11/25/14 10:00am
brooklyn charm shop

Why fight someone over a charm bracelet when you could just learn to make you on the cheap at Brooklyn Charm Shop? via Facebook

Black Friday is upon us and if you completely hate yourself, it’s prime time to buy presents for the holidays. Sure, we get it – the discounts are great, but it’s always a little awkward when your one friend gives you the perfect present and your gift to her was found after a hard won fight at the bargain bin.

Make your friends and family wish you were their secret Santa this year by giving them something you made at one of these six craft classes that you can take for $40 and under. We’re usually against learning anything that’s actually practical, but we would love to find a hand-knit scarf under the tree this year. (more…)

11/11/14 4:06pm
snail mail my email

This letter used to be an email, if you can believe it. via Instagram

Ever decide with a friend that you will be their pen pal and you promise to send the first letter, and then a week goes by, then a month, then a year or two… and oh my, does that make you a liar or a monster for not writing something down and putting a 49 cent stamp on it? Snail Mail My Email, an annual service founded by San Francisco artist Ivan Cash, assures you that you are a human with flaws and they are here to help you deliver your promise. With nothing but an email, you can use the service to send dozens of thank you cards, holiday greetings from 2013, letters to friends and that letter to your local precinct about an issue that matters to you after you voted in the election, and it’s all free. (more…)

10/29/14 10:41am
diy halloween costumes

Just because you’re broke, doesn’t mean you can’t look cool or sexy on Halloween. All illustrations by Shaylyn Berlew

Halloween is a sexy time. And no, I’m not referring to the stupid store-bought costumes. I mean it more like people can get in touch with a different part of their personality, put on a mask, and act the fool with people in various states of bloody, gothic, or otherwise ornate undress. But since you’re reading Brokelyn, I can only imagine your costume budget comes up a few digits south of a period-appropriate musketeer or Marie Antoinette outfit. However, there’s no reason a brokester needs to compromise his or her seductiveness just to pay the rent come November 1.

So, herewith, I present to you some rock-solid, wallet-friendly, DIY costumes and apropos sexual innuendos to say while wearing them. Just make sure to be safe, don’t eat too much candy corn (serious bloating action there), and have a ghoulishly good time come Friday night. (more…)

09/25/14 2:43pm
Clear out the crafts you don't use and make room for some that you will!

Clear out the craft supplies you don’t use and make room for some that you will!

Do you have a box in your room that’s overflowing with craft supplies you’ve never touched, or projects you never found the time to finish, you’re afraid to even open it? Well, it’s not doing you any good sitting there in a tangled heap. You’re never going to string together those sea glass beads, and that periwinkle yarn is not a color that you’d ever wear as a scarf around your neck. What if you could trade in your as of yet un-crafted craft stuffs for supplies that catch your more immediate fancy, relieving your guilt and making some putative lover-of-periwinkle’s day? Well, this Wednesday night you can exchange pins for needles and felt for denim, and the like, at Brooklyn Craft Company’s Craft Supply Swap. (more…)

04/07/14 10:26am
Want this shelf? You'll have it in no time.

Want this shelf? You’ll have it in no time. Photo by Isaac Anderson

Ever find yourself in need of a nook? A bedside platform upon which to stow your book? Brooklyn is known as the land of plenty in many regards: ample jobs, ample pizza, ample hills (also ample Ample Hills), but in the department of its apartments, space is not one of the things Brooklyn possesses in spades.

Okay, so you’re stuck with the hand you’ve been dealt, but when life hands you lemons, you build somethng nice with them. Just because your apartment is tiny doesn’t mean you can’t make it work for you and your stuff: reclaim your vertical space! Work with your walls and turn them into magical mystery floor-above-your-floor, and do it cheap by doing it yourself. Wanna know how? With the magic of the $4 shelf. And we’ll show you how to make it. P.S.: it’s loads sturdier than this shitty particle board-and-plastic IKEA shelf, these garbage Target shelves, and slightly cheaper to boot. Plus, nothing trumps the personal satisfaction resulting from proudly displaying your own handiwork. Nothing. (more…)

02/27/14 11:11am
flat tire bike

Has this happened to you? Yes, of course it has. But you fix it for just fifty cents. via Flickr user 7-how-7

So you’ve got a flat tire? Brooklyn’s streets are mean and full of sharp things like glass, so it’s not your fault. If your knee-jerk reaction is panic immediately followed by frenetic smartphone searching for the nearest bike shop that’s still open at three o’clock in the morning (hint: there aren’t any), bad bicyclist! Very bad bicyclist! What kind of frugal, self-sufficient Brooklynite are you, anyway? Not only is it not not that hard to fix a flat, unless you have one of those silly, ultra-modern, ultra-high pressure tires because you’re some kind of Spandex-clad Lance Armstrong, most holes in bicycle inner tubes can be fixed with a $0.50 patch. Follow our guide and you’ll save yourself money, time, and hassle in the process. (more…)

01/14/14 9:31am
NBD, just  some babes having a ball (of yarn)

You and your babe friends, in stitches.

If ever there were a time to pick up knitting, it would be this winter. But not everybody has a grandma in town, those knitting circles don’t actually exist, classes are expensive and you really have to be in the mood to watch instructional Youtube videos. What if you could just grab a pair of needles and have a go? This weekend’s your chance: Greenpoint’s Brooklyn Craft Company is hosting a free knitting open house this Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. They’ll provide instruction, plus yarn and needles, so all you have to do is show up with your crafty, do it yourself, self. (more…)

01/13/14 9:30am
brokelyn totebag

You’re ready for a night out on the town. Or at least at the wine shop. Photo by Isaac Anderson

We live in an age of plenty—plenty of rich and poor people, plenty of cat videos, and plenty of plastic bags. So many plastic bags, they’re piling up in our landfills, on our barbed wire fences, and in our waterways. There’s nothing worse than strolling down to the NY Harbor during lunch break for some fresh air and scenery only to peer into the murk and see a couple of bagfish washing up on shore. Come on guys, it’s time to clean up our acts! Of course, we’d be happy to buy one of those reusable bags, but it’s hard to justify dropping a buck on a bag too cheap and generic to care about, and we’d probably just lose them anyway and buy fifteen more until we lose track of those, too, give up on the whole thing, and just revert back to our old, guilt-laden, world-killing ways.

But hold on! There’s hope yet! What if we actually made a custom, canvas tote bag of our own that we were super proud of and would love and cherish forever and ever? Sound like a tall task? Nah, it’s not too hard. Just follow our directions below and you’ll be toting around in no time! (more…)