I used to take Christmas toys apart as a child. the only problem was I wasnt very good at putting them back together
I've made a continuous lighting light stand out of PVC pipe, some of those metal bowl reflector things with light sockets in the center (I cant remember what they're called) and some CF bulbs. I've also constructed some reflectors out of various materials. Although I only use those things when photographing still lifes and such, they're delightfully simple to make, easy to use, and (most importantly) they work.
If you can figure out how to make a still, go ahead. Post some pictures and instructions on how you did it. I'm actually kinda curious about it now