I love using the internet to find inspiration, design ideas, and cool materials for my next big project. But, I still think there's a lot of value in a simple, compact physical volume to invite both new makers and folks looking to step up their game into growing their craftsmanship.
So, I want to recommend to you a new book Handmade: A Hands-On Guide. It's a primer full of beginner and intermediate level projects from all across the makersphere, many of which are provided by some of your favorite bloggers, YouTubers, and online content creators. (Including, full disclosure, yours truly.) It's written by my friend and colleague Asa
This post is sponsored by the DIYZ® app.
When my friend Bruno hurt his back a few years ago, he started preaching about the value of standing while you're at work. Having made a bicycle-mounted laptop stand way back in 2010!, I'm not new to this game, but the more I tried it, the more I liked it. Not only is standing good for your posture (and thus your back), but for certain kinds of tasks, I find it really increases my productivity.
Here's how to make a simple desk riser so you can stand and work on your laptop at just about any desk. It's built out of copper pipe and plywood, two of the easiest materials around to work with
I am in love with coffee. I'm not ashamed. I think, probably, coffee has been secretly dictating the course of human affairs for many centuries now. Think of any great woman or man, and I suspect coffee was right there, in the thick of it, driving them to get up in the morning, or work late in the evening.
Teddy Roosevelt got by on only about a gallon per day, and Voltaire downed 40-50 cups daily, which sounds great to me, if I didn't have to do anything else that day, or interact with people, or operate a moving vehicle.
Me, I enjoy just one good cup in the morning. And that's the important part: it has to be good. Like, really
I've recently been doing a bunch of woodworking and lamp-making for Luke Hobbs Design here in Los Angeles, so it wasn't long before I found myself looking at what else is out there in the DIY lighting universe. Instructables user darbinovar didn't seem to have too much of a plan when she started in on this industrial-looking copper and leather lamp, but the final result really is beautiful.
Most homes theses days have a fair bit of copper piping in them, and knowing how to make simple repairs (or installs) is worthwhile. Plus, soldering (aka 'sweating') pipe is one of those skills that's actually really easy to learn, and pretty hard to mess up (badly).
Here's the thing, though: soldering pipe can be dangerous, because it involves using a blow torch at high temperatures to heat the copper. Plus, you'll almost always be doing it it indoors, which is not my favorite place to use an open flame. So do it safely:
The bicycle basket is a long standing accessory that's great for carrying anything from picturesque picnic supplies to laptops to bulldogs apparently. The copper piping makes for a slightly antique or hipstered look and could be all the makeover your bike needs. Alternately, just build the basket and keep it around the house, fill it with plants, fill it with dogs, etc.
Tiki torches are hit or miss for me. They can be tacky and, but if done right they can class up the aesthetic of your summer barbecue in a whole new way. The design is as simple to make as the aesthetic is clean.
Like most adult Americans, we're big fans of coffee (and coffee made well). Personally, I make a lot of pourover cups of coffee and I love the statement of having a routine in a specialized preparation space. And here's an easy DIY solution from Homemade Modern that looks both elegant and masculine.
If you're ready for a new kind of DIY challenge, consider building your own copper still, which will allow you to distill your own spirits for DIY whiskey, vodka, gin, or brandy. (Or tequila, I guess...if you can get your hands on a giant agave piña.)
Here's a cool, space-saving idea with plenty of style: a floating media shelf featuring beautifully grained hardwood contrasted with warm copper pipe.
Friends, it's time to get rid of that tacky, huge plastic salt container from Costco, and upgrade your seasonings with this five minute project.
This warm and rustic yet contemporary copper planters are killer. They'd work in any kind of space, whether you live in a lush home or a modest apartment.