The Benefit of DIY, and 5 of the Best DIY Sites

So you didn’t get what you wanted over the holidays? Well, I suppose we can’t all get what we want, but there are some very ingenious people on the web who have figured out how to build some very interesting things and transform the old into new. We can all benefit from a few cost-cutting DIY projects every now and again. If for no greater benefit than learning the basics of a trade such as carpentry, metal fabrication, or electrical engineering.

A recent DIY project of mine is transforming some old computer speakers into a “sound bar.” Many old computer speakers use high quality speakers (pro tip: check the weight of each speaker, the weight will help you determine the size of the magnet used, the heavier the magnet the better the speaker, generally speaking.)

However, some of the DIY projects require power tools and you certainly want to have the proper protection and supervision. But this certainly illustrates the usefulness of the DIY projects. Parents interact with their children about safety precautions when using tools, methods for crafting and joining things together, the difference between using nails and screws, or the difference between using a hard wood like oak or softer wood like pine. There are many differences for all DIY projects and so much to learn about valuable trade skills. Who knows, maybe the next great architect, craftsman, or electrician is sitting in your living room just waiting to be inspired.

A quick note if I may about skilled tradesman. I have worked a multitude of jobs in the past to help pay for my school including a construction sight in Park City, Utah. Large construction job sites are a magnificent symphony of intentional motion, but more importantly they illustrate the necessity for skilled labor and just how profitable and meaningful the work can be.

Take for instance the electricians running the electrical lines. A best friend of mine has a family member that started out running electrical lines in houses, and now owns a business that runs the electrical lines of new high-rise buildings in the Midwest. The thing about skilled labor is that it is scalable. From ancient Roman times to the most sophisticated construction sites in the world they all have one thing in common. The people who started those companies were inevitably an apprentice, then journeyman, expert and then the master but they all had to start somewhere.

DIY projects can be as simple as a coatrack or shoe holder and extensive as robotics. Check out this instructable of how to turn a motorized telescope mount into a very smooth and versatile camera crane, or this rainy day DIY project for making a snow globe out of mason jars. If you are very tech savvy and have the equipment you can even find plans on how to build your very own arcade. The possibilities are certainly limited by experience and tools, but ultimately it will come down to how you can imagine what you have and turn it into what you want.

Do you have a great DIY project you would like to share? Let us know!

  1. Instructables – Everything you can imagine to build is on this site.
  2. DIY Network – Mostly dealing with home remodeling projects but has a number of projects for children and parents.
  3. Makezine – This site deals mostly with electronics but has some beginner projects to introduce you to the inner workings of electronic design and functions.
  4. Builtbykids – From birdhouses to Treehouses this is a great starting point for any budding DIYer.
  5. eHow – eHow is one of the DIY sites that has been around and one of the more popular. While I generally stick to the Instructables site, eHow definitely helps provide inspiration and a starting point for many of my projects and covers everything from Food, Makeup tips, construction and more.

Related Articles

Join our community

Sign up to participate in America’s premier community focused on helping students
reach their full potential.