Man Made DIY


Oct 05, 2010

How to: Install a Secret Bookshelf Door

created at: 10/05/2010

Dude, 'member Webster? Little guy gets adopted by rich parents, and lives in a big old Victorian house, complete with secret passages and an old butler's elevator that he could move around in? I blame those pathways and a lifelong interest in Clue (both the boardgame and the awesome 1985 film adaptation, which my childhood Matt Davish had on Betamax) for a tiny obsession with passageways, hidden doors, and all around Sherlock Holmes-y secret goodness.

So this hidden bookcase door is, you know, crazy amazing.   … read more


Oct 04, 2010

How To: Precision Pumpkin Carving


Sometime around the late 80s and early 90s, the Halloween scene got knocked on its head. Publishers released pumpkin carving pattern-and-tool books,  and jack-o-lanterns went from simple triangle-based faces to full on cackling witches and haunted house scenes.

And we are all thankful...except in the fifteen years that followed, every home started using these patterns, making these newer more complex scenes just as ubiquitous as their predecessors.

Thankfully, in the last few years, DIY stencil creation has gone through a revolution of sorts, and you can now create detailed custom pieces without need to buy a book at all.

read more


Oct 04, 2010

How To: Make a Stormtrooper Helmet from a Milk Jug

You know those moments when you just look at an object, and you think, "oh my gosh! That totally looks like a _________." It could be something you've never seen before, the form of which immediately stands out to you. Or, it could be something you've seen and used all your life.

Lindsey had one of those moments with a standard one-gallon milk carton. The realization? Stormtrooper helmet. Of course!

read more


Sep 30, 2010

How To: Make Easy Fabric Skulls for Day of the Dead


Shawnee of Life with Monkey whipped up this super quick pattern and technique for making fabric skulls. They're so easy to make that we can imagine these in bulk hanging from fishing line, or mixed in a candy bowl. We also think the shape would lend itself well to more anatomical skulls, or even Luchalibre masks.


Easy. Peasy. Halloweesy?

read more


Sep 29, 2010

How To: Make Dexter-Inspired Blood Slide Candy Pops


Inspired by the lovable neighborhood serial killer Dexter, which began its fifth season last Sunday, Andrea decided to update Martha Stewart's recipe for invisible lollipops by creating a series of blood slide candies for Halloween this year...way creepier than vampire or ghost-y treats.

She explains, "For any of you who aren’t familiar with the show, Dexter is about a serial killer of the same name, who works by day as a forensic analyst for the Miami police department, and by night, cleansing the city of the evil criminals who slip through the cracks of our faulty judicial system.  Every serial killer has to keep his mementos and Dexter’s trophy case, consists of a box of slides, each containing one drop of blood from each victim.

For this years gruesome Halloween treat, I decided to create a trophy case of my own."   … read more


Sep 28, 2010

How To: Vintage Arrow-Inspired Decor

I'll admit it - it never occurred to me to source or make vintage arrows as a home decor accent piece, but why not? They're fun, colorful, and masculine-ish/tongue-in-cheek enough to totally make sense in lots of spaces.

Mom Danielle created these bold arrows while making over her sons' rooms. The shafts are made from dowel rods, and covered in patterned washi tape, fabric scraps, and acrylic tape. And note the erasers as arrow heads - would work quite well with the office supply crossbow, no?      … read more


Sep 28, 2010

Make a DIY Bent Plywood Bicycle

Boy, do I love me some molded plywood. It gives my Eames lounge-ish chair its perfect shape, and is quite functional in my walnut magazine end table and this laptop riser I hacked from an IKEA stool.

And, as some industrious design students figured out, you can create a bike frame at home by learning to laminate and mold your own plywood elements. Brilliant! Even if you're not digging on building a bike frame, this is a great tutorial for learning how to mold and bend plywood.

