Man Made DIY


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Dec 09, 2010

How To: Make an Amorphous Vase from a Styrofoam Cup

created at: 12/09/2010

These days, I rarely run into a styrofoam cup. And I'm quite thankful, as extruded polystyrene foam does not biodegrade for hundreds of years, and the its manufacturing process produces a whole buncha junk that no one wants in the air. So, when you come across one, what is there to do but sink your teeth around the rim?

Why, make these fancy shaped vases, of… read more

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Dec 08, 2010

Make a Melted Army Men Bowl

created at: 12/08/2010

Ever now and again, Dominic Wilcox's clever War Bowls cross my path. I spied them online eight or so years ago, then two years later, one was on display at my local contemporary art museum, then I read an interview with Wilcox in a magazine, and on and on. 

When I recently ran into them again, it occurred to me..."Maybe I should make one?" Then, as we all do when we have a light bulb moment, I… read more

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Dec 08, 2010

How To: Make Mod Sparkly Snowflakes

created at: 12/08/2010

Rebekah Greiman of Potholes and Pantyhose is all kinds of fun. Her website is a neverending collage of witty images, random bursts of energy, and pretty clever crafty projects.

Like these super sparkly snowflakes, which look like a cross between Sputnik and some dangerous weapon from either 1350 or 3350. One or the… read more

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Dec 07, 2010

How To: Make Typographic Gift Wrap

created at: 12/07/2010

This year, I vowed to only make or buy handmade holiday gifts for my friends and family, and I've kept to it so far. But wrapping these gifts in commercial paper didn't seem to make much sense, so I wanted to create some handmade gift wrap to match. I happen to think a gift wrapped in newsprint is actually quite attractive, and love the look of text on a package, but wanted to put in a little more effort. So I came up with a cool option that's clean, masculine, and maintains the typographic look of the newsprint. Plus, it eliminates the need for any "to:/from" tags, as the recipient's name is right there in tasteful type.

Once I figured it out, it was actually quite easy and quick - less than ten minutes per gift. The unbleached brown craft paper is only $1.25 per roll, and the book pages came from 25¢ war novel at the secondhand shop. To me, this beats the pants off of any mass-produced "Ho Ho Ho" paper in both price and style.

Here's how… read more

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Dec 07, 2010

25 Surprising Knitted Objects

created at: 12/07/2010

I've seen plenty of knitted and crocheted versions of real world things, and usually, the appropriate reaction is a warm, smiley feeling, rather than a shock.

But a knitted life-sized motorcycle? Illegal drugs?… read more

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Dec 06, 2010

How To: Make a LEGO Death Star Ornament

created at: 12/06/2010

Master brickster Chris McVeigh offers step-by-step instructions to build your own Death Star… read more

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Dec 06, 2010

How To: Make a Silver Ring, from a Quarter

created at: 12/06/2010

Interesting fact for Monday, December 6th, 2010: U.S. quarters manufactured before 1964 are made of silver. Huh.

Even more interesting, that quarter can be transformed into a  silver ring, using a… read more

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Dec 03, 2010

How To: Make Easy Mod Christmas Paper Decor

It's always very obvious when it's December in my house. I simply can't help but add a little bit of holiday cheer to each room.

created at: 12/03/2010But, there's not an inch of greenery, nor Santa Clauses, reindeer, or snowman. My home is really pretty modern, and the traditional Christmas vibe just doesn't match my stuff. So, I have an aluminum Christmas tree and metallic stockings, and to balance all that synthetic industrial-ness, I like to add plenty of handmade elements.

This year, in additional to my infamous paper snowflakes, I wanted more paper decorations that brought in a bit of color. So, I came with two easy how-tos: some mid-century inspiration paper ornaments, and a mod paper garland.

read more
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Dec 03, 2010

How To: Make a Canoe from a Single Sheet of Plywood

In my neighborhood, we have an excellent urban bike trail that runs along the a fairly large river that divides my city in half. Often, while cycling, I'll see folks, mostly elderly men, pop out onto the trail with their large canoes and kayaks.

"How fun," I always think, but there's no liveries or rentable canoe places until you drive an hour or so out of the city. Of course, I wouldn't need to rent one if I could get my hands on a piece of softwood plywood and a saw.

read more

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Dec 02, 2010

A Curious Breakfast: Start Your Day Off Right...with Papercraft Food!

created at: 12/02/2010

French design collective Paper Donut created "A Curious Breakfast" for a contest sponsored by Arjowiggins, which the paper company hosted to demonstrate the amazing things that can be done with their products.

