Making: 101 [The Beginner’s Guide]

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Have you ever felt the need to build a specialized gadget to help you around the house? A vegetable chopper that counts how many carrots you’ve sliced so far? Including a gyroscope to make sure every piece is equal in size and shape?

If the answer to the above is a curious “yes”, then you could be a maker in the making!


Have you ever felt the need to build a specialized gadget to help you around the house? A vegetable chopper that counts how many carrots you’ve sliced so far? Including a gyroscope to make sure every piece is equal in size and shape?

If the answer to the above is a curious “yes”, then you could be a maker in the making!

What is Making?

Maker culture is a technology-based expansion upon the traditional “do it yourself” (DIY) culture. Using a wide range of materials and techniques, makers solve problems without resorting to paid experts. These problems can range from everyday difficulties to more ambitious creations. All done with your own hands, your own earned expertise, and a bit of hard work.

Becoming a maker

While there’s a focus on the technical aspects, being a maker is not only about being an inventor. Sure, you’ll be working on an invention, on your own personal project. But the sentiment associated with the practice is much broader.

According to Adam Savage, all human beings are makers: “Humans do two things that make us unique from all other animals; we use tools and we tell stories. And when you make something, you’re doing both at once.”

So, as long as you have your story in mind and you’re open to finding a way to tell it to others, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

What about hackers?

Makers and hackers are similar because of the principles they follow. Both believe in open sharing, peer production, and extreme tinkering.

While they share a mindset, the objectives are different. Hackers operate in the realm of computer systems and electronics, exploiting them to gain unauthorized access and control. Black-hat hackers are out to “own” their targets for malicious purposes; ethical hackers try to find vulnerabilities and help security teams protect data.

Making for Beginners – Learn the Basics and Common Terms

Making is the process of transforming raw materials into something new, whether it’s a simple project such as a chair or a more complex one like a car. There are many different ways to make, and the techniques you use will depend on what you’re creating and the materials you have at your disposal.

Here we will give you an overview of some of the most common techniques used in making, and it will also introduce some terms that you may hear frequently when talking about making.

Different types of making

Makers often use computer systems and electronics, along with open-source hardware and software. But they also use other techniques, such as:

Traditional Arts and Crafts

This is the oldest form of making, and it uses techniques such as pottery, basket weaving, jewelry-making, and stained glass. You can find instructions for many of these activities online or in books.


This is the process of turning raw materials into something new using saws, chisels, lathes, drills, sandpaper, and other tools. You can find many types of woodworking projects online or in books.


This involves working with metals such as aluminum, copper, brass, and steel. You can find instructions for many types of metalworking projects online or in books.


This is the art of stitching fabric together with yarn or thread. You can find instructions for many types of needlework projects online or in books.

Create a woolen heart


Electronics includes things like radios, TVs, and phones.


Coding is the process of transforming information into a form that can be read and used by computers. 


Robots are machines that move and act on their own without human control. These machines can be used for tasks such as manufacturing, inspection, and security. This involves programming and coding machines to do tasks on their own.

3D printing

3D printing is the process of creating objects from digital data that is then printed out onto physical objects. There is different forms of 3D printing and growing number of different types of materials can be 3D printed.

The Process of Making

We’ve named above some techniques you can use in making. What you decide to use, however, is a unique selection based on what you can do and the nature of your creation.

The philosophy behind making is to gather the tools and the information you need to realize your vision. In this aspect, the makerspace that you join (more on that in a second) can affect your work process. Depending on the tools available and the experts you meet, your choice of techniques can vary.

Step 1: Research and Inspiration

In order to get started, you first need to do some research. What are your goals? What do you want to create? Where can you find inspiration and learn what you need to learn?

Once you have a good idea of what you’re working with, it’s time to start thinking about how you can make it a reality.

Step 2: The Idea!

No matter what type of maker you are, the most important tool is your imagination. And if there is one thing that makes making so special, it’s the fact that you can create anything you want. Whether it’s a chair, a toy, or something more complex like a 3D-printed object or an electronics project, the possibilities are endless.

Even if you don’t have any specific idea in mind, there are many resources available to help you get started. For example, there are online forums and blogs where makers discuss their projects and share tips and advice.

Step 3. Prepare – Make a Plan and Gather The Necessary Tools and Supplies

Before starting any project, it’s important to have a good plan and gather the necessary tools and supplies.

