Instructables DIY Projects will open up whole new worlds of unique DIY projects using all sorts of everyday materials.
By Neal McChristy
August/September 2007
Add to My MSN

You can build your own lightsaber! (Minus the energy beam, of course.)
Photo by

Content Tools

Learn about and the many DIY projects using everyday materials. DIY Projects

Did you ever want to turn a Pringles can and some CDs into a power source? Make your own Jedi lightsaber? Build an inexpensive screen-printing studio? Learn how to carbonate your own beverages? Or do you have knowledge like this that must be shared with the world? If this sounds interesting, check out Instructables, a website where you’ll find hundreds of examples of everyday materials being used in ways you never imagined.

The free step-by-step instructions are easy to decipher and are accompanied by photos, often videos as well. Most of the “how-to” instructions include a materials list and helpful information about where to get the supplies. An impressive and eclectic array of readers reviews each project and offers advice on how to refine it.

One how-to has instructions for making a wind generator from scrap materials. You can also learn how to convert excess attic heat into hot water. Fashion a solar-powered car charger. Make a shredder for leaves that also breaks apart seed heads. Take still photos without a tripod. How about a wheelchair for your dog? You’ll even find great recipes to try, including killer chicken chile verde recipe. Then there’s the “Not Liable” category, which is one of the most fun ways to explore the site. Instructions there will have you building a potato cannon and breathing fire in no time.

Instructables is sponsored by Squid Labs, whose pool of experts has been working on the project for more than five years. The core team collaborates with others who delight in experimentation, from MIT nanoparticle experts to field-trained biologists. The group is rounded out by a team of advisors and a community of experts in everything from robots to food.

You can add your own content, too. Are you a pro at cleaning a mattress or leather, or at knitting, dancing or even flirting? Then Instructables wants you! These are just a few of the skills their team is currently looking for. Find others in the “Burning Questions” section. Plus, you can enter fun contests, such as the “Sew Useful”, “iRobot” or “Fridge Magnet” challenges, all with great prizes. There are numerous tips for non-do-it-yourselfers, and they offer RSS newsfeeds and “Cool Projects” e-newsletters on a variety of topics. Sign-up is free.

Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.