There might not have been any funnel cakes or deep fried Oreos at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on Saturday, May 30, but the inaugural Minneapolis/St. Paul Mini Maker wasn’t lacking in creative ideas. More than 4,000 people participated in the faire, doing everything from building solar boats to making paper to learning to solder.

Visitors were awed by Bruce Shapiro’s Sisyphus and amused by Andy Tubesing’s VikeBike. Andrew Krahn’s Boxels changed perspectives on the beauty of cardboard and what shapes can become building blocks (you can see a couple of boxels at Leonardo’s Basement near the front desk!).

Our sponsors got in on the DIY action too:

  • Stratasys, Maker Bot and Haldeman Homme brought several 3D printers for faire visitors to check out and many attendees got to print a customized 3D tag.
  • Rockler and Epilog Laser/MidWest Solutions teamed up on another takeaway project. Faire attendees got to chip out a small wooden Minnesota at Rockler and then take it to Epilog for customized laser engraving.
  • Best Buy brought along some cool tech products for faire visitors to try, including Makey-Makey, Little Bits, WowWee MiP Robots, LEGO Mindstorms Ev3 and Samsung Gear VR (Oculus-powered virtual reality) which was particularly popular!
  • YOXO kept kids of all ages busy with their colorful cardboard building components.

If you are already looking forward to next year’s faire, be sure to follow the Minneapolis/St. Paul Mini Maker Faire on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for our newsletter by visiting to be the first to know what we are planning!