Man Made DIY


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Dec 21, 2010

Tell Us Your Favorite Christmas Movie, and Win Free Stuff!

created at: 12/21/2010

This year, I've watched a total of twenty-one Christmas movies and Christmas specials. So far. There are still three essentials to come in the next few days.

I don't normally watch that much TV in three months, but there's something about seasonal specials that turns me into a couch potato, with a candy cane in my mouth, festively lit by my spinning light wheel.

I guess like I feel it's okay, cause I presume everybody does it. 

So, I'm hoping you'll prove me right, and I wanna give you something to say thanks. So, between right now and 11:59pm on December 25th, 2010, just tell us your favorite Christmas movie or television special, and you'll be entered to win one of five free copies of one our publications, Make It! Hardware Store Decor.   … read more

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Dec 20, 2010

How To: Lots of Ideas to Make DIY Luminaries

created at: 12/20/2010

One of my favorite holiday memories is of making luminaries to light the walk on Christmas eve. We'd gather with the other kids from our church, and fill paper lunch bags with sand, and then set a candle and light up the sidewalks of the entire block. I was always amazed that the bags didn't catch on fire, but mostly, I was amazed they'd let me play with a lighter, which I was definitely not allowed to do at home.

But, paper bags and play sand aren't the only option for these holiday traditions, so here's a roundup of DIY luminaria with a little something for everyone. There's LEDs for the geeks, a wax for the crafty folks,… read more

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Dec 14, 2010

How To: Quick and Easy Hand-Printed Wrapping Paper

created at: 12/14/2010

I'm still keeping up with my handmade only Christmas gifts this year, which, if you ask me, means I also gotta create my own wrapping paper. I added a typographic punch to brown craft paper, and made a super fast hand drawn snowflake paper, but decided I needed a little color under my tree. Not wanting to spend a ton of time, I whipped up several sheets of mod hand-printed paper in under an hour. 

Here's how to do it:   … read more

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Dec 14, 2010

How To: Make a Bent Wood Bowl

created at: 12/14/2010

I'm an enormous fan of bent plywood furniture. The subtle curving shapes of the precedent-setting Eames chairs are amazing:

created at: 12/14/2010

And while it's not impossible to do at home, it would take a lot of gear, time, and money. Individual layers are steamed and then laminated (glued on top of each other) over two-sided forms, forming curved plywood.… read more

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Dec 10, 2010

How to Make 3D Paper Snowflakes

created at: 12/10/2010

Three or four years ago, these 3D paper snowflakes exploded all over the how-to and home decor blogosphere, and they've been an essential part of my holiday season ever since. I love the methodical tape slicing and paper cutting that perfectly matches a viewing of Christmas Vacation or Scrooged. This year, there's a total of sixteen hanging all over my home, and in case you haven't seen this how-to somewhere, I thought I'd share. … read more

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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 course...

created at: 12/09/2010

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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 Googled it.   … 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 other.

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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 to do it:   … 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? Hilter?!

created at: 12/07/2010   … 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 ornament.

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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 spoon!

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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.

created at: 12/03/2010

    … 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.

Which I can.

  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.

created at: 12/02/2010   

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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 tree.   … 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 its done:

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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 course.

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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 free patterns:   … read more

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