Books become reading lights and bacon becomes cocktail swizzle sticks at manmadediy.com, a clearinghouse of clever, useful DIY projects. In addition to cataloging the web's craftiest creations, founder Chris Gardner also offers instructions for those who want to sew, build and paint his own inventions.

Books become reading lights and bacon becomes cocktail swizzle sticks at manmadediy.com, a clearinghouse of clever, useful DIY projects. In addition to cataloging the web's craftiest creations, founder Chris Gardner also offers instructions for those who want to sew, build and paint his own inventions.

He shared about making something of himself.

My parents were both science teachers. They're not really artsy, but they definitely encouraged me to explore and find out more about how things are made and where they come from. So I was always creative growing up. I was a musician. I always liked to cook and to do small art projects.

When I first moved to Columbus, I moved into an apartment that I hated. I spent a lot of time at home because I was a full-time student. I wanted to start doing small things to improve my space and make it feel less depressing. This was in 2005, right when the internet DIY scene was exploding.

The best advice I've ever received is that you don't have to have a formal education to do what you love.

All my creativity is born out of necessity. I love being able to do things with a purpose. I can buy things, but I like being able to make things. The process is fun.

I love figuring things out. That's what I used to do for fun, and now I get to do it for my job. I would take vacations and make a list of projects that I was going to make. When my sweetheart goes out of town, obviously I miss her. But it's also like, "Now I have three days just to hang out in a workspace and goof around."

For me, it's really rewarding when I can find those projects that other people want to make, do make and then take pictures of. A worthwhile project is when I can come up with something that both is useful to me - I'm actually going to use it or I can give it away as a gift - and it resonates with the online DIY community.

Three things I can't live without are the public library, two-wheel transportation and cilantro.

Something people might not know about me is that I do my best thinking in the bathtub. I could not live in a house without a large, clean bathtub. And it often includes bubbles. That's what I do to restore myself.