Chris of ManMade

Dust off your tool belts and get the supplies ready, guys (and gals too!). This week’s #Pinspiration with keep you busy and bring new life into your home, office or living space.

We’ve been brainstorming ideas on how to upcycle pallets, drill wooden furniture and get dirty in the garden. That’s why we asked DIY expert Chris of ManMade to help us whip up some creative design projects for our next Twitter chat.

This week’s theme is all about easy to-do handmade activities. Tweet us your #Pinspiration to @Pinterest this Friday, April 18th, between 10am-11am PST.

Need a little inspiration? Just add the hashtag #Pinspiration to your tweet and ask away. We’ll send you a Pin or a Board to help! Here’s a few topics for the workbench: vintage lamps, utensil and desk organizers, leather tool rolls and even wine barrel tables.

We got a chance to chat with Chris and hear how he sets up shop in the backyard to make amazing designs:

 

Hi Chris! Can you share a little bit about yourself and how you started your website, ManMade?

I became involved in the DIY design and craft blogging community when I was in graduate school. I’d moved to a new city and a new place, sight unseen, and the interior was incredibly drab and glum. Since I spent a lot of time at home studying and writing, I needed to come up with some quick and affordable ways to make it a better place to be. This was in the early days of blogging, and I fell in love with the community and all the clever ideas. I’d always been a creative person, and it was fun to apply that drive to make things in such a practical way - to impact the things I use every day.

I eventually started working as a contributor to one of my favorite sites, Curbly.com, and continued to spend time in this area of the blogosphere. It became increasingly apparent that the majority of my peers were women, and the projects and posts presumed a female audience. I kept waiting for someone to create a site dedicated to viewing the DIY and independent craft movement from a man’s perspective. After a few years, I realized that - apparently - that someone was going to be me. So, I collaborated with the publishing team at Curbly to launch ManMade in 2010. I was able to quit my career after a year or so, and try my hand at blogging and online content full time within the first year. I’m still so grateful for that opportunity.

With spring underway, tell us about your favorite DIY projects worth-trying this season.

Spring’s the time for getting to all those things you wanted done in winter, but the weather and short days made it impossible. So, spring cleaning and other light to-dos are always on my season. After that, it’s time to get outside! I love setting up shop in the backyard and working there. So, for me, spring is a great time to get on those messier projects, like those that use spray paint, bunches of glue, or make a lot of sawdust. Keep that junk outside.
Similarly, spring is a great time to get ready for outdoor living - grilling and barbecues, outdoor entertaining, gardening, and all kinds of fun activities, like bike riding and camping. I recently completed a modern wooden welcome mat and last fall, I creating a contemporary DIY concrete fire pit, so I’m excited to put them both to use as the weather warms up.

As the editor of ManMade, how has Pinterest been useful to you?

I love Pinterest. There are all kinds of men sharing excellent content. I often will see a cocktail or drink recipe, and it’ll inspire a new long-form post or new blog series. Even certain color combinations or a specific use of materials helps me to think of my own original projects or branching out into a new medium or material. I also like to use Pinterest to see what other guys (and those who love them) are thinking about at any given time of year, which helps me create original content that covers the full spectrum of creative guys and the things they care about. Pinterest is also a great inspiration for improving my own photography and styling on my how-tos. And of course, the excellent community of Pinterest users regularly share my how-tos and tutorials, allowing new readers to discover ManMade and participate in the conversation, adding useful new voices and even more ideas.

Thanks for the feedback! Don’t forget to join us on Twitter this Friday and share your #Pinspiration with Chris and the Pinterest team. Also, be sure to check out his website and Pinterest boards! See you Friday morning!