From Our Mission Maker: Hatch Your Own Friends Craft Night

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Dremel Mission Maker Amy Bell of Positively Splendid hosted her own Craft Night recently when she provided her friends with Dremel Hatch Kits so they could create their own Skyline wall art. Instead of going to a movie or watching television, Amy provided a fun way to reconnect with her girlfriends and take a break from all things digital.

Because everything you need is conveniently packaged together for you, including the wood pallet sign, paint, brushes, stencils and more, Dremel Hatch Kits take the guesswork out of putting together a fun friends craft night. To help you out, Amy has provided a few tips to help you host your own Dremel Hatch Kit night on her blog Positively Splendid.

According to Amy, seeing her friends create a work of art and take pride in their creation made the Dremel Hatch Kit night a fun event. “I love the idea of turning this into a girls’ night, inviting friends to sip and munch while they create,” Amy said. “The beauty of the Dremel Hatch Project Kits is that they enable you to conveniently have all you need to complete the project from start to finish, which means you’ll have plenty of time to prep and host a party everyone is sure to enjoy!”

Share your craft night creations with Dremel using the hashtag #hatchskyline!

Dremel Digilab Laser Cutter Makes Its Debut

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In September, the Dremel brand introduced the first-of-its-kind Dremel DigiLab Laser Cutter at the World Maker Faire in New York City. Dremel designed this innovative machine with Makers of all levels and skills in mind. The Laser Cutter is the brand's latest addition to its lineup of digital fabrication tools, which can customize a variety of materials quicker and easier than ever before. It will also allow for Makers and industrial professionals to be more productive across a broad spectrum of applications.

One of the laser’s many features is an intuitive platform that enables users to easily cut or engrave a variety of materials. For improved laser control and project management, users can also easily import designs and maximize material usage. The in-unit camera also allows users to convert original designs to files and add them to the Dremel material library for future accessibility.

To protect the user, the Dremel Laser Cutter is outfitted with a smart diagnostics platform. It is the only laser cutter on the market outfitted with automatic safety sensors to alert users of a problem and provide an immediate solution.

Due out in the Summer of 2018, find out more about the Dremel DigiLab Laser Cutter by signing up for the DigiLab Insider email here.

Fun for all: World Maker Faire

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On a hot and sunny weekend in September, the Dremel brand returned to World Maker Faire New York, the premier gathering place for Makers of all kinds.

Dremel had two exhibits onsite at World Maker Faire: one dedicated to its line-up of tools and the new Hatch project kit and one to its growing line of digital fabrication products. In the tool and demonstration booth, the brand offered make and take projects, an onsite sweepstakes and a Keshot photo booth so visitors could share selfies on social media.

“We always feel that we develop meaningful relationships with Makers when we expose them to all of the products we bring to the show,” said Allison Fishman, Dremel brand director. “It’s important to us to get people to try our tools to break down any hesitation and educate them on the versatility of Dremel products,” she said.

At the show the Dremel team debuted two new digital fabrication products: the Dremel DigiLab Laser Cutter and the Dremel DigiLab 3D45 3D Printer. Attendees could also stop by to meet Dremel Mission Makers Amy and Bill of American Heirloom and to see live demos of these two products. Dremel received the Editor’s Choice Blue Ribbon for its Dremel DigiLab Laser Cutter.

In addition Dremel President John Kavanagh was honored as the first speaker on the Main Stage on Saturday when he presented on the topic, “Redefining Invention: New Perspectives from Dremel.”

Were you one of the 90,000 attendees at this year’s World Maker Faire on a #MissiontoMake? Check out to find the next Maker Faire event near you.

Meet the Maker: Introducing Mike Moyer

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Mike Moyer is one half of the blogging and YouTube-ing duo, Mike and Lauren. With their passion for Maker culture and commitment to living a DIY lifestyle, they’re hitting the road and making their Maker dreams a reality. 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the blog? 

My name is Mike Moyer and together with my wife, we run a blog and YouTube channel called "Mike and Lauren" where we document our travels and DIY projects. We're currently transitioning into a new phase of life, living full-time in our 40-foot motorhome towing a 24-foot complete mobile workshop. We're visiting fans to help them with their DIY projects! 

How did you become interested in DIY culture? 

Lauren and I discuss this question occasionally when we come across photos of a project we’ve completed in the past. Currently the earliest project I can remember is a club house I built in my parent's backyard around the age of 10. It had a roof, electricity, vinyl siding and a ladder. Before that, I was always helping my dad (a carpenter) around the house with various household fixes. 

My current passion for Making has transitioned from traditional home improvement projects to more "inventive" endeavors. I love the challenge of making something that has never been seen before. If I can combine multiple disciplines in one project (wood working and electronics, for example), even better! 

Who and/or what influences you? 

