General Question

cazzie's avatar

For those of you who like to make things, DIY and craft, what websites do you like and why? What would you want on a website to make it more interesting to you?

Asked by cazzie (18259 points ) April 28th, 2012

Is it the pictures, tutorials, videos, written instructions, where to get the materials? What about background historical information about the origins of the type of craft, or the science behind how it works that would interest you? Anyone can made a blog and link to other people’s stuff, so how important is original material to you?

Don’t feel you need to answer every part of this question, but please share if you like these types of websites and blogs and we can look and critique them together.

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15 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

O.K. I like tutorials, video tutorials and links. I am pretty good at teaching myself how to do things if I can see how it’s done, so I prefer tutorials, video tutorials, but that is just my way of learning. Other people might prefer written instructions, I don’t know. I also like links, a lot of links. Nothing at all wrong with links unless that’s all you’ve got. Only I know exactly what it is I want to do, want to know, want to create, when it comes to this kind of thing, “crafts” for lack of a better term. If you, your site, doesn’t have the information or resources I might want or need it’s nice to find links to other sites that might have the information and resources I might want or need. I do enjoy historical information though, but that is more of an aside. Something in addition to how to actually do the thing I want to do.

That’s my answer. :-)

augustlan's avatar

I like to use Pinterest to gather DIY projects from many different blogs. There isn’t one or two that I favor, so I like being exposed to stuff from all over. Clear directions are important, but don’t have to be videos. If it can be explained in words and pictures, that’s good for me. Links to buy materials are good, as long as they aren’t all sold by the blog itself. Links to pictures of the project made by others are good, too.

Oh, there is one site that I favor for woodworking plans: http://ana-white.com/
Free!

lillycoyote's avatar

Actually, I have to agree with @augustlan, now that she’s mentioned it. I don’t necessarily need or want video tutorials but just written instructions are not generally enough for me. I like to at least have pictures along with written instruction. Who doesn’t?

rooeytoo's avatar

When I come up against a problem I can’t solve, or something new I would like to try be it in an artistic endeavor or carpentry or welding or playing a flute, I go to youtube and look for a tutorial. I think you can find a tutorial on practically anything you want to do. There is probably one for DIY brain surgery if you are so inclined.

cazzie's avatar

@rooeytoo There are many many bad ones too. I just watched two that were full of inaccuracies and one was downright dangerous. I followed a link that said ‘how to make lye’ and it proceeded to not make lye, but bleach. Fancy graphics that made you think the guy knew what he was talking about as well. He did put up a correction, but it still had the dangerous error of not stipulating stainless steel and not aluminium metal pan and in no way explained the dangers of handling the material made. How do you sift through it all? Are there certain You Tube channels you trust over others?

rooeytoo's avatar

I must just have been lucky, I have never come across one that gave dangerous information. I have found some that simply didn’t work for me.

Yeah @digitalimpression – that’s a good one. And there is a DIY one that is very good. Actually when you just google almost any craft or skill there are links to groups that can help.

gailcalled's avatar

I have occasionally used these websites, most recently the ones for crocheting interesting stuff (like shoes and wedding dresses) from plastic bags.

What I do object to is the long, long-winded introductions. My golden rule is “get to the point now, please. ”

jca's avatar

I’m into beautiful, clear photos and simple instructions. A nice, easy to read font is important.
I like Pinterest for an overall idea inspiration thing. I like to look at blogs for visual and graphic ideas.

ETpro's avatar

If it’s at all complicated and particularly if it involves words and phrases that are unique to the subject matter, I like tutorials that include a video and ALSO provide a step-by-step set of written instructions that match what the video says do. Photo illustrations or stills captured from the video illustrating the written instructions, and it’s a walk-off home run.

fundevogel's avatar

For kitchen creations I like Tastespotting, for when you need a particular sort of recipe NOW, and Ziplist to organize all the online recipes I’d like to try. My ziplist recipe box is tagged like nobody’s business. Never again will I be at a loss as to what to do with leftover buttermilk or that mysterious can of evaporated milk.

wallabies's avatar

I prefer a forum where I can bounce ideas off of other people doing similar things. It is pretty easy for me to figure out how to make things on my own. I don’t really need diagrams, instructions, or photos or any of that stuff. What I do tend to need are insider tips and tricks for doing it better or faster. That said, great photos are always a pleasure to look at. There is little that bores me more than having to listen to someone talk about how to do something when I could be just doing it already.

cazzie's avatar

@wallabies I hear you. I watched a demo yesterday and one girl decided she needed to use 5 minutes to demonstrate 4 strand braiding. OMG! And that wasn’t even the project, it was just one technique used in the project.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@rooeytoo Here’s your “Brain Surgery” tutorial!~~

rooeytoo's avatar

@Yetanotheruser – thank you and it was pretty painless and bloodless too!

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