Crafts for Men & Boys to Make | Manly Projects to Build and Sew
Men's DIY Craft Ideas & Sewing Tutorials
I personally run my own craft blog so I know that most tutorials on the web are geared towards women; from floral tote bags and necklaces to hair bands and skirts, so it can be difficult to find things to make if you're a guy. I'm not trying to stereotype, but men seem to enjoy the more rugged types of crafts that often need power tools or at least a bit of brute force! And these types of 'manly' projects are much more my cup of tea too even though I'm a girl :)
So on this page I have collected together my favorite craft ideas from small makes like wallets, to large makes like treehouses and furniture. There are instructions for fun techniques like wood carving and woodworking, free construction plans for large projects, sewing how-tos for making your own neck ties and hats, and much more.
Don't be afraid of getting creative and following your own ideas too though - you don't always need to follow instructions after all. And if you have kids, I'm sure they would enjoy helping you with some of these creations too - although obviously keep them away from the dangerous tools!
I hope this page inspires your next weekend project :-)
Instructions on all kinds of traditional craft techniques including printing and whittling.
Summary of What This Page Is About
When I was at school I was the only girl in the design technology class (oh and I got the best grade don't you know!) and it is quite apparent that there are crafts that are considered 'girly' and crafts that are considered 'manly'. Now as a girl who likes the manly crafts and enjoys nothing more than the smell of sawdust in a workshop, I find it quite sad that there aren't many girls who seem to like woodwork and getting stuck into large construction type projects. Anyway, to celebrate my love of butch crafts, I have made this page to compile all of my favourite projects from around the web that don't incorporate lace, pink, ruffles or anything dainty!
You will find that I've included links to many free building plans for furniture and treehouses, along with men's sewing makes like ties and wallets, creative home décor and art, plus techniques like bookbinding and sculpture making.
I hope that both men and women can get stuck into these awesome DIYs!
Cool Things to Make
- Cork Board Map
A world map for those who like to travel.
- Coffee Can Star Lamp
Creates a great lighting effect (and you could use a candle instead a bulb if you wish).
- Mustache Mirror
This would look even better if you etched the mustache on the mirror!
- Souvenir Tee Pillows
Make pillows out of graphic tees & old concert t-shirts.
- Manly Curtain
Made from a wool blanket and leather straps.
- House Number Idea
Create a sign with just wood and nails - simple!
- Garden Couch
Create a fun grass covered sofa.
- Monogram Mugs
Easy and cool mug designs.
- Halloween Costume
Loads of DIY ideas for masks, costumes and special effects.
- Etched Mustache Mug
Make a funny permanent frosted 'tache on a glass cup.
- Adjustable Bow-Tie
Fun tie style to show personality.
- Firewood Carrier
Useful carrier made from a burlap coffee sack.
- Beanbags & Floor Seating
Lots of tutorials for bean bags, cushions and other seating.
- BBQ Apron
Stripey apron tutorial with a front pocket detail.
- Laptop/Netbook Pouch
Smart cover for your portable electronics.
- Neoprene Laptop Bag
Rugged sleeve made using an old wetsuit.
- Military Laptop Sleeve
Made from a felted wool blanket and a tent canvas.
- Neck Ties
Regular tie design to make from scratch.
- Ascot Neck Tie
Retro style for something a bit different.
- Patchwork Tweed Cushion
No florals in sight!
- Manly Quilt
Made from seven men's shirts.
- Flat Cap Pattern
Smart hat to sew using a free template.
Bags, Wallets & Cases To Make
- Nintendo Messenger Bag
Nintendo gaming controller bag.
- The Weekender
Large, stylish bag design.
- Bicycle Lunch Bag
A bag to hang from the frame of a bike.
- Classic Messenger Bag
The perfect carryall for work or for your laptop.
- Cargo Pants Bag
Small shoulder bag made by recycling cargo pants.
- Car Organizer
To hang over the back of the seats.
- Pocket Knife/Key Holder
DIY small leather pouch.
- Leather Wallet
Sew your own smart wallet that will last for years.
Larger & More Challenging Projects
- Make a Basic Table
Step-by-step instructions for making a simple wooden table.
- Kid's Play Kitchen
A real treat to make for your children.
