Man Made DIY


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Jun 14, 2010

How To: Build a Desktop Zen Garden

Finished Zen garden

When I need a break from work, I tend to go for today's crossword puzzle, but I certainly appreciate the daydream-inducing liltiness of keeping a mini zen garden on one's desk.

Instructable author Obbitz has created one of the finest DIY zen garden options that'll inspire you to keep your desk clear. It's created from scrap wood and a bit of glue, and filled with ordinary sand and… read more

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Jun 09, 2010

ManMade in the Current Issue of SewHip Magazine!

created at: 06/09/2010

SewHip - "The UK's No. 1 Sewing Magazine" has an article called "Men Do It Too!" in their current issue (no. 17), featuring two male crafters and bloggers, Paul from Dudecraft and yours truly. The five page spread features lots of ManMade original projects and photos, including several from Make It! Mid-Century Modern, the circuit board picture frame, the free Happiness is a Warm Glue Gun poster, and the mid-century birdhouse: created at: 06/09/2010

read more
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Jun 08, 2010

How To: Make a Laptop Riser for Watching Movies and TV in Bed

created at: 06/08/2010

In the era of streaming videos, Hulu, Netflix, and the like, folks are cancelling their cable packages left and right and opting to recieve all of their television and watch many of their movies on computers. Our old CRT televisions are dying, and instead of replacing them, we just head to the computer instead.

And it's great...except watching films and engaging television is supposed to be about relaxing, and that can be difficult to do when you're trying to consume a feature length film at your desk. Many of us have wi-fi connected devices on our TVs, or even connected whole computers to televisions in our living and family… read more

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Jun 07, 2010

Make Your Own Cycling Cap

created at: 06/02/2010

The casquette - cycling cap - is styled to keep the sun out of your eyes and the rain off your face while not obstructing your vision.

created at: 06/07/2010

While they were plenty available in the 80s, they're a bit harder to find in the U.S., and often come plastered with team names or advertisements. So, our vote, as per usual, is to make your own.

Flickr user Panda Face has created a pattern that allows you to use whatever sort of fabric you'd want.Cycling Cap Pattern by Panda Face.

"Here is a basic pattern for the cycling cap I made. I have a big head so pull in the seams untill it fits you, then hem the length and stich the bill on. Cut on the thick lines, sitch… read more

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Jun 04, 2010

How To: Popsicle Stick Guitar

Finished guitar

The popsicle stick is a craft supply staple - it's often one of the first media into which children break out after they've mastered crayons and construction paper, and it's certainly many a ManMakers first introduction to working with wood.

Finished guitar

One of the popsicle stick's great achievements is its infinite flexibility, which has never been demonstrated more greatly than in this guitar, the body, neck, and headstock of which is made completely from 2000 regular ole' popsicle sticks.

Bracing

Busupholstery says, "I decided it was time for someone to build a guitar completely from popsicle sticks........Ordered 4,000 on ebay and… read more

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Jun 02, 2010

Customize Your Cookies With DIY Cookie Cutters

Cookie Cutter DIYIf pushed to declare a gender-neutral food, I'd nominate the cookie. Free of stereotypes, affiliations, and boosting and infinitely adaptable color palette, the cookie belongs on everyone's plate, if they make it that long.

But, the cookie's adaptability also allows for some intense customization, particularly in the classic cutout. But the next time you check out the cookie cutter section, you'll find yourself swimming in the limited palette of teddy bears and Easter baskets. Cookie cutters should be available in as much diversity as men and women come - from powder puffs to power tools.

So, looks like we'll have to make our own.… read more

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May 25, 2010

Classic Cocktail How To: The Tom Collins

created at: 05/03/2010

There's a really weird origin story that surrounds the Collins. And by really weird, I mean some sort of hoax that I'm not quite sure I get. The Wikipedia article leaves me quite confused, but this post at Mental Floss explains a bit better:

created at: 05/25/2010

"The Great Tom Collins Hoax of 1874...begat The King of Cooling Drinks, the Tom Collins. The hoax kicked off with a prankster telling a group that they were being talked about by the loose lipped Tom Collins, and then sending them on an angry goose chase to find him. 
In 1874, the Steubenville Daily Herald reported that the hoax “belong[ed] to New York, where it was played… read more

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May 24, 2010

How To: Turn Your Computer's CD/DVD Drive into an iPod Dock

ipod docked DVD drive iPod dock

In the days of streaming Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, and the ability to watch feature films on your mobile phone, your computer's CD and DVD drive doesn't get as much play as it used to. But you certainly WILL still use it, so you don't want to ax it altogether.

