51 DIY Ways To Throw The Best New Year’s Party Ever

These sparkly, celestial decorations are so awesome, you’ll want to leave them up all year. Feel free to cover every non-glittery idea here in glitter and confetti.

1. Make a moon-shaped piñata.

Make a moon-shaped piñata.

Get the directions here.

2. Create origami paper star ornaments.

Create origami paper star ornaments.

The full directions are here.

3. Fold paper cubes to make a decorative string of lights.

Fold paper cubes to make a decorative string of lights.

Get the directions here.

4. Tape giant confetti to your walls.

Tape giant confetti to your walls.

5. Make these festive drink stirrers using pom-poms.

Make these festive drink stirrers using pom-poms.

These are created from bamboo sticks, pipe cleaners, and sparkly pom-poms.

6. Use metallic yarn pom-poms as cupcake toppers.

Use metallic yarn pom-poms as cupcake toppers.

You can make tiny pom-poms with a fork.

7. Cover your champagne bottles in glitter.

Cover your champagne bottles in glitter.

Get directions here.

8. Cut up strips of paper streamers for a backdrop.

Cut up strips of paper streamers for a backdrop.

9. Spray-paint bow-tie pasta to make an easy garland.

Spray-paint bow-tie pasta to make an easy garland.

10. Dip feathers in gold paint and glitter.

Dip feathers in gold paint and glitter.

Get the tutorial here.

11. Easily make these celestial spikes with glitter, Styrofoam balls, and spray-painted toothpicks.

Easily make these celestial spikes with glitter, Styrofoam balls, and spray-painted toothpicks.

12. This awesome chandelier is actually an Ikea hack.

This awesome chandelier is actually an Ikea hack.

Start with the $60 Tidig from Ikea and follow the instructions here.

13. Use colored paper to make these cracklers.

Use colored paper to make these cracklers.

Get the directions here.

14. Make a constellation cookie tray.

Make a constellation cookie tray.

Paint a tray with chalkboard paint and serve with star-shaped cookies.

15. Or make easy origami stars from strips of paper.

Or make easy origami stars from strips of paper.

16. Spray-paint a doily onto a lightbulb.

Spray-paint a doily onto a lightbulb.

When the light shines through, it will cast a nice pattern on your walls.

17. Hang giant tissue paper pom-poms from the ceiling.

Hang giant tissue paper pom-poms from the ceiling.

Get the directions here.

18. Serve gold-spun cotton candy.

Serve gold-spun cotton candy.

Get the recipe here.

19. Make your own party hats.

Make your own party hats.

20. Create masks for your guests.

Create masks for your guests.

Full tutorial here.

21. Hang some flashy pyramid ornaments.

Hang some flashy pyramid ornaments.

Get the tutorial here.

22. Spell letters out with pipe cleaners to make cake toppers or drink stirrers.

Spell letters out with pipe cleaners to make cake toppers or drink stirrers.

23. Fold these dodecahedron stars as table decorations.

Fold these dodecahedron stars as table decorations.

Full instructions are here.

24. Use glittery marshmallow stars if you’re serving hot chocolate.

Use glittery marshmallow stars if you're serving hot chocolate.

Recipe here.

25. Glue silver coins onto mounted Styrofoam letters.

Glue silver coins onto mounted Styrofoam letters.

26. Frame your mirrors with starry string lights.

Frame your mirrors with starry string lights.

27. Recycle that extra tinsel by making these drink stirrers.

Recycle that extra tinsel by making these drink stirrers.

Get the directions here.

28. String paper tassels together to create a garland.

String paper tassels together to create a garland.

Get the tutorial here.

29. Take a paint pen to some shot glasses.

Take a paint pen to some shot glasses.

30. Top your drinks with these sequined star stirrers.

Top your drinks with these sequined star stirrers.

Get the tutorial here.

31. Make pink and silver streamers out of leftover wrapping ribbon.

Make pink and silver streamers out of leftover wrapping ribbon.

Easily make them from leftover Christmas ribbon.

32. Create a sequined pallet photo backdrop for your guests.

Create a sequined pallet photo backdrop for your guests.

Get the tutorial here.

33. Serve your drinks in spray-painted mason jars.

Serve your drinks in spray-painted mason jars.

Be sure to include a festive swizzle stick.

34. Stick colorful squares of washi tape on the wall.

Stick colorful squares of washi tape on the wall.

35. Attach sparkly foam circles to balloon strings.

Attach sparkly foam circles to balloon strings.

Get the directions here.

36. Recycle brass tacks by making these baubles.

Recycle brass tacks by making these baubles.

Hang them on houseplants. Get the tutorial here.

37. The perfect party favor — golden disco ball pendants.

The perfect party favor — golden disco ball pendants.

Get the tutorial here.

