DIY Gear: Create Your Own Awesome

Believe it or not, Do-It-Yourself isn’t just the realm of Bob Vila and that dude Ty on all those Discovery shows. You can, in fact, do it yourself. With a helpful bit of inspiration and an almost complete lack of instruction (exactly how we like it), you can combine found items and a bit of know-how into some seriously awesome stuff for your home – without the obscene price tag that high designers and big box stores would charge you for similar items. Like any good vacation, the planning of any project starts with the destination. So here you go, here are your destinations. Just add testosterone and power tools wherever possible.

Disclaimer: Real life DIY doesn’t have a standby emergency team. Exercise some caution because those comical mishaps Tim “The Toolman” Taylor is known for aren’t as funny when you’re the one getting electrocuted. Knowing is half the battle, so if you don’t know, find someone who does.

This Hyundai sponsored post is about snapping out of the norm and creating your own awesome. Thanks Hyundai!

Wall Lamp

Like the functional Erector set cranes you used to build as a kid, this lamp combines a few pieces of wood, some nuts and bolts and electrical hardware to create one of the cleanest wall or desk lamps that you can save roughly $250 building yourself.

Pipe Shelf

Calculate your desired shelf size. Visualize your shelving victory. Screw together some lengths of galvanized pipe and some wall mounts and paint it black. Take that IKEA.

Beer Bottle Chandeliers

The perfect light fixture for any man cave or game room, the best part of this project is definitely “creating” all the empty building materials.


On the surface, it’s just a cool vintage suitcase with speakers inside. Unless you know how to wire up speakers though, it can be quite difficult. Find your speakers and your case and then hit up the nearest car audio place for some assistance with the wiring.

Metal Barrel Cupboard

Take one oil drum, some rubber molding, paint and sheet metal and combine it with a sweet Mad Scientist outfit and industrial grinder. As with any operation that generates high-velocity shrapnel, wear proper eye protection.

Pipe Works Coat Rack

If you’re looking for a little more garden/plumbing industrial design in your foyer, this is the piece for you. Since it’s really just plumbing fixtures, you can add more interior sections as necessary to accommodate your her sizable amount of outerwear.

Mr. Wilson

Part Pac-Man, part Federer weapon of choice, Mr. Wilson is a tennis ball suction-cupped to your wall that will devour wet towels, bath robes or anything else you could possibly want to hang from the wall.

Pallet Coffee Table

Take one industrial pallet (tip: you can usually pick these up from hardware stores on the cheap) and screw a piece of wood and casters to the bottom – instant coffee table with storage. Find the nearest graffiti artist and coerce him into throwing some designs on top for an added pop.

Globe Lights

Finding the Prime Meridian was never all that easy, so you might as well take that outdated geographic relic (USSR, anyone?) out of storage and turn it into something useful – like an awesome light or chandelier.

Pipe Lights

The possibilities are literally endless when it comes to Tetris-ing together lightbulbs and plumbing pipe. Since you don’t have to deal with waiting for the straight pieces, piecing together these lights is just as much fun as it is productive.

License Plate Bowls

Bolt together two license plates (everyone has license plates lying around somewhere) then cut and bend where necessary to create a bowl so cool you could sell it on Etsy. Don’t forget to use protection though, make sure you seal everything in with a few healthy coats of lacquer.

Altoid Tin USB Battery Pack

It doesn’t matter if your connection device of choice is a Blackberry, iGadget or Android device, you’re going to run out of juice at some point. Take two things everyone has (AA batteries and an Altoids tin), throw in a little bit of soldering and voila – instant portable battery power.

As part of Hyundai’s “SNAP OUT” Sweepstakes (fine print here), Cool Material and Hyundai are providing you with one Arrowhead Road Sign Bowl by artist W. Holman ($75 value) for free. Leave a comment below describing one of the DIY projects on this list that you’re man enough to tackle and you will be entered to win. We’ll choose a winner 3/1. Good Luck!


Congrats to Daniel (comment #16) winner of the Arrowhead Roadside Bowl. Thanks again to Hyundai for sponsoring the post and contest.