This how-to by Tim Schiesser combines the best of both worlds - he's created an iPod dock that sits in your computer's rarely used CD/DVD tray, but is easily removable for when the time comes.

Tim says: "I noticed recently that my DVD drive wasn’t getting much love, but my iPod Nano was getting loads of use and needs charging all the time. An idea came to me… read more

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May 17, 2010

50 Downloadable Papercraft Robots

created at: 05/17/2010

Botropolis has assembled this massive collection of papercraft robots that you can download, print, cut and assemble. I love projects like this because they're active and crafty, but the inspiration is built-in and they don't require tons of materials and time.

created at: 05/17/2010

Bots include everything from retro atomic imagery to characters from classic sci-fi movies to contemporary takes on mechanical mans - there's even one featuring… read more

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May 11, 2010

How To: Make Fresh Artisan Bread in Only Five Minutes a Day

In the post-wonder bread era, most North Americans don't know quite how to think about bread. We want the chewy texture and rich crumbs and whole grains of artisinal bread, but have been spoiled by the long shelf life that the preservatives in national brands offer.

fresh-yeast-bread031

What if there were some way to always have fresh AND healthful, tasty artisan bread on hand?

Turns out, there is. "ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY taught busy people how to make great bread at home, with only five minutes of active preparation time. Now, HEALTHY BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY whips up fabulous breads made with more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The secret? Mix up a lightning-fast batch of moist no-knead dough, save it in your refrigerator, tear off portions over the next week or more, shape, and… read more

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May 04, 2010

A Collection of Crafts to Celebrate Official "Star Wars Day"

Star_Wars_Day_Crafts_Ewok_Dog.jpgI've been honest in the past about my lack of Star Wars experience in the past, and a few have said to me, "How can you post Star Wars crafts if you've never seen the movies?" "Well," I usually say, "I post about houses I've never been in, designs and artwork I've only seen pictures of, and link to how-tos I've never followed myself."

Retorts aside, last night, I watched "A New Hope" for the first time. (Rather, finished it for the first time...I'd seen the first half hour once or twice). And, wouldn't you know it, TODAY, May 4, is official Star Wars Day - "May the Fourth Be With You"...get it?

Rachel Hobson has assembled a fine… read more

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May 04, 2010

How To: Two Ways for Making Super Easy Simple Syrup

created at: 05/03/2010

created at: 05/04/2010If you've ever made any sorta of beverage - a cocktail, iced tea or coffee, lemonade, etc - you've learned some basic science - sugar does NOT dissolve in cold liquid with a simple stir. It takes either 1) LOTS of agitation or 2) a warmer liquid. Sometimes, this is a good thing, as granular sugar is often a key ingredient to a drink that involves crushing or muddling, like a mint julep or a mojito. And sometimes, it's really annoying and inconvenient.

So, the beverage-world has long used a liquid sweetener known as "simple syrup" to incorporate sugar into drinks. It uses a basic "simple" ratio of 1 part sugar to 1 part water. Some approaches call for as much as 2:1 sugar to water, which increases efficiency, but I'd keep it 1:1, or at most 1.5:1. See, simple syrup provides not only sweetness to a drink, but also volume. AND, most cocktail recipes will presume a sugar level of 1:1, so it's best to stick with what the pros… read more

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May 04, 2010

Five Ways to Open a Wine Bottle WITHOUT a Corkscrew

created at: 05/03/2010

Cocktail parties are often just as much about flair as they are about gatherings, but most of us aren't skilled enough (or willing) to start flipping shakers and bottles and catching limes in our teeth.

Image:Corkscrew3.jpg

So, instead, try one of these five options for opening a corked wine bottle WITHOUT using a corkscrew. Some are pratical, some are just for show, and none are really classy, but all will certainly show off your mad hostin' skills.

1. Use a screw. The Wired How-To Wiki offers this technique using a screw and a claw hammer. (pictured above)

2. A drill bit and pliers. Simply drill in a 1/4"-or-so drill bit, then grabread more

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May 04, 2010

Craft Fail: "Creative" Pet Grooming

"Now tell me, which one of these dogs would you want to have as your wide receiver on your football team?" - Buck Laughlin, Best in Show

PinkCoyote.net is the home of Sandy Paws, a creative pet grooming outfit in Yuca Valley, California. Their crowning achievement is Cindy the poodle, whom they've made up to be a Ninja Turtle, a chicken, a shark, a camel, a dragon, a peacock, as well outfitted in a  Pac-Man and Grateful Dead theme.