38. Make diamond-shaped marshmallows.

Make diamond-shaped marshmallows.

Get the instructions here.

39. Wrap cardboard numbers in tinsel.

Wrap cardboard numbers in tinsel.

Get the tutorial here.

40. Cover your cookies with metallic dust.

Cover your cookies with metallic dust.

Get the instructions here.

41. Spray-paint the stems of your wineglasses.

Spray-paint the stems of your wineglasses.

Get the directions here.

42. Fill shiny matchboxes with confetti to give to your guests.

Fill shiny matchboxes with confetti to give to your guests.

Get the directions here.

43. Cover paper lanterns with glitter.

Cover paper lanterns with glitter.

Get the tutorial here.

44. Make a colorful chandelier out of paper.

Make a colorful chandelier out of paper.

Get the directions here.

45. Cut circles out of paper to create clocks for your cupcakes.

Cut circles out of paper to create clocks for your cupcakes.

Get the directions here.

46. Hang tassels off your balloons.

Hang tassels off your balloons.

Get the instructions here.

47. Make countdown champagne glasses by spray-painting numbers on them.

Make countdown champagne glasses by spray-painting numbers on them.

48. Hand out sparkle sticks.

Hand out sparkle sticks.

Get the tutorial here.

49. Make crowns for your guests.

Make crowns for your guests.

50. Make your own confetti poppers.

Make your own confetti poppers.

Get the details here.

51. Walk into a room holding a tray of ice cream, complete with lit sparklers.

Walk into a room holding a tray of ice cream, complete with lit sparklers.

Top 32 Sparkling DIY Decoration Ideas For New Years Eve Party

Top 32 Sparkling DIY Decoration Ideas For New Years Eve Party

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New Year’s Eve is the last and also the biggest night of a year. You should gather your family and friends together and throw a big party to say farewell to this year. In order to make this night memorable, you should prepare some fabulous DIY decorating ideas to dress up your party to make it sparkling. If you have no idea how to decorate, then you just need to remember to make everything glitter. Glittering table setting, star garland, golden balloons, spray painted bottles, champagne…let every bit of these spark! In order to have a nice New Year’s eve party, but also not break the bank, there are many Christmas ornaments that can be reused. You just need to give them some new year’s spirit. Take a look at these fabulous ideas together!


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29 Halloween Costumes You Can Make With 3 Things Or Fewer

Some great and easy ideas for quick and easy last minute costume ideas.

Bookmark this and come back to it on the day of Halloween.

1. An avocado.

An avocado.

Materials needed: A piece of cardboard, paint, and your own belly!

2. A jelly fish.

A jelly fish.

angiwen / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: An umbrella and a bunch of yarn.

3. No-face from Spirited Away.

No-face from Spirited Away.

Materials needed: A black hoodie (preferably long), and a DIY paper mask that you can draw on using sharpies/markers.

4. The Olympic Rings.

The Olympic Rings.

Materials needed: PVC tape and a rubber hoop cover (or wire). See how here.

5. An adult baby.

An adult baby.

Amanda Lee / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: A onesie and a sippy cup. This costume wins because 1) Halloween is freezing and 2) you’re in a onesie.

6. A chocolate chip cookie.

A chocolate chip cookie.

turtleenoughfortheturtleclub / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: A dog bed and brown paint for the spots.

7. An evidence bag.

An evidence bag.

Materials needed: Clear tarp and red tape. See how here.

8. The snapchat ghost.

The snapchat ghost.

Michael Clinard / Via blog.emissaryartists.com

Materials needed: A bed sheet and a sharpie.

9. Matt Murdock from the Netflix TV series Daredevil.

Matt Murdock from the Netflix TV series Daredevil.

alexquevedo6 / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: Some kind of black clothing to cover your eyes (scarf, shirt, bandana, etc.).

10. “I’m innocent but I’ve been framed!”

"I'm innocent but I've been framed!"

clorist / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: A frame.

11. White trash.

White trash.

carlyfornia327 / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: A trash bag and a sharpie.

12. Magritte’s “Son of Man.”

Materials needed: A suit, a hat, and a green apple.

13. Your Tinder profile IRL.

Your Tinder profile IRL.

Tyhink / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: Green and red construction paper and a pair of scissors.

14. Alice in Chains.

Alice in Chains.

Josh L / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: A name tag with “Alice” and a chain.

15. A Dell, which makes for a clever “Adele.”

A Dell, which makes for a clever "Adele."

andrewballoon / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: A Dell sign and a cute smile when people scoff at you for trying to pull off ‘Adele.’

16. A nudist on strike.

Materials needed: Clothes and a DIY sign.

17. Teenage Thor.

Teenage Thor.

Jake Chapman / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: A hammer and a sharpie.