- Furniture Plans
Huge lot of free step-by-step furniture plans. Fab resource.
- Building a Treehouse
Photos showing the process of making an awesome treehouse.
- Outdoor Movie Theater
With a blackout cloth screen and concrete blocks to hold the frame up.
- Tree Bench
Construct a wood bench around the base of a large tree.
- Sliding Barn Door
How to make and hang a farmhouse style door.
- Backyard See-Saw
Clear tutorial showing how to make a fab toy for kids.
- DIY Tree House
Follow the 5 links provided for different plans and how-tos.
- Pallet Coffee Table
Pallets are a good base to start from when making a table.
Make a one-man hovering machine.
Manly DIY Ideas & Tutorials
- Barn Head Board
Rustic style bed headboard made using salvaged wood planks.
- Plumbing Pipe Candlesticks
Metal hardware parts attached together to make a candlestick.
- Vertical Wine Rack
Fun and simple rack for your kitchen.
- Pipe Pot Rack
Quite simple saucepan holder made using copper pipe.
- Snow Sled
Built from wood and plastic containers.
- Bike Wheel Rack
Eye-catching bicycle wheel upcycled into a pot rack.
- Bath Caddy
Handy holder to have on your bath.
- Prowler Sled
I've never heard of it before, but you push the sled around for exercise!
- Wooden Beer Totes
DIY carriers for beer bottles with a bottle opener mounted on the side.
- Leather Watchstrap
Replicate your watch strap in quality leather.
- Archer's Quiver
Make a cool utilitarian bag for holding arrows in.
How to Make a Quick, Unlined Wallet
What you will need:
* Cotton fabric for the lining; there are many colors and patterns to choose from if you choose to use cotton.
(The lining is represented as gray in the diagram)
* Outer fabric; can also be cotton but is usually a thicker material than the lining e.g. a suiting fabric.
(The outer fabric is represented as brown in the diagram)
* Rotary cutter and cutting mat OR fabric scissors
* Sewing pins
* Sewing machine OR a needle and thread
* Disappearing/erasable fabric marking pen
- You will need to cut a piece measuring 8" x 10.5" from the lining fabric, and a piece measuring 4.5" x 8" from the outer fabric.
- Mark the valley and hill fold lines onto the front of the lining fabric (see the diagram above) with the erasable pen, and fold them in the way indicated - pressing the folds in place with an iron. Once pressed you can remove the pen lines with a small amount of water. Leave to dry.
- Hem the top edge of the lining piece by folding 1/2" over onto the back of the fabric, pressing it and sewing it in place with a straight stitch.
- Sew a straight stitch down the center of the lining fabric too, so that the folds are secured in place.
- Then hem one of the long edges of the outer fabric, by (as with the lining fabric) folding 1/2" onto the back of the fabric, then pressing the fold (if the fabric is suitable to be ironed) and sewing in place.
- Both the outer and lining fabric pieces should now be the same size. Place the front of the outer fabric against the folded side (front) of the lining, so that the two hemmed edges are at the top. Line the edges up perfectly and pin in place.
- Sew through both the lining and the outer fabric on 3 of the sides (not across the top). Sew 1/4" in from the edges of the fabric i.e. 1/4" seam allowance.
- Turn inside out and press with an iron to get clean and flat edges if necessary.
Geeky & Tech Projects
- LED Minifigs
Fun LEGO figures for Halloween.
- Mario Bros. Plant
Chomper plant copied from the Super Mario games.
- Bottlecap Table Top
Bottlecaps are embedded in resin for a cool surface pattern.
- Comic Book Wallet
Quick and easy wallet made using a page from a comic book.
- Mario Magnet Board
Super Mario inspired magnetic board made with card.
- Coding Tie
How to make a geeky power tie with code printed on.
- Compubody Sock
Funny DIY which you can knit or construct from other sweaters.
- Plush Bombs
Spiked retro bombs made from felt.
- Squishy Rubik's Cubes
Fun accessory for your car!
- Polite Car Signals
Add some good manners to your car.
- Tetris Wall Lights
Really cool Tetris shapes which contain fairy lights.
- Floppy Disk Table Cover
Very easy way of recycling your old floppy disks.
