“Help, I’m DIYing!” Vol. 1 — On Maker Culture and my first Instructable.

Hey isn’t that the guy from Mythbusters? The Bay Area Maker Faire — it’s a big deal.

Have you heard of the term ‘maker culture’?

If you haven’t, I’m sure you’ve heard of the term DIY, or Do-It-Yourself. The maker culture is basically a movement that supports ‘learning by DIY’ and promotes fun, peer-led discovery. The maker culture has grown tremendously in popularity over the last decade, due in no small part to the Internet. In addition, makerspaces are springing up around the world. These places provide a workspace — often with shared equipment (from woodworking tools to welding machines to 3D printers) — for makers and creatives to gather, collaborate, and work. There’s even an annual Maker Faire — “the greatest Show & Tell on Earth” — for makers to show off their skills.

Why did the maker movement begin?

I may not know the historical timeline, but I’d like to think we’ve realized the true benefit of globalization: sharing ideas for mutual gain. In modern society, especially in America, we tend to encourage competition; winners, not helpers, receive awards. Sharing is pushed to the side and is replaced by secrecy and exclusivity of ideas. The maker culture directly challenges these notions. When the goal is not to compete, but to collaborate, the process becomes as enjoyable as the final product; often even more so.

“Am I a maker?”

Sure! Think about it — have you ever taught someone how to make or do something? A friendship bracelet, a new recipe, a better way of cleaning? Everyone has made and shared something during their lives; the trick to being a maker is just to never stop doing it!

So how do you keep on making?

Whether it was using Legos as a kid, building elaborate themed bars for college parties, or creating new sounds on synthesizers, I’ve always enjoyed making things. Now that I’m not in a fraternity or buying toys, I need a new way of finding projects, and one amazing resource for makers is Instructables. You can find community-written tutorials on literally anything you can imagine: from building a solar-powered cell phone charging station to making a 100% edible fidget spinner (yes, really.) I’ve followed a few tutorials, and decided that it was my turn to contribute to the community with a brand new tutorial.

My first Instructable is an answer to the question, “How do I hang up all these cool pictures I took???” Like most photographers, I wanted to hang up my photographs at home, but frames are expensive and take up lots of room, and alternative methods like string and clothespins didn’t feel “finished” enough. I got the inspiration for this wooden display online, took plenty of pictures during the building process, and voila — the Instructable was born! Click the link below to check it out:

If you like the thought of making something instead of buying it at the store, you’re already getting in the maker mindset. Try surfing Instructables for something that interests you — with categories from food to tech to costumes, it’s bound to have something you’ll enjoy. I’d love to hear what catches your eye, comment below with your next project!

Let’s get making!