18. PB & J, the brands.

PB & J, the brands.

devitod / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: Printed Jif and Smucker’s labels (or whatever labels you think make the best flavor combos).

19. One of the badass wives from Mad Max.

One of the badass wives from Mad Max.

Leah Rose Cosplay / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: Bed sheets or white t-shirts or something white.

20. MC Hammer.

MC Hammer.

Elysha Rom-Povolo / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: A hammer and some construction paper.

21. A dungeon ghost.

A dungeon ghost.

Materials needed: A welded chain. See how here.

22. A sim.

Materials needed: Green paper, and the will to make an origami triangle. See how to do this here.

23. A soot sprite.

A soot sprite.

Emily Hoefler / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: cotton balls and craft eyes.

24. A crazy straw.

A crazy straw.

Materials needed: Vinyl tubing. See how here.

25. A ~smartie~ pants.

Materials needed: smarties.

26. A ghost that’s too spooky to have eyes.

A ghost that's too spooky to have eyes.

Don Brown / Via instagram.com

Materials needed: A bedsheet.

27. A Chipotle burrito.

Materials needed: Tin foil and tissue paper.

28. A Facebook profile page.

Materials needed: A giant print out of your profile page, a friend’s, or a completely-made-up one.

29. An Abercrombie model.

Materials needed: An Abercrombie bag.

28 Outdoor Lighting DIYs To Brighten Up Your Summer

 

Forget candles. These creative lighting ideas are a cheap and easy way to get your backyard beautiful for summer entertaining.

1. Colorful Canning Jar Lights

Colorful Canning Jar Lights

Cover canning jars in translucent glass paint and hang them from chord fixtures to create a cluster of colorful lights, like this blogger did.

2. Paper Bag Lanterns

Paper Bag Lanterns

Cut small slits in paper bags and cover string lights— hanging ribbons add a party vibe. Find the full tutorial here.

3. Wine Bottle Torch

Wine Bottle Torch

Turn old wine bottles into snazzy torches with some basic hardware and a wick. Get the full tutorial here.

4.

Turn a Dollar Store basket in beautiful lighting with a simple chain and light. Check out this post for the how to.

5. Tin Can Lanterns

Tin Can Lanterns

Fill a tin can with water, freeze it, and punch a design using a hammer and nail. once the ice has melted, you can paint the can’s exterior. Find all the details here.

6. Hanging Railing Jars

Hanging Railing Jars

Just create little wire hangers for your jars and hang them on the railing or balcony. A full tutorial is here.

7. Cupcake Lights

Cupcake Lights

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Who knew cupcake liners made for sweet decor? Cut a small X in the top of a liner and secure it around the bulbs on a string of lights. Created by this blogger.

8. Glass Candle Lanterns

Glass Candle Lanterns

Use an old tuna can and glasses of various shapes and sizes to create outdoor lanterns. This post has all the details.

9. Hanging Tea Lights

Hanging Tea Lights

Simply hang tea lights from a tree with colorful ribbons and pretty bows. Pinnedhere.

10. Mason Jar Solar Lights

Mason Jar Solar Lights

Here’s a tutorial. You could use newspaper or tissue paper.

11. Tube Lights

Tube Lights

Turn textured plastic into subtle lighting with this tutorial.

12. Hanging Succulent Chandelier

Hanging Succulent Chandelier

This succulent chandelier used to be a pot rack. Nestle tea lights in jars amongst greenery for a subtle glow, like this blogger.

13. Ice Lantern

Ice Lantern

It won’t last long in the heat, but you can turn a balloon, water. and a freezer into a crazy cool outdoor lighting motif. Check out this tutorial.

14. Hula Hoop Chandelier

Hula Hoop Chandelier

Wrap lace or another decorative ribbon around a hula hoop, then wrap in icicle lights and you have a truly unique set of hanging lights. Created by this blogger.

15. Solar Light Chandelier

Solar Light Chandelier

Just replace the bulbs in an outdoor chandelier with solar lights. No electricity needed!

16. Wine Glass Chandeliers

Wine Glass Chandeliers

Turn sheets of vellum into little lampshades for wine glasses with this simple tutorial.

17. Grapevine Lights

Grapevine Lights

Make balls from grapevines (or wires if you don’t live on a farm) and wrap icicle lights around them to create glimmering orbs. This tutorial has all the details.

18. Beer Bottle Table Runner

Beer Bottle Table Runner

Stuff colorful string lights into beer bottles to make a nightlight table runner. Super easy, and blogged about here.

19. Glow-In-The-Dark Painted Planters

Glow-In-The-Dark Painted Planters

20. Fabric Lamps

Fabric Lamps

Cover plastic cups in colorful patterned fabrics and string them onto lights. Followthese directions.

