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Nov 30, 2017

This is the Best 79¢ You Can Spend on Your DIY Projects

Earlier this week, I was asked to be interviewed about getting started in making things, and the conversation turned towards the best tools for the money. The guy asked me what I think the best thing to invest in, and we naturally discussed how, once you have all the tools you need, you tend to think the things that support your workflow are more important that the cool-looking trappings of the woodworker. Like, how my favorite power tool is actually my two horsepower dust collector on its own circuit, because that's the machine I use on every single process. Or how I'd rather have an inexpensive Japanese dozuki saw and a really nice mechanical pencil and Starrett combination square vs. low grade measuring and marking tools and a fancy dovetail saw. (Though, to be fair, I do have both.)

But, it got me thinking about the truly best value in woodworking, the craft process, etc. Like what's something that's entirely inexpensive yet you use on every single project?  

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Jun 12, 2017

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.

 

Consider Your Investment
As you’re doing research on what fair or festival to do, count the cost of things like booth fees, ticket costs (if any), travel and food. After adding up all those costs make sure you have or make enough product to exceed those costs. If you all of those factors turn out to be a worthy

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May 12, 2017

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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Feb 22, 2017

16 Under-$25 Cooking Essentials You Need in Your Kitchen Right Now

We believe in investing in long-lasting, high-quality kitchen gear; things worth saving up for, that you know will stand up to daily use. Opting for a legit forged steel chef's knife, say... one that can be sharpened and honed over and over and will last you the rest of your life, and then some.

But, investment pieces are just that: investments. Those things cost money, and they're well worth it. But thankfully, you can fill in the gaps with a selection of totally affordable and super useful kitchen tools, many of which cost less than a lunch at a local bistro. So with that in mind, here's our list of inexpensive, high-quality, and crazy versatile culinary tools with which you should be stocking your kitchen, all of which come in at less than twenty-five bucks.

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Aug 23, 2016

5 Things I Learned About Money From My Dad (Plus A Few More)

Money

My dad taught me many things when I was growing up. Here are five important standards I  took from what he had to say about money, and a few I've learned on my own.    

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Aug 15, 2016

Good Reads: 5 Money Books That Will Change Your Life

Money ShotIn a world full of exceptions, we still have some unifying traits. This is one thing I can say for certain, you handle money almost every day. It's a constant flow, either in or out like a steady tide. I have a small but powerful set of money books on my shelf, and you should too. This list is probably not new, but I know there's something on this list you need to grab today to up your money game in the very best way.   

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Jul 29, 2016

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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May 09, 2016

Fort Knox in Box: How ATMs Work

created at: 05/28/2013

created at: 05/08/2016Have you every stopped and wondered how ATM's actually work? How they correctly distribute the right bills without mistakes? And how they do it all securely? Well check out this surprisingly enriching short video that unpacks how the guts of the beast actually come together to keep our money flowing...  

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Jan 26, 2016

Fashion Made Affordable: 8 Money-Saving Style Tips for Men

If we were all millionaires, we'd all look stylish everyday. Not necessarily fancy, but we'd be able to afford whatever we needed to fit our particular body types and look our best, whatever that may be. 

created at: 01/26/2016

But, we're not. Well, I'm not. (If you are, feel free to email me at Chris @ manmadediy.com. I have lots of interesting ideas for you.) But in the days of the internet and online shopping, we've now access to all sorts of deals that we'd never be able to take advantage of years ago.

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Jan 12, 2016

How to: Care for and Protect Your Leather Boots and Shoes for Winter

created at: 04/16/2013

This time of year, footwear choices can be a gamble. Overthink it, and you're stuck in snow or hiking boots all day. Under-prepare, and your socks and feet stay wet, cold, and covered in  road salt. 

How to care for your leather boots in winter.

The answer, of course, is to opt for the middle, and choose a natural weather-resistant material that's stylish no matter what the season: leather.   

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Jan 07, 2016

9 Secrets for Saving Money at Lowe's

Donald Glover has a great stand up bit about Home Depot being where your childhood goes to die, and while that may be true, there are few places that get me as amped up as a supply run to a hardware store. The more you go, the more you know, but I was surprised to find out that many of these tips were new to me. Who knew Lowe's could haggle?   

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Dec 30, 2015

15 High-End, Long-Lasting Goods that are Worth the Splurge

created at: 12/30/2015

Here at ManMade, "value" is all about getting a product which has a quality you're comfortable with at a price that you're comfortable paying. For us, that means we're rarely recommending

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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.   

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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.  

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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.      

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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 places

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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?

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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.    

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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.

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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.  

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