My grandfather was a toothpick guy. Like, he had a seven-or-eight-a-day habit. When he died and we helped my grandmother do a clean sweep of the house, my aunt found more than one hundred individual ones tucked away into couch cushions and drawers and pockets. Last year, when my grandmother passed away and we prepped the house for selling, we found at least a couple dozen more stashed away.
I find lighting to be one of the more difficult parts of creating a masculine or industrial interior, especially when it comes to DIY projects. While you can
Owning a piece of mid-century design brings a solid, artfully masculine vibe to any space...but many of the classics are out of your price range when just starting to pull your home together. So, instead of shelling out the bucks for a statement piece by a major designer, invest a little time, and thoughtfulness, and make your own!
Leather is strong, durable, and extremely workable. But stitching leather involves some specific two-handed, two needle techniques, some specialized gear, and some definite knowhow. So, what to do when you want to make a custom piece, but aren't ready to invest the time and materials to learn to hand sew it?
You make no-sew project: just as strong, just as customizable.
Here's a project that deserves to be checked out both for its utility on your own projects, but also for its simple, inspired creativity. This is why the DIY, craft, and maker movement continue to grow; there are super smart, thoughtful folks figuring out how to help other keep making stuff.
With the summer Olympics in full swing, it's time to start paying attention to one of the many sports that most of us barely remember until this time every four years: archery. (We love you too, steeplechase and race walking.) As an ancient sport dating back some 64,000 years, the bow and arrow's construction has understandably undergone some manufacturing changes. But not for John Neeman Tools...
There are sorts of reasons a guy would wanna take great photos at home: an artist or crafter, online shop owner, Instagram power user, or just an everyday documenter extraordinaire.
No matter your focus, these easy and affordable tips will help you dramatically improve your photography skills.
One of the most distinctive features on a piece of furniture are the drawer pulls. Try something different with a leather pull to really make an impression.
If you've ever thought about making a leather wallet, but haven't for whatever reason, then here is the place to start. With a couple tools and about $10 in leather you'll lay the groundwork for greater leather-working projects and emerge with a stylish and minimalist wallet to boot.
I don't think I've mentioned this on ManMade, but earlier this year, my wife and I bought our first (and hopefully last) home. It was a big deal, both emotionally and financially, and looking in one of the wildest and fastest changing real estate climates in the country, we got pretty lucky that our first offer was accepted. It's a solid home that we can afford, and it sits in a close-in neighborhood that's super liveable and great for walking, commuting by bike, and public transit. I totally love it.
And...of course, when you own your own home, you get to mess with it. No more landlords to tell you what to do, no more wasting time and money investing in customizing a place that you'll only be in for a little while. And of course, as a DIY blogger, I had my sights set on the two most important spaces in the house: the garage and the basement.
I recently saw an image of something like this guy on Pinterest and after many minutes of searching, I couldn't find where I could buy it. So, I made my own! It's a roll-up wood tray you can drape over the arm or cushion of your couch to create a flat surface for all kinds of good stuff.
Perfect for a summer outside, this simple beer flight holder let's everyone try out those new craft brews in style. This simple but stable holder is made from a single board and will likely be a centerpiece of many summer get-together in the near future.
Leather opens up all kinds of creativity, but it can be an intimidating material to for beginners. It requires a different sort of tool kit than regular sewing projects, and many guys don't even know how to use a sewing machine in the first place...though ManMade does its best to remedy that.
The solution? Don't sew anything!
There are some things that just make me stop and stare. If you're like me this video of a CNC lathe crafting a chess piece from a metal blank is about 4 minutes of mesmerizing relaxation. Being a diehard maker at heart, this video makes me happy.
There's no better way to introduce this blog post than to say: I think it's a really, really good idea. The look is classic, and it helps protect your tools edges and handles by encasing them in soft, sturdy material, and it helps protect your hands by keeping the business ends covered. And, since you're making it from scratch, you can create custom slots and pockets to hold exactly what you want, and keep things where they need to be. And did we mention it looks great? Yes? Okay, great. Let's make one.
One time, in an interview, I was asked, "What's the connection between all the styles of crafts and projects you feature on ManMade? What makes them of a kind?" After thinking for a second, it occurred to me that most of the things I'm interested in involve a similar process: take some materials, cut them up into different shapes and sizes, and then put them together in a more interesting way. Sometimes we do that with joinery, or hardware, or a sauce, but often, that work involves the magical power of....
As far as holidays go, Easter isn't the most stylish. I mean, with all the pastels and baby birds and neon plastic grass, it's definitely not a season for the design-minded.
Unless, of course, you break things down into their most simple parts. Take the Easter egg; its ovoid shape is the definition of nature's penchant towards efficiency, and the dyeing with natural, real world colors gives the whole thing an amazing sense of organic texture.