21. Upcycled Outdoor Chandelier

Upcycled Outdoor Chandelier

This blog post shows you how to transform an indoor chandelier into backyard decor.

22. Starry Lights

Starry Lights

Restoration Hardware sells these battery-powered starry lights that you can wrap around an outdoor plant or trellis.

23. Birthday Hat Lights

Birthday Hat Lights

Cut the base off of cone birthday hats, polk some holes using thumb tacks, and wrap the hats around string lights. This post has all the info.

24. Seashell Lighting

Seashell Lighting

String seashells in tea lights or use them as a base for candles. All of these are byMartha, of course.

25. Origami String Lights

Origami String Lights

Practice some basic origami skills to create little paper lanterns for each string light. Posted here and here.

26. Glowing Light Orbs

Glowing Light Orbs

Follow this tutorial and make these glowing orbs for only $3.

27. Watercolor Orbes

Watercolor Orbes

Spray white paper lanterns with watercolor paint to add some color to your outdoor decor. This post shows you how.

28. Emergency Outdoor Light

Emergency Outdoor Light

Create Galazy Pattern on Fabric

galaxy

To create a Galaxy pattern:

You will need:

+ a dark colored item of clothing (I used a black tank top but you should use whatever your heart tells you to)
+ bleach
+ an empty spray bottle
+ fabric paint or acrylic paint in purple, blue, red, white and yellow (http://bit.ly/1klMjoF)
+ sponges
+ an old toothbrush
Are you following us on Facebook? Please do!
Lay the shirt on some paper on the floor. In the spray bottle, make a mixture of half bleach and half water. Spray the shirt unevenly, creating areas of highly concentrated bleach where you want your cosmos to be. It will turn an orangey color pretty immediately, but will take some time to lighten, so don’t go to crazy with the bleach.

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Re-Wined: Two Repurposing Projects Using Wine Bottles

 

Corks soaked in Isopropyl Alcohol make great fire starters!
(Editor’s Note: Regardless of whether or not you purchase wine, these repurposing projects for wine bottles are very enticing, practical AND beautiful and a simple request in my predominantly tee-totaller neighborhood has STILL garnered me plenty of bottles to use for alternative purposes. Oh, and by the way, if you store your discarded bottle corks in isopropyl alcohol, you can make wonderful little fire starters! Just a couple of corks for each fire will help to ensure foolproof fires get roaring quickly! Warning: Only use REAL corks, not plastic, wanna be corks.)

Re-Wined: Two Repurposing Projects for your Wine Bottles

Regardless of how much space you have to spare around your home, it’s hard to throw away a good wine bottle. There are just too many possibilities for that one 750ml glass container. From breaking it down and using it as colorful accents in concrete countertops or pavers to using the whole bottle as the basis for a unique lighting fixture, wine bottles provide us with an incredible variety of reusable opportunities.

So fill up your wine glass and shake out those last thirteen drops. Following are some creative ways to repurpose your wine bottles, showcase your ingenuity and redecorate through recycling.

Living in the Wine Light

Wine bottles are beautiful, sturdy and come in many different colors and styles. From the clear glass and soft, sloping sides of a Riesling bottle to the dark green and hard, sharp shoulders of a Cabernet Sauvignon, wine bottles are decorative pieces in and of themselves. Add a couple inexpensive items that you can often find around your home, however, and you can create a wine bottle chandelier that will definitely spark some conversations.

All you need are:

  • Four wine bottles (you can use any size but magnum-sized bottles make impressive light fixtures)
  • ¼ in. to ½ in thick plywood
  • pencil
  • jigsaw
  • drill
  • 24 (1/2 mm) gauge wire
  • Medium grain sandpaper
  • superglue
  • Standard u-bolt
  • Decorative chain for hanging
  • Christmas lights – either battery powered or plug-in

Wine Chandelier--courtesy of Garrett Stembridge, All Rights Reserved by Garrett Stembridge

To build your wine chandelier:

  1. Place your wine bottles on the piece of plywood and arrange them in a square.
  2. Using a pencil, draw an outline around your wine bottles and then remove them from the plywood.
  3. Use the jigsaw to cut out the plywood pattern.
  4. Sand the edges of the plywood, making sure it looks smooth and finished.
  5. Find the center of your plywood piece and attach the u-bolt using a drill to bore the holes.
  6. Attach the decorative chain, leaving enough length so that you can cut it later if it needs to be shortened.
  7. Run a decent amount of superglue around the bottom of the wine bottles and place them on the plywood.
  8. Run the 24 gauge wire around the outside of the bottles to hold them in place. Add as much or as little as you like, just be sure the bottles are securely in place.
  9. Fill each of the wine bottles with Christmas lights. You can use the battery operated ones and switch them on manually, or fill with standard Christmas lights and run an extension cord to the top of the chandelier.

