Last month at the Bay Area Maker Faire, the gran-daddy of a global network of events celebrating the exploding culture of DIY tinkerers and innovators, I overheard one gawking Faire newbie say to his friend: "When did this become so huge?"

The answer was not forthcoming, but the undeniable validity of the question is what really counts, considering it was asked on the floor of a Faire sporting over 1,100 exhibitors and attended by more than 130,000 from 42 countries. When exactly it happened is not certain, but it is clear that today, makers are many and they are everywhere.

The latest validation that maker culture has arrived came this week from Washington, D.C., where the date of the first-ever White House Maker Faire was announced. On June 18, President Obama will host "Makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs of all ages who are using cutting-edge tools to bring their ideas to life."

The White House is also calling for June 18 to be a nationwide "Day of Making" and encouraging makers to share their projects using the hashtag #NationOfMakers.

In that same spirit, we've collected the above gallery of some of the most impressive, innovative or just undeniably interesting Maker projects that are just a few of the many out there in the Makerverse deserving of a trip to the White House this month.

View gallery - 59 images