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    created at: 07/09/2014

    I'll never turn down an opportunity to share a clean-yet-rustic furniture project made entirely from easy-to-find materials from your local home improvement center. This piece, the XX Shelf, was designed by Japanese artist Naoya Matsuo, and "is taken from his 'Less Machine, More Hand' collection, which focuses on DIY store materials and low-tech tools for production." The project comes from the new book from Laurence King Publishers,  DIY Furniture 2 by Christopher Stuart.

    'The shelves have simple components: just one sheet of plywood cut into three, four wooden dowels, and two strips of polypropylene tape. The tape strips, which act as a design accent, form braces to keep the structure stable. Naoya exhibited XX as one of three pieces of knock-down furniture at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in 2011. Every time he exhibits in foreigh countries, he designs knock-down pieces and carries them all by hand to save costs."

    created at: 07/09/2014

    Editor's Note: this project has been translated from the metric system to standard measurements. Different hardware and materials are available in North America than in Europe and Japan. (For example, the original project called for 1/6" nails. You're not likely to find those at your neighborhood hardware store). In the U.S., "polypropylene tape" is called nylon webbing, and you can find it in the hardware store (as cargo straps) or in your local outdoor store, where it's used for climbing and mountaineering.


    • 4x 36" long wooden dowels, 1 1/8" diameter
    • 2x lashing straps, 1" wide, 65" long 
    • One sheet of plywood, at least 36x36"
    • 12x M4 (or 3 1/16") nails, 2 1/2" long
    • 6x M4 (or 3 1/16") nails, 1" long
    • 18x appropriately-sized plastic caps for nails


    • Scissors
    • Hammer
    • Saw
    • Electric Drill
    • 1 1/4" hole saw or Forstner bit

    created at: 07/09/2014


    created at: 07/09/2014

    created at: 07/09/2014

    created at: 07/09/2014


    More about DIY Furniture 2: 

    DIY Furniture 2 features thirty new designs by leading and up-and-coming designer-makers from around the world. Building on the international success of Stuart’s previous book, DIY Furniture 2 employs easy-to-follow techniques for making unique furniture designed by high-end, professional designers. Including conceptual pieces and contemporary designs, the book features projects that can be easily assembled using readily available materials easily sourced from any hardware store.

    Each project celebrates simple, modern, and functional design. Arranged by level of complexity, each project includes diagrams with easy-to-follow instructions. The book is organized by shelves and storage, tables and desks, seating, lighting, bedroom, outdoor and misc. Illuminating profiles of each designer and body of work rounds out the book. Fully sustainable and highly original, these projects will challenge today’s makers and DIYers to think about common materials in an entirely new light. Available now. Grab a copy at our affiliate, 


    Thanks to Laurence King for allowing us to publish this sample project. Learn more about their art and design titles here. 

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    Flipping the Block

    HGTV’s® new series Flipping the Blockputs teams to the test in a renovation competition. With a cash prize of $50,000 on the line, contestants must remodel and transformrun-down condos in a race to add the most value to their space. Judges and HGTV stars Nicole Curtis (Rehab Addict) and Scott McGillivray (Income Property) will select teams to win weekly prizes, while host and licensed contractor Josh Temple will guide the teams throughout the design and renovation process.

    HGTV’s®Flipping the Block premieres July 20th at 9/8c. To meet the teams and watch behind-the-scenes interviews, be sure to go to Join the conversation @HGTV #FlippingtheBlock.

    This post brought to you by HGTV’s “Flipping the Block”

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    created at: 04/03/2012

    In case your A/C bill hasn't told you yet, we're well into summer. Well, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. And summer is the season of sunscreen and short sleeves and socks as little as possible, wear sunglasses. Unfortunately, many men consider sunglasses to be more fashion accessories, and therefore optional, or even frivolous. But there are actually several health benefits to wearing sunglasses, particularly polarized lenses, when spending a day outside: they protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and blue light, as well as protecting the skin around your eyes and preventing wrinkles and "crow's feet." Furthermore, they allow you to see better when outside, helping you to better operate a car, motorcycle, bicycle, boat, lawnmower, backhoe, grill, etc.

