How to Make a Makerspace

Want to start your own?

Artisan’s Asylum has worked with communities and spaces across the country looking to start makerspaces or continue to grow existing programs. Our staff can help guide you through the many steps involved in starting and running a makerspace, including equipment selection, safety, infrastructure and more.

Our staff and some members makes ourselves available to answer questions and provide feedback on your existing or planned project during our office hours.

Book an appointment with our staff during office hours now.

Or contact us at* with your questions. *Goes to a list of members of Artisan’s Asylum and other local spaces volunteering to answer your questions and offer feedback.


““In researching our own maker space, I talked with various maker spaces and communities from coast to coast and I came across two constants.  If you need a good example of a maker space that really works, look at Artisan’s Asylum. Their staff and volunteers and of course, their members have worked hard to make a vibrant community based on creativity, accountability and mutual respect. It is everything you want your makerspace community to be.”

Tom Monaco
Maker Space Director – Catapult 2.0

Running a Makerspace

Are you already running a makerspace, and want to connect with other makerspace managers? Join our list for makerspace managers to talk to each other about running a makerspace – –
to share best practices, wins and failures to better support each other in the work that we do. Send a blank email to to join.

We also host regular ‘Running a Makerspace’ hangouts. The goal is to provide a platform for us to talk informally about what we’re celebrating, what is keeping us up at night, and answer some of the hard questions that don’t quite fit into an FAQ.

How to Make a Makerspace Resources

We’ve gathered the basics information in a collection of resources below. If you are local, we also recommend attending one of our public tours to learn about our space and our community.

Artisan’s Asylum has worked with Maker Media to share the knowledge of founders, technical specialists, and makerspace community members to offer you a body of written materials designed to boil down a lot of our lessons learned and help you through the challenges ahead!

Start with these short pieces, written for the MAKE Blog:

As you start putting together your business model, check out the financial projections worksheet we use in our one-day Maker Con workshop (offered before the New York and San Mateo Maker Faires in 2013 and 2014).

Presentations and handouts from our 2-day inaugural February 2013 conference are available and for download through dropbox here. Notes and video from some of the presentations are available at

Asylum Renter Studios

What’s a makerspace?

To describe them simply, makerspaces are community centers with tools. Makerspaces combine manufacturing equipment, community, and education for the purposes of enabling community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with the resources available to individuals working alone. These spaces can take the form of loosely-organized individuals sharing space and tools, for-profit companies, non-profit corporations, organizations affiliated with or hosted within schools, universities or libraries, and more. All are united in the purpose of providing access to equipment, community, and education, and all are unique in exactly how they are arranged to fit the purposes of the community they serve.

Makerspaces represent the democratization of design, engineering, fabrication and education. They are a fairly new phenomenon, but are beginning to produce projects with significant national impacts; notable projects and companies to emerge from makerspaces include the Pebble Watch (a programmable watch whose team is the recipient of the largest Kickstarter campaign in history), MakerBot (creators of a low-cost 3D printer that’s revolutionizing the entire rapid prototyping industry), and Square (a painless payment gateway enabling small businesses to collect money easily worldwide), just to name a few.

Makerspace Products

February 2013 Event Sponsors:

Artisan's Asylum and MAKE