Man Made DIY


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Oct 18, 2010

How To: Make a Hand-Tooled Leather CD Case

created at: 10/18/2010

We love the idea of putting something cool and digital, like a CD, inside a rustic, hand-hewn leather home. As the designer and author Elizabeth says, " This is an instance when my excessive love for prettiness wins out over practicality, utility, and common sense. I already had a CD case - a perfectly good one I'd had since high school. But its cover was nylon and plastic and - well, not hand-tooled leather. This is a makeover, and an impractical one at that - not a made-from-scratch project - but it sure is nicer to reach for a 'How to speak Italian' CD in the car now." 

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00521

Oct 18, 2010

How To: Make Zombie Felties!

created at: 10/18/2010

Just in time for Halloween, Nicola Tedman and Sarah Skeate offer Zombie Felties:How to Raise 16 Gruesome Felt Creatures from the Undead . It's an awesome collection of scary, disgusting softies makeable with minimum sewing skills.

created at: 10/18/2010

From the product description, "Nicola Tedman and Sarah Skeate awaken their inner George A. Romero and focus their creative attention on the malleable, fuzzy softness of felt inside Zombie Felties: How to Raise 16 Gruesome Felt Creatures from the Undead. Inside, crafters will find instructions for more than 15 zombie creatures, including a Romero-esque Day of the Dead Zombie. Additional Zombie Feltie projects include: Zombie Bride, Zombie Puppy, Vampire Zombie, Zombie Bunny, Folklore Zombie, Zombie… read more

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Oct 14, 2010

DIY Spacecraft Videos Shot from 19 Miles above Earth

 

created at: 10/14/2010

At ManMade, we will always support the DIY efforts that allow folks to live out the things they love. Especially when it involves outer space. 

We were super excited when Robert Harrison took still photos with a digital point and shoot attached to a giant weather balloon, and think this latest effort by photographer Luke Geissbuhler is simply amazing. 

"Geissbuhler spent eight months fine-tuning a miniature spacecraft that could withstand the extreme conditions of the edge of space. He also had to get approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

 

In order to be able to retrieve the footage, the device would have to survive extreme weather conditions, sub-zero temperatures and a… read more

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Oct 12, 2010

How To: Make Spider Web Balloons for Halloween

 

created at: 10/12/2010

You know that spindle-y, cotton-y, faux spider web material they sell in the plastic bags?

I hate that stuff. First, it's gross and creepy; as in, not a cool, eerie Halloween way, but in a octogenarian's chin hair kinda way. And, it's nearly always misused to create a melty cotton ball look that looks nothing like an actual spider web.

But, this process it pretty intriguing. A special balloon-strengthening product called HI-FLOAT is allowed to dry inside an inflated then deflated ballon, and upon re-inflation, produces a string-y, bizarre, somewhat similar to an spider web looking thing, which, when combined with a few plastic creepy crawlers, looks… read more

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Oct 11, 2010

How To: Make Shrunken Heads from Apples

 

created at: 10/11/2010

I got The Amazing Apple Book as a gift for the Christmas of '92, and I adored each of its pages. I learned about how there's no way the fruit from Adam and Eve was an apple, and all sorts of culinary applications. But my favorite project included carving a face in a fresh, ripe apple and leaving it out to dry and shrivel into a little fruit flavored shrunken face...though my parents always made me store mine in the basement, and they usually caught a coat of… read more

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Oct 07, 2010

How To: Make a Secret Hollowed-Out Book (Quickly!)

When I was a kid, we made secret book hiding spots all the time: glue up the edges, grab the utility knife, and spend hours cutting. Of course, we didn't have any stuff worth hiding, but we were boys, and that's what boys did.

I love the idea of using secondhand books as a gift box, but my memories of the tried-and-true handcutting method, which would take more than an hour for a book big enough to put much in, make me think otherwise. But, this new method from John Park makes me think I might be able to pull it off this holiday… read more

00498

Oct 06, 2010

Spied at the Craft Fair: Hairy Animal Hats

Origin: The London Craft Fair recently displayed these crazy awesome felted hairy animal hats, made from Sussex wool and alpaca fleece. They're simultaneously scarily lifelike and functionally impossible, making them all around fun.

   

They're each handmade by Barbara Keal, who "loves felting because it it such an immediate and physical way of making, it is also very environmentally clean. The wool hasn't travelled far and warm water and olive oil soap are the only other ingredients apart from my own energy."

 

She was inspired by the "wild and motley looking crew of herdwicks,… read more

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Oct 05, 2010

IKEA Hack: How to Make a Noguchi-Inspired Mid-Century Modern Lamp

created at: 10/05/2010

Isamu Noguchi's Akari lamps are among the classic, iconic pieces of mid-century design. These practical light sculptures are a playful take on the traditional Japanese paper lantern; updated with legs that echo the emerging atomic culture of the early 1950s, yet still maintaining the biomorphic shape found in Noguchi's other works. The Akari lamp series has been a part of the MoMA's permanent collection almost as long as it's been around. 

IKEA has featured their share of paper lantern-inspired lamps over the years. The most recent rendition is the VÄTE series, a collection of rice paper shades on steel framesread more

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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… read more

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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… read more

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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.… read more

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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,read more

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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… read more

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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… read more

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Sep 23, 2010

Easy DIY Wall Art: Pyramid Painting

created at: 09/23/2010

I recently spied the new book DIY Art at Homeat 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… read more

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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… read more

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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

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Sep 17, 2010

How To: Make a Rustic Twig and Wire Bowl

Twig bowl - side view

Scott took a walk in the woods near his home - a very famous woodland that happens to have been featured in films like The Princess Bride, Harry Potter, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves - and came back with an armload of twigs. Some wire and a biscuit tin later, and he's created this rustic twig bowl, perfect for the fall.

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Sep 16, 2010

How To: Make a Measuring Tape Belt

Riddle me this: How often have you said to yourself, "Man, I sure wish I had something to keep my pants up that shows off my tendency towards making stuff..."

Really? Never? Okay, me either, but I still like this measuring tape belt from the Mother Huddle. Sure, Destri's version is intended to hold up tiny little toddler pants, but the technique can certainly be translated for any… read more

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Sep 15, 2010

How To: Homemade Hard Cider

created at: 09/15/2010

Whether or not the autumn chill has hit your town yet, it will soon, and friends, we need to be prepared. And for my money, nothing tastes like fall like toasty pumpkin seeds... and apple cider. Whether warm and mulled with spices for everyone or fermented with crisp carbonation for adults, it's just plain wonderful.

And we think it'd be great to make it at home...easily. Some folks are lucky enough to own cider presses, but, thankfully, that's not the only way to get the job done.

Home Brew Hard Cider from Scratch

For those with a bevy of actual apples, this Instructable shows you how to press them using a simple 2x4 structure and a car jack. (You can also use an electric juicer.) For the rest of us, it's perfectly acceptable to start with pasteurized cider from your local orchard or… read more

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