   … read more


Sep 28, 2010

How To: Fully Experience Beer with this Five-Step Appraisal Technique

created at: 09/28/2010

I spent a few days in Boston a couple of weeks ago, and had the pleasure of visiting the original Samuel Adams brewery for one of their free brewery and tasting tours. There, I learned, among many other things: that the actual Sam Adams was probably a cool guy, the dude with the really long beard and the overalls in all the commercials actually works there, and that the original Boston brewery only produces about five percent of their output. (The rest is brewed in Pennslyvania and my hometown of Cincinnati...guess I didn't have to go so far for a tour.)

They were also very generous with the samples, and walked our group through… read more


Sep 27, 2010

How To: Spike Summer Fruit with Alcohol in Order to Preserve It

A few weeks ago, we featured a few how-tos for making "bachelor's jam," a preserving method that fuses alcohol and fresh fruit. The technique there, basically, is to fill a jar with fruit and cover it with alcohol.

Last week, the New York Times featured a few more thorough recipes, designed to take advantage of complimentary flavors and general tastiness. "Perhaps the best example of following seasons in a boozy fruit mix is rumtopf — a German preserve that spans the entire growing season. Classic recipes have you start in June by mixing strawberries with sugar and rum. As other fruits ripen, they are added in layers, then the whole thing is left to mellow until Christmas.


read more


Sep 27, 2010

How To: Skull Soap-on-a-Rope


Skull soap-on-a-rope. We'll be the first to admit, this certainly isn't a super innovative project, pushing the boundries of materials and creativity. BUT! Checking out this super-quick (fifteen second) tutorial does share some pretty cool maker nuggets - like the fact that they make super-easy-melt-and-pour soap, and you can use shaped ice-cube trays to make all sorts of cool projects.  Plus, when it's all over, you've got skull-shaped soap on a rope. Which is pretty cool.… read more


Sep 24, 2010

How To: Make Your Own DIY Ninjabread Men Cookie Cutters

A few weeks ago, the ManMade community rejoiced over the release of the Ninjabread Men cookie cutters from Fred Flare, which are still not available for purchase. So, industrious James Williamson, an electronics engineer living in Lancashire, UK, created his own, and is sharing his template with the world!

James' versions hinge around a acrylic template (he'll laser cut it for you for cost!), but you could easily print yours out onto paper.


read more


Sep 24, 2010

How to: Make a DIY Wood Hard Drive Enclosure

I just can't help myself - I'm simply a sucker for any attempt to incorporate natural textures into technology. Warming up the digital experience is the best of both worlds, in my book, and reinterpreting what contemporary tools can be, well, it's just plain fun.

So, of course, I'm loving this natural teak enclosure for a portable hard drive. The handmade look of decorative wood with cables and LEDs bleeping out can't be beat.

   … read more


Sep 23, 2010

Easy DIY Wall Art: Pyramid Painting

created at: 09/23/2010

I recently spied the new book DIY Art at Home at my local library, and immediately added to my pile. It features 28 projects, all of which can be translated to pretty large scale wall art on the cheap.


Women's Day recently featured a full project from the book - a geometric triangle pyramid-y piece created with potato printing. The stamp is inked up every few rounds, so you get different levels of opacity as you continue to print. This is a pretty unique effect for such limited tools and technique.… read more


Sep 22, 2010

How To: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Bacon

Cooktop, microwave, oven, grill, campfire...each heat source does something amazing to every omnivore's guilty pleasure, bacon. And to get the most out of your hard-earned pork belly, it takes just a bit of knowledge to master perfectly rendered bacon, cooked to however you like it.   … read more


Sep 21, 2010

How To: Hotel-Inspired Wall Unit from Hardware Store Parts

created at: 09/21/2010

I mentioned yesterday that we'd just released the third Make It! publication, entitled Make It! Hardware Store Decor. It aims to help folks create home design pieces using only items from the home improvement store. So, as you might imagine, my eyes and ears have been tuned to looking for creative use of materials and hardware supplies.

So, I'm definitely digging this wall unit made only from black pipe and pine 1x stock. Inspired by a piece at the Ace Hotel, Morgan created this installation for around $200. "The other side of the living room needed something large. A statement piece I think real designers would call it. Well, I… read more

© 2010-2015 Curbly, LLC