YouTube has completely changed the Maker community in a good way. Content doesn't need to appeal to the masses anymore. YouTube "personalities" can take risks, show their mistakes, and make things they're passionate about without a network or editor curating their content. This has been a huge inspiration for me. I might, for example, stumble across a video about silicone mold-making and suddenly have the knowledge of a new technique that could be useful in a future project. 

Tell us about your recent DIY RV renovations. What made you decide to tackle this project? 

About six months ago my wife and I decided we wanted to make a living doing what we love. We knew we wanted to travel and of course make things. Our solution was to buy a motorhome and build the ultimate mobile workshop to tow behind us. We've always been very frugal so this was a big jump. We bought a 17-year-old Class-A RV that needed a little work to make it our own. It's proven to be incredibly rewarding and frustrating at the same time. There are so many different systems on an RV – it's been quite a learning curve. 

We're happy to report that now our RV is almost exactly how we want it and the mobile workshop is just a few weeks away from completion. We're going to hit the road and visit our YouTube fans to help them make fun, unique and interesting things. 

What's the one tool you couldn’t live without? 

We recently visited Costa Rica so I decided to try a couple of hand tool-only projects. To my surprise everything was relatively enjoyable except one thing: drilling. A sharp handsaw is a joy to use. A sanding block and file can more or less replace their power tool equivalents. But drilling consistent, accurate holes by hand is incredibly difficult. From then on I knew if I were ever stranded on a desert island, I would be sure to take my cordless drills. 

How do you incorporate Dremel tools into your work? 

I think the key to success with any project is using the right tool for the right job. The right job for my Dremel rotary tool is anything that requires extreme precision in a tight space. With my most recent project, I used a Dremel rotary tool with the Flex Shaft attachment to grind and smooth interior corners in a concrete casting. I've also been dabbling with wood carving which a Dremel rotary tool is perfectly suited for. 

What are some tips you can offer people who want save money and take on more DIY projects at home? 

I think it's important for people to accept that your first few projects might not save you money. There are tools to buy and mistakes to be made. You might even (gasp!) end up spending more money on an inferior product, not to mention you'll be completely frustrated. That's a normal part of the process. Don't get discouraged! Eventually you'll start making things that are at least as good as professional or store-bought. Then suddenly you'll wake up one day and realize you can make and fix things better and cheaper than you can get at the store. Suddenly it's an inconvenience to just "call the guy" to come take care of it. You're that guy (or girl) now! That's a good feeling. 

Taking It To The Streets: Renegade Craft Fair

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The Renegade Craft Fair took place September 9 & 10, 2017 and featured a roster of over 400 local and national Makers, tantalizing food vendors, local Chicago music performances, DIY workshops and a truly unique weekend shopping experience of handmade goods. The Dremel brand was in the midst of it all having set-up shop on Division Street in Chicago for this epic outdoor celebration of all things handmade.

The Dremel booth at the Renegade Craft Fair was a popular place to stop and create. Our focus was on ensuring the next generation of Makers knows how much fun it is to create something with just your hands and your imagination. And, of course, a Dremel rotary tool.

Dremel teamed up with co-sponsor, Sculpey Oven Bake Clay, in order to show makers how easy it is to create unique, personalized items using a Dremel rotary tool and clay. A Dremel 3D40 printer was on hand to demonstrate the variety of uses for home, business and craft. Best of all, we were surrounded by the inspiration of talented Makers of the Renegade Craft Fair curating unique items for sale.



Throughout the weekend, we hosted Dremel Mission Maker and craft expert, Amy Bell of Positively Splendid. Amy live demonstrated the Hatch Project Kit and got crafty engraving alongside attendees in the booth.

Everyone had the chance to get hands on with:

The Dremel 3D40 Idea Builder, making molds and cutouts for jewelry
The Dremel 3000 with Flex Shaft attachment or the Dremel 8050 Micro to practice making the Sculpey Clay Keychain

Additionally, all visitors had a chance to win our sweepstakes giveaway of the Dremel 3D40 printer and a gift basket of Sculpey Clay Products, valued at $1,449! Thanks to all who joined us in the Windy City on our #MissionToMake!

Meet the Maker: Introducing Erin François

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Erin François is a Maker and DIY blogger who loves incorporating beautiful handmade pieces into interior design. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get involved in Maker/DIY culture? 

I'm Erin François, and I run the home DIY blog, François et Moi, a creative online space dedicated to helping others love their homes through DIY. I'm an interior styling nut and DIY’er to the absolute core, and I use my background in interior design to create handmade pieces for the home that work to add originality, beauty and functionality. 