    So, we at ManMade think they're an essential, and while we're advocates for stepping up from the $3.99 pair from the gas station, we don't think you've got to drop a whole week's worth of pay, either. So - five classic, masculine pairs of sunglasses, all under $100. Enjoy the sunshine!    

    created at: 04/03/2012

    #1) Rayban Wayfarer II: RB 2132 What you think of when you think of "sunglasses." Their design in 1956 was a major break with the metal eyeglass-inspired designs of the past, and their radical new shape became a "a mid-century classic to rival Eames chairs and Cadillac tail fins."

    If you go to the fancy store at the mall, they'll ask between $175 and $300 for a pair, but you can find them online for under $100. You'll likely want the redesigned RB 2132 model, from 2001, which are slightly smaller and sit a little less angled on the face. Most men will want the 55-18-145mm size: you can find them right now at Go Optic for $99.95 in many colors, or for only $76.50, including free shipping, from Amazon.

    #2) American Optics Square Frame Avaiators The other thing you think of when thinking "sunglasses." Originally designed for actual aviators in the military and commercial airlines, their very dark lenses typically let in only 20%. These are the sunglasses you've seen on The Beatles in the 60s, Queen and Led Zepplin in the 70s, the entire cast of Top Gun in the 80s, every action star in the 90s, and the Don Draper-style 1960s comeback of the late 00s. Pick them up at Amazon or any Army/Navy surplus store for only $50.

    created at: 04/03/2012

    #3) Warby Parker Jasper Online goodniks Warby Parker, known for their willingness to ship you five pairs to try on for free and for their Toms-alike "buy a pair, give a pair" philosophy also do polarized sunglasses, and they do them well. They have a few Wayfarer alike Buddy Holly/Elvis Costello glasses, but our pick is the warmer, rounder Jaspers. There smaller size (48mm) would look great on those will thinner or shorter faces, and there molded shapes balance the casual/dress look perfectly, going equally well with jeans or a suit. You can also try/buy Warby Parkers in many brick-and-mortar shops these days, so there's no reason not to give philanthropy a shot. $95.00 at, including polarized lenses.


    created at: 07/11/2014

    #4) Jamison Classic Retro Sunglasses A lighter, dressier pair to add once you've chosen either a Wayfarer or Aviator style for everyday wear. The warm brown is a good alternative to sleek black, and we appreciate the vintage-styling without looking overtly hip. $80 from Fossil.

    Not #5) Oakley Sideways Wraparound Just kidding. Don't wear these. Even Oakley thinks they should be discontinued.

    created at: 04/03/2012

    Actual #5) Banana Republic Corbin A longer, more rectagular option for a more contemporary urban look. These are more for the intentional sunglass wearer who's willing to say, "Hey! Check it out. I'm wearing intentional sunglasses," but they're neither loud nor overly "designed." Definitely more for dressing up than catching a fish, but we wouldn't fault you for wearing them then either. If it works, it works. And they seem like they do. $78.00 at Banana Republic.


    [Thanks to Jérôme Coppée for the top image. Licensed under Creative Commons]



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    Sometimes, a project is born from a flash of inspiration. Sometimes, from a desire to work with a specific material or amazing length of wood or side of leather. But most times, a project is born from the fact that you don't have one, and you'd like to.   

    Mike from Tinkering Monkey says, "We recently got our hands on the new iPad Mini. I’ve been enjoying the small size, especially when bringing it along to a café. I was looking for an interesting hard case for it, but didn’t really find anything that I liked. So, I made one instead."

    Mike walks you through the process, including helpful step-by-step photos for each cut and component. There aren't any specific measurements, but you can use his build process to create a case customized for your device.


    See the whole post at Tinkering Monkey: A Wooden Case for the iPad Mini 




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    created at: 07/14/2014

    Henry Hargreaves is a professional food photographer, and gets plenty of opportunities to travel to countries across the globe. At each new place, Henry takes the chance to document an interesting cross-cultural phenomenon: to-go coffee cups.    created at: 07/14/2014

    Cool Hunting reports, beginning with a quote from the photographer:

    I've always been interested in coffee shop culture," Hargreaves shares...and it was one cup at NYC's The Smile that initiated the project. "They've got a nice little stamp. It felt like something beautiful. As I was walking around the city, it caught people's eye. The to-go cup is the best piece of advertising for coffee shops, but not everyone gives it enough attention." Reactions to the cup and its stylings intrigued Hargreaves and he began wondering about how the rest of the world was branding cups, even asking, "Can you tell a coffee by its cup?" An additional observation that there is a level of curiosity (sometimes judgement) passed on people carrying coffee cups finalized Hargreaves' commitment to a global comparison.