That’s it! You can also stain the plywood base, paint it, attach decorations or cork below the base, use decorative wires to hold the bottles in place, use u-bolts on the outside of the base instead of the center or change it around however you like. Wine chandeliers are excellent for outdoor spaces and can be used to decorate a back porch, a favorite place under a tree or even to fancy up an old tool shed.

Rosé Colored Glasses

Wine bottles also make excellent glasses. Because many wine bottle styles have a deep dimple in the bottom, friends using your bottles-turned-glasses might do a double-take when you hand them a glass. This unique feature keeps the bottles from tipping easily and lends a solid heaviness to your glass. And separating the top of a wine bottle from the bottom is incredibly easy, though you might need to do a few practice bottles to start. All you need are:

  • Yarn
  • Nail polish remover (acetone)
  • Lighter or matches
  • A tub of cold water
  • Wine bottle
  1. Start by thoroughly cleaning and removing any labels, gunk, etc. from the wine bottle.
  2. Wrap a length of yarn five or six times around the bottle exactly where you would like to cut it and tie off the yarn.
  3. Slide the loops of yarn off of the bottle and soak thoroughly in the nail polish remover.
  4. Slide the soaked loops back onto the bottle and light the yarn, allowing the yarn to burn until the fire has almost completely gone out. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area and take all necessary precautions when working with fire.
  5. Once the fire is almost out, place the bottle in the tub of cold water. This action should cause the wine bottle to separate just below the yarn.

The final step is to sand the edges of the glass either using sand paper, a glass grinder or fire polishing using a kiln. Once you have a smooth edge you’ll be ready to show off your new glassware.

Cutting your wine bottles doesn’t have to stop at glasses, either! You can use them for making candles, cut lower to create small snack bowls or fill them with flowers and use them as centerpieces.

What are some ways you’ve found to repurpose your wine bottles?
Read more at http://www.preparednesspro.com/re-wined-two-repurposing-projects-using-wine-bottles#4ukvJUUYBHUApxm1.99

20 DIY Gifts for Men

Buying any of the items from our holiday gift guides will surely make some man’s Christmas. But in my experience, the gifts that mean the most are the ones people make for you. Anyone can open their wallet and plop down cash for a nice present. But knowing someone spent their time crafting something just for you is truly special.

Plus, in a still-struggling economy, many homemade gifts can be made on the cheap and help you cross numerous people off your list without going into debt.

Over the years we’ve published several how-to guides on how to make various items that are not only fun to use yourself, but would also be great Christmas presents. Below, we’ve gathered the best ones into one big list. These DIY gifts are things that men will enjoy both making andreceiving. Some of these homemade gifts are really easy and inexpensive to make, while others require a bit more skill, time, and investment in materials. We’ve made sure to indicate the difficulty level, time required, and cost on each one so you can gauge whether a project will fit in your wheelhouse, schedule, and budget. (Numbers are rough estimates and will depend on what materials and tools you already have on hand and your skill level.)

There are many more DIY projects and crafts I hope to get to this coming year, and the years after that. So each holiday season we’ll update and republish this list with links to more ideas!

Wooden Bottle Opener

  • Difficultly: Intermediate
  • Time: About an hour
  • Cost: $5

These handsome and rustic handmade bottle openers make great gifts for the craft beer orsoda connoisseur in your life. Not only do they open bottles, they even catch your bottle cap as you remove it and stick to your fridge for easy access. You could easily make one out of scrap wood that you have lying around the garage or shop — this is a truly frugal crowd-pleaser.

Beef Jerky

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time: 15 minutes plus 24 hours for marinating and up to 24 hours for drying and cooling
  • Cost: Varies

Beef jerky is a great manly stocking stuffer. Homemade beef jerky is even better. Check out this recipe from Tim Ferriss on how to make the best beef jerky in the world. Experiment with different spices to create a unique flavor perfect for your recipient’s palate.

Restore an Heirloom Axe

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: $10-$20

Heirloom axes are all the rage these days, but buying a new one can set you back more than 200 smackaroos. Yeesh. So why not restore an old one to be like new instead? With a bit of elbow grease and time, you can give someone a handsome and fully functional heirloom quality axe for less than $20. This is the perfect gift for a suburban man with an inner Paul Bunyan.

WWII Field Phone Bluetooth Receiver

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Time: 4 hours to several days, depending on skill level
  • Cost: $50-$150

Perfect for the World War II buff in your life. Pick up an old WWII surplus field phone on eBayand turn it into a Bluetooth handset that can be used to make and receive calls. Your recipient will feel like Eisenhower commanding the troops on D-Day whenever he’s calling Terminix to reschedule his extermination service. This project requires moderate soldering skills and some rudimentary knowledge of electronics, hence the “Hard” difficulty rating.