I've been making things for as long as I can remember, and I started my blog almost 3 years ago as a creative outlet. In the beginning I covered a huge range of topics: everything from newlywed adventures to my favorite recipes and DIY projects, but it was the handmade projects that readers really responded to. So, I began to shift my focus to more home-focused DIY projects, and about 6 months in, I landed my first sponsorship. It was the first time I realized that my little blog could possibly be more than just a fun hobby! Two and a half years later, I'm still DIY-ing and blogging up a storm, only now it’s my full-time job. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what I do! 

You've really mastered the art of creating beautiful contemporary designs while remaining frugal. What are some of the challenges you encounter when you're trying to create something stunning on a tight budget? 

I think the hardest part about creating on a budget is finding the right materials to bring the idea in your head to life. So that's why doing lots of research and thinking outside the box is key! For example, with this Modern Key Holder project (that I created using my Dremel Micro), I couldn't find the right object for the end of the keychains, so I modified a necklace pendant that I found in the jewelry section of the craft store to create the right look. 

Do you have any tips or tricks for other makers who are interested in pursuing DIY design? 

Find your niche! In terms of DIY blogging, one thing I wish I'd known when I started was the importance of finding a niche. Once I narrowed my blog's focus, it was much easier to attract readers and connect with other bloggers and brands with similar a focus. I'd recommend taking time to explore lots of different areas of DIY, from fashion to crafting to interiors, to really figure out what you're most passionate about and also where your strengths lie. I can't tell you how helpful it's been for me in the long run! 

How do you incorporate Dremel tools into your projects? 

Truth be told, they come to my rescue all the time! I'll come up with a crazy idea for a project with only a vague idea on how to actually execute it. After a little bit of experimentation with my tools, I can usually count on Dremel's unique tool capabilities to help me make any project happen. 

Where do you find your inspiration? 

I love scouring Scandinavian design blogs for simplistic furniture and accessories that aren't available in the United States, and putting my personal spin on a handmade version for my own home. 

I also find inspiration from vintage, thrift and antique shops. They hold so many fantastic ideas for surface pattern, furniture lines, color palettes, construction methods, etc. that I always leave feeling energized and full of inspiration! 

What's your favorite project that you've completed? Do you have any upcoming projects that you're really looking forward to? 

Most recently we built a live edge walnut bench from a slab of reclaimed walnut wood and modern steel legs. What I loved about this project was that it looked and sounded complicated, but was surprisingly simple to make. What simplified the process was using materials that were already cool on their own, so all we really had to do was pair them together and…magic! 

As far as upcoming projects, my husband and I are expecting for the first time, so we'll be tackling a nursery this Fall! 

To see more of Erin's work, check out her blog.

Maker Of The Month: Daniel Manning

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One of the most encouraging aspects of the maker journey is how quickly a maker can go from finding inspiration to becoming an inspirational maker. Daniel Manning first found inspiration through the engraving works of a fellow Instagram maker, soon bringing him to testing out his own engraving skills. With no prior experience, he purchased a Dremel rotary tool and flex shaft. Soon Daniel began to experiment engraving designs onto tumblers, like shown above. Can you believe, it has only been 2 months since he started engraving with a Dremel rotary tool? At first, Daniel was engraving tumblers for his family; he now does custom designs on tumblers as a side business. You can check out his awesome etched tumblers on Instagram @UnderEstimatedFAB

Dremel Maker Days 2017: Update

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We have been giving away tools all month long! The celebration of Maker Days continues with daily prize winners and special retail offers that will continue through September 4th. If you haven’t checked it out yet, hurry over to for your chance to win the daily prize. Each daily entry also enters you in for a chance to be one of two lucky winners of the 11-tool grand prize package, valued at $3000.

We have been thoroughly enjoying all the photo submissions of maker projects in our gallery; take a look! Each photo earns additional entries for a chance to win the grand prize. Check out Maker Erica A’s submission of this awesome wood carved sign:

Don’t forget, now is the time to take to take advantage of special offers at participating retailers on Dremel products. When you do, head to the Dremel Maker Days site to upload your receipt; you’ll get 4 additional entries with each receipt upload.

Want to know more? Check out our Facebook page or visit!

Happy making!

Launched: Mission To Make Inspires In Atlanta

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Known as the “DIY home away from home,” the Haven Conference is a place where DIY and decor bloggers go to celebrate their DIY spirit and learn new skills. The Dremel brand was on hand to show off Dremel products and to kick off the brand’s Mission to Make program led by Clint Harp from the HGTV show, Fixer Upper.

“For the past 85 years, Dremel has been empowering creativity,” said John Kavanagh, president of the Dremel brand. “We believe that making brings people together – inventors, artists, hackers, hobbyists. With today’s technology and ability to share what you’re making in real time and across the globe, we’re inspired by the ingenious creativity amongst Makers. Our Mission to Make shines a light on all that’s happening and we hope it inspires future Makers, both young and old.”

