How to Design a Man Cave

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Decorate your man cave with a collection of things you appreciate to make the space truly yours. Making the items yourself gives the space that personal touch while providing your corner of the abode with fresh takes on form, style and sophistication.

Man Cave Must-Haves
Man Cave Must-Haves (Image: Kat)

1. Gloriously Geometric Concrete Bookends

Make your own molds for these complex bookends using cardboard folded into geometric shapes.
Make your own molds for these complex bookends using cardboard folded into geometric shapes. (Image: Mary & Tim Vidra)

These geometric concrete bookends are just the thing for a fully outfitted man cave. Corrugated cardboard, folded into a complex geometric form, is the secret behind these shapely creations. Reminiscent of both minerals and dice from old-school role-playing games, these bookends are sure to satisfy your inner geek.

2.  Mysterious Magnetic Bottle Opener

This creative bottle opener has its own built-in party trick.
This creative bottle opener has its own built-in party trick. (Image: Mary & Tim Vidra)

Yes, you need a bottle opener for your man cave. No, it shouldn't be boring. Turn your favorite quirky bottle opener into a mysterious magnetic device that catches bottle caps as they fall. Don't give up the secret right away -- let your friends figure out how it works.

3. A Basket Full of Light

Turn an old wire basket into creative ceiling fixture or chandelier.
Turn an old wire basket into creative ceiling fixture or chandelier. (Image: Mary & Tim Vidra)

Forget those run-of-the-mill ceiling fixtures from a home improvement store. Upgrade that ceiling space with your own fixture made from a repurposed antique wire basket. Choose a basket that already has a hole in the bottom to simplify this upcycling project.

4.  Pipes and Planks: The Perfect Bookcase

Store albums, books or even your favorite game consoles on this DIY bookcase.
Store albums, books or even your favorite game consoles on this DIY bookcase. (Image: Mary & Tim Vidra)

Even a man cave benefits from bonus storage space. Create your own with this industrial chic bookcase made from pipes and thick lumber. Think of this project as the adult version of playing with an Erector set or Tinker Toys.

5. On-Target Wall Hangings for Your Man Cave

Faux targets -- the perfect funky decor for a man cave.
Faux targets -- the perfect funky decor for a man cave. (Image: Jill Sparks)

A man cave's wall art may look out of place in the rest of the house, but that's OK. Turn fabric and stretcher bars designed for art canvases into these punchy wall hangings inspired by a shooting or archery range. Hang these up in your space for decor that's right on target.

6. Irresistible Jumbo Jenga, DIY Style

Replace your old Jenga game with this supersized DIY version.
Replace your old Jenga game with this supersized DIY version. (Image: Mary & Tim Vidra)

Leave the regular Jenga game for the kids. Make this man-sized version out of boards typically used for studs. Smooth and round the edges a bit before treating the game pieces with a nontoxic finishing oil.

7. Mason Jar Track-Light Transformation

Upgrade an old track light system with classic glass-jar pendant lights.
Upgrade an old track light system with classic glass-jar pendant lights. (Image: Mary & Tim Vidra)

Instead of ripping out an old track lighting system, give it a modern upgrade with pendant lights that fit right into the track. Mason jars serve as classic light covers on the cheap. Now that's upcycling.

8. Transform Old Wood Into Bold Bookends

Turn scrap wood into rustic bookends with bold style.
Turn scrap wood into rustic bookends with bold style. (Image: Mary & Tim Vidra)

Transform rustic hunks of weathered, beat-up wood into a set of chic, chunky bookends with just a few angled cuts. Look for thick,well-worn wood beams or scraps at a salvage yard or flea market -- or maybe even your own garage.

9. From Wood Sticks to Candle Wicks

Give homemade candles an outdoorsy upgrade with wooden candle wicks
Give homemade candles an outdoorsy upgrade with wooden candle wicks (Image: Mary & Tim Vidra)

Give your homemade candles a masculine, outdoors-inspired look with these DIY wooden wicks. Thin strips of balsa wood from a craft store serve as the wick material, plus it's thin enough to snip with scissors so you can customize the wick to your candle's size. Ah, wood -- is there anything it can't do?

10. A Tray for All Trinkets

Make a simple leather tray to tame your keys and loose change.
Make a simple leather tray to tame your keys and loose change. (Image: Mary & Tim Vidra)

An organized man cave is a functional man cave. Create your own leather tray so you'll always know exactly where to find your keys and stray quarters. Leather matches just about everything, so you're golden no matter what the colors and style of your personal space.

11. Undercover Wine-Crate Charging Station

Tame your personal electronics with this wine crate storage system that's really a charging station.
Tame your personal electronics with this wine crate storage system that's really a charging station. (Image: Mary & Tim Vidra)

Much like leather, a wine crate fits in almost anywhere you display it -- especially if it offers a purpose. Build this wine crate charging station for a place to charge all of your personal electronic devices while keeping them out of sight. Form and function -- the ultimate in chic, clutter-free living.

12. Wood and Brass Wine Rack

Build a wine rack to store and display your favorite finds.
Build a wine rack to store and display your favorite finds. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Build a brass and wood rack to show off your wine collection without it taking up any floor or table space. Walnut boards and brass tubing team up for this wall-mounted wine rack that has space to stash a few wine glasses on top. The tubing keeps the bottles from rolling or falling, no matter what the bottle shape.

13. Masculine Monogram With Nailhead Trim

Turn a papier mache letter into a chic monogram for your man cave.
Turn a papier mache letter into a chic monogram for your man cave. (Image: Rachel Pereira)

This leatherlike monogram has a little secret -- it's really a papier mache letter, covered in batting and faux leather and dressed up with nail-head trim. Practice your upholstery techniques on this pint-sized project that adds a bit of rustic, manly decor to your favorite space.

14. Celebrate With a DIY Shot Ski

Transform a thrift-store ski into a drink-worthy conversation piece for your man cave.
Transform a thrift-store ski into a drink-worthy conversation piece for your man cave. (Image: Kenzie Mastroe)

Turn an old, unneeded snow ski into a shot ski for a sports-inspired way to enjoy a shot -- even a shot of wheatgrass -- with a few of your friends. Drill indentations a foot or so apart -- one for each shot glass -- in an old wood ski, and then paint the ski any color you like, adding words or graphics to suit the room's theme. Glue the glasses in place, wait for the glue to dry and you're good to go. Finally, a project for those outdated thrift-store skis no one wants.

15. Super Secret Book Safe

Don't throw away a damaged old book -- turn it into a secret safe.
Don't throw away a damaged old book -- turn it into a secret safe. (Image: Mary & Tim Vidra)

Every man could use a place to stash a few valuables out of the field of vision yet in plain sight. Make your own book safe by hollowing out a book that has a few damaged or missing pages. Use a thick hardcover book for a durable safe with ample storage space. Decoupage medium seals the inside area together so the pages no longer separate. Store your book safe among other books, where no one will ever suspect its hidden purpose.

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