Introduction to DIY: Becoming a Maker

, Author | Maker | Founder, MAKE & Boing Boing

Class Project

Create one project that makes, modifies, or repairs an everyday object or process.

About the Class

What would you make if you had no limits?

A decade ago, you needed passion, expertise, and money to transform even the simplest ideas into real objects. Now you just need passion. We have unprecedented access to collaboration, materials, and knowledge, and the desire to actively create in the world has never been stronger.

But where to start? In this class, Mark Frauenfelder—legendary maker, creator, and founder of Boing Boing and MAKE magazine—introduces the fundamental world of Making and guides you in transforming your curiosity into a DIY project that makes, modifies, or repairs an everyday object in your life.

While this one-hour class is structured for a true beginner, you'll find a wealth of ideas no matter your background or knowledge. Filled with countless example projects, personal anecdotes, creative-thinking prompts, tool know-how, and a peanut-butter project that has our mind spinning, this class is designed to inspire and spark conversation.

It's a class for everyone who believes in possibility, in practice, and in fun.

Now, what will you make?

What You'll Learn

In 5 self-paced units, learn how to think, create, and build like a Maker.

  • Introduction. Start thinking about what it means to be a maker, and try out some creative-thinking prompts for interacting with everyday objects.
  • The "Why" and "How" of Making. Learn to approach problems with a maker mindset using a 5-step flowchart, uncover strategies for pushing your imagination through creative blocks, and learn about the latest companies and developments that make right now the Golden Age of Making.
  • How to Make Something. See the maker process in action with one single project: an automated peanut butter jar mixer that combines a number of solutions.
  • Maker Tools. Familiarize yourself with the physical materials, components, tools, and workspaces that can help you transform your concept into a real-world thing.
  • Conclusion. Learn how to find in-person hackerspaces, maximize online collaboration, and grow in your skills with core recommended resources.

What You'll Do

  • Deliverable. Create one project that makes, modifies, or repairs an everyday object or process.
  • Brief. Challenge yourself to progress one level further than where you begin. If you've never tried making before, share a drawing, sketch, or description. If you already have an idea, build a prototype and share pictures, video, and diagrams of your first plan. If you already have several prototypes, share your work as a case study (showing your process and how you improved on each version). If you're an experienced maker, try your hand at Mark's peanut butter stirrer project (files provided).
  • Specs. Communicate your project in the way that makes the most sense for others to learn and share feedback. Consider drawings, diagrams, descriptions, photographs, video, programs, or more.

Interested in More?

To learn more about Arduino (the easy-to-use circuit board mentioned in this course), check out Mark's complementary class, Introduction to Arduino: Creating Interactive Projects.

More Information

This course is designed to inspire a true beginner. No prior experience or knowledge is necessary.

Level: Beginner

School: Technology

Related Subjects: DIY, Interaction Design, Arduino, Prototyping, Electronics, Inquiry-Based Learning

At a Glance

  • 18 Video Lessons (1h 50m)
  • 435 Students
  • 100% Positive Reviews (9)
  • Self-Paced Online Class

About the Teacher

Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder

Author | Maker | Founder, MAKE & Boing Boing

Mark Frauenfelder is the founding editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine, the founder of Boing Boing, and the editor-in-chief of He was an editor at Wired from 1993-1998, the...

100% Positive Reviews

Kent Barnes

Kent Barnes

Tech bon vivant.

So Cool! Mark Frauenfelder’s classes are fun and so down to earth that even a noob like me to Aurdino can make sense out of the information and not feel I am being talked down to. I...

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