I can recount eras of my life in wallets. My first was a black trifold at age nine, a Christmas gift from my grandparents. High school and undergrad entered the era of canvas, which would wear hard at the corners where cards hit. In my twenties, I carried a thick oxblood-colored job I found on clearance at a department store. It was the model that signaled the end of the era; the first that didn't come with that little plastic sleeve for photos, because the smart phone had rendered it unnecessary.
This was the year I finally outgrew IKEA. There's still several pieces in my house, but I'm ready to move on from them as soon as possible. I imagine its the byproduct of being a new homeowner, and knowing that I can finally buy intentional pieces to fit in specific spaces, and that – when I do – they'll work there for as long as we decide to keep them.
It's not IKEA's fault. And I still think that their attractive, clean-lined particleboard furniture is better than the faux-Tuscan and laserprinted woodgrain particleboard furniture from the discount store. But, while it worked in my twenties, I'm ready to surround myself with things that will last.
When I think back to my first office job, I learned two key takeaways: 1) always share your process and thinking with your supervisor, and don't hold out til the end to show them the completed project and 2) drink a bunch of liquids all day long so you'll have to get up to go the bathroom.
Seriously. Moving about the office gets you up and out of your seat, your eyes off the computer screen, and the ability to mingle a bit with your coworkers. And while we recommend switching to water after 11:00am, it's nice to enjoy a few small personal mugs of coffee vs. a huge thermos. It always stays hot, and remains fun to sip the whole morning
First, apologies to the young man who stood in front of me at the post office yesterday. He was trying, but not trying too hard. He was going for a slightly updated classic New England collegiate look: blue button down oxford, dark green chinos, killer brown leather boots, 60's-inspired glasses. His hair was parted pretty traditionally, the kind of clipper/scissor combo cut you can get at any modern barbershop. He didn't ask to inspire an article about hair product.
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.
If you getting a ton of use out of the cord taco you made with the last blog post, my guess is that your probably going to get even more use out of this DIY leatherworking project.
As always, if you don't feel skilled enough to pull off any of the steps below, you can check out this beginners guide to get you going.
I — admittedly — was in the habit of just grabbing my computer and carrying it around. Its home was wherever I left it...unprotected. Stupid, I know. I’m pretty careful with my stuff, especially when it costs as much as a laptop, but even if you can control you're behavior, you can’t always predict what
There's nothing more satisfying than hearing the phrase "Where'd you get that!?" Ok, maybe it's just me, but I consider that phrase to be the apex of achievement when you've truly found a cool item. Here's a round up of 4 unique, life-improving things that I use everyday and you should too!
A few weeks back we talked about some of the basic, essential tools for getting started in leatherworking. Once you're set up, its time to put them into practice. Here are a few projects to hone those skills, and end up with some great practical pieces you can use everyday
For those of you who have already made the switch to wireless earbuds (thanks Apple), tangled cords aren’t really an issue you have to deal with any more.
But, if your like me and carry around "old school" wired earbuds in your pocket, you understand the wad of knots you pull out every time you go digging. And, though some may appreciate the eternal struggle (and contemporary art sculpture?) it really doesn’t have to be that way.
This simple DIY earbud/headphone/cord organizer keeps your cables knot free and still fits sleekly in your pocket. Using it is easy: all you have to do is wrap your earbuds around the organizer and snap it
You know those tasks. The ones that you know won't actually consume that much time, but you imagine will take *just* long enough that you just can't motivate yourself to just step up and get it done.
Shining your shoes doesn't have to be one of them. True story. Provided you've got the right gear and a little technique, you can bring your leather shoes and boots back into shape in less than sixty seconds.
There's something to be said for the all-in project. The weekend filling, head-scratching, multiple-trips-to-the-store, major build project that ends up so satisfying, and useful, once it's complete. But there's also something to be said for the straightforward, quick and simple project that can be started and finished after you get home from work. For those times when you don't always have the capability, or bandwidth, to take on something huge, but that creative spirit just keeps telling you to make stuff... make stuff...
If you're on the hunt for last-minute DIY gift ideas - it's definitely not too late to take a whack at these gorgeous wooden rings. They look great and the good news is you can make them without the need for a lathe, drill press or bandsaw!
When my mom was a girl, her mother had a special drawer in her dresser that the kids weren't allowed to touch. One day they saw an ice cream truck come by and decided the root around the house for spare change. Lo and behold they found a magnificent stack of quarters in the secret drawer. They pilfered the lusty quarters, gorged themselves on ice cream, and were promptly grounded for weeks when they learned the "special quarters" were all made of silver...
All of our technological innovations surprisingly have yet to render the briefcase or backpack obsolete. Even as an actor who ostensibly doesn’t need anything when I get to set, I end up carrying one with books and odds and ends and who knows what. In fact most men I know have decided for themselves where their allegiances lie: whether with the satchel/bookbag, the briefcase, or the backpack (pro tip: if you’re out of college and not distance bike-riding, try to avoid the backpack).
Like many of our readers, I’m a huge audiobook and podcast guy. I actually have to set aside intentional space to just sit alone with my own thoughts and think, because if I’ve got any mundane tasks to do around the house and nobody else is home, I’m rocking some auditory learning…
In a post-apocalyptic future, a wrench is actually a fairly good weapon of choice, but what if you could augment it a bit by, you know... forging it into a tomahawk? Well that's exactly what Miller Knives did in their recent YouTube tutorial and it's definitely worth checking out...
I'm a huge Legends of the Fall fan, to the point that I was actually embarrassed when I saw it for the first time in my early twenties because I realized I'd spent much of my life emulating a character I hadn't known existed. While I did take the time to study a Native American language, I have yet to make forge my own antler-hilted blade like Brad Pitt's iconic weapon of choice...
The plain white T-shirt (with accompanying pocket) dates back to the Spanish-American War. But was truly popularized in the post-WWII period, when GIs brought the habit of wearing the "undergarment" back to the states. Shortly thereafter it became an icon of working-class masculinity as the Everyman sought to embody the virility of such matinee idols as Marlon Brando (a la Streetcar), Steve McQueen, and James Dean.
This is real MacGyver territory. I've been stuck in a handful of urban survival situations and the inevitably dying phone battery is by far one of the more pressing issues. Most important will of course be immediate safety, shelter, water and food, etc., but it's likely that the use of a phone will help you secure those things. And when the power is knocked out it can be a real challenge.
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.