With a Maker Movement well underway within the country, the Dremel brand has teamed up with the famed Waco, Texas woodworker Clint Harp to encourage those on the sidelines to realize that anyone can be a Maker. “I’m encouraging Makers all over the place to get into their shops and start making things,” said Harp. “For me a simple way to start is to jump to your garage and make some small projects. You don’t have to think big. I know I make 17-foot-long tables on TV, and that’s all fun and I love doing it, but it’s also fun to make something a little simpler.”

At the Haven Conference in Atlanta, Harp and Mission Maker Jamison Rantz of Rogue Engineer showed a jam-packed room how to create a simple herb planter box from a wood pallet with help from the Dremel Saw-Max and 290 Engraver. On day two, Jamison demonstrated a variety of Dremel tools as part of a class on making outdoor yard games. Attendees were given the opportunity to create a wooden game as they put the Dremel 4300 rotary tool through its paces.

Each day attendees had the opportunity to use the Dremel 8050 Micro cordless rotary tool to try their hand at decorating and personalizing leather luggage tags. Dremel team members frequently heard the comment, “I had no idea that you could use a rotary tool to engrave leather!”

With Atlanta crossed off the Mission to Make map, the Dremel brand is heading to Chicago next to inspire at the Renegade Craft Fair. Will we see you on our #MissionToMake?

Clint Harp Helps Dremel on its Mission to Make

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Last month, we introduced you to three Dremel Mission Makers: Jamison Rantz of the Rogue Engineer, Amy Bell of the Positively Splendid and Amy Stringer-Mowat of American Heirloom. Together with the Dremel brand we're rolling up our sleeves and on a Mission To Make, and we'll be bringing you inspirational projects, helpful how-to's and taking you behind the scenes and across the country to three Maker events this year.

This month, we’re adding one more Maker to the mix. Clint Harp of “Fixer Upper” and “Wood Work,” is helping to launch the brand’s Mission to Make. Dremel has teamed up with the famed Waco, Texas woodworker to encourage those on the sidelines to realize anyone can be a Maker.

Our first event is at the Haven Conference in Atlanta, Georgia where Clint will join with Mission Maker Jamison of Rogue Engineer to encourage our growing community of Makers on this journey.

“I want to inspire people to try something new, to tackle an idea they’ve seen or to dream up something new entirely and share it with the world,” said Harp. “There’s no doubt we’re seeing a renaissance. People are getting back to their roots and working with their hands to create.”

Dremel is the first tool company the celebrity woodworker has partnered with since his projects like attention-grabbing tables and elaborate doors began gracing the airwaves a few short years ago.

“Dremel believes anyone can be a Maker, and when I look at the world, all I see is possibility,” said Harp. “We can all wake up and do that thing that seems impossible. We can try. It’s not about the project. It’s about so much more.”

Since 1932, Dremel has powered Makers by producing ingenious tools, applications and accessories to meet their ever-evolving needs. To track the Dremel brand’s Mission to Make, use the hashtag #MissiontoMake or follow the Dremel brand’s social properties via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Dremel Introduces: Pet Nail Grooming System

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This is Manny! If you’re not familiar with this celebrity dog, you can get a glimpse of his doggy stardom on Instagram @manny_the_frenchie. Manny is the lovable spokesperson… we mean spokes-dog, of the latest Dremel product to hit the market in July.

If you are one of the 43 million dog owners in the US, you’re familiar with the routine of grooming your pooch’s paws. While some pet families take on the task of trimming their pet’s nails at home, others opt for a trip to the vet or the groomer. Whether you are self-grooming your pet’s paws or taking a trip outside the home for a nail trim, Dremel has improved the at-home experience of nail grooming with a more gentle and simple solution.

Dremel has launched 3 products in support of the furry family:

  • 7300-PGK, a cordless rotary tool and attachment
  • AT01-PGK, an attachment that fits on most corded and cordless Dremel tools
  • SD60-PGK, replacement sanding discs for the attachment

What makes Dremel different from other grooming tools is the clear guard attachment with 45 degree angle guide. The angle guide helps in protecting the pet’s quick, while the clear guard allows you to see the nail while trimming. Finally, the EZ Lock sanding disc gently grinds the pet’s nail, creating a smooth edge.

Amber Chavez and Jon Huang have five dogs in total, including Manny the Frenchie. The dog loving duo say they enjoy the convenience this new Dremel Pet Groom Kit provides. “We don’t have to drive to the groomers, and the dogs are more comfortable. They’re not with a stranger; we’re doing it,” says Jon. | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

If you’re looking for a fun and clever way to celebrate the new addition of a furry family member, give the gift of the Dremel 7300-PGK. Or if you’re looking for a new way to use your Dremel, try the AT01-PGK attachment on your Dremel and share a picture of your furry friend with us on social media with #DremelPets.

