An Online Platform to Help You Hone Your DIY Skills


Browsing Pinterest is fun—but unless you know how to knit, you can’t make those cute potholders. And forget about making that fluffy (and oh-so-Instagrammable) three-layer cake if your culinary specialty is Cup Noodles.

Instead of auditing a Home Economics class (or Family and Consumer Sciences, as the course was renamed in 1994), you can turn to technology to fill your knowledge gaps. Online platform Craftsy offers more than 1000 courses in crafts like knitting, sewing, and embroidery, along with skills like cooking, photography, and woodworking. That way, you can learn all the basics (or hone dormant skills) before jumping hands-first into an ambitious DIY project.

Craftsy provides video tutorials in subjects like “Classic Croissants at Home" and "Explorations in Brioche Knitting.” Viewers can follow experts step by step as they stitch a skirt or knead dough to the perfect consistency. If you miss a step, you can backtrack through the lesson with a 30-second repeat feature. And if you’re having trouble with a technique, 3D models and explanatory graphics de-mystify particularly tricky concepts. (If these aids don’t cut it, you can send the instructor a note and a photo of your project, or post a question in an online message board.)

Most of Craftsy’s classes run for several hours, and they’re broken into multiple lessons. They also range from beginner-level to advanced, depending on your skill set. As for the price tag, participants can register for the platform for free, although they will have to pay up to $40 per lesson series.

John Levisay, a former eBay executive who now serves as Craftsy’s CEO, founded the app along with three tech-worker friends in 2010. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Denver-based start-up wasn’t always craft-focused. Its parent company, Sympoz, offered interactive economics courses and wine tasting classes. However, the subject that really took off with customers was quilting, so Levisay and his colleagues created a DIY-focused unit, Craftsy, in 2011.

"We are in many ways the bridge between Pinterest and Etsy," Levisay told Denver alt-weekly Westword. "You see something cool on Pinterest, and you can go buy it on Etsy. But what if you want to make it?"

Want to unleash your inner Martha Stewart? Learn more on Craftsy’s website, or check out a sample tutorial above. The platform also comes in app form, and is available for download on Android or iOS.

Banner image courtesy of iStock.