    Check out the full story for more: Henry Hargreaves' Coffee Cups of the World[]



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  • 07/14/14--12:15: You Earned It Bottle Opener
  • "You Earned It" is a new bottle opener from Owen & Fred, makers of those awesome leather luggage tags.    They say, " A hulking mass of stylish perfection...Made of solid brass, in the USA. Sand-blasted and hand finished, it weighs in at a hefty half pound of brass.  The best part? Its the smoothest opening bottle opener we've ever used, and that's not just the post-work beer talking. 

    Keep it on your counter, not in your drawer."

    Looks to be $28.00 well-spent. You did, after all, earn it. 

    You Earned It Bottle Opener - $28.00 at Owen& 



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    created at: 07/14/2014

    Anyone who regularly uses the same water bottles several times a week - runners, cyclists, hikers, athletes, or any general person-on-the-go that likes to stay hydrated - can attest: they can get nasty. Even if nothing but water and ice ever go in, the crud can still build up, and non-H2O fluids like sports drink or add-ins make the taste, odor, and junk even worse. 

    The common-sense solution here is to use a bottle brush. Which will work, if you do it after every use and start with a perfectly clean bottle, and then rinse and dry thoroughly every time. But if the gunk has built up, or your hydration system uses any squeeze tops, bladders, tube, bite valves, etc, there's more than just the bottle cavity to clean. 

    What Is That Stuff?
    Of course, you're never actually drinking just water. Tap water contains all sorts of minerals, disinfecting agents, and there's thousands of (safe) bacteria living in your bottle and under the mouthpiece. Plus, every time you drink, you're adding stuff back into the bottle from your mouth and lips. The nutrients and moisture mix with spores from the air, and, basically, produce mold.

    There are supposed hacks that will fix this, like using Alka Seltzer or denture tablets to clean them, but I've never had much success with those, particularly with hydration bladders with long tubes.  

    So, if you've got a BPA-free system that you like and you really want to get those heavy-use bottles clean, this'll do it for just a couple of cents, with no need to replace.  

    created at: 07/14/2014

    1. First, disassemble your bottle or water system into as many parts as will break down. Take off any lids, valves, tube, etc. Use a bowl for smaller parts, but don't add them in just yet. 

    Now, add 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon chlorine bleach to each bottle or bowl. Fill with warm water and stir to combine. Place any small parts in the bowl and use a plate to weigh everything down to completely submerge. Allow to sit four 4-6 hours, or overnight. 


    created at: 07/14/2014

    2. After resting, pour out a little solution and see if it's broken down the build-up. If not, wait a while longer until the black stuff will move with some encouragement. Now, grab a bottle brush or rag on the end of a chopstick and give a little friction to remove any crud. Be sure to check the top, especially around the lid threads. 


    created at: 07/14/2014

    3. To clean small or tight parts, use a cotton swab or a toothpick/bamboo skewer to remove gunk. Be extra careful using any sharp object, so you don't puncture any flexible seals or gaskets.

    Now, rinse everything thoroughly and completely with soap and clean water. Then do it again. Make sure no bleach residue remains. You can run some bottles through the dishwasher, but if you're not sure, don't do it. Rinse a bunch, then allow everything to completely dry. 


    created at: 07/14/2014

    4. Lastly, if there's any musty smell or odor remaining (other than chlorine; if that's the case, wash and rinse again), you can swish around some anti-septic mouthwash to remove the funky odor or taste. 

    From now on, rinse and dry after each use, and you can slow the build-up. But, really, anything made from polyethylene that sees heavy use will require a deep cleaning every year or so. And if you follow the directions, and are sure to rinse carefully, this way is safe and very effective. 


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    "Wetter is better." Never has a marketing campaign worked so well on yours truly. The original Super Soaker 50 was the true great gift lust (well, that and a by-then unpurchaseable Fireball Island game) my version of Ralphie's Red Ryder. And nothing was sweeter than that moment on my [9th? 10th?] mid-June birthday...which is a pretty great time to get a giant pressurized neon water gun.    

