40 Amateur Engineers Who Totally Fixed Things

Safe storage

They say that when life gives you lemons, the best thing to do is to make lemonade. Although these people were seemingly given a batch of bad lemons, they still found a way to make the sweetest of lemonade.

It was all thanks to some creative thinking and a little innovation in the engineering department. Just because something looks lousy doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. Like these bizarre creations that look like they shouldn’t work, but somehow they do.

Safe storage

When it came time to lock up this storage unit, the person who owned it encountered a problem. Their padlock wasn’t large enough to fit through both holes, so they faced leaving their storage unit unlocked.

Safe storage

That was, until they found this genius solution to keep the doors shut. Using the hole in their wrench, this person was able to slide it through the loops and make their storage unit an impenetrable fortress. It might not look great, but if it works, then it really doesn’t matter.

Staying put

Some people can make solutions to their problems way more complicated than they really need to be. Whoever was looking after this little pooch needed to come up with a fix for their gate.

Staying put

The dog was thin enough to fit right through the bars, but a good old wooden spoon has stopped it in its tracks. Just by slipping the spoon into the dog’s harness, this owner has effectively confined their pet to their yard without risk of escape.

Temporary fix

We can just imagine the conversation that took place as this light fixture was installed. The person who put it up probably promised that it was going to be a short-term fix until they could get a proper solution in place.

Temporary fix

While it was promised to only be temporary, four years later, the hanger with two lightbulbs attached is still there. We’re sure eventually there will be a proper light fixture here, but for now, this seems to be doing the job so it’s staying up.

No more lost remote

Remote controls made watching TV even easier than it was before them, but they are kind of annoying at the same time. Trying to find your remote can feel like digging for buried treasure at times, but this family doesn’t have to worry about that ever again.

No more lost remote

By attaching their remote control to this giant plank of wood, the family has ensured they always know where to look. The only problem now is if they forget where they left the giant stick.

A step too far?

If you’ve ever stepped up into a pickup truck, you’ll know just how essential a step can be. Those things are tall, and it’s hard to get up without a boost. This person’s truck was lacking in that step, but they managed to fix themselves a pretty smart alternative.

A step too far?

The only problem is that people who are driving behind might think the wrench is going to fly off and into their path. Perhaps that’s a small price to pay for easy access into their truck for this driver.

Improvising

Sometimes there is no other solution in life other than to use force. In this scenario, these people could have gone down the route of trying to hire some expensive machinery to help them shift their barn.

Improvising

However, they found that with enough manpower, pretty much anything is possible. It looks like it has taken a lot of manpower, but there is no denying how easy they are making this look. Who needs a crane when about 400 pairs of hands can do the same job?

Heated pool

Having a swimming pool in your backyard is pretty fancy, but if it’s not heated, you’ll only ever use it during the summer. This person wanted to use their swimming pool all year round, so they discovered a way to make it happen using their engineering skills.

Heated pool

By combining a fire with a water pump, there is now a constant stream of heated water flowing into this backyard swimming pool. The theory seems sound, and hopefully this doesn’t just look like it works but it actually does heat the water.

Heated pool 2.0

We had the original heated pool that used fire and a water pump, but this is a new approach. This system has the added bonus of applying heat directly to the water in the pool, but there is a downside.

Heated pool 2.0

One slip and that wheelbarrow is tipping over, throwing hot coals onto anyone in the vicinity. We’re sure the water in this pool is lovely and warm, but the risk of third-degree burns would be enough to put most people off from taking a dip.

Upcycled luxury

For some people, nothing quite says they have made it than their own swimming pool. Being able to just walk across the grass and into your swimming pool is a lifestyle that millions around the world would do anything for.

Upcycled luxury

This person realized they didn’t need to have a fancy mansion or even spend thousands of dollars to have the lifestyle they want. By assembling whatever junk they could find lying around, this person has their very own swimming pool to make the neighbors jealous.

Clock for the week

Life can be so hectic and chaotic that we don’t even know what day it is half the time. That’s not going to be a problem for the people who own this clock, which lets them know both the time and what day it is.

Clock for the week

It might be less accurate than a regular clock, but it also allows you to know exactly where you stand. Seeing how simple this design is, we can’t understand why more clocks are designed this way.