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May 03, 2010

Welcome to Cocktail Party Month: How to Make a Perfect Mint Julep

created at: 05/03/2010

Hello, and greetings from the ManMade Space Age Bachelor Pad! With a clink of our martini glasses, we're officially declaring May 2010 "Cocktail Party Month." Throughout May, we'll be  featuring classy cocktail recipes, tips to stock your home bar, techniques, and all the food, fun, and ambience that goes into creating a classic cocktail party.

And we want YOU to throw your own cocktail party, so we're gonna help out. The week of May 24-29, we'll be hosting a ManMade Giveaway and supplies all the goodies you need to start becoming a master mixologist. So, stay tuned.

created at: 05/03/2010

To start things off, let's pretend it's still two… read more

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May 03, 2010

How To: Desktop Skeeball

Desktop Skeeball

Sometimes, in the midst of the workday, you just need a minute. Not a two-hour lunch, not an off-site appointment, just five minutes to take your eyes off your computer and projects and do something that accesses a different part of your brain.

Then, might I suggest building a mini-skeeball game to keep off to the side for occassions such as these? Assembled from a bit of corrugated cardboard, a recycled coffee cup, and hot glue, it's built to use 1/3" ball bearings, making the project around 1/9th scale. Instructable-r Fungus Amungus even provides a pattern so you can easily make your own over your… read more

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Apr 29, 2010

How To: Make a Tiny Tie from a Full-Sized One

This one's fun, whether making a tie for a tyke, or turning your own into a clip-on cause you can't quite master that double windsor.

Marigold from Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! has created an ace tutorial for recycling a full-sized tie into one that'll work on a tinier snazzy dresser. "Now we's simple folk and we don't really go for them fancy clothes, and I don't like spending big money on clothes I know will only be worn once or twice. So I hit up some consignment shops and overstock stores like Ross and Marshall's and managed to throw together two formal outfits for my kids for under $30. The one thing I couldn't find was a cute tie for Milo to match his hand-me-down navy pinstripe trousers. So I did what any crafty momma would do--found a $3 tie on clearance in the men's section and made a few cuts and and stitches and managed to make a very cute boy's… read more

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Apr 29, 2010

23 Pinhole Cameras to Build at Home

Pinhole Cameras That You Can Build At Home

Several weeks ago (eight, to be exact), I posted up my favorite pinhole camera design - the Dirkon. This morning, I offer you twenty-two more designs. Start small, and end big, I guess.

Pinhole Cameras That You Can Build At Home

This week celebrated Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, so DIYPhotography.net has assembled this collection featuring cameras made from soup cans, single sheets of paper, Altoids tins,… read more

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Apr 28, 2010

How To: Make Your Own Suspenders

Friends, the Twenty First Century is here, and belts are simply not the only option for keeping your pants up. We've re-embraced the bowtie, and goshdarnit, we gotta get the suspenders back in style. There was, of course. the brief suspender revival of the late eighties/early nineties that accompanied the horrid braided leather belt/Patrick Batemen trend (I'm looking at you, Tim Allen), but let's move forward.

The always excellent Running with Scissors offers a great step-by-step for making a pair of suspenders from scratch, including the y-shaped braces and adding the appropriately spaced buttons to… read more

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Apr 28, 2010

How To: Combine Fonts with Helvetica

GlyphaHelvetica, the world's most popular typeface, will always do what it promises - convey written information that seemlessly blends into its environment. Think about it - in the American Apparel logo, it looks engaging and sexy, and on the Wal-Mart facade, it's soulless and trashy.

http://saidtrash.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/american-apparel.jpghttp://farm1.static.flickr.com/55/135419591_5dd198590e.jpg?v=0

As Indra Kupferschmid, co-author of Helvetica Forever puts it "Helvetica is often described as the tasteless white rice among typefaces: satisfies easily, cheap and fast. But the good thing is, you can take the design into different directions with the sauce and side dishes (the typefaces you pair with Helvetica).”

Kupferschmid has written this excellent how-to for FontShop, which shares how to use Helvetica (or another neo-Grotesque) in contrast to transitional or… read more

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