Jewelry & Wearables
- Camera Sling
To make it easier to handle heavier SLR cameras.
- Buckle Cuff
Bracelet made from an old belt.
- Loop Braiding
A technique used to make men's bracelets.
- Leather Braid
Technique that produces a leather braid to use as a cuff.
- Cool Wave Ring
How to cut sheet metal to produce a cool ring.
- Paracord Watchband
Make a new bracelet or band for your watch.
- Knitted Scarf
If you can knit or would like to learn, this is a good starter project.
- Tread Belt
Cool belt made using a rubber bike tire.
- Timing Belt
Making a belt from an old timing belt from a car.
How to make a fleece hoodie.
- PJ Pants
How to make comfy drawstring pants.
Tutorials for Awesome Makes
- Egg Cup
Made by upcycing a table fork.
- Painted Wall Art
Simple but really effective looking wall art with gold leaf.
- Steady Hand Game
Of course you could make a giant or more difficult version of the game :-)
- Paper Clone
Make a creepy paper clone of yourself!
- Typographic Coasters
Minimalist characters made from cork.
- Bird House
Lots of examples of the coolest bird houses, with plans and how-tos.
- Mat Your Own Art
Learn how to frame your photos and art professionally.
- Brake Disc Clock
Industrial style clock made from a bicycle brake disc.
- Record Bowls
A good way to recycle old vinyl records.
- Magnetic Spice Rack
Stylish DIY spices and sprinkles holder.
- Wooden Salt Cellar
With a little carved spoon too.
Making Men's Clothes & Other Useable Items
- Wood Spice Rack Ideas
Ideas for different wooden designs plus free plans.
- Leather Journal
How to bind your own book and add a leather cover.
- Portable Fire Pit
Looks great and is pretty straightforward to make.
- Boxer Shorts
With an elastic waistband.
- Make a T-Shirt
By using one of your own as a template.
- Bike Chaps
Pants to wear when cycling to protect your clothes underneath.
- Stencil a T-Shirt
Cut out the stencil from freezer paper.
- Screen Print Tees
Use contact paper and a screen to print.
- Papercut Portrait
Cut paper to form an effective piece of portrait art.
- Fabric Wallet
With a cool eyelet feature.
- Tripod Camping Stool
Awesome wooden seat project.
- Mustache Keychain
Fun leather keychain for a classy gent.
Melted Toy Bowl
Taking old, broken or discarded funiture and giving it a new life is a fun and rewarding pastime. This set of drawers was found on the street. It was then sanded down, painted an oil based black enamel, sanded again, given a second coat of black, and finally brushed with polyurethane which comes with dark brown pigment to give the drawers the appearance of a dark wood grain showing through.
Photo by Doug Farmer.
Creative How-Tos for Homemade Products
- Leather Plant Hanger
Straightforward creation which also teaches you about leather working.
- Corner Door Shelf
Turn an ordinary door into an impressive corner shelving unit.
- Backyard Putting Green
Perfect if you love golf as well as crazy big projects!
- Plaster Hand Casts
Who wouldn't want a thumbs-up on their wall?
- Recycled Belt & Wood Shelves
Use old leather belts as a cool way to hold up wooden shelves.
- Cases & Bags for Gadgets
My other roundup for laptop bags, iPhone cases, iPad sleeves & more.
- Build a Sami Hut
Excellent step-by-step instructions on making an outdoor Eskimo hut.
- Baby Teething Toys
Great craft for new dads or uncles.
- Knotted Leather Keyring
Simple and masculine keyring DIY.
- Tetris Shelves
Eye-catching shelves for the geeky gamer!
Recycling, Revamping and More
- Letter Light
Awesome showbiz light-up letter art.
- Newspaper Taxidermy
Wire and newspaper stag wall art.
- Simple Shoe Rack
Consists of just layers of wood shelving.
Make a great ottoman by recycling electrical wire spools.
- Pinhole Camera
23 options for how to make your own camera.
- Book Kindle Cover
Camouflage your Kindle by embedding it in a book.
- Pencil Crossbow
Made using regular office supplies.
- Concrete Bookends
Sturdy and durable bookends with a letter embedded.