That’ll teach ’em

It takes a special kind of person to deliberately turn off someone’s heating system whenever the winter sets in. This person was facing -40° conditions, and they felt like there was little choice but to come up with this solution.

That’ll teach ’em

Their landlord didn’t want the heating to come on, but they forgot who pays the electricity bill. Even if it wasn’t the most energy-efficient way of doing it, at least this person managed to heat their home and avoid freezing altogether.

Let’s get it circulated

Cooling and heating vents become essential whenever the winter and summer arrive, so going without either is a horrible experience. The people who are forced to be in this building couldn’t cope without their air vents working properly, so they found a solution that works.

Let’s get it circulated

Apparently, all it took to get the air circulating again was a snow shovel and some force. The shovel is wedged in tight, and as long as everyone watches where they are walking, the air will once again be pushed around this room.

Forking convenient

When this person’s brother came over to visit they were intrigued by this misshapen fork. They couldn’t understand what possible use it could have, but it didn’t take long for them to become enlightened.

Forking convenient

The fork isn’t for eating food with; it’s actually used to prop up this iPad so people can watch movies and read things much easier. It might look crazy to have such a strange fork lying around, but once you see what it’s for, it suddenly doesn’t seem so unusual.

Who needs flashy technology?

Driving technology is so advanced these days that cars can literally drive and park themselves. It practically removes the need for a driver, but not every car has such flashy modern technology installed.

Who needs flashy technology?

Instead of parking sensors or cameras, this car has a rubber chicken attached to the rear. It means that the driver won’t damage anyone’s car when they reverse, plus they also get alerted by the chicken’s squeak when they can’t go any further back.

Keeping the dryer running

This person’s dryer was in perfect working order except for one little problem; they needed to keep the start button pushed down the entire time. Nobody wants to stand around all day holding a button just so they can get dry sheets, so a solution had to be found.

Keeping the dryer running

Their fix was to use a vice to keep the start button clamped down. Now their sheets are going to be dry, while the person also had time to go about their business without leaving their finger on the button.

Saving serious cash

The cost of removals can stack up pretty quickly, especially if you are moving house. These people were literally moving house, theirs. However, they didn’t want to shell out $3,000 in fees, so they found a much cheaper alternative thanks to U-Haul.

Saving serious cash

For just under $20, these people were able to load their home onto the back of their U-Haul truck and transport it to wherever they were going. For $20, it was worth testing, and it seems like the risk paid off.

Keeping tailgaters at bay

Tailgating is a serious problem, and we don’t understand why so many people are in such a rush. When some people get behind the wheel, they transform and become enraged at the slightest thing on the roads.

Keeping tailgaters at bay

This truck driver is doing what he can to keep those people experiencing road rage to stay well clear. But welding a wrench onto the rear step of their truck, the driver has ensured that people will be too scared of it falling off to drive too close.

Reusable cleaning pads

This pet owner has a few furry little friends running around their home that need cleaning up after. They combined their love of crochet with their need to constantly get rid of dog and cat hair to make this creation.

Reusable cleaning pads

The cleaning pad makes sure to lift any pet hairs it contacts, but it’s also good for the environment because it is reusable. All the owner has to do is throw it in the wash, and they can keep their home nice and tidy without any additional waste.

The best alternative

While some artists use a wooden palette, others choose a plate to put their paints on. This artist felt the urge to get creative with some paint, but they had a problem; they had nothing to mix their colors on.

The best alternative

That’s when they got inventive and figured a tortilla wrap would do just as good a job as a plate or palette would. It seems to be working fine, but we hope they didn’t decide to make a burrito with that wrap after creating their masterpiece.

Never fails

This earthquake detection kit is a simple idea, but one that we’re sure works every time. Anyone walking past this sign in the hallway can check to see if they are experiencing an earthquake or not.

Never fails

Sure they might be able to feel the ground shaking beneath their feet, but if those googly eyes aren’t googling, then is it really a natural disaster at all? We wonder why millions of dollars are spent on expensive earthquake-checking equipment when a simple piece of paper with googly eyes does the same job.

Works in a pinch

One of the most important utilities in our homes is the toilet, and to be without one makes life very difficult. Living without a toilet wasn’t an option for this person, so this is what they did to fix their problem.

