they’re small enough for a LEGO-scale world. But Jason of Bourbon Moth Woodworking wanted to give his kid a supersized minifig for Christmas, so he fabricated a 2-foot-tall figure out of wood. LEGO sells a smaller wooden minifig, but it’s not as cool as Jason’s.

Coffee Bean Guitar

Coffee Bean Guitar

Burls Art makes guitars out of unusual materials. Having built instruments out of Himalayan salt and jawbreakers, this time he turned his attention to coffee. He built the body using several pounds of beans from Copper Coffee, bathed in clear epoxy. We love the copper accents in included on the finished guitar.

Book Coasters

Book Coasters

Looking for a gift for a book lover who already has a full library? These solid wood coasters from Cutting Boredom make a great present for bookworms. They come in more than 20 different designs, each inspired by the cover of a classic piece of literature. Sold in sets of two or more.

Best Optical Illusion of 2020

Best Optical Illusion of 2020

Mathematician Kokichi Sugihara of Meiji University shows off another brain-breaking optical illusion, taking home the prize of Best Illusion of 2020. While it looks like a simple design at first, the 3D Schr?der Staircase looks exactly the same right-side-up and upside-down, its left end looking taller than its right.

Retro Gamer Logo Magnets

Retro Gamer Logo Magnets

UK shop ReadyPlayerTwo creates these nifty 3-dimensional logo signs inspired by classic video game and computer systems. Each one is 3D printed from PLA plastic to accurately replicate the original color scheme, and has neodymium magnets securely mounted inside.

Making a Mini Morning Star

Making a Mini Morning Star

For those unfamiliar with the concept, a morning star is one of those ancient weapons that’s basically a spiky metal ball on a stick. It’s definitely not something you’d want to ever encounter on a battlefield. Though this teensy version that Koss Workshop made from a ball bearing and some screws is a little less deadly.

Pitch Black Playing Cards

Pitch Black Playing Cards

Designed by Jirs Huygen for Copag, these premium playing cards are great for magic, cardistry, or just playing a game of poker. They feature a black background with inverse fine line art in white or red ink, along with a skull motif throughout. The True Linen B9 finish is designed for smooth handling and longevity.

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Custom Split-Flap Displays

Custom Split-Flap Displays

Oat Foundry builds electro-mechanical signboards, inspired by the ones that show schedules at older train stations and airports. Puzzle fiend Chris Ramsay commissioned one, and is here to show off just how cool it is. If you’re interested in having one built for yourself or your business, you can request a quote here.

Bitter Cocktails Holiday Cards

Bitter Cocktails Holiday Cards

Toast your friends with spirited holiday cards featuring classic Campari cocktails. Love & Victory’s set of eight cards and envelopes with greetings on the front and a cocktail recipe – Boulevardier, Negroni, Negroni Sbagliato, or Americano – on the back. Just the thing to thank weary Santa and his drink-deserving, gift-giving ilk.

Making a Kinetic Sculpture

Making a Kinetic Sculpture

If you’ve ever walked through an outdoor sculpture garden, you’ve probably seen sculptures that move when the wind blows. Artist Anthony Howe is known for creating kinetic sculptures like these. In this video, he provides a glimpse into the painstaking process that’s involved in making these dynamic and precise works of art.

Taylor Bennett: Don’t Wait Up

Taylor Bennett: Don’t Wait Up

Lamar + Nik created this clever music video for Taylor Bennett f/Mr. Hudson’s soulful hip hop track Don’t Wait Up. Rather than shooting on location, they placed the musician into scenes using the screen from an iPhone. They made the sets from cardboard, hot glue, and assorted miniatures. Behind the scenes here.

LEGO Great Wave

LEGO Great Wave

LEGO Certified Professional Jumpei Mitsui created a 3D interpretation of the wave depicted in Hokusai’s iconic Ukiyo-e image The Great Wave off Kanagawa. The brick-built version shows off some really neat LEGO tricks, especially with the foamy wave peaks. The 50,000-piece model is on display at the Hankyu Brick Museum.

Tokyo Mega Illumination 2020

Tokyo Mega Illumination 2020

Like many places around the world, Tokyo likes to celebrate the holidays with lights. The photography masters at Virtual Japan captured this highly immersive footage of Tokyo City Keiba’s 2020 festival of lights, which features over 8 million individual lights for visitors to enjoy. It looks especially rich and vibrant in 4K HDR.

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