Getting Hands On With Sculpey™: Jewelry

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In the world of social media, we are fortunate to be able to explore the creativity of makers. At Dremel, we are constantly discovering unique ways Dremel owners are using their tools imaginatively, and you continue to inspire us every day. One of the latest trends we've enjoyed browsing on social media are the original, detailed works of jewelry. Carving and polishing mediums such as metal, leather, clay, and glass jewelry are among the most popular.

Like you, we enjoy getting hands on! We started by taking a Dremel to one of the most versatile jewelry mediums we could find, Sculpey™. This pliable, polymer clay comes in a wide array of colors and can be baked in the oven to harden. The possibilities are endless with this clay; you can mold it into shapes and patterns, bake, and then bring in the Dremel for a one-of-a-kind piece of wearable creativity.

If you want to explore the many uses of Dremel with jewelry, you can find great inspiration from makers on Pinterest, Etsy, and local craft fairs. Whether you’re a jewelry aficionado or giving it a try for your first time, we love to see your creativity in action! Tag us on social media with #DremelMaker

To kick off the inspiration, check out this beautiful work of jewelry made by Jan Montarsi using a Dremel with Sculpey!

Meet the Maker: Calen Saddler

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A worldwide case modding event occurred in June at the Computex 2017 computer show that featured some of the world's best. Six teams representing Australia, China, Phillipines, Thailand, UK, and USA attended. Each team had 24 hours total to complete the case mod while working in front of a live public audience. Team USA was represented by Jim Weist and Calen Saddler of Envious Mods. We spoke with Calen Saddler for this story.

Calen, we hear you just got back from Computex 2017 in Taipei. Please tell us about your trip.
It was quite the experience and my first time going to Taiwan or Taipei, and my first time at the Computex show which I’ve heard about forever. If I remember right, it's the biggest PC show in the world. This year, there were more PC case modders there than any year prior, so it was historic in that sense.

Do you think some people where seeing case modding for the first time at the show?
Yes. The first four or five days of Computex it’s mostly people within the computer industry but the last day or so the show is open to the general public.

Do you think some of those people were interested in attempting some case modding after seeing the show?
Definitely. And that is the ice breaker for us. Consumers see us doing some crazy technical modding and they love it, but may be scared to take that first step. So we can ask them, “What is something that you want to do?” We’ll sit them down and start them off with a small step and we find that they blossom from there. A big part of why I do case modding is to share my skills with other case modders as well as to inspire people who may learning about modding for the first time.

Is the first time case modder typically a video gamer or a computer expert?
It can really run the gamut. They could be a 13-year-old kid or the 65-year-old man I recently met who was showing me photos of this first case mod. They may be people who love to play video games, or someone who uses a computer for daily use, or they may be someone who may not even own a computer but is into customization. I see a lot of overflow from people who customize the products they own to fit their own needs and/or to express their personality. We kind of see a little bit of everything.  

Do you have a particular modding style?
My personal, natural building style is modern, high-tech, and futuristic but not over the top. I do work that has influences from Asia so it was really neat to see people at the show in Taipei and share my work with them.  

Are there other sources that inspire your work?
I find inspiration in everything. For instance, I was building an acrylic shroud that I had redone a few times trying to get it right. I had walked into a grocery store not even thinking about case modding and I happened to look at this display of oranges organized at a 45-degree angle and the solution just hit me. That 45-degree display showed me exactly where the shroud needed to be so I literally dropped all my stuff, drove home, went into the shop and started working, so I literally find inspiration in everything.  

How do you incorporate Dremel tools into your work?
I use Dremel tools a lot because there’s nothing else that works the way they do and can do the detailed work. It’s easy to get into tight spaces, especially when I have a build that is half way complete. For example, I can't pull a part out of a mod because it would take an hour, so I tape parts off and use the Dremel rotary tool inside the mod to remove it. It saves me a lot of time. Dremel rotary tools are tools we use on a regular basis as case modders so everybody is familiar with them and loves them.  

When did you first start case modding?
It’s kind of a weird story (laughs). I had a brain injury and I was recovering in intensive care looking at photos on the internet. I came across a photo of a piano that a guy had modded in order to put his computer, monitors and keyboard inside it. Since then, I haven’t been able to get case modding out of my head.  

Has your work evolved over time?
It evolves on a daily basis. In an industry that is so fast-paced, you have to evolve with it. My personal goal is to always make the next one better than the last one, if not, then I’m doing something wrong. A big part of case modding is learning new techniques, skills, and using tools in inventive ways.  