Shoe Shine Box

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time: About an hour
  • Cost: $10

Every man needs a shoe shine box. If you know a gent without one, make him this nifty shine box based off a design from a 1950′s Popular Mechanics article. This shoe shine box is pretty simple. What makes it “nifty” is the two free-turning dowels placed inside the box. After you’ve given your shoes a good polishing, the dowels serve as rollers for your polish cloth for buffing your shoes to a mirror shine. This is a cheap and easy project to try. I’ve had several readers send me pics of their finished shoe shine boxes and they all look great. If you decide to do this project, send me a pic via Instagram or Twitter. I’d love to see it. (That goes for these other projects too!)

Turn an Old-Time Radio Into an iPhone Speaker

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Time: Hours to weeks, depending on skill level
  • Cost: $30-$100

Earlier this year, I inherited my Grandpa’s old 1940s Philco radio. It worked, but only played AM radio. I thought it was a shame that it didn’t get more use than it did, so I asked my electrical engineer brother-in-law to help me mod it so I could play tunes from my iPhone on it. With his help, I now have an audio device with 1940s charm and 21st century technology.

This project requires some soldering and basic electrical engineering know-how. If you lack the necessary soldering skills and electrical knowledge, expect to spend a few days or weeks as you wire things correctly through trial and error. The biggest expense will be the vintage radio. You can find them at your local antique stores for about $30 to $50 depending on their condition. My brother-in-law also created a pre-made amplifier just for this project that sells for $26, if you want to make things easier on yourself.

Slingshot

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time: About an hour
  • Cost: $5

A great gift for kids and big kids (i.e. grown men) alike. This sling shot cost me less than $5 to make and took just an hour of my time. You’ll get serious “Cool Uncle” points if you make this for your nephew or niece.

Wooden Sword

  • Difficult: Easy
  • Time: An hour
  • Cost: $15

Yeah. I made that crappy looking wooden sword, but my then 18 month old son loved it. This would make a great gift for your young nephew or son. It’s not hard and costs less than $15. And with the materials you buy for that $15, you can make multiple swords and cross off multiple kids on your list. You can get as elaborate as you want with your design. Unfortunately, I’m not that creative or crafty, so Gus had to settle for Dad’s dopey-looking sword made with love.

Dining Room Table

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Time: Two weeks
  • Cost: $125-$200

Want to really impress your wife this Christmas? Make her a dining room table with your own two hands!

A few years ago, AoM read and fellow Okie, Tuck Oden showed us how to do just that. I have been surprised and delighted by the number of men who actually took action on that article and made this table. I still get emails from folks showing off the manly fruits of their labors. Tuck’s total cost for wood, hardware, and stain was less than $200, and that included the chairs he bought for it.

A Manly Bar of Soap

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Time: It takes about two hours to make a batch, but you’ll then need to let them “rest” for four weeks so saponification can occur.
  • Cost: 75 cents a bar

Soaps created just for men are big right now. I seriously get a package in the mail every other week filled with manly smelling soaps from some new company hoping to cash in on this male grooming boom we’re currently experiencing. Instead of forking over $9 for a bar of artisan man-soap, make a big batch of your own for less than $.75 a bar. AoM contributor Bryan Schatzshowed us how to create a manly bar of soap filled with coffee grounds and walnuts — it smells good and can easily clean off whatever gunk you get on your hands.

If you’ve seen the movie Fight Club, you’ll know that soap making is a dangerous and volatile process. So take your time and use adequate protection while making your manly, coffee-scented soap.

Leather Wallet

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Time: 2-3 hours
  • Cost: Varies

Wallets have been popular Christmas gifts for men for a century. Instead of buying an expensive one from the wallet rack at some department store that will wear out in a few years, make someone a wallet that will last their whole lives. The fine gents at Bison Made gave us step-by-step instructions last week on how to make a handsome and incredibly durable wallet. They even provide a printable blueprint that you can use to measure and cut your leather.

Altoids Tin Kits

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: Varies

The draw of the transformed Altoids tin is hard to put your finger on. Part of it is the satisfying challenge of fitting as much as possible into a small space. Part of it is the delight of being able to carry something cool in your pocket. But any way you slice it, an Altoids tin that’s been converted into something new is a true crowd-pleaser; the post we did on 22 Manly Ways to Re-Use an Altoids Tin has become one of our most popular posts of all time. Any of the kits on that list would make an awesome gift or stocking stuffer. My favorite is the survival kit pictured above, but the games chest, s’mores kit, mini flashlight, first aid kit…well, yeah, truly any of them would make a super cool present for family and friends. And many only require assembly — no skill needed!