  • Henry

    I am going on ebay and hitting garage sales–I want to make the globe light so bad I can taste it. Awesoem project!

  • Tiina

    Oh, my sister-in-law made years ago an adorable chandelier from old milk bottles, one just like that beer bottle chandelier. But we’re a family full of designers, artists and artisans, DIY is our middle name ;-D

  • JQ

    Oh man definitely man enough to make the Beer Bottle Chandeliers, I just need to start drinking quickly. Or just get a bunch of my friends and we will be set in no time.

  • Charlie

    Those pipe lights are a great idea. Talk about utilitarianism.

  • Andrew F. Eaton

    I think I’m going to try about half of these! But as my man cave is near completion I think the Beer Chandelier will be first.

  • alex

    i will be using the battery tin all the time. also those pallets are an awesome for me to showoff some graffiti.

  • Bojan

    I love the pipe book shelves, but I want to make it a coat rac, or something similar for clothes

  • Michael

    PIPE LIGHTS! I want to create the look in a loft.

  • Petey

    Totally need to make a USB battery pack. My mp3 player isn’t hold a charge any more and can’t afford a new one. I’m looking for parts right now.

  • Pamela

    My son is moving into his first place and has nothing. I am going to recommend he make the Beer Bottle Chandelier using the beer bottles his friends consumer while helping him move in.

  • Kyle

    Me gusta the beer bottle chandelier… Looks like I better start drinkin’.

  • Danilo Crnogorac

    Pipe Lights are amazing, i’m so amazed! I must make something like this in my music studio!!!

  • Andres

    I can totally take those pipe lights on since they look badass!

  • Matt

    I build my own cell phone dock and charger (quite similar to the Altoids tin circuit) in a travel coffee mug so it can sit in my console and either charge from batteries or the cigarette lighter.

  • Matt

    I *built my own charger.

  • Daniel

    I’m definitely man enough to handle that BoomCase. Then it’s time to crank it in the airport.

  • Darin

    The suitcase boombox is awesome. I can see Grandmaster Flash bringing that on an airplane and rocking that shit out.

  • MIKE

    it’s a tossup between pipe lights and license plate bowls… guess i’ll decide on 3/2

  • rich

    next time the wife is out of town, i’m going to make some pipe lights in the hallway.

  • John Stinebaugh

    Honestly I could tackle any of these projects. Give me some tools and some materials, and I would make almost anything. The thing I want to make most on this post is the lighted globe chandeliers. Even if I grow tired of the chandelier, I could help turn it into a lighted planet mobil for my kids one day. hows that for versatility?

  • John Stinebaugh

    P.S. If you make the pipe lights just right, you could possibly turn your place that either resembles a scene out of Tron or Star Wars, which would be really cool….er for your kids I mean.

  • Chris W.

    I’m totally doing the pipe lights, who knew it could be that cool.

  • Re

    Those pipe shelves are both awesome and easy, easy enough for me to make.

  • Daniel

    Laying pipe is always a good time but it’s even better when the pipe one lays lights up a room.

  • jake

    very cool ideas. makes me think of other industrial ideas to make things out of, keep up the good work

  • Jon L

    These Pipe Lights are awesome- it’d make a great addition to my room.

  • Laura N

    Do you have to be “man enough” to make these? While the Wilson robe hanger is closer to my skillset, I’d love to make the globe chandelier, then I’d love to have the loft room for it to go in.

  • Marc

    A pallet coffee table – sounds like a good canvas.

  • saul

    i built a doll house for my little daughter planing the layout in a piece of paper and using thin wood, glue, nail and a bit of paint. what is more manly than to built for your child…

  • Tim Jacobsen

    CONTEST CLOSED! Congrats to Daniel (comment #16) winner of the Arrowhead Roadside Bowl. Thanks again to Hyundai for sponsoring the post and contest.

  • IvanR

    I have already done a CMOY amp so the altoids battery case should be a piece of cake.

  • http:/ john miller

    Time to start building your own materials out in the garage. I’m thinking we will see a boom in do it yourself handyman projects.