- Cassette Tape Cuffs
How to bend a cassette tape into a piece of jewelry.
- DIY Camera Tripod
Several ways to make a tripod yourself - really cheaply.
- Build or Revamp Furniture
Lots of tutorials on refurbishing furniture and reupholstering chairs.
I once attempted to create a sculpture using chicken wire in my room when I was about 12 and I didn't half get a lot of scratches - so be careful, and wear goggles/safety specs and gloves!
Click here for a tutorial on making a chicken wire 'ghost' figure.
Very Useful Products Plus 'Just for Fun' Makes
- Dry Erase Memo Board
Really easy to make - from just a frame and some fabric.
- Kodachrome Curtains
Unusual curtains made from old slides.
- Laced Hanging Chair
Made from a pallet and some paracord.
- Wooly Willy Table
Add a fun retro game onto a coffee table.
- Tabletop Pinball
Make your own pinball table using scrap wood and cardboard.
- Customized Plates
Funky graffiti stencil design revamp on old plates.
- Faux Metal Mirror
Add a faux metal finish to a mirror frame
- Condiment Picnic Table
Funny miniature table to house mustard and ketchup.
- Carved Plaster Bookends
Super easy plaster of Paris project.
- Sturdy Toolbox
Durable and hard-wearing construction with a pull out section.
- Tyre Toy Box
Super simple toy box idea which looks very stylish.
- Wooden Salt Dish
Chunky wood salt dish with a holder for a bud vase too.
For the Home & Garden
- Ladder Bookshelf
Genius and simple shortcut shelves.
- Giacometti Statue
Artistic style sculpture for your home.
- Vinyl Wall Decals
Removeable sticker art for your walls.
- Birch Log Table
Natural and rustic table just made from logs.
- Mosaic House Sign
Display your house number with mosaic tiles.
- Cutlery Backsplash
Resin kitchen backsplash with embedded cutlery.
- Lightbulb Wall Hook
Contemporary concrete wall hook in the shape of a lightbulb.
- Tufted Headboard
Professional looking results.
- Candle Sconces
Old fashioned and elegant wall sconces.
- Lawn Scrabble
Amazing giant Scrabble game for your backyard.
- Woven Leather Stool
Very professional looking, and a relatively simple make.
- Industrial Side Tables
Simple and cool side tables for your bachelor pad.
- DIY Tepee Poles
Stripping pine trees to makes the basic poles for a tepee.
Bookshelves and More
- Invisible Book Shelf
Fun 'floating' book illusion.
- Inverted Book Shelf
Clever upside-down shelf.
- Natural Wood Clock
Rustic clock using wood straight from a tree.
- How to Stencil Furniture
How to use contact paper to paint a chest of drawers.
- DIY Honeycomb Shelves
Cool looking design made in wood.
- 7 Concrete Projects
Including garden stepping stones and plantpot decorations.
- Outdoor Planting Table
A smart looking counter for your gardening needs.
- Paper Chess Set
How to create a chess set by simply rolling paper strips.
- Longboard & More
Plenty of how-tos including instruments, a clay pot smoker and a longboard.
- Wooden Doormat
Quick project which every house needs.
Cool DIY Projects
- Steampunk Light Switch Plates
Really cool and original project.
- 2x4 Wooden Chair
Very efficient way to make a chair - for about the price of a coffee.
- Hanging Bed
Fabulous porch bed hanging from ropes.
- Superhero Gnomes
Hilarious tutorial for turning regular gnomes into superheroes!
- Plywood Boat
Made from a single sheet of plywood.
- Handmade Bookcase
Free woodworking plans for a classic bookcase.
- Homemade Porsche
Most awesome thing ever!
- Leather Phone Case
Envelope style pouch for your phone or other electronic gadget.
- Door Lock Key Rack
Use door knobs and locks to fashion a vintage style rack.
- Carve a Wood Spoon
A great video on how to carve out your own wooden spoon.
DIY Bird Bath
Craft Tutorials Galore
- Moulded Leather Case
How to use water to mould leather into an iPod case.
- Leather Pinecone
Shows techniques which you can use to make any leather ornaments.
- Copper Rain Chain
Interesting idea for replacing your water downpour pipes.
