25 bank holiday projects

Use your extended weekend to get creative, culture up and build your own stuff. First, spend a bit of time getting inspired with our project dossier

Host the ultimate party

Bunting, orange squash and coronation chicken? Pah. Make your Jubilee party a day (and night) to remember with some royally good party gadgets. And make sure you have the best tunes on your block with our list of the best street party albums.

Create an app

If our pick of iPhone and Android apps doesn't quite meet your gaming needs, make your own with Sketch Nation Studio. It's iPhone only for now but you can draw your own characters and platforms to create basic games that could make you millions. But probably won't. Download it now from the App Store.

Set up a media centre

Buy a second gen Apple TV on the first day of your four-day weekend and half an hour later you'll have turned your living room into the ultimate media set-up. Check out our guide to setting up an XBMC media centre to find out how.

Call far-flung friends

It’s a small world after all, and all your friends and relatives have gone adrift in their pursuit of better climates (environmental and financial). What better way to remind them of your friendship that a phone call at an unsuitable hour? Use Viber (or another VoIP app) and you won’t even have to pay.

Publish your own book

Gone are the days of trawling your dog-eared manuscript around nicotine-stained publishing offices trying to get your novel read by people you aren’t related to. Publish and be damned with the Stuff guide to getting your tome on the bookshelf (real or virtual).

Become an antique dealer

You don’t have to be a fusty old man in a cardigan to make money out of antiques. Nor do you need an orange tan. Scour online listings and auctions for deals, don’t be too hasty and stick to things you know about (vintage hi-fi, say) then invest in things you’d buy for yourself (just don’t forget to sell it). Broken kit that can be easily fixed can be a quick earner.

Clear the clutter

Haven’t you heard? Decluttering your life is ‘the thing’ to do this year. Give your dust-gathering stuff away on Freecycle, and invest in some new minimalist kit – this new B&O telly hangs from the ceiling, leaving more room to fill with future clutter.

Move to the cloud

Your pictures are on Facebook, your music’s on Spotify, your videos are on YouTube… now it’s time to commit your hard drive to the cloud and be done with primitive local storage. You won’t thank us when your router blows up, but it’s still worth having a gander at our guide to the best free online cloud storage. And keeping a local backup, perhaps.

Build a back yard grill

Sure you can head down to Homebase and pick up a Jamie Oliver-branded barbecue… but you will collect zero man points. For the hairy-chested griller, the only proper outdoor cooking kit is home-built. Popular Mechanics’ 11-step backyard smoker requires a welding mask, a piano hinge and massive cojones.

Regress to your childhood

When we became men (or were said to), we failed to put away childish things. Which is brilliant, because now we’ve got jobs and can afford some of these supercharged toys. Now then, when’s our next pay day?

Go on an Easter Egg hunt

Yes, we know it isn’t Easter. But these hidden software treats are well worth looking up. You might even impress your girlfriend. Okay, maybe not.

Become a comic book geek

Seen Avengers Assemble and now you want to immerse yourself in the world of comic book geekery? First, bone up on the 50 best comic villains of all time, then download the five best comic apps. Finally, get involved by contributing to the crowdsourced Brandon Generator comic creator.

More after the break...

Record your first album

It's never been easier to become a music sensation – all you need to do is get yourself scouted on YouTube. Oh, and have some songs. Check out our 25 best music making gadgets, then fire up GarageBand for iPad, plug your axe in with iRig and rock out.

Prepare for the apocalypse

The Mayans reckoned the world would end in 2012. So you've got six months to stock up – get ahead of the curve with our five best post-apocalyptic gadgets and you'll be lording it over the wastelands like Tina Turner in Mad Max 3.

Build a car

Okay, it might take you more than a few days to put together (Tim Skipper’s ace £10 PDF guide – buy it here – will have your motor ready to go in just over two weeks), but building a kit car is a cheap and fun way to get yourself on the road. The car? A Caterham 7 is the fun choice, and they start from around £20,000.

Join the streaming revolution

Take all your CDs and Blu-rays down to the car boot sale this bank holiday and sign up for the streaming revolution. Check out how to find new music online and weigh up your options in the Netflix vs Lovefilm movie streaming war.

Make yourself popular on social media

Want to spring clean your online profile? First check out how much Klout you have or if you make it onto Starcount’s popular people list (you won’t). Then dig deep with Mashable’s top ten social media tips. Don't forget about Google+, YouTube and newbie Pinterest.