    Need Supply takes a stab at an oral history of the blessed machine. It begins, 

    S-U-P-E-R S-O-A-K-E-R. For ’90s kids, no two words emblazoned in neon triggered the same joyous reaction. The TV ads were everywhere, a comically irate camp counselor screaming: “WETTER IS BETTER!” Summer days were spent outside, hiding behind minivans, lawn furniture, and tree trunks. And there were kamikaze missions—running around in tight combat formation, soaking everything until tanks ran dry.

    The sprint back to the hose was equally tense. Who could fill their tank first before the water started flying again? Was there a cease-fire in place? (Do 9 year-olds honor cease-fires?)

    You remember, right? Of course you do. Check out the full piece for a serious summer flashback:

    The Super Soaker by Austin Bryant [Need Supply Co.]


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    Looking for a way to add a bit of the outdoors or a rustic vibe to a room? This fun build brings plenty, with a bonus spot to stash some stuff. Jimmy DiResta created this cool storage chest from a section of log, using the bandsaw to cut out the inside. Though more of a process video than a step-by-step tutorial, but it clearly details how you could create your own, and has a few helpful tips, like marking the magnet spot by covering in marker and stamping.

    Check out the full process in the video, and read more at Make: DiResta: Mini Log Chest:



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    Each Wednesday, I post some of my favorite can't-miss links, images, and otherwise mindblowing goodies from across the web.

    How to: Make Your Own Candy Dot Portrait. Artist Nathan Sharratt walks your through the process of taking a photo of yourself,

    pixelating it and turning it into halftones, then printing it out to make your own portrait from candy dots. Even if you never plan to actually do something like this, the technique is pretty awesome, and you'll learn a bit about using digital tools and analog materials. 


    A Reddit user posted this photo of a statue they found in Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theater that looks exactly like Ron Swanson.


    GOING EAST – A family adventure on four wheels … from Lars Schneider on Vimeo.


    Researchers have found that Tibetans have retained a gene from an extinct homo species that allows them to live with high altitudes.


    5 Ways to Get Your Fitness Supplements Naturally from Primer. Eat healthier, train smarter.






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    created at: 07/16/2014

    Bikes are relatively simple machines. Which means: unless they're totally rusted a rotted out, they don't really "go bad," and any old bike - either a forgotten one in your garage or a find at the secondhand store - can be lubed up and become ready to ride.
    Except, of course, for the frame color. But that's no matter, cause you can easily give it a fresh coat yourself.

    Taking your bike for a paint job can be pricey, sometimes more than $100 depending on the color (and season, usually summer can be more expensive as they are busier).how to paint your bike

    No need to spend extra money when you have a tutorial like this one by We Can Make Anything. You can use the money you saved to get you a new helmet or perhaps a new lock...or a beer.

    It may seem scary at first to disassemble your bike, but as the tutorial shows, simply take a few photos with your phone so you remember where everything goes. Easy. You can label smaller things in case you can't figure it out (use a little tape and sharpie to make them).

    Best of all, by the end of this project you'll have a customized bike with shiny new colour that will protect it from the elements for months to come.

    Get the full scoop on We Can Make Anything: Paint a Bike Tutorial



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    created at: 07/17/2014 is a web site dedicated to one thing and one thing only: helping you turn out perfect bacon. The Bacon Method is relatively simple, and is a variation on the "use the oven, not the range" technique. But, author and designer Dan Benjamin includes a few specifics, like making sure you elect for the middle rack, and that the oven needs to be cold when you begin. 

    There's some links to gear and a bit of branded swag, but otherwise, it's just a whole URL dedicated to one simple principle.


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    created at: 07/17/2014

    When researching his book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, author Mason Currey discovered that many great writers, thinkers, and authors kept specific records of their daily schedules, and how they handled the work, administrative tasks, leisure, rest, and exercise balance that will always characterize the creative lifestyle.   Fast Company shares this infographic, by creative marketing agency Distilled, which provides some insight into their routines, organized from the earliest to latest risers. They note,

    Perhaps what stands out most is how few of these creative people had good old-fashioned day jobs. Writer Franz Kafka was the only one in this group who had a profession unrelated to his creative field: he was, famously and miserably, a bureaucrat at theWorker’s Accident Insurance Institute in the Kingdom of Bohemia (not as cool as it sounds). Philosopher Immanuel Kant lectured at a university in the mornings, American writer Kurt Vonnegut taught at a school, composer Wolfgang Mozart gave music lessons here and there, and Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, treated patients. But the rest spent virtually all their waking hours--in some cases, hours most people spend sleeping--devoted to their creative and intellectual work.