Works in a pinch

It might not look that appealing in the bathroom, but it’s a lot better than having to live without a toilet. This just goes to show how useful cable ties and tape are, especially in an emergency.

Multi-purpose tool

This tool is perfect for the person who doesn’t like to have one for every different job around their home. It’s a standard wrench, but it’s got a little addition thanks to some expert welding.

Multi-purpose tool

There is a hammer attached to the side, so if the wrench isn’t working, you can beat your problem to within an inch of its life with the hammer. If that doesn’t work, well, at least you got your frustrations out by hitting stuff with a hammer.

Broken sink

Having a broken sink in a working kitchen is not ideal. Considering how much equipment needs washing, plus all of the dishes, this is not a great place to be in. Luckily, with a little bit of ingenuity, the chefs in this kitchen were able to come up with a fix.

Broken sink

By combining a few things from around the kitchen, these chefs were able to direct the water away from the sink and into a trash can to be used elsewhere.

Defrosting the windshield

One of the worst things about driving in the winter is how long it takes to defrost your windshield. You have to put aside at least 10 minutes for the windshield to clear unless you’ve got something fancy like heated windows.

Defrosting the windshield

This person might not have heated windows like some cars, but they don’t have to wait around as long as most drivers for their windshield to clear. They have built themselves a directional fan, meaning they can blast more of their windshield with hot air and get driving sooner.

For shoeless riding

Having a bike is a great way to get around, but there is one thing you normally have to wear if you want to ride one. Shoes. However, it seems wearing shoes to ride your bicycle is a thing of the past, thanks to this amazing engineering.

For shoeless riding

By attaching small pieces of carpet to the pedals, this cyclist can ride barefoot and pain-free. Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make it worth living, and this person seemingly couldn’t stand to keep riding their bike while wearing shoes.

Whatever works

Putting decking down around your pool is a great way to really make your yard take shape. However, if you’re lucky enough to get good weather all year round, you’re going to get hot while installing the decking.

Whatever works

This person couldn’t stand the heat any longer, so they found a way to keep themselves in the shade while they worked. It’s a pretty smart solution, but it looks pretty precariously balanced on those two planks of wood, and one breeze might send the cover into the water.

It’s racing time

If you know your way around machinery, it seems there is no limit to what you can create. The people driving this car have somehow taken the motor for a boat, put it in the front of a car, and made it work.

It’s racing time

They are speeding down the road, and it seems like nothing is going to get in their way, including a lack of car engine. The guy in the passenger seat appears to be loving his new land boat, and he wants the world to know it.

Putting up the clothes rack

Some things don’t have to look pretty, they just have to work. This person’s landlord took on the responsibility of putting up a clothes rack for their tenants, but it seems they don’t have an awful lot of DIY experience.

Putting up the clothes rack

Still, they managed to get the job done, and now their tenant can hang their clothes up. We can’t help but think they have gone a little overboard, and their scattergun approach wasn’t necessarily the best one.

Super chilled

It seems like this guy couldn’t get any more chilled out if he tried. Casually riding an electric skateboard around the city is already a pretty laid back approach to travel, but he has taken it to another level.

Super chilled

He’s sat on a lawn chair, on top of his skateboard, while also blasting out some of his favorite tunes. It seems this guy either has no worries left to give, or he has completely given up caring about anything in life.

Emergency painting shoes

Decorating a house can be messy, and it requires the right overalls and shoes to stay clean underneath. This interior decorator forgot to bring their painting shoes to their job, so they had to improvise.

Emergency painting shoes

It seems that there is no problem in this world that tape doesn’t fix, and this painter can go about decorating without worrying about where the paint splashes. Now they know that forgetting their painting shoes isn’t the end of the world, and in a pinch, the tape will come to their rescue again.

The hot water faucet

Not everyone in the world has access to running water, so it makes sense that hot water isn’t universally available either. Luckily for the people living in this house, they found a way to heat their water up as it comes through the tap.

The hot water faucet

By applying a flame to their faucet, the water has a chance to warm up and give these people the opportunity to run themselves a bath. We’re not sure they’re going to be getting cold water for a while if the bath is too hot, though.