- Rubik's Cube Chest of Drawers
Amazing puzzle storage with spinning drawers and hidden locks.
- Geek Tissue Boxes
Lots of examples of fun nerdy wood boxes.
- Golf Club Cover
Make your own custom headcovers for your golf clubs.
- Girly Double-Decker Bed
Make a bed and playhouse combined.
- Creepy Ticket Booth
An amazing Halloween light-up prop.
- DIY Antler Razor
Make your own razor handle using a deer antler!
- Skateboard Swing
A 20-minute garden craft to keep kids entertained.
- Minimalist Leather Trays
Classy leather baskets and pots for your office desk.
Woodcraft Videos & Other Fun Projects
Inspiring Ideas & Impressive Projects
- DIY Hobbit House
Sensational hobbit house built for £3000.
- Wood & Nail Trick
Make your friends marvel at how the heck you made this curiosity!
- Backyard Projects
Including a zip line racer, treehouse and playhouse.
- House Book Holder
Wooden house for your bedside table.
- Swedish Lawn Game
Make this wooden stick and block game called Kubb.
- Homemade Cutting Boards
Practical and aesthetically pleasing chunky cutting boards.
- Salvaged Riddling Rack
Rustic wine rack made from salvaged wood.
- Plastic Animal Bookends
Cut a toy tiger in half and create really cheap but cool bookends.
- Beer Bottle Crate
Useful storage items with rope handles.
- Leather Lunch Bag
Smart and professional tote to carry your lunch in.
More Fun Weekend Projects
- DIY Garden Crafts
Roundup of loads of different outdoor projects you can try.
- Basketball Bag
Cool and eye-catching bag made with a real basketball.
- Chunky Deer Head
Wooden mounted deer head made using a bandsaw.
- Mail Basket
DIY wall mounted basket made with wood and leather.
- Vinyl Record Table
Cool side table made with just a planter and a vinyl record.
- Wood Burning Dog Bowl
Classy pet bowl idea which is a great beginner's woodburning project.
- Action Figure Bookends
Fun manly bookends made with action toys.
- Pimp Your Ride
Re-line your car interior with your favourite patterned or plain fabric.
- Magnetic Bottle Opener
This one is in the shape of Michigan; but you can choose any shape you like.
- Pencil Rack
Clever novelty idea for making a rack using lots of pencils.
- Rock Climbing Holds
Make your very own resin holds for a DIY climbing wall.
House Number Light
Photo and light by Cleatus Cobb.
The frame is made from metal scraps and the numbers were purchased from a scrap metal shop. The orange plastic pieces are samples from an architecture magazine ad, which have been glued together with acylic cement. There are 3 LEDs on a homemade acrylic frame which attaches to the orange face.
Further Creative & Inventive Makes
- Simple Pipe Lamp
An industrial style lamp with a basic design.
- Tabletop Pipe Lamp
A cool desk lamp made from metal piping.
- Floor-Standing Pipe Lamp
Another industrial lamp DIY; this time a tall floor lamp.
- Reclaimed Wood Reindeer
Fun Christmas decoration made with salvaged wood and spindles.
- Vintage Suitcase iPod Speakers
An innovative way to repurpose old luggage.
- Wooden 'Viking' Beer Mug
Make a rustic mug the bushcraft way - with no power tools.
- Tardis Bookcase
Build your own Doctor Who themed furniture.
- Wooden Bow Tie
A modern and fashionable twist on the classic.
- Brass Rod Wine Rack
Wall-mounted wooden rack.
Repurposed Wine Bottles
Useful Craft Websites & Blogs
- Evil Mad Scientist
Blog with many technical projects and experiments.
- Man Made DIY
Facts, fun videos, projects and men's tutorials.
Pages and pages of how-tos to search through.
- Dude Craft
Showcasing manly arts, crafts and inventions.
- Make Projects
Sorted into categories like robotics and transportation.
Recycled Lightbulb Spiders
Top-Rated Craftwork Tools & Kits
Most of the projects above don't need anything but basic tools, however if you want to get involved with more specialized crafts like pyrography, leatherwork, carving, turning, or whittling, then you will require specifically designed tools. Here is a selection of more specialist products: