Can You Really Live Your Life According to Pinterest?

Tasty Bacon
Tasty Pinterest Bacon! Photo: Matthew Simko

Did you hear about this woman? She took a week and lived her life according to Pinterest with varying results. So I figured, if she could do all the “girl” stuff on Pinterest in a week, why can’t I do all the “guy” stuff? Let me preface this by saying I’m not overly crafty, but I follow directions well. Truth be told, there’s far less “dude stuff” on Pinterest. Take using power tools or the possibility of a home improvement project out of the picture and the options get even slimmer. But I scoured for weeks and found 5 projects that seemed both doable, and not likely to burn my apartment to the ground.

Beer Bottle Drinking Glasses
Photo: Matthew Simko

Beer Bottle Drinking Glasses

Of all the projects that made my list, this was the one I was most excited about. Mostly because it involved fire. I fished some empty beer bottles from the recycling bin (ok I guzzled them down at 11am) and started on the project. I read several pins that said lighter fluid wasn’t the way to go, but rather acetone (nail polish remover) or rubbing alcohol. Both options also seemed safer to me. I followed the instructions closely using twine, soaking it in acetone, lighting it on fire, waiting for the crack, then dropping the bottle into a sink full of ice water. Imagine my disappointment when the string burned for about 7 seconds, then extinguished. No crack. Nothing. I tried 3 more times on the same bottle, then switched to a larger bottle and still, no dice. All I had to show for it was a sink full of water, a slightly charred bottle, and hands that smelled like acetone.

Drinking Glass Fail
Photo: Matthew Simko

Once I realized this was a Pinterest Fail, I consulted with my buddy Jeff. He says this “absolutely can be done” but that you need to use butane and fishing wire. So yes, I will be trying this again based on his suggestions, with a fire extinguisher by my side.

Verdict: FAIL

DIY hair pomade
Photo: Matthew Simko

DIY Hair Pomade

How hard could it be? Round up some beeswax, coconut oil, a drop of essential oil and you’re good to go. My local craft store didn’t have beeswax pellets, so I used sheets of bee’s wax which I broke into small pieces. They did, however, have a small tin to store the finished product.

DIY Pomade Materials
Photo: Matthew Simko

Per instructions, I used a double boiler to melt the wax, added in an equal amount of coconut oil, then a drop of essential oil. Once it was all incorporated, I poured it into the tin to cool. Cut to a couple hours later. It really did look like any other hair product you would buy in the store! Then cut to me getting out of the shower ready to use the pomade. It was hard. Rock hard. So hard I couldn’t even stick my finger in it. Eventually after holding the tin in my hands for a while, it softened up just enough so that I could get a pea sized amount on my finger. As I pulled it through my hair, I was impressed. It looked and felt pretty damn good. The only downfall (besides being rock solid) is I used eucalyptus-lemon oil which my boyfriend said made me smell like a citronella candle. Next time, I’ll go with peppermint.

Verdict: SEMI-SUCCESS

Beer Candied Bacon
Photo: Matthew Simko

Beer Candied Bacon

Cooking is definitely in my wheelhouse. Naturally I had high hopes for not screwing this one up. The recipe is easy enough: thick cut bacon, brown sugar and beer. All 3 are items I normally keep on hand in my kitchen. I laid out the bacon on the racks and popped the sheet pan in the oven (incidentally this is how I normally cook bacon. It comes out WAY better than in a frying pan.) While that was cooking, I mixed the glaze ingredients and waited to apply the bacon’s first coat. DING! 10 minutes is up, time to coat the bacon.

The recipe called for the glaze to cover 1lb of bacon. I opted for only a few pieces (who would waste bacon?) and I’m glad I did because the first coat barely covered them.. Back in the oven they go for another 10 minutes, bring them out, glaze them again, back in for 10, then a final coat of glaze. In total I made 2 batches of the glaze (½ cup of sugar, ½ cup of beer). Then I let them cool for an hour.

I can’t lie, it was torture looking at the strips just sitting on my counter, knowing I couldn’t eat them for 60 minutes. My whole apartment smelled amazing. After an hour, it was time to taste. The good news is, the bacon was delicious. The bad news is it wasn’t head over heels, drop dead, eyes roll back delicious. But it was very very good.

Verdict: SUCCESS

Trying a new knot
Photo: Matthew Simko

How to Tie a Tie

When I was 12, my Dad taught me “the only tie knot you’ll ever need.”And for about 15 years, he was right. It did the trick every time. But as I started wearing more ties, attending more events, and seeing more kinds of knots, I began getting knot envy. This was the perfect time to learn a couple new techniques. The Four in Hand is my go-to already. I can do it with my eyes closed. Next was the Half Windsor, which I tied on the first try. It looked pretty good too. The Windsor was next up and after two tries it came together. Both I would absolutely use for specific ties and shirts. I went ahead and tied the narrow Shell Knot without much hassle.

Knot accomplished
Photo: Matthew Simko

Then, the Ediety happened. It’s a knot that I’ve wanted to learn for years, but haven’t had the patience for. Spoiler alert: I still don’t have the patience to learn it. After 2 failed attempts, I called my boyfriend in for help. This quickly lead to an argument. Yes. An argument about tying an obscure tie knot… I know. After much yelling, and several tries, Dave was finally able to get the knot close to the picture. And yes, he’s wearing it with a Sriracha t-shirt. Some day I’ll learn how to tie the Ediety knot, but today is not that day.

Verdict: A LEARNING EXPERIENCE

Tin Can Lantern
Photo: Matthew Simko

Tin Can Lantern

This was a last minute edition after I decided I wasn’t going to create a “home charging station” on a Friday night. A tin can lantern is as straight forward as it sounds. Take an empty can, hammer a nail in to punch out holes in the pattern of your choice. Like I said earlier, I’m not overly crafty, but I think this anchor turned out pretty well. If you want to make it perfect, draw or print out a stencil to follow. While I didn’t fill the can with wet sand and freeze it first as recommended, my can didn’t dent or bend. A quick coat of spray paint and this lantern is mantel ready. Almost.

Verdict: SUCCESS

So, CAN You Live Your Life According to Pinterest?

Some of these projects came with a real sense of accomplishment. For example, the DIY hair pomade looked very professional and is a project I would try again, tweaking it slightly to be softer. As for the rest, I’m not sure I would repeat them. The beer candied bacon was a bigger hit with my friends than it was with me, so I would most likely make it again to bring to a party. Can you live your life according to Pinterest on a daily basis? Um no. But it’s a good place to get inspiration and a guideline to trying something new.

Follow Matthew on Pinterest for DIY projects, Men’s Style, and Preppy Pins.

 

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