Elasticated mallet

Offices don’t tend to have too many tools lying around that could help when some DIY needs doing. Usually, a call has to be made to maintenance to come and fix something, but the people in this office had it covered.

Elasticated mallet

They needed a rubber mallet, but all they could find was this hammer. It wasn’t the end of the world, though, and they improvised using some of the stationery they had sitting around to convert their hammer to a rubber mallet.

Keeping the laptop alive

Technology has improved the way we live our lives immeasurably, but it can feel like the end of the world when it fails. This person’s laptop was close to its end, but thanks to a little engineering, there is still some life left in it.

Keeping the laptop alive

They have managed to rig themselves a pretty old school on/off button, and it seems to be doing a great job at keeping this laptop alive. The power button was once a problem, but not any longer.

Franken-bin

Garbage bins take a lot of abuse, and they don’t even ask for much in return. We throw all of our stinky food into them, and they just take it ready for the garbage men to come and collect later.

Franken-bin

This garbage bin had been mistreated by somebody, and it gained an unfortunate crack all the way across one side. Luckily the people who own the bin were able to repair it using some staples to create some kind of Franken-bin.

When you need an extra step

Sometimes in life, you just need an extra step to get things out of your reach, but finding that step can be tricky. This person needed a plank at the top of their steps to help them do a job, but the original steps didn’t allow for that.

When you need an extra step

Instead, they needed to get crafty with some wood, a drill, and some cable ties. Just a few moments later, and this extra step was in place and going nowhere.

Potato chip raft

Opening up a big pack of potato chips is often disappointing half of the bag is nothing but air. These boys were tired of missing out on half the bag and decided to do something about it.

Potato chip raft

To raise awareness of their disappointment, the boys made a raft out of potato chips bags to prove how much air there is inside. We don’t know how far they got, but the fact they were even able to stay afloat at all shows this is a problem the world needs to address.

In perfect position

A showerhead that doesn’t wash you from above can be pretty disappointing. One of the best things about having a shower is the fact that it rains down from above and covers you in warm water.

In perfect position

Having to hold the showerhead and move it around your body doesn’t really have the same effect. This person wanted that luxurious shower experience but didn’t have the time to go shopping for the right equipment. Instead, a simple nail and potato masher were the perfect tools for the job.

A time of need

Moving into a new apartment often takes a bit of adjustment, but this person didn’t have the time. Instead, they needed a shower before they went to work, but they had to improvise with no shower rail.

A time of need

Luckily, their hockey stick was lying around, and when wedged into this space, it made the perfect curtain rail. Now they have a choice to make, they can either continue to shower or sacrifice that for a game of hockey.

Hands-free dispenser

Even though this hand wash dispenser cleans your hands when you rub them together, touching the nozzle isn’t for everyone. After all, you don’t know who has had their grubby mitts on this.

Hands-free dispenser

This contraption might look a little elaborate, but we reckon it does a fine job of making sure people don’t get grossed out by touching the nozzle. Instead, they just have to step on the tube at the bottom and wait for the hand wash to come squirting out.

Fixing the radiator fans

This bus might have been having technical difficulties, but the driver was determined to keep the show on the road. The driver managed to rig together some actual fans and a few plastic cartons to create a makeshift radiator.

Fixing the radiator fans

It meant that the people traveling on the bus weren’t delayed for too long, and the driver didn’t lose any pay for arriving late. We don’t know how he came up with the idea, but we’re guessing everyone on board the bus was happy he did.

I just flipped the switch…flipped, flipped….

Having an old, faulty car is no good. Not only is it annoying for you if your car isn’t working as it should, it’s also super unsafe. Cars have built in mechanisms that let the people around you know what you’re trying to do, and things become a lot less safe the second those mechanisms stop working. Take brake lights, for instance.

I just flipped the switch…flipped, flipped….

Without them, people won’t know that you’re slowing down, and they might crash into you. This person recognized this and came up with a DIY workaround. All they needed was a light switch.

The perfect fit

There’s something so satisfying about seeing things that fit perfectly into holes. Maybe it’s just our inner child that remembers learning to put the square peg in the square hole, but we get mentally ASMR’d when we see pictures like this. And we mean pictures LIKE this, as this one in particular isn’t all that satisfying.