Do you feel that case modding changed you in any way?
Yes, I get to interact with people on a daily basis from around the globe. Before case modding I really didn't have a lot of experience with people outside of the United States. Now I regularly talk with people from all around the world and from different walks of life--and that has changed me a lot as a person because I’m able to see how other people live and mod, and I get to enjoy their culture. I’ve changed because I get to see life from their perspective.  

What advice to you have for people wanting to get into case modding the first time?
For the novice, start small. Start with something you feel comfortable with and don't be afraid to take chances. If it’s an expensive case and you are afraid you will ruin it, get one that doesn't work anymore and test on it so you’re comfortable to take the first step. To the professional, I’d say do it because you love it. It’s very competitive and most people won't make it unless they do love it. It’s so demanding and time consuming, my life literally revolves around modding in one way or another.

Thank you Calen

Dremel Maker Days 2017

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Dremel kicked off the first annual Maker Days event last year and we were excited and inspired by your participation! Dremel exists because of Makers like you, and we love the opportunity to engage in a month-long event celebrating all of the creativity that you share. We kicking off our second year of the digital event next Tuesday, August 1, 2017.

If you’re asking, “What is Maker Days?” we are excited for you to join us in 2017! Maker Days is 35 days of daily giveaways and the chance for two lucky individuals to win our grand prize package, valued at $3000. August 1st through September 4th, you can visit to register in a sweepstakes to win Dremel goodies. Each daily entry enters you to win the daily prize and a chance to win the grand prize package. You can earn additional entries for the grand prize by participating in “bonus activities,” which include:

Loading a photo of a project you’ve done
Uploading a receipt of a Dremel purchase
Watching a video
Referring friends to sign up for Maker Days through Facebook or Twitter

Finally, select Dremel retailers are partnering in the event to provide you with special offers and incentives on Dremel products throughout the month, so be sure to check out for more information!

In the meantime, keep sharing your inspiration on social using #DremelMaker--you can land a spot in the next Dremel eNewsletter!

Meet the Maker: Jordon Straker

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Dremel caught up with Canadian wood carver Jordan Straker who for the last 29 years has been carving wood, gourds and other materials used in his amazing creations to win the attention of art collectors’ worldwide. Jordan has been featured in numerous publications and television spots including Canadian Cowboy Magazine, Western Art and Architecture, Outdoor Lifestyles and Cowboy Country TV. On the rare occasion when he’s not carving Jordan plays tennis and enjoys living in the Okanagan area of British Columbia with his wife, two dogs and two cats.

Tell us a little bit about your work. How do you describe what you’re doing?
It’s hard to explain, but I carve three dimensional works to look mostly like clothing. I mostly do that but I’m always pushing myself. For example, my first gun and holster set weren’t as good as they are now but I’m not changing my style so much as I am adding to my repertoire. I used to carve just wood, and now I carve gourds, and I’ve started to combine the two by adding wood to gourds.

Your carved gourds are amazing.
I don't classify myself as a gourd carver. I’ll carve on anything that a Dremel tool will go through. I’ve done Styrofoam and many things, but my idea is to just do three-dimensional art in a perfect-type way. Sometimes the gourds I get aren’t so great, but I’ll find the one that’s best for what I’m doing. I never think about what I’m going to do when I do it, I’ll just pick one and then decide upon a design.

Your art is so incredibly lifelike, the leathers look like leathers, the beads look like real Indian beadwork, how do you achieve such realistic detail?
My leather looks are achieved through texturing and various painting styles. The simulated beads are plotted and painted three times each with a pencil tip to add dimension to them. The feather tines are carved with a particular bur -- add a little insanity to the mix and voila, sometimes I have painted and counted up to 20,000 beads.

What was the inspiration that got you started carving?
Years ago before I started carving, my wife took a paper tole course. It's basically layering paper. You buy five of the same images and you cut them out and layer them on top of each other to give you a dimensional look. It’s just paper, and I thought, “That’s really cool!”  

My job at the time was sandblasting headstones and it was a bit dimensional because you blast granite away to form letters, but it was not three-dimensional. I had no idea that I even wanted to do three-dimensional work until I got my first Dremel in 1988.

Tell us about your first Dremel tool.
I had a hand surgery and after my hand was out of the cast, I needed some therapy so my brother bought me a Dremel rotary tool. I said, “What am I going to do with this? You know I don’t fix cars.” He said, “Look in the book.” The book was 175+ users for the Dremel Multi-Pro that came with the tool and one of the projects was this little carved bird. I thought, “I can do that” and I carved my first bird with the grinding stone that came with the tool. I ground out this little bird with the stone and not much later I saw this ad in the paper announcing a local carving competition. I took that little bird to the show and I won best in show. I didn't know the name of the bird, I just made one up. The judge came up to me and said, “What’s the name of your bird?” And I said, “Oh, it’s the brown flicker flasher.” He said, “Oh great, I’ve never seen one of those.” So that made-up bird became my inspiration to continue carving and I’ve won over 300 awards since.  