Sell your skills

You must be good at something and once you've spent a few hours working out what that is – be it Pokemon cards or playing Star Wars soundtracks on clarinet – we guarantee someone will pay you £5 to do it. How do we know this? Because excellent skill-selling website fivesquids offers everything from customised ransom notes to bouncy castle hire for sums up to £50.

Befriend a celebrity

Say something witty, controversial or offensive enough to a celebrity on Twitter and you might just get a response – especially if they're desperate for attention themselves. Or you can just be safe in the knowledge that you can pop up in celebs' feeds by sending them daily tweets and there's nothing they can do to stop it. Just don't mess with Stephen Fry (see the above homophobe swiftly dispatched).

Make going back to work less painful

The first 72 hours off will induce carefree elation, but come the fourth and final day - Jubilee day - the dreaded 'Sunday feeling' will kick in. Having an adequately geeked out office to return to should soften the blow, and with a few well placed purchases you'll have your gadget Nirvana-away-from-home in no time. Get started with an awe-inspiring desk from our five of the best geek desks, and treat your rump to one of our five of the best geek chairs. You'll be the talk of the office, in a good way this time. Also check out these geek chairs.

Build a PC

There should come a point in every tech-head's life when he lovingly crafts his own PC from scratch. It's genetically encoded deep within us along with the desire to hunt and make fire [citation needed]. The journey starts at picking your parts and bolting them together, and cumulates in the glorious first power up. Keep an eye out for an upcoming Stuff series on how to build your own PC (teaser photo above), where we'll help you get back to the core of you geek roots.

Supercharge your TV

The Olympics and Euro 2012 will make for a formidable double team, blanketing the nation in a fever of athleticism, competition and flags. Give all the events and matches the attention they deserve by setting up a Smart TV which will let you to browse the Web, keep up with the latest results and check up on your mates, all without having to leave the safety of your sofa.

Set up your own blog

In your four day stint away from word documents and spreadsheets, you may suddenly regain your own thoughts long enough to share them with the rest of the interwebs. Whether it's your musings on the economy, or sharing your passion for antiquated ice cream scoops, setting up your own blog is the ideal way to channel your interests.

Hack something

No no, we don't mean an anti-establishment Anonymous-style takedown, just little things that make your life easier. From apps that find your lost phone, to tips and tricks that will give you a friendly boost in games, a bit of light tinkering here and there can save you both time and stress. Check out our 10 of the best instant gadget hacks for a quick rundown.

Watch a Stuff movie list

You've got four days off, and the sun is shining. So why not lock yourself in your living room and motor through some cinematic classics? Power through our 15 best prequel movies ever before checking out how Ridley Scott's Alien prequel Prometheus measures up. Or get some inspiration from the list below…

25 bank holiday projects - Watch a Stuff movie list 2

Movie lists

15 best prequels ever

25 best movie car chases ever

25 best remakes ever

25 best royal movies ever

25 best boat movies ever

25 best food movies ever

25 best money movies ever

25 best bug movies ever

25 best police movies ever

25 best alien movies ever

25 best spy movies ever

25 best hacker movies ever

25 best Australian movies ever

25 best school movies ever

50 best family movies ever

25 best war movies ever

25 best alternative Christmas movies ever

25 best toy movies ever

25 best party movies ever

25 best movie cameos ever

25 best movie explosions ever

25 best biopics ever

25 best time travel movies ever

10 best cycling movies ever

25 best pirate movies ever

25 best sports movies ever

25 best plane movies ever

25 best TV and movie cars ever

50 best music movies ever

25 best road trip movies ever

25 best space movies ever

25 best robot movies ever

5 of the best golf movies

5 of the best future sports movies

13 best horror movies ever

20 best snow movies ever

20 best christmas movies ever

10 best film noir movies ever

Gaming lists

25 best space games ever

25 best sports games ever

25 best PlayStation games ever

100 best games ever

25 best platform games ever

25 best game heroes ever

25 best FPS games ever

25 best fantasy games ever

More gadget lists

25 best music making gadgets

25 best Apple gadgets ever

25 best consoles ever

25 best phones ever

25 most iconic watches ever

25 most iconic guitars ever

25 most iconic computers ever

25 most iconic cameras ever

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