Do-It-Yourself Advice Goes Digital

The Big Recession is spurring many people to try their hands at home projects they might normally outsource or just buy off the shelf. The good news is that thanks to the Internet, it's never been easier to find expert guidance on DIY projects. As I showed master crafter, Martha Stewart in a recent interview, the Web offers an infinite number of places to find advice.


Just go to Alltop.com and type in DIY or Crafts and you'll see what I mean. This ever-growing category of blogs alone offers a treasure trove of information and inspiration. For those of us who may not have been born with a talent (or a yen) for hand-painting a nursery mural or restoring an antique armoire or scrapbooking, there are lots of digital tutorials to get us up to speed, including really easy to follow videos. Here are some resources to help everyone from the uninitiated crafter to the most confident do-it-yourselfer.

Howcast.com

With its 100,000 how-to videos (including some funny, quirky ones), you can see how to make anything from fingerless gloves to origami to wine glass charms in minutes. And you can share what you learn with your social network and even tap into advice on the go with Howcast's new iPhone app.

Instructables.com

Promoted as "the world's biggest show and tell," Instructables.com lets you contribute how-tos and get feedback from its audience. Founded by former MIT Media Lab researchers, you can find some unusual projects to create and discover, like this random scarf (http://www.instructables.com/id/Creature-scarf/)

Craftster.org

This is the site for what the founders call "craft hipsters." Share your ideas and find out about other people's creative endeavors like refurbishing dining chairs for a first apartment: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=329979.0

This site offers a mix of video, photos and very active forums.

Curbly.com

If you are serious about a home improvement project and want some expert feedback or want to show off your handiwork, Curbly is for you. You can post the photos of your project and ask users, including design professionals, their opinions.

Are you doing more DIY projects? What are your favorite resources?