Man Made DIY


Nov 23, 2015

Amazon's 8-Day Black Friday Sale Items You Actually Want to Know About

The Black Friday arms race isn't good for humanity, but it can help the price-conscious consumer. Amazon is gearing up for an 8 day Black Friday sale and here are all of the deals you may want to check out from electronics to home renovation equipment to outdoor gear.   … read more


Oct 16, 2015

Don't Spend A Dime This Weekend - It's Easier Than You Think

EscapeWith the weekend always right around the corner, it's time to think about plans. How about trying this - keep the wallet at home and figure out how to spend two whole days without spending a dime.   … read more


Aug 19, 2015

Best Value in Booze: What's the Best Tequila under $20?

created at: 08/19/2015

There are times to try new things. Times to taste different flavors, experiment with products, seek out something you've never encountered before...And sometimes, you just want to know what the best option is. The easy choice. The go-to. The everyday variety you know will work when you need it, and rely on every time.      … read more


Aug 04, 2015

Finally: Here's How To Pay Friends with Your Smartphone

Cash is boring. Use your smartphone.
Is it just me, or has the future turned out to be a bit of a disappointment? Hoverboards and jetpacks aside, I still can't beam anybody up, or down, or cook steak in my microwave, or have a sassy robot maid clean my house. But Square Cash is one area in which the future seems to have delivered, and I've been telling everyone about it for almost a year now. But, let me back up a bit and talk about the suckiness of non-future-money: paper currency.

Do you know what happens every third time I visit the drive-through ATM to get cash? I lose my card in the machine. Do you know how many armpits, waist bands, and god-knows-what-other sweaty… read more


Jul 31, 2015

Skip The Takeout, Make It Yourself: 5 Restaurant Recipes that Taste Better at Home

I'm a big fan of takeout, just make a call and the food is ready to munch within a few minutes. Like most people, I have my favorite meals that define the restaurant for me. They are the go-to picks that I get and leave happy every time. But what about the joints too far away to make a call and grab what you want when the urge hits?… read more


Jul 22, 2015

How to Sell Your Handmade Stuff at a Craft Fair

created at: 07/22/2015

If you’re like me your DIY obsession can get so out of hand you have to start selling your stuff to fund more stuff! One of the ways my wife and I do it is setting up a booth at local festivals, barn sales and craft fairs. With a little bit of business savvy and DIY ingenuity, you too can start turning a profit on your passions.

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Jun 26, 2015

Best Value in Booze: What's the Best Gin under $20?

created at: 06/26/2015

There are times to try new things. Times to taste different flavors, experiment with products, seek out something you've never encountered before...

And sometimes, you just want to know what the best option is. The easy choice. The go-to. The everyday variety you know will work when you need it, and rely on every time. 

Now that it's officially summer, let's apply that search to a great bottle of gin. Gin is a particularly diverse spirit. Besides Scotch whisky, I can't think of one that has a broader spectrum of flavors. And different bottles will showcase the distiller's creativity and play better with certain ingredients. But there is one bottle that I recommend for almost any cocktail that calls for London Dry Gin;  the thing I would take to a party or use in a punch or batch drink for a big group.    … read more


Jun 18, 2015

A Modern Man's Guide to Bargaining: How to Haggle and Get the Best Price...without Acting Like A Jerk

created at: 06/15/2015Everyone loves to save their hard-earned cash. So spending as little as possible while getting the most value is always the best way to go. But how can you make that happen without acting like a jerk in the process? Here are a few tried-and-true tips.… read more


Mar 22, 2015

Weekend Project: How to Make a Ring from a Quarter

The coin ring is an internet DIY classic. I remember seeing an old video (on Makezine, perhaps?) on creating a nickle ring way back in the early days of the DIY and craft blogosphere. Like, 2006.

But, most tutorials simply harvest the coin as raw material, banging it and beating it until it looks like any piece of cool-colored metal. These pieces by Nicholas Heckaman, however, fully embrace the ring's origin, showing off that recognizable texture and type, giving the ring plenty of personality.      

