January 27, 2013

How to have a MacGyver Party!

Blog, for the first time ever I think I've come up with something never before imagined by mankind. The MacGyver Party! I dare anyone to prove I didn't think of this first! Well, enough boasting...it's time now to tell everyone just how they can host their own and wow their friends and family with the amazing fun.

The inspiration for a MacGyver Party is, of course, the hit 80's show about a secret agent whose special talent is creating useful gadgets from everyday items at hand. And that's exactly what you and your guests will do! Here's how it went down at Magic House:

For Christmas I gave each of my daughters a MacGyver Basket. Said basket contained:

1 ticket to MacGyver Lunch
1 sturdy hanger with clips on it (like for pants)
1 "food saver" container
1 CD
1 magnet
1 sports bottle top
1 metal binder clip
1 balloon
2 wine glasses
2 socks (1 pretty, 1 plain)
2 votive candles
Decorative gravel (in baggie)
Kitty litter (in baggie)
Length of yarn

Random, hey blog? What can come of this? Well, that's the fun of it: your guests will be stumped. The other fun of this is that with a little effort you can find everything you need, including the basket, for under $15 a person. Tip: The toughest part for me was finding the sports bottle tops, but I bought them online from Dick's Sporting Goods.


So, start the party with some lunch, maybe a couple healthy dishes like Jeff Mauro's Mini Veggie Burgers with Cuke Sauce and BBQ Kale Chips.

After the meal, prepare the table by laying down newspaper or paper bags at each place, to protect the tabletop. Give each person a pair of scissors and a needle big enough for sewing with yarn. Set out Gorilla Glue and clear packing tape to share. In advance you'll also need to prepare the labels you see below, have cookbook, sunglasses, and cell phone handy, and (optional) have a pet toy for each participant who owns a cat or small dog.

So, the girls had their baskets at the ready and it was time to be MacGyverettes!!!

PROJECT #1 - Cookbook Hanger

Get your guests stoked with with the easiest project of all. Tell them to grab their hangers, then take yours and show them how it works in your kitchen...

Yes, that's all there is to it, Blog! The hanger works great to suspend a lightweight cookbook or a recipe or two at whatever handy spot in your kitchen you choose. Wowzers.

PROJECT #2 - Refrigerator Clip / Pet Toy 

Glue the binder clip (I got these pretty ones at Target) to a nice, powerful magnet using Gorilla Glue. Set aside to dry...you'll be able to finish this project up in like a half an hour. The clip works to hang something from your fridge that doesn't hang too well by magnet alone, like thick cardboard.

While you're at the gluing, now's also the time to glue the sports bottle top to the CD, like you see in the photo. (Don't make the mistake we did and try this with superglue. Gorilla Glue is the only adhesive for this job, and make sure the seal is firm and tight all the way around the topper. No need to be neat!)

Back to the Refrigerator Clip: It also works great to attach a pet toy via a piece of the provided yarn, so it will dangle from the fridge door and provide kitties or pups with hours of fun. Man, did our Archie the Three-Legged Cat love it!

PROJECT #3 - Glasses Case

To do this project you'll need to have a rudimentary knowledge of sewing: enough to be able to thread a needle with yarn, tie a knot in the end, and whipstitch an edge. Take your sock, put your sunglasses inside, and trim down the cuff to the desirable length with your scissors.

Whipstitch the edge so it doesn't unravel. Ta-da, an easy case to protect sunglasses or reading glasses from getting scratched in your car, purse or drawer!

PROJECT #4 - Electronic Device Resuscitator

You may never use this thing, Blog, but if you ever have need of it, you'll be SO glad you kept it handy! Take your food saver container, and with clear packing tape apply the label (prepared in advance by the hostess, of course) to the lid. Put the other sock from your basket and the bag of kitty litter inside.

Heaven fore-fend you should ever get your phone, iPod, or other gadget wet (like when I dropped my continuous glucose monitor in the toilet)...but if you do, rush to this kit. Dry off the gadget, turn it off if still on, remove the battery, and put gadget and battery inside the sock. Fold it over securely. Dump the litter in the container, bury the sock in it, close the box and leave it overnight. The sock will keep the gadget dust-free, and the litter will absorb all the water. There is a decent chance your device, like my DexCom, will be revived after being reassembled and rebooted!

PROJECT #5 - Wine Glass Candelabra

Decorative gravel, votive candles, and wine glasses combine to make a lovely table decoration, as your guests will see in seconds! Just watch my sleight-of-hand:

Ta-da! Masterfully completed in nanoseconds and ready to inspire romance!

PROJECT #6 - CD Hovercraft

Yes, Blog, I said hovercraft. Let's go back to the sports bottle tops glued to the CDs, and get out our balloons. Simply make sure the top is pushed down (closed)...blow up the balloon and put it over the top securely...set it on a flat surface...and pull up on the top (without pulling off the balloon). Release and watch the fun! Especially if a cat is present!

OMG, what an awesome party this was! Now your guests can pack up their six way cool contrivances in their baskets and go home with new swag and a sense of cleverness and accomplishment! Thanks, Mr. MacGyver, for the inspiration!

And I bet you never heard of anything like this before, didja, Blog?


  1. How fun! I have personal experience with a couple of wet phones... one I replaced at great cost, and the second I placed in rice (kinda like kitty litter) for a couple of days, and it worked fine for two more years. Sounds like a wonderful day, Diana!

  2. Those wine glass candle holders were splendid!

  3. Ruth, I actually revived my DexCom with rice, too. I read after the fact that kitty litter is even more absorbent. But it's amazing what rice can do! Jennie, I thought so too when I found the idea online! So simple but so pretty.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.