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.
This holiday season, I wanted to come up with rustic, outdoor-themed ornaments. I love combining real, organic materials with modern tools and technology, and this project marries those perfectly: a natural wood slice ornament is printed with a photograph that's been digitally edited and enhanced for just the right look. To pull it off, I teamed up with Adobe to use their new Photoshop Elements 12 application to process the image and get it ready to live in the physical world. It's super easy to use, but still full of all kinds of features that are perfect for doing art and craft projects.
A few weeks ago, I decided to try my hand at screen printing. It seemed like a simple, straightforward process: Get the supplies and make it happen. Well, I made it "happen" and ended up learning a bit along the way. Here's my process and the things to watch out for when starting out.
There are a number of simple kits out there with all the supplies you need to get started. While they all seem to be complete, you can get better materials by gathering it all yourself. Here's my list of everything you'll need for $50 - $100.
Make the Screens:
The first step is making your screens. While I used scrap wood in my shop, I wish I
We all have designs, and we all have ideas. And sometimes, they just have to get out of our heads and into the real world. Screen printing is a great way to ink art on just about anything from shirts to posters to wood. If you figure out how to do it right, it's the easiest way to create dozens of copies fast. So here's our look at the right gear and techniques you'll need to get started today.
It's nearing Valentine's Day, and though my sweetheart and I don't usually do gifts, I wanted to make her something special. We're not big on the whole Hobby Lobby, scrapbook-y, shrine to ourselves approach to artwork, but I did want to incorporate a personal element. I recalled the custom DNA portraits I'd seen, and when searching, found the fingerprint prints offered by the same company. While I wouldn't even begin to understand how to go about visualizing DNA, I figured the custom fingerprint approach was probably pretty achievable.
I even figured out a way to make it seem a bit more handmade than the cold, tech-ier versions offered by the online companies. And, it only ended up costing me $6.00 USD. (I'm so thankful I've got someone who would be proud of me for creating an inexpensive DIY route, rather than impressed by how much I spent.)
In my hometown there's a poster shop that makes letterpress posters for every band that plays at The Ryman Auditorium. The fun part is you never know what size the poster will be and you can count on the size being something that could only be framed in a custom size.
A generation or two back, everything we read was printed with individual letters, hand picked and positioned in a tray by a patient and highly experienced printer. You've definitely seen many things printed by letterpress, but perhaps never understood or really appreciated the skill and effort it took to place row upon row of small letter blocks and hand ink the plates for pressing.
We all come in contact with screenprinted goods every day... there's a good chance you're wearing something screenprinted right now. It's is an impressive way to personalize just about anything you can think of, and it's really not that hard to start. Here are a few starter kits to help start down the road to making your own art and customizing everything you can get your hands on.
Oh... we know you can imagine the possibilities. Giving a hunk of hardwood that classic "branded" Western look. Creating an original poster or piece of wall art with a natural woodgrain background. A sidewalk sign or marquee for a local store or event.
There are plenty of reasons you'd want to make a wooden sign with a burnt design. Here's how to do it:
Ever wish there were a better way to lay claim to the books in your library than just scribbling your name on the inside cover? Which, let's admit it, ends up being so non-descript that it doesn't even register to loanee, who will inevitably just shelve the book as his own.
What you need is an custom Ex Libris stamp they'll forever recognize. Like, with a bear on it.
Editor's Note: this post kicks off our 2015 partnership with Adobe Photoshop Elements. We're excited to be working with them again (remember our rustic wooden ornaments?) , because creating digital images is a part of our daily routine. We'll be sharing tips, tricks, and full-blown DIY projects for the next few months, so make sure to follow along!
They say a dog is a man's best friend. Like most pet owners, I have an unhealthy fondness for my hound, a full-blooded beagle. Is there anything better than a man and his dog? How about a cool, rustic-framed print of said dog? To do it, I dusted off my Art 101 skills and tried my hand again at block printing. Here's how I used Photoshop Elements 13 to turn my photo of Bailey into a timeless piece of art.
I haven’t bound a book or pressed a paper for a few years, mostly because my old press broke and I never got around to fixing it. Well, I have the need for a few new journals and decided it was time to make another press. Here are three great presses I’ll be modeling mine after
A stretched canvas is - poetically and literally - a blank space on which to apply original creative works: paintings, screen prints, photo transfers, spray painted stencils. They're a great way to add some custom wall art to your space, matched to the vibe of the room, it's color scheme, etc.
Hardcore fan of your state? Or perhaps it just has a pleasing, graphic shape? Or perhaps you're simply looking for new awesome art to hang on your wall? Either way, check out this idea.
You can print on paper, you can print on fabric, you can even print on wood, but customizing glass has remained a little elusive.