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Dec 01, 2010

How To: Make a DIY Sling Camera Strap


In the last two years, there's been a huge increase on the digital SLR camera scene - prices are dropping, megapixels are becoming more affordable, and the availability of introductory models means that anyone who has even a moderate interest can take really, really good pictures for fractions of what it would have cost even five years ago.

Though with the increase in flexibility and quality, convenience and portability take a hit. A DSLR can take amazing vacation, candid, and art (and step-by-step how-to!) photos, but they don't slip into your pocket very easily. Which means your stuck with an expensive object hanging from an… read more

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Nov 30, 2010

How To: Make a "Sliceform" Christmas Tree

Sliceforms are "are geometric models constructed from interlocking sets of planar pieces," basically a 3D model made of flat pieces, creating a grid. Mathematically-minded folks, of course, can create super complex structures with the technique, but it can be scaled down to make simpler structures, like this 3D Christmas… read more

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Nov 29, 2010

How To: Make an Industrial Menorah from Pipe Fittings

created at: 11/29/2010

This year, Chanukah starts on December 1st, this Wednesday night. As for most holidays, we wanted to find appropriate decor to match the ManMade goals - guy-friendly, contemporary, and handmade.

We found it in this industrial menorah, or chanukkiah, which was assembled entirely from pipe fittings easily found at the hardware store.

Here's how… read more

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Nov 19, 2010

How to: Build a Mini Catapult from Office Supplies

created at: 11/19/2010

Quick! Your co-workers are approaching with hand constructed miniature bamboo firing crossbows that shoot bamboo skewers. What do you do?

Why, duck behind your desk and quickly assemble this catapult, of… read more

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Nov 16, 2010

ManMade Top Ten: Men's Scarf Patterns

created at: 11/16/2010

As the cold season inches even closer, we're moving straight through jacket weather into heavy-duty winter wear. We happen to think that a scarf is an essential piece of gear for the dashing guy in winter, and love them even more when they're handmade.

created at: 11/16/2010

A scarf is often a first project for beginning knitters or crocheters, and understandably so - it's straight, repetitive, and inherently practical.

So, here's a list of our favorite knittable scarves that'll suit the modern man, all of which come with… read more

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Nov 15, 2010

Cool, Free Modern Thanksgiving Printables

created at: 11/15/2010

Only the most virile of haters would be opposed to adding a little seasonal festiveness to your Thanksgiving table. It's just that most of us with tastes that lean towards contemporary have a hard time finding cool, modern-looking Thanksgiving decor items. Even the master crafters at Etsy haven't really been able to translate the aesthetic...Most of its harvest-y, country, or just straight dated.

So, this cool collection of modern, free printables from Hostess blog is a breath of fresh air. Yep, the orange and brown still abound, but do so in geometric stripes and dots. Includes: place cards, buffet labels, drink tags, dessert toppers, napkin rings, and bottle… read more

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Nov 11, 2010

How To: Make a Shirt Cuff Wallet

created at: 11/11/2010

When repurposing old clothing in craft and DIY projects, it's easy to separate the wide pieces of pure fabric for creative fodder. But then, your often stuck with the rest: collars, lapels, buttons, cuffs, waistbands, etc.

Except, if you cut things just so, these "extras" can often be exactly what you need for some seriously clever reuse. Like this shirt cuff wallet: it's exactly the right size, and all the seams are already set. All you need to do is just add the… read more

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Nov 11, 2010

Nashville Musician Shingles His Roof with Records

created at: 11/11/2010

Jazz instrumentalist Matt Glassmeyer needed a roof for his porch. As a musician, he knows plenty about vinyl albums, and has a history of inventing clever items: "the shuitar (an acoustic drum machine-like instrument made from an acoustic guitar body), the buzzophone (tenor saxophone played with a custom trumpet-like buzzing mouthpiece), and amplified contra-alto clarinet."

So, Matt put his creativity to work and came up with an idea for his… read more

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Nov 10, 2010

Top Tips for New Seamsters

created at: 11/10/2010

At ManMade, we often get emails from guys and ladies asking for help breaking into in the wonderful world of sewing your old stuff. While we're happy to help anyone get started, there are those tips and tricks that can only come with a bit of experimenting and practice.

So, we thought we'd share a collection of these tips, gathered by pros and those-just-getting-started… read more

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Nov 10, 2010

Fifteen Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Winter

We don't often cover home improvement-y sorts of things on ManMade, but with the looming cold bursts scheduled for next week, we wanted to provide you with a couple tips for getting your home ready for winter. Cause we're pretty into saving energy, saving money, and...you know, not being… read more

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