29 DIY Projects You Can Learn from YouTube

by Katy on May 28, 2016 · 21 comments

This article first appeared over at Clark Howard.com.
Remember the days before internet? You know, when your main resource to research how to do anything was at best your grandparents’ dusty set of encyclopedias?

Thankfully those days are behind us, and the world is now at our fingertips. Google answers all of our ridiculous questions and YouTube teaches us how to do everything from haircuts to oil changes, home improvement projects to learning an instrument. It seems the possibilities are endless!

Don’t believe me? Check out all of these amazing videos!

  1. Car repairs and maintenance. Everything from complicated repairs to minor tasks like installing new windshield wipers or replacing the cabin air filter.
  2. Bicycle repair. Searching that term alone garnered 275,000 results, so whether you want to replace your chain or attempt an entire tune up, you can find the information you need on YouTube.
  3. Learn a musical instruments, any instrument, at any level. Piano, banjo, clarinet or even the lowly kazoo.
  4. Appliance repair. From your new fangled Keurig to your stove or washing machine.
  5. Cooking. Don’t know how to scramble an egg? Want to make a chocolate soufflé to impress your guests or carve the turkey like a boss on Thanksgiving? It’s all there.
  6. Cake decorating. You can try your hand at fondant or create a gender reveal cake for the mom to be.
  7. Canning and preserving. Pickles, jam, sauerkraut and even pickled pigs’ feet!
  8. Learn some new dance moves. Your groove might be belly dancing, hip hop, clog dancing or even classical ballet.
  9. Yoga. Downward dog? It’s in there. Ska Pada Bhujapidasana? It’s in there too!
  10. Troubleshooting computer problems, from your software and your hardware.
  11. Vacuum cleaner repair and maintenance. Replace the belt on your pricey Dyson or figure out why the the suction, well . . . sucks.
  12. Origami. From the classic crane to ornate dollar folding.
  13. Assembling confusing Ikea furniture. Yeah, admit it, you need the help.
  14. Plumbing. Your toilet, your faucet, your hose bib.
  15. Phone repairs and battery replacement. Stop replacing and start repairing your iPhone screen, and even replace the battery.
  16. How to properly fold a fitted sheet. Apparently it’s actually possible.
  17. Photography. Whether you use your cell phone or a classic 35 mm camera.
  18. Hair styling and makeup. You’re in luck if you’re looking to learn ornate Daenarys Targarean braids or perhaps something more traditional. And makeup tutorials? There are more than 46 million to choose from!
  19. Dog grooming. Poodle cut? You betcha! Labrador retriever? You’re covered as well. Heck, with over 100,000 grooming videos, you’re good to go.
  20. Fix broken toys. If it’s broken, there’s likely a tutorial how to fix it. Beyblade, a remote control car or simply bring Barbie’s hair back to its new-in-box lustre.
  21. Gardening. Learn to plant asparagus, reseed the lawn, prune your trees or start from seed.
  22. Rewire a lamp. It’s super easy.
  23. Tile work. Create your own backsplash, tile the bathroom floor or even create a fancy mosaic.
  24. Make your own mouse traps. Disgustingly, there are videos for this as well.
  25. Create crafts for resale. Maybe you want to know how to make ribbon barrettes, your own soap or even duct tape wallets.
  26. Sewing. Whether you’re a beginner or wanting to brush up your advanced skills, there’s something for everyone.
  27. Knitting and Crocheting. Watching a video is infinitely easier than reading a diagram.
  28. Artistic techniques. Learn to draw, paint or even figure out Photoshop.
  29. Home haircuts. There are almost four million YouTube videos on this subject, which should put home hair cuts within the reach of even the least skilled. However, not every YouTube inspired cut is a success, as this blog post can attest to. So attempt this one at your own risk.


With 782.4 bajillion how-to videos available on YouTube, there’s almost nothing you can’t at least attempt to DIY. I guess grandma’s Encyclopedia Brittanica set is doomed to gather dust one more day.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Mariana May 28, 2016 at 9:24 am

I used to get yoga classes on Groupon. (Excellent deals out there)
A better deal? Just like u r saying it – YouTube.
We have been doing yoga to YouTube videos for a year now.

Save on money
Save on time
Save on gas

Oh yes, and also, I don’t feel like a total failure when i cannot touch the floor keeping my knees straight. Going at my own pace is great.


LisaC May 28, 2016 at 9:52 am

I use You Tube for
yoga videos every day,.
how to repair and replace things on our car and in our house.
how to care for plants (how to prune, transplant, and when)
how to tie pretty scarves (there’s some fun videos for that)
how to solve math problems (hey, teenager’s homework is HARD)
how to use Excel

What did we do before the internet?


Ruby May 28, 2016 at 10:21 am

YouTube DIY videos have saved us a ton of money just on minor repairs on major appliances and vehicles. My husband and son learned how to replace headlights and tail light assemblies (and found a great place to buy them) by watching YouTube. This brings the cost of replacing a tail light assembly down from $360 to about $65.


Katy May 28, 2016 at 11:18 am

Nice savings!


Marcia May 28, 2016 at 11:26 am

I threw out both sets of encylopedias a while back. Too much clutter in the attic. It just amazed me to know that’s all we used to have without going to the library!
I don’t look at you-tube THAT often, because my husband is a good Mr. Fix-it–but we sure could use the computer trouble shooting videos quite frequently. I’m going to try to remember to look up the next problem I have instead of hitting up the local computer shop–who already love us for coming as often as we do!


Bee May 28, 2016 at 2:26 pm

I have used You Tube to learm how to do many things including some I was to embarrassed to ask anyone. (How to open the hood of my car.) I learned to mix chalk paint on You Tube recently which has saved a lot of money. Commercial brands are expensive and I love to up-cycle furniture.


Lindsey May 28, 2016 at 2:37 pm

I caught c. diff in the hospital and four rounds of strong antibiotics (two of them costing $3,000 for a 10 day supply!) did not fix it. People die of c. diff, especially when they are already as ill as I was. The doctor told me I’d be a good candidate for a fecal transplant, which is exactly what it sounds like. Turns out there are You Tube instructional videos on how to do your own, once you find a donor. (Not that the doc was recommending the DIY route, I think he was trying to reassure me that it was so easy even You Tubers have done it.) I was very relieved when the fifth round of antibiotics worked…


Madeline May 31, 2016 at 3:46 pm

You are a real trooper! I am a nurse and I have seen things happen in hospitals which DEFINITELY make me a DIY when it comes to health care, whenever I can. Good for you …


kathleen May 28, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Even a YouTube video demonstrating how to make a great side table out of Grandma’s old set of encyclopedias: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAYp0jRTza8 Would still need to be dusted though. 🙂


Chris May 28, 2016 at 3:48 pm

So true! When the dishwasher wasn’t cleaning well, a nice appliance repairman on YouTube showed us how to disassemble the glass filter and filter assembly and clean both (and boy did they need it!). It took 1-1/2 minutes. Then he showed us how to reassemble it too! Saved $$ because it would have been an expensive service call! (The owner’s manual mentioned nothing about cleaning the filters.)


Florencia May 28, 2016 at 5:48 pm

My best friend and I have replaced the dryer heating element twice. The part alone cost $70 plus labor and shipping time, so we ordered it off Amazon and fixed it ourselves.

He also watched videos online on how to replace my car’s back turn signal (total nightmare).

He also watched a video on how to change my phone’s screen/LCD, but he said it seemed pretty delicate, so we outsourced that, but of course I shopped around for the best price. Just waiting for a part now. 🙂

I do tango and can’t afford lessons every week, so I’ve already started looking for videos with exercises I can do. 😀


Laura May 29, 2016 at 1:49 am

Yes and no. YouTube is great – it taught me how to take apart my last Dyson (almost every last bit of it was washable). But I still have my family encyclopaedia, the smell of it is still heavenly. YouTube will never replace that!


4TruLady May 29, 2016 at 3:53 am

Don’t you love that you can clean that vac?


Laura May 29, 2016 at 12:33 pm

I do indeed – they are nor cheap to buy, but they work really well and you can keep them in showroom condition (and out of landfill) for a long, long time.


Bellen May 29, 2016 at 2:37 am

I used to tell my kids (now in their late 30s early 40s) that if you could read, you could learn to do anything. Now it’s go check YouTube! It’s truly amazing what is available.

I still encourage/tell my kids and grandkids to be sure to read every day.


4TruLady May 29, 2016 at 3:52 am

We have saved thousands of dollars over the years using YouTube. We love it. Difficult car repairs, cleaning the Dysons, new gardening techniques, sewing machine maintenance and repair,…I even learned the proper way to season my new carbon steel wok (from an extremely sweet older Chinese lady).

I love books, and have quite a collection (95% bought used), but YouTube is a great friend to our family!


gepee May 29, 2016 at 4:06 am

hmmmm, I would say, yes… but…

yes, youtube and the internet in general is great for learning DIY’s, and I use it a loooooot
found great free patchwork designs that way
learned new crocheting techniques
just now watched videos that showed me how to give my old bike a really thorough cleanup and how to hang the wallpapers in my new apartment myself.
And when a friend says “Oh, I don’t know how to do this or that” I seem to repeat like a mantra: Look for a video on youtube

BUT ….
well, my wallpaperhanging went … hrrm … okay …. especially in the last room, when I had gotten some routine …. perhaps I shouldn’t have started with the living room first 😉 . That’s still good enough for me, one just has to know that DIY’s don’t always go well without some experience. Now I can’t really destroy anything by hanging wallpaper myself, but I’m much more careful about repairing electrical appliances.

Also, you have to be able to read or watch with a critical eye and evaluate if the content is helpful or total crap. Otherwise you might look for advice for losing weight and get totally absorbed and manipulated by a website that propagates anorexia before you even notice what happens.

And sometimes I just need an expert. Last year I started riding my old bike again which had stood unused in the garage for 10 years. I took it to a small bike shop for some small repairs, and the guy there is just amazing. He not only did the repairs at a very decent price, he also told me how the adjustments of my bike weren’t ideal for my body and fixed some small things here and there, altered the heighth and placement of the saddle and the angle of the handlebar and things like that, and the difference that made was amazing! The bike felt so much better to ride! He just knew what he was doing.
Now I started cycling really a lot and this year bought a new bike from this guy (yes, I confess, I bought new). Got great advice and he really found out what was right for me. Now of course I could also have done a big search on the internet. And I could learn to do almost all bicycle maintenance myself. But even if we do many things ourselves, sometimes we need an expert. So I also want to support great small shops like this one and therefore not do everything myself …

Of course, it’s also a question of time. And money. So, I would say, it’s great that one can find out how to do so many things nowadays. But it shoudn’t be a pressure that I have to do everything myself just because I can. Everyone has to find out what suits him or her best.


Mrs. Picky Pincher May 29, 2016 at 7:29 am

I have to say that the Internet and Youtube have been such timesaving, frugal teachers on our journey to financial independence. Mr. Picky Pincher learned how to do the brakes on his car on Youtube, and I’ve become a pretty all right baker thanks to tutorials on the Internet and Youtube.


Amy S May 31, 2016 at 6:00 am

I took apart and cleaned out my dishwasher, which was gradually losing its ability to clean, by following a youtube video. Found lots of detergent build-up and plastic (???) . Put it back together and it works great again!


Madeline May 31, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Gonna search for this.. my dishwasher is not doing a great job either…


Madeline May 31, 2016 at 3:44 pm

Icemaker on 11 year old refrig.broke. I thought it meant new refrig. Oh no!! I checked out you tube.Turns out replacing an ice maker is REALLY SIMPLE. The part you need it available online, we purchased a new icemaker on amazon for around 90 bucks and with a video it took my hubby about 15 minutes to install!! Refrig, still humming along just fine!


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