Several months ago, I moved offices at my job. I threw up a couple pictures of the family and brought all my documents into my new space. And that's how it's been since. Fast forward six month,s and my walls are still barren. I travel a little bit for work and I spend a lot of time at my client’s offices, so I don’t always notice how empty the walls look. Finally, my office administrator walked into my office and told me that it was time to hang something up to make my office look a little more personable.
Most of the people in my office have artwork that was bought online or a stock photo of a beautiful scenery, but that’s not really my style. I wasn’t sure what I wanted, but I knew I wanted to build it myself and make it unique. So, I searched Pinterest and finally found something that I thought had a nice professional but masculine look that fit my style.
I am grateful to have a dedicated workshop in our basement. It's a great place to both work on projects, and store tools and materials. And while my shop time is super important, there are a few things even more precious to me. Like my family.
So, I'm interested in learning more about some smaller wood projects that I can do in the evenings during family time. Projects like carving, whittling, and other non-furniture making projects that I can do while we watch a movie or reading time in the common areas.
So, I hit up Craigslist, and found this older model Workmate for a mere $10. And, in an afternoon, I turned it into a portable space to get creative and start making some chips... no noise or sawdust required.
I love reading. It's a passion and a pastime, a comfort when I'm stressed out, and a total compulsion—ask my wife and she'll confirm that if there's written material anywhere in my vicinity, I'll scan it. I read books from the bookstore and the library, I read articles on my phone, I print out PDFs of friends' screenplays for annotated reviews.
I also really enjoy buying vintage books, especially while traveling. My trade of choice is artisan printing, particularly in letterpress, so I love examining the craft that goes into these old books.
Most books come to me in decent condition, but every once in a while I'll come across one in a Charlie Brown Christmas tree state. Today I finally sat down to work on this 70-year-old German paperback, and I'd like to share my DIY book binding process with you.
I am a total scrap hoarder. Whether it's wood, metal or other trinkets, I can't help but think to myself that one day I will use some of these. From time to time, I search the depths of Pinterest to find some really good uses for all the junk I collect. Because if I don't I might not have a workshop to work in anymore!
Old tape players are abundant, and cheap. Many have solid speaker sets, perfect period styling and design, and handle-equipped portability. So, what to do with 'em? Play music through them! Oh, tossed your mixtape collection in the late 00s? Then, I guess you gotta make that music yourself.
A rustic storage box is frankly good for just about anything. Storing tools, carrying picnic supplies, or even piling up in a corner for decoration, you can do just about anything with them. And if you build them with enough quality and intention you can always sell them if they're in your way (honestly, I once saw legitimately janky old crates being sold in Brooklyn for $45 apiece).
If you're getting serious about working with metal, an anvil is an essential part of the shop. Here's how to use an old piece of train track to make your own.
So the first thing to know is that, yes, there is such a thing as the Shed of the Year. It's a (literal) giant crown of an award for the best shed in the UK given during the final episode of Channel 4's Amazing Spaces Shed of the Year. This year's finale had a record-breaking 2,825 entries and 12,292 public votes, and was described as, "nail-biting" and I can honestly understand why...
There's no better way to say: I freaking love projects like this. Reddit user mxmln23 used the case from a stylish vintage radio, and did some clever hacking that allows it to become a wireless speaker that can stream from Spotify, Google Music, SoundCloud music player, Apple Airtunes, web radio stations, and Last.FM.
I recently lost a beloved church pew to several years of rot and water damage. Totally my fault, I didn't seal it properly. But, that's ok! It gives me a reason to build something new! On top of that, I thought I'd challenge myself.
These vintage suitcase shelves were created by Ki Naussauer, a designer known for her commitment to flea market pieces and upcycling. This wall is from her actual living room, which means: she made them herself, and you can too. Here's how it'd go:
One of the great things about living in Northern California is the wide open spaces. There are so many great places to hike, climb, swim, and just enjoy in the expansive outdoors up here. Only a true Northern California resident can really understand how frustrating it is when people tell me how Northern California is San Francisco and then right above that is Oregon. Nope, there are hundreds of miles between SF and the border, and that expanse is my home.
Chicago-based artist and designer Artpentry, maker of the "Gentleman's Boombox" - a stereo/speaker combo built inside a vintage suitcase - turns his outfitting skills to another type of popular case: the toolbox.
We've written before about the tiny house movement, especially people who have opted to live in the minimalist spaces that have mobility, but this is whole new take on the lifestyle. Bruce Campbell (not this guy) of Oregon, has lived in a renovated Boeing 727 for over 15 years and is now looking build another in Japan...
Have you ever stumbled across an old wooden crate at your local flea market and wondered "what can I do with that"? Here's one option - turn it into a unique and functional accessory for your around-the-town cycling.
If there's a category of things I constantly have too many of, it's books. Stacks on stacks on stacks. I have to purposefully keep myself from entering used book stores since I know I already have literal piles of books at home begging to be read, not to mention stacks of books I've already read that I don't intend to hold on to. If you're past the book lamp or clock, here are 7 next-level DIY projects for those books ready to be recycled.
Maker and craft book author Shawn Gascoyne-Bowman came up with this clever way to keep track of those various projects-in-process: create a reusable "caddy" from a bulked-up six-pack beer carrier.
In our elementary school days, packing your bag was easy: books, folders, pencil, lunch bag, done. But, as grown-ups, especially for those who work in a non-traditional office setting, making sure you have all the goodies you need for the day or a work trip can be tough - do you have all the right power and syncing cables
A fine pair of audio speakers is a common sight at a secondhand store, but, of course, there's a reason the original donor got rid of them. Perhaps it was a failure in the wiring (easily fixable), a distaste for the 80s faux wood laminate case work (um...paintable?), but most likely, it's a simple aging