“First” impressions of Instructables

Instructables is a DIY learning community that I’ve been interested in for a long time, and decided I would use MIT Massive as an excuse/motivation to actually try it out. The “First” in the title of this post is in quotes because I’ve been aware of Instructables for a long time (vaguely for many years, then more acutely when Eric Wilhelm gave the keynote at the MIT MechE Research Exhibition last year), but this is the first time I’ve actually made something from the site.

Trying an Instructable: T-shirt to wall art

I used to wear a lot of graphic t-shirts, and I would often find myself hesitant to throw out shirts that had gotten too ratty to wear, but which had designs that I really enjoyed. Many years ago I bookmarked this link, with the intention of following it in order to transform my unwearable shirts into wall art. Unfortunately, I never got around to actually buying a staple gun and stretcher bars, and in the mean time I have thrown out many t-shirts. This weekend I finally bought the tools I needed and turned one of my old shirts into wall art:

Instructables: T-shirt to wall art

Making wall art from the t-shirt was very easy, and in retrospect I’m sad that it took me so long to bite the bullet and buy the necessary tools. If I had done so earlier, I’d have a lot more art for my apartment (and I guess Goodwill would’ve had a few less t-shirts donated to them). In the future I’ll definitely be quicker to act on cool DIY projects that I find.

Publishing an Instructable: Honeycomb sock organizer

I also recently had an idea to help organize my socks: I wanted to make a honeycomb structure so each pair could have its own cell. I came up with a simple way to make it out of index cards, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to publish an Instructable of my own. You can read the full Instructable that I came up with here, and you can see the results below:

Instructable: Honeycomb sock organizer

Publishing my own Instructable was a lot more work. Documenting the process of making something is about as time consuming as actually making it. It’s also non-trivial to write the instructions so that they’re clear to follow (I’m not sure I did a good job of this on my instructable). I guess I’ll have to wait to see how the response is before I can really say if the extra effort was worth it, but even if no one else makes it, it is nice to have a record of my process. The only frustrating piece I would note is that I looked for DIY honeycomb organizers before making mine and didn’t find anything, but after I was done I found that you can buy honeycomb organizers for pretty cheap.


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