Secret Book Safe

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time: 2.5 hours
  • Cost: $5-$10

Make somebody feel like a spy with a secret book safe. This is one of my favorite projects that we’ve done on AoM. I still use the book safe that I made two years ago for the original post. Creating a secret book safe only costs a few bucks and takes a couple of hours. Select a book to use that reminds you of the recipient — this gift is bound to delight.

Corn Cob Pipe

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time: If you use artificial ways to dry out the corn cob, it can take about a week for the cob to fully dry. After drying out the cob, expect to spend two hours fashioning together the other parts of the pipe.
  • Cost: $1

If you know a man who smokes an occasional pipe, help him get into the spirit of the season by fashioning him the same kind of pipe that old Frosty the Snowman used. All that’s needed to make a genuine corn cob pipe is an ear of corn, a branch, a pocket knife, and a drill. Shouldn’t take you more than a few hours to make.

Cribbage Board

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Time: 5-10 hours, depending on your skill level

Cribbage has a storied and manly history, and it’s the perfect game to play on a cold and snowy Christmas evening. Help another person carry on this manly tradition by making a handsome cribbage board for them. Ethan from One Project Closer showed us how in this step-by-step guide.

Tree Branch Coat Hook

hook_mounted

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time: An hour
  • Cost: Nil – just your tree branch!

This gift is rugged, manly, and as a bonus, costs nothing but a trip into your backyard! If you get a branch that’s 1-3″ in diameter, with the smaller “hook” branch being 1/2″ or so, it’ll have plenty of strength to hold hats, coats, and whatever else needs hanging. If you’re really feeling crazy, you can line up a few of these on a board and make a whole coat rack.

Roasted Coffee

IMG_0915

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time: 15-20 min
  • Cost: $6-$10 per pound of coffee

I (Jeremy) may be biased, because I roast my coffee fresh each week, but this is one of the best gifts you can give. It’s cheap, fast, easy, and almost everyone drinks coffee. Buying some green beans from a local roastery (check out Kaladi Coffee Roasters if you’re in the Denver area) oronline is the same price, if not cheaper, than buying coffee at the grocery store — unless you’re buying Folgers, which you shouldn’t be doing. I guarantee this is the best coffee you’ll ever drink, so take the plunge and fire up that grill.

Saw Blade Knife

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Time: A few hours, depending on skill level
  • Cost: Varies

Are you feeling ambitious? If so, this project is for you. First, you need to find an old saw blade. Start with the antique store, then try your elderly neighbors. Next, you’ll need some basic metalworking skills that Darren Bush thankfully outlines in the post. It may take you a while, but when you end up with a beautiful handmade knife, you’ll know it was well worth the effort.

Leather Sheath

DSC_6339

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Cost: $10-$20

While this piece was written up with the saw blade knife (above) in mind, this leather sheath can be made for really any object. If you’re new to leatherworking, this is a great starter project, as it doesn’t require much in the way of a previously learned skillset. With a piece of leather, patience, and some basic stitching skills, you’ll have yourself a handsome sheath in no time.

Wooden Tool Carrier

finished

  • Difficulty: Easy-Intermediate 
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Cost: $10

Do you often find random tools scattered about the yard, house, and garage? If so, this is the project for you. Most toolboxes/carriers these days are cheap, plastic, and molded for specific brands of tools. This sturdy and rugged tool carrier will last decades, and you can even jazz it up with a stain or a coat of paint.

23 Tricks To Take The Stress Out Of Wrapping Gifts

You’ve found the perfect presents, lugged them home, and now you have to put in EVEN MORE EFFORT?! Never fear: you’ll get through this.

1. First, the basics.

First, the basics.

You may think you know how to wrap, but you could be wrong.

2. Use double-sided tape for professional-looking wrapping.

Use double-sided tape for professional-looking wrapping.

This way, you’ll avoid unsightly tape lines on the outside of your gift.

3. Use a toilet paper roll to keep your paper from unraveling.

Use a toilet paper roll to keep your paper from unraveling.

Just cut it down the middle and slip it on.

4. Pringles cans make ideal gift wrap storage (and display!)

Pringles cans make ideal gift wrap storage (and display!)

Get the directions here.

5. Also:

Also:

6. Cut out half a tree on plain paper for some multidimensional interest.

Cut out half a tree on plain paper for some multidimensional interest.

Get the instructions here.

7. (Or any other shape your lil’ heart desires.)

(Or any other shape your lil' heart desires.)

Directions here.

8. A fork helps even the most clumsy tie neat little bows.

A fork helps even the most clumsy tie neat little bows.

FInd out how here.

9. Don’t have a bow? You can make one out of magazine pages.

Don't have a bow? You can make one out of magazine pages.

Here is how.

10. Make a surprisingly easy bow out of paper.

Make a surprisingly easy bow out of paper.