What other jobs have you had?
I was a special education teacher before working in a headstone carving business.  

What fuels your creativity?
I have to create every day. That’s my thing. Even if I have nothing to do, I need to create, so I’ll just say, “OK, I’m going to carve such and such and if it sells it sells but I just have to create for my own need.”  

What is your workshop like?
I have a 6-foot bench on a plywood floor, and above me I have a pole with three Dremel rotary tools and the Dremel 732 heavy-duty flex shaft hanging. And basically I stand there from ten to twelve hours a day.  

How do you sell?
I do art shows and from those shows I get my client base, usually from word of mouth. I have my website and I have my Facebook profile, but generally I attend high-end auctions and they usually get me a fair price for what my stuff is valued at. From that auction, there is usually a fair number of people who didn't get the item who may contact me for new work.  

Which Dremel tools do you use?
In 1990, I sent Dremel a Nike tennis shoe and a sock carved out of wood. They sent me in return the 732 heavy-duty flex shaft tool to demo. It’s the most fabulous tool I’ve ever had in my life. I have around three Dremel 4000 tools, and a Bosch 4-inch angle grinder and that’s all. I’ve tried many other tools just to see, but Dremel tools get the job done for me. For thirty years I’ve made my living using Dremel tools so you can't go wrong with that type of history.

That shoe led to my Dremel 732 flex shaft tool and it’s now 27 years later and I’m still using that tool-- isn't that amazing?  

Yes Jordan it is. Here’s wishing you at least 28 more years of amazing carvings.
To see more carvings from Jordan Straker, visit his website:

Perks of Registration: Donna Wins Big

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It pays to register your Dremel tool, whether it’s your first one or your tenth one. Take it from Donna, who recently won $500 in Dremel tools and accessories just for registering her new Dremel tool.

This wasn’t her first Dremel tool though. Donna picked up her first one 25 years ago, when she was a newlywed. Back then she was using Dremel tools for minor household repairs, now she uses them to give her English Mastiff and French Bulldog pedicures.

“I prefer using Dremel because it is quick and more precise, which is less stressful to my pets and me,” Donna said. She’s not stopping with her pets either.

“Living in a 50-year-old house, most of my time is spent fixing. I always wanted to be more creative with household projects, and I am excited about exploring projects with my new Dremel tools and accessories.”

For your chance to win, register your tool online at

Meet the Maker: Roeshel Summerville

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Roeshel knows that making a fixer-upper a dream home takes a lot of work; she’s been blogging about it for more than 10 years now. On DIY Show Off, she shares her many reno-ventures, from home improvements to DIY design and décor, and shows off projects from readers.

Tell us a little bit more about your blog. What inspired you to not just Make but also share your work with the world?
When we purchased our home (a nasty fixer upper) 10 years ago, I started blogging to journal the before and after transformation, as well as the projects we were working on. I enjoyed sharing the process and friendships with others who shared my same DIY interests.

What are your favorite types of projects to DIY (and then show off)? How do you incorporate Dremel tools into your work?
My favorite types of projects are ones where I surprise myself … where I go from overwhelmed and doubtful to on-a-roll and accomplished.

And I love using Dremel tools whenever I can! I love that my Dremel tools aren’t intimidating, and it’s satisfying to be able to grab a lightweight but powerful tool to get the job done for both home improvement and craft projects.

How did you get into Making? Have you always been a Maker, or is it something you discovered as an adult?
I’ve always enjoyed DIY and being creative ever since I was a little girl. I think my childhood influenced my passion for DIY. My parents bought an old farmhouse and took on a lot of the work themselves.

Do you have any advice for new Makers who just picked up a Maker Kit and are ready to dive in and start making?
Deciding on one project out of so many is going to be your first challenge! But no worries, choose the one that best fits your comfort zone and go from there!

What’s an example of a project that didn’t turn out how you hoped it would? What did you learn from it?
I can’t really pin down one project that didn’t turn out. It happens. Imperfection adds character, right? I don’t tend to put a lot of pressure on myself, so mistakes or things not going as planned don’t really cause me a lot of drama or stress.

“Failure is success if we learn from it.” – Malcolm Forbes

I either learn to embrace the end result (sometimes loving it more than my original vision), learn from mistakes (which I can then share!) or scrap it and start over. If the project is big, then a little prep work and research go a long way.

Get ideas for projects, home improvements and décor that you’ll want to show off on Roeshel’s blog, DIY Show Off.

Perks of Registration: Why Register Your Dremel Tool?

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Every year, we select two random customers who have registered their Dremel tool(s) to win a Dremel prize pack. Want a chance at it this year? Visit the Product Registration page on and fill in the required information. It takes mere minutes but could take your tool game to a whole new level … if you’re lucky!