The perfect fit

The fact that the drinking fountain fits in there nicely is good, but that has to be the worst looking spot for a drinking fountain of all time. It looks like they decided to install some hydration at the last minute.

Looks safe to us!

It’s not uncommon to come across someone that decided to take serious architectural work into their own hands. Having some fixes performed by a professional on your building can be costly, so sometimes it just makes sense to do it yourself. But this job… we’d like to hazard a guess and say that maybe hiring a professional might have been the best move here.

Looks safe to us!

We admire their tenacity and masterful duct tape usage, but this pillar doesn’t seem all that secure. We’re no experts, but we’d say that poor Redbox is in danger.

It’s just a flesh wound

Here’s another excellent example of an overzealous duct tape-wielding warrior coming to the rescue of a poor, injured building. We’re not sure what exactly the tape is doing in this scenario, but it’s gotta be helping out with that crack, right? Okay, you caught us, we are exactly sure what that tape is doing: nothing. But it definitely looks better. Wait, no, it actually looks far worse.

It’s just a flesh wound

Hmm. We’re at a loss on this one. Maybe some stucco or something next time would be good? We’re just spitballing here, to be honest. But no more duct tape.

Playing with fire…er, electricity

As much as we love seeing these hilarious fix-em-yourselves, we do get just a tiny bit worried. While they might seem functional in these photos, we know that all of them are either one second away from failure or one inch away from disaster. This little battery hack was performed by a six year old, apparently, and it seems to have gone off without a hitch.

Playing with fire…er, electricity

Still, we can’t help but worry about this little kid that’s toying around with batteries and electronics. Educational? Definitely. Dangerous? We mean, probably, if we had to guess.

A document camera

Document cameras are super useful for a lot of reasons. You can show a student you’re tutoring how to do something, you can take a test and show that you aren’t cheating, and you can share documents with your peers. But what do you do if you don’t have one? Well, you rig a CD up near your webcam so that it reflects the image of your document.

A document camera

Boom, problem solved! We guess CD stands for camera document. Except reverse that and get document camera. Okay, forget it. At least we tried, right?

Stealing the cold air

At first glance, this might look like the work of some evil mastermind. And it is. But it’s not some type of evil hamster tunnel or money tube. This is actually just the result of someone that got a little jealous of the air conditioning in the other room in their house.

Stealing the cold air

Rather than shelling out some cash for their own air conditioning, they spent a day and created this bag mechanism to funnel cold air from the AC unit into their room. It might be a little inconvenient, but it’s undeniably hilarious.

Paper thin stairs

We always like to see people taking on home improvement projects and succeeding, but we’re honestly a bit stumped with this one. On one hand, it seems like they accomplished what they set out to do. They didn’t have a spiral staircase, and now they do. That must be a hard thing to do, so we’re pretty impressed.

Paper thin stairs

But on the other hand, it doesn’t look particularly, uh… safe. What we’re saying is, you definitely couldn’t pay us to walk up those stairs. But hey, maybe the next staircase they make will be structurally sound.

Regaining connection

Troubleshooting electronics can be a really challenging enterprise. If you don’t have several years worth of technical knowledge, you’re usually better off just calling someone to come help you. Or you can just shove a fork into it and hope for the best. Your call. Both seem to be pretty effective. This person’s girlfriend took matters into her own hands when she saw that their TV lost connection.

Regaining connection

She shoved a fork into one of the ports on the TV and then held that in place using a pair of scissors. And it miraculously worked.

Logging into the Zoom call

In recent months, video chatting has taken on more importance in all of our lives. No matter where you live, odds are that you’ve used Zoom (or some other online chat service) in order to have meetings with friends, family, coworkers, or teachers. But what do you do in this brave new world if you don’t have a webcam?

Logging into the Zoom call

All you need is a phone and some LEGOs, apparently. This person set up their phone as a camera and held it in place with some clever block work. Well done.

Keeping the monitor in place

Okay, so we’ve covered what to do if you don’t have a webcam. But what do you do if you don’t have a stand for your monitor? Well, luckily, the Internet has you covered there as well. You don’t need to make a run to Best Buy to purchase a monitor stand for hundreds of dollars. Instead, you just need two cans.

