- Caitlin Griggs
As a long-time user of Instructables, I can attest to the certain charm that comes with being able to find a recipe for bacon-topped caramel cupcakes and directions to build a robot, all in the same place. Instructables is a website born from several creators in the MIT media lab. What started as a project focused purely on engineering prototypes has branched into a website featuring user-generated D.I.Y. projects in a near mind-boggling array of categories. There are projects that range from wood-fire heated hot tubs to a collection of recipes on “What to do with Day Old Bread.”
The website itself is fairly user-friendly, though the large number of projects displayed on the front page might seem overwhelming to newcomers. To combat this, a guided tour is available for those who want to register for an account. Thankfully though, most content can be accessed by anyone who would rather not register. One of the fabulous features of the website is the searching capabilities. Projects can be found by category, popularity, or how recently it was posted. Should you find a project that has tickled your fancy, the traditional format shows each step, one at a time, though there are alternative styles available.
While most projects are detailed, high quality, and easy to follow, there is the occasional dud to be found. However as this website is based on user-generated content, that’s to be expected. While the projects come off as more charming than strange, users with children should exercise caution when letting them explore the site alone, as more than a few projects require parental supervision.
Whether you love knitting, electronics, or bacon cupcakes, Instructables is a near perfect example of sharing and celebrating ideas and ingenuity.