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How to Design a Man Cave

by Kendra Osburn

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.

1. Gloriously Geometric Concrete Bookends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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 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

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

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

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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About the Author

Kendra Osburn recently graduated from the University of San Diego with a bachelor's degree in communication studies/media arts & culture. In addition to being the associate editor for her school newspaper, Osburn spent her time writing for local radio stations (KBPS, KPCC) and magazine publications, including "San Diego Magazine" and "USD Magazine."