    Time management, buddy. Time management. See the full analysis at Fast.Co Design: The Daily Routines Of 26 Of History's Most Creative Minds



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    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.  Music comes to the unit via a Raspberry Pi, which is connected to a USB-chargeable amplifier and the radio's existing speaker. If circuit boards totally intimidate you, this project may be a stretch at first, but the tutorial is so thorough and you can easily download the software to play the music, so the project is accessible for anyone who's willing to get their hands dirty. 

    And don't get too overwhelmed with all the doodads in there...most of it is just leftover hardware from the original radio's tuner. 

    See the full process at Imgur: DIY Vintage Raspberry Pi Internet-Radio / Spotify Device



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    DIY copper salt and pepper shakers

    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.

    Little details like these make your home much more intentional and since this project only takes a few minutes to make, it's a great way to get started. 

    I gotta admit - I have a soft spot for copper in my DIY heart, so this is right up my alley. I think you'll enjoy it to. 

    Ok, so get crackin, head over to Brit + Co and make your own now!

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    created at: 07/18/2014

    This summer, All Things Considered has been looking at the lives of men in America, and so far, the research seems to indicate that the new American man doesn't look much like his father. As an overview to their findings, they'e sharing a few charts to track the changes from 1960 to present day. They say, "We've charted some of the more surprising changes... It's important to note that in all instances we are depicting the generalized American man, flattened across racial and socio-economic groups. Looking at the statistics through any of those or other lenses can admittedly provide a different picture."

    created at: 07/18/2014

    Check out the graphics, and let us know: do any of these results surprise you?

    The Modern American Man, Charted



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    created at: 07/18/2014

    Hey, guys. (News flash!) It's summer, and (science lesson!) it's hot outside. And whether we like it or not, (fashion tip!) it can often be tough to dress for summer and not look like a slob. Which means...(time travel!)at some point in the very near future, you're gonna have to roll up your sleeves. 

    And, if you do it right, you can still pull off the look while in a dress or even business situation. wants to help you do it right. They provide three techniques for different levels of "complexity and refinement,": The Casual, The Italian, and the Marine, with fun animations to help you nail the look. 

    The Definitive Guide to Rolling Up Your Sleeves []





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    They say the best camera is always the one you have on you...meaning that it's better to be able to take a picture in the first place to capture the moment, rather than worrying about which gear you should use.

    For most of these days, that camera has become our smartphone, with lenses and megapixels and editing options that have dwarfed the digital point-and-shoots from only a few years ago.   

    Elsie from A Beautiful Mess shares her tips for getting the best images from your phone. Her ideas range from the practical - wipe your lens, use a window - to some light editing in free/cheap apps to make them pop. Her examples rely on the iPhone, but the tips are solid and will work cross-platform. 

    See them here: How to Create Bright and Sharp iPhone Photos



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    created at: 07/21/2014

    Coming across someone who simply loves their closet doors is a rare find, indeed. Whether a rental or your own home, most closets are covered in plastic-y faux wood, cheesy 80s mirrors, crazy slats, or old veneer and brass knobs that haven't been updated since they were installed in the 50s. Mandi from Vintage Revivals came up with this clever solution - a 'lightweight' sliding barn door system. She built the door, built the track, installed the wheels, and came up with a vintage-flag style design to make the whole thing work. Check out the results:

    Pretty sharp, right? The track is simple galvanized plumbing pipe from the home improvement store, and the door is a 1x2" frame with stretched canvas. 

    See how to create the whole thing at Vintage Revivals: How to Build a Lightweight Sliding Barn Door System


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    Wait, what? A concrete insulted cup? Yep This is perfect to keep your drinks nice and cool while trying to beat this fantastic heat, and keep things looking plenty stylish.

    Monsters Circus created this quick and easy DIY using concrete to turn regular cups into your new hand attachment...'cause lets be honest, in heat like this, you're not going to put down your drink any time soon.concrete cup DIY

    We've seen concrete used in almost every corner of the home except our kitchen cabinets...until now. You could make a few of these cups as party favours for your next BBQ party.

    To get the full tutorial head over to Monster Circus.


    For other awesome concrete tutorials check out these posts (we have lots!).

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