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Jan 06, 2015

How to: Make a Simple Wallet from a Coffee Bag

Coffee WalletLast night I was in a conversation with some friends about wallets because we all remembered being in junior high, and the duct tape wallet was a pretty big fad... for eighth graders. None of us had the time, cash, or skills (most likely) to create awesome leather wallets like we might have liked, but I always was a fan of the DIY ethos, especially when it comes to such a personal item I tend to use everyday.   … read more


Nov 13, 2014

How to: Fund Your Own Epic Travels + Adventures

created at: 11/10/2014Five years ago I found a tiny grant through a journalism fellowship so that I could shoot a documentary short about sex-trafficking in South Africa during the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Four years ago I found some small financial aids to help me study the Lakota language, and three years ago my brother and I found a grant through his college that helped fund our dream of rafting the entire Mississippi River.  

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Nov 07, 2014

How to: Simplify Your Wallet

8 Apps To Slim Down Your WalletIf you've ever been mugged (or accidentally lost your wallet in a river like I've actually done,  TWICE), you know the insane pain it can be to replace everything. While there's a good case to be made for why you should immediately photocopy the contents of your wallet, there are lots of other great ways to reduce the fat wad in your pocket and streamline your life with redundancies to spare.   … read more


Oct 13, 2014

How to Tip [i.e. Everything You Don't Know About Tipping]

created at: 10/13/2014

While proper tipping is a sign of a good manners, knowing how much- and when to- is one of those life skills I think I was supposed to pick up by osmosis. Generally speaking I’ve done my best to lean on the generous side, but I’ve definitely guessed my way through a handful of social situations. Thankfully, this long-form article written by an academic - and former waiter - takes a look at some of the large-scale statistics on tipping in different situations across America.   … read more


Aug 05, 2014

Men's Style: How to Make the Most of a Budget Wardrobe

created at: 08/05/2014

When it comes to getting the most from an everyone-has-a limited clothing budget, the two most helpful questions to think about are "what's the best men's style value in terms of long-lasting quality vs. price" and "on what should I save, and on what should I invest?"    … read more


Jun 16, 2014

Men's Style: The Case for Fewer — but Better — Clothes

created at: 06/16/2014

In the first half of the 20th century, the average U.S. citizen spent about 12-14% on clothing. Today, we spend only 3%, and yet we own about 5x the amount of clothes. In the vein of fast food, economists are calling this "fast fashion," and like that extra value meal, it's not very good for us.   … read more


Mar 18, 2014

An Excellent Bargain Bottle: Our Pick for the Best Budget Liquor

created at: 03/18/2014Like many things, the world of spirits and liquor is a spectrum. On one end, there's the only-there-for-ABV stuff that college kids drink, on the other, the collections and high-end bottles of fine connoisseurs, with plenty of options in between. And while there are the days when something special is the only way to go, there are also plenty of time when you want a budget bottle that works: something for mixing, something to bring to a party, or a good-enough bottle to share with guests.    … read more


Nov 04, 2013

That One Time Where I Tried Not to Spend Money for a Month... and Failed.

created at: 11/04/2013

Just before the month began, I detailed my household's plans to not buy anything during the month of October. You can read the whole scenario here, but the summary is, simply: we wanted to take a break from consumerism, and attempted to use money only on bills, fixed costs, and two highly organized grocery trips. And, we did it. Except when we didn't. Here's how it went:   


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Sep 26, 2013

Why I'm Not Going to Buy Anything During the Month of October

created at: 09/26/2013

Starting next Tuesday, October 1st, my household will not be buying any stuff. For the following thirty-one days, we won't be purchasing a single, non-consumable item. … read more


Sep 23, 2013

All the Personal Finance Advice You’ll Ever Need...On a Single Index Card

created at: 09/23/2013

After spending some time interviewing Helaine Olen, author of Pound Foolish, Harold Pollack distilled her thoughts - basically, a summary of the entire self-help personal finance industry - into a short series of maxims, all of which are available for free from your local library. And the whole thing fits on a single index card.    … read more


Mar 04, 2013

On Paying Too Little: Why Saving Money Isn't Always Better

created at: 03/04/2013

I mentioned last week that I'd traveled to my hometown for my grandmother's funeral, and to help begin the process of cleaning and organizing her home where she'd lived for the last fifty-two years. I found all sorts of interesting stuff (more to come soon), most of which was still as functional as when my grandparents bought it decades ago, with only a bit of dust or rust to show.

So, when I stumbled across this old booklet in a filing cabinet, I was particularly drawn to the quote on the back, which begins, "It's unwise to pay too much...but it it's worse to pay too little."   … read more

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