In addition to having a chance at a generous Dremel prize pack, registering your Dremel tool allows us to contact you with important product notifications and updates. Your safety is our No. 1 concern, and we encourage you to cross this easy task off your to-do list. It’s a win-win!

Perks of Registration: Karl H. of Wisconsin Wins Big

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Thanks to his simple registration of a new Dremel tool, Karl H. of Wisconsin recently won $500 in Dremel tools and accessories. The longtime Dremel user registered his new Dremel kit, which he received last Christmas.

To date he’s used a Dremel tool to repair lawn equipment and to carve interesting designs in pumpkins around Halloween. Karl says he’ll put the new Dremel tools to good use by working on projects with his three grandsons (ages 7, 9 and 11) who live nearby.

“I’m looking forward to becoming more adventurous with all the new tools,” Karl said. And we’re excited to see what he and his helpers come up with!

For your chance to win, register your tool online at

Meet the Maker: Sarah Saucedo

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Sarah is the blogger behind Thrifty Décor Chick, a popular home and DIY blog where she regularly shares DIY projects and her tricks for decorating on the cheap.

Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your work?

I started blogging nine years ago, and it was a way for me to communicate with friends and family about stuff I was doing. It turned into something I never would have imagined. Today I primarily blog about decorating, a lot of DIY stuff, and how to do things in a thrifty way. You can achieve a lovely home without spending a ton of money.

What sort of tools do you find yourself using the most?

I’m constantly using a saw for any kind of wood project. I also use a nail gun for a TON of what I do. Before I got comfortable with tools I used a miter saw and a hand saw; it might take a little bit longer and require more arm strength but that was what I was comfortable with.

What would you say to someone who’s just starting to tackle more DIY projects?

Do a lot of research. If you’re using a tool for the first time, I recommend watching YouTube videos, reading blogs and researching how to properly use the tool. 95 percent of the time, the thought of using it is worse than it really is. It’s not that scary and it’s easier to get comfortable with it. But know safety precautions and do your research before getting started.

You’ve progressed from interior decorating to getting hands on with tools; what was that evolution like for you?

I really started with a screwdriver and hanging things on the wall. I promise you can do it. I did some not so smart things; my first tool I bought was a power saw that was handheld, and I was using it to try to make clean cuts on wood, and it got the job done. But actually using a real saw was an easier way to do it. I learned by trial and error. Once I actually took the time to find out how the tool works and how to use it, it wasn’t nearly as challenging as I thought it would be.

No one starts out being an expert. Do trial and error to figure out what works best. I joke that it’s in my blood. We’ve got some talented woodworkers in the family. My dad didn’t teach me how to use tools when I was kid but he’s still one of the first people I call when I have a question.

How do you incorporate Dremel tools into your projects?

I first used a Dremel tool years back when I was working on our mudroom. I was cutting down baseboards, which were really difficult to remove. I used the Dremel tool on the baseboards; it saved time and made the job a lot easier. This month I’ll be creating a DIY wedding gift using the Dremel VersaTip butane soldering torch.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I do love social media. I love Instagram. There are times when I can’t get enough of it and scroll through the search feed looking at all kinds of different styles. If I have an idea in my head, I’ll go to Pinterest and search there. I’m notorious for taking a long time to plan out a project or a room. I need the full vision of what it’ll look like before I tackle anything.

What’s your favorite project of all time?

I’m super proud of our kitchen. I did the majority of the work myself. I took down upper cabinets, painted the cabinets and overhauled the kitchen island, and it looks like a completely different room.

I’m also partial to our refinished stairs. I pulled the carpet off our stairs and refinished with a stain. It was tedious work, pulling up all the carpet staples, but staining and painting was fairly easy. The end result makes it worth it.

Best tip you want our readers to know?

I tell people when they’re looking to do a major remodel, make sure you’ve lived in it long enough that you know how it should function. When people move into a new house, they’re eager to knock down walls and rethink layouts. Make sure you really know the space first.

If you enjoy decorating and want to update your house, try doing it yourself. You don’t have to have a super talent; just emulate what someone else has done. You don’t have to have all the knowledge of design and décor to come up with everything yourself. That’s why I share what I do. That’s why I blog – so I can inspire someone to pick up a tool and try new things. People would be so surprised at what they’re able to do. I talk to readers who have never picked up a tool before, and it’s so rewarding to hear what they’re learning. Choose a fairly easy project if you’re intimidated. Maybe it’s painting. That instant change and instant gratification spurs you on to keep going, keep making. And then slowly add in tools to the process as you get more comfortable.

Take inspiration, branch out and see what you’re capable of.

To snag some inspiration from Sarah today, visit her blog Thrifty Décor Chick.