Have you ever marked out a board, went to cut, and re-checked your measurements after hearing the words “Measure twice, cut once” echo in your ears? It's remarkable how nuggets of shop wisdom can stick with you and save you a ton of trouble on a project.
At ManMade, we're big on collecting aphorisms, witticisms, and maxims that deliver helpful lessons in tidy packages. Sometimes, they're just what we need to stay productive, and get motivated to try something new. So, we're providing a few of our favorite in the form of free downloads: printable artwork to hang in your home, office, or wherever you create your DIY projects.
The posters are sized to 11×14″. You can have these printed at that size at a local copy shop, office supply store, or membership club. They also come out nicely on a standard sheet of 8.5 x 11″ copy paper, so they're easy to print out at home. You can frame them if you want, but we think they look great just tacked up to the wall above your workbench.
1. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
The DIY approach to life is necessarily a thrifty one. Be sure to mend, not spend.
2. Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
An important reminder that you probably already have everything you need to go after your next great project or adventure. This one's a personal favorite, and I tell myself often.
3. Measure twice. Cut once. Realize you messed up. Say some swear words. Go back to the store. Measure twice. Cut once.
Anyone who's finished a major project can recognize this as the actual reality of what happens. So many trips to the home improvement center…
4. Risk-taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing-taking.
You're going to make mistakes. The mark of a true craftsperson is knowing how to fix them.
5. It's as hard to get from almost finished to finished as to get from beginning to almost done.
― Elinor Fuchs
Essential to remember when you've made major progress on a project, but are just now realizing all the fussing and fiddly bits that will take it from good to great. Don't give up. The real work starts here.
6. When I have finished, if the solution to a problem is not beautiful, then I know it is wrong.
— Buckminster Fuller
Because it's those aha moments that keep us creative, and help us keep going. Look for the beautiful solutions. They'll always be the most satisfying.
7. One who works with their hands is a laborer. One who works with their hands and head is a craftsman. One who works with their hands, head, and heart is an artist.
― Louis Nizer
8. Good work doesn't come naturally. It comes by practice.
Craft is developed through repetition. You won't do something perfectly the first time you try. That's the whole point of learning.