Keeping the monitor in place

Yup, that’s it. This person was able to successfully stand up their monitor using two cans that they crushed in exactly the right spot. Somehow it keeps it steady enough. We won’t lie, this is impressive.

Making your own flat screen

Back in the day, everyone wanted a flat screen in their homes. The problem was that actually buying one was expensive, let alone paying for the cable connection and mounting it. So most were stuck with clunky box TVs that took up way too much space. But one person thought of a killer solution.

Making your own flat screen

They just cut a hole in their wall and stuck their TV in it, making it look like they owned a flat screen! It may have looked great from one side, but as you can see, the back side left a bit to be desired.

What a nice screwdriver you’ve got there

There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a project before realizing that you’re lacking one of the tools for the job. That is what happened to this person. They were working on something that suddenly called for a screwdriver, which they could never find in their toolbox despite looking for a long time. Their solution?

What a nice screwdriver you’ve got there

A nail and a piece of wood. When they combined the two, they had what functionally was a screwdriver. It may not have been as pretty, but it definitely got the job done… more or less.

The perfectly engineered remote

Sometimes we just wish that we could make our own remotes that ditched all the confusing, useless buttons and just kept the ones that we actually used. This is especially true for our parents’ remotes. While we can generally figure out what the buttons do, our parents seem to be constantly dumbfounded, calling us for tech support.

The perfectly engineered remote

This person thought of a brilliant solution and just taped over the buttons their parents could ignore. It’s simple, yet elegant. Why have we never thought of this before? Hand us the tape, please.

Finding creative solutions

There are often moments that our pieces of technology try to communicate to use that their days are over. Maybe it’s when our laptops start turning off randomly, or when our TVs cease to be able to change channels. Yet we are always in denial, running away from the truth. We usually try to find creative solutions, which often do not work. Sometimes, however, they do… just barely.

Finding creative solutions

This person found a workaround for their broken touch screen, and it was pretty brilliant. This won’t work too well on iPhones, sadly, so don’t even try it.

Prime cable management

If you’re even somewhat into tech, you know just how important it is to have proper cable management. All of your different pieces of technology will all need to have multiple cables, and you’ll quickly wind up with a very cluttered desk (or room) if you don’t find some way to keep your cords organized. It doesn’t need to be fancy, though.

Prime cable management

As this picture shows, you can properly manage your cables using just a spoon. Yeah, you heard us, a spoon. Apparently this was meant as a temporary fix, but it lasted for years.

A shock to the system

Have you ever slept past your alarm? There are very few feelings in this world that are worse than rising from a blissful slumber to realize that you are late for school or work. The panic sets in immediately, and you think to yourself that you’ll never sleep late ever again. This person obviously learned their lesson the hard way and set out to make sure that they would never suffer the aftereffects of their quiet alarm clock.

A shock to the system

Their plan? Make it so that their alarm clock shocks them when it’s time to wake up. Zap!

No more drift

Okay, this one is for gamers only. You can read ahead even if you’re not a gamer, but you probably won’t understand what we’re talking about. Anywho. You guys know how annoying drift is, right? It can ruin all the inputs that you’re trying to do on your control sticks and make you mess up during important moments in a game. It turns out that you don’t need to shell out $70 for a new controller, though.

No more drift

A few rubber bands placed very carefully will keep your sticks in place and reduce drift.

Making your own ceiling tile

There are certain tasks that just seem to scream out for hilarious and innovative solutions. This person was tasked with fixing a ceiling, and they had none of the tools required to do so. They did have an envelope and the ability to copy the pattern of the ceiling, however. They did this and put it up on the ceiling, and no one was ever the wiser.

Making your own ceiling tile

We can hardly tell that anything is out of the ordinary ourselves! Sidenote: remember when we discussed cable management? Yeah, this is exactly what your cables SHOULDN’T look like.

Just a wii bit more gas, please

Technology has gotten to the point where the old household staples are pretty much obsolete. Typewriters? Nope, seeya. Landlines? What’s the point when we all have our own cell phones? Cameras? Again, iPhones have us covered here, too. It turns out that we don’t even really need scales anymore… as long as we have the scale that came long with Wii Fit.

Just a wii bit more gas, please

While it was originally meant to help you monitor your weight and achieve a healthy lifestyle, it seems this video game peripheral item has some other convenient uses as well.