11. Stamp on wooden spoons to make gift tags.

Stamp on wooden spoons to make gift tags.

12. Use paint chips to spruce up gift tags.

Use paint chips to spruce up gift tags.

13. Dress up plain paper with polka dots.

Dress up plain paper with polka dots.

Directions here.

14. Wrap with fabric.

Wrap with fabric.

It looks hella stylish but takes basically no time or effort. Plus, it’s reusable.

15. Store gift wrap, scissors, ribbons, and whatever else you need in a shower caddy.

Store gift wrap, scissors, ribbons, and whatever else you need in a shower caddy.

16. Use wire to store gift wrap out of the way by the ceiling.

Use wire to store gift wrap out of the way by the ceiling.

Frank Farm / Flickr: frankfarm

Instead of letting it clutter up your floor. See how it’s done here.

17. If you don’t have gift tags, just print some out.

If you don't have gift tags, just print some out.

These adorable ones are available for free here.

18. Secure ribbon with a binder clip.

Secure ribbon with a binder clip.

19. Get the kinks out of ribbon with a flat iron.

Get the kinks out of ribbon with a flat iron.

20. Or a lightbulb.

Or a lightbulb.

Check out instructions here to avoid burning the ribbon/your whole house.

21. No paper on hand? Newsprint can still look great.

No paper on hand? Newsprint can still look great.

Mari Eriksson / angelattable.blogspot.com

22. So can recycled grocery bags.

So can recycled grocery bags.

A little tape and twine ups the festivity factor times a million.

23. If all else fails, just draw on that ish.

If all else fails, just draw on that ish.

Everyone will think you’re adorbs.

30 Homemade Ornaments for the Kids

Thirty homemade ornaments to make with your kids for keepsakes this Christmas, or just for fun!

I especially love the globe ornaments, so I even included a section of just those!

Six keepsake ornaments. Ten globe ornaments. And even fourteen homemade ornaments that the kids can make!

So call the kids over as you scroll through these and decide which ornament you’ll make today! [And then choose another to make tomorrow! I think you'll have enough to do one each day until Christmas!]

 


keepsake ornaments:

Salt Dough Handprints, 1 of the 30 homemade ornaments for kids Wrapped photo, 1 of the 30 homemade ornaments for kids
Salt Dough Handprints:
Under the Table & Dreaming
Wrapped Up Photo:
Toddler Approved
Time Capsule Ornaments, 1 of the 30 homemade ornaments for kids Shell vacation keepsake
Time Capsule Ornament:
Cleverly Inspired
Shell Vacation Keepsake:
Paint Cut Paste
Salt Dough Initial Ornament, 1 of the 30 homemade ornaments for kids Handprint snowman ornament
Salt Dough Initials:
The Imagination Tree
Handprint Snowman:
Little Bit Funky

globe ornaments:

Marble painted ornament Drip painted ornament
Marble Painted:
Kids Activities Blog
Drip Painted Ornament:
Spoonful
Pom Pom Ball Ornament Gum Drop Ornament
Pom Pom Ball:
Zakka Life
Gum Drop Ornament:
Six in the Suburbs
Snow filled ornament Reindeer ornament
Snow Filled Globe:
According to Kelly
Reindeer Ornament:
Little Wonders’ Days
Sequined ball homemade ornament Fabric scrap homemade ornament
Sequinned Ball:
Kid Giddy
Fabric Scrap Ornament:
Zakka Life
I Spy Ornament Marshmallow snowman ornament
‘I Spy’ Ornament:
Craft Goodies
Marshmallow Snowman:
Craft Goodies

homemade ornaments by the kids:

beaded snowflake ornament Stained glass ornament
Beaded Snowflake:
School Time Adventures
Stained Glass Gingerbread:
NurtureStore
Paper baubles Homemade salt dough tree ornaments
Paper Baubles:
Red Ted Art
Salt Dough Trees:
The Imagination Tree
Glittery pine cone ornaments Beaded star
Glittery Pine Cones:
Mom Spotted
Beaded Star:
Mrs. Picasso’s Art Room
Woven cardboard stars Crystal Snowflake Ornaments
Woven Cardboard Stars:
The Crafty Crow
Borax Crystal Snowflakes:
Happy Birdycake
Sewn felt star ornament Popsicle Star Ornament
Sewn Felt Star:
Frugal Fun 4 Boys
Popsicle Stick Snowflakes:
The Crafting Chicks
Flared Christmas tree ornaments Button Christmas Tree Ornament
Flared Christmas Trees:
The Ki Blog
Button Christmas Tree:
hands on : as we grow
[guest post by Toddler Approved]
Foam Santa Ornament Popsicle stick tree ornament
Foam Santa Ornament:
Toddler Approved
Popsicle Stick Tree:
Mom Spotted