make out of nothing

make (something) out of nothing

1. To raise a fuss about something minor, trivial, or unimportant; to exaggerate or put too much focus on a minor issue and make it seem like a major one. (Often uses the actual word "something.") You got one B and you're acting like you're failing the class. You're making something out of nothing, if you ask me. My opponent is trying to make a big deal out of nothing to distract voters from his own failures.
2. To create or construct something useful, valuable, worthwhile, or interesting out of very little or a combination of otherwise useless materials or parts. I thought the cupboards were nearly bare, but she managed to make a delicious meal out of nothing! My brother is so creative—give him a pile of junk, and he'll make an incredible piece of art out of nothing.
See also: make, nothing, of, out

make something out of nothing

1. Lit. to create something of value from nearly worthless parts. My unclehe sells sand—made a fortune out of nothing. My model airplane won the contest even though I made it out of scrap.
2. Fig. to make an issue of something of little importance. Relax, John, you're making a big problem out of nothing. You have no evidence. You're making a case out of nothing.
See also: make, nothing, of, out