And now that you have an idea of what you want to make, the next step is to find the materials and tools that will help you realize your vision. This includes researching different types of materials and finding out where they’re available.

For example, if your project involves using wood, you may need to find a lumberyard or a workshop where you can learn how to use the tools necessary for woodworking.

Similarly, if your project involves using electronic components, you may need to find someone who can teach you how to solder them together or program them using software like Arduino.

The Internet is also full of resources that can help with this step. For example, Ars Technica has an excellent guide on how to research different types of materials and find suppliers. Another source of information is Instructables , where users post detailed guides on how to build simple products from scratch.

 You can find also find these items at most makerspaces or anywhere else that has supplies for crafting. A list of common supplies includes:

o Woodworking tools such as saws and chisels

o Metalworking tools such as hammers and drills

o Sewing machines and other types of fabric-cutting equipment

o Cement, paint, and other construction materials

o Glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from sharp objects

Once you have access to all of your tools and supplies, it’s time to get started!

Step 4: Making It Real!

Put your plan into action by starting to build your project. This is where the fun really begins!

Begin by taking a look again at your plan and the books and online resources that you found in the reserach phase. This will be your base.

They will often provide you with detailed instructions on how to put everything together. Follow these steps exactly, and you’ll be on your way to a successful project!

But dont be afraid to try new things and make changes when you see that they are needed. Even a good plan needs to be adapted and improved.

As long as you keep your focus and take your time, you will be fine!

Assemble everything you need and get started! With patience, practice, and some lucky breaks, your creation will come together in time. Remember: anything is possible with enough effort and creativity.

Once you have everything assembled, it’s time to test out your creation!

If everything goes according to plan, congratulations! You now have a working product!

What is a Makerspace? How many are there?

A makerspace is a place where makers meet, share ideas, and advance their projects. Some are embedded within hackerspaces (the same concept, for hackers); others exist within Fab Labs where there’s a greater focus on machinery and advanced tools. You can also find other spaces named “incubators” and “accelerators”, where communities of makers work and develop ideas together.

According to a report from the National League of Cities 2016 report, there are an estimated 2000 makerspaces around the world.

The best ones have:

  • a lot of space;
  • plenty of tools;
  • an engaged community (not only within, but also with other local organizations);
  • some members with great technical abilities;
  • a clear set of rules to keep everything flowing;

A short history of making and the maker movement

The term “do it yourself” has been in use since the 1950s. It includes all activities that “engage raw and semi-raw materials and parts to produce, transform, or reconstruct material possessions, including those drawn from the natural environment” (Wolf & McQuitty, 2011). Making appears as an evolution of this term, bringing technology into the mix.

The origin of the maker movement is tied to Dale Dougherty, inventor of the Maker Faire in 2006 and founder of the Make magazine. His initiative got the attention of the then-US president Barack Obama. An edition of the faire was held at the White House in 2014. From that point on, the visibility of the movement and the funding granted to makerspaces has risen.

There are approximately 135 million adult makers in the United States today.

The Importance of Being a Maker

The 21st century has shown the importance of innovation and creativity as the main forces for development and change.

In addition to creativity, makers develop attitudes of openness, resourcefulness and connection with others. These qualities are in high demand today, both economically and socially.

Makerspaces could be the place where new technologies and innovations are born. Ian Cole compares the rise of maker culture with the personal computer revolution of the 1970s. He stresses that companies like Apple and Microsoft started in garages.

But don’t forget the fun as you explore another possibility, talk to people, and learn something new! Nothing beats the moment when, after days of tinkering, a creation finally comes to life, spreading wonder around the makerspace.

Want to get started?

OEDb has compiled a series of resources to get you started with all aspects of maker culture, from expanded definitions, through publications, to guides on 3D printing. You can visit it by clicking here.

Making Resources

To get started with your Making project, be sure to check out our extensive list of resources. This includes communities, articles, videos, and tools that will help you get started quickly and smoothly.

Communities and Websites

1. The Maker Subreddit
2. Making on Pinterest
3. #making on Twitter
5. Making on Youtube

Beginner Guides related to Making

Making as a Passion

The following tips will show you why many people have a strong passion for Making and some ways a passion for Making can be celebrated:

Top 5 Reasons Why We Love Making

  1. Making things creates a sense of accomplishment and pride:  Once you’ve built something, whether it’s a simple project or something more complex, you can really feel the satisfaction of having created something from nothing.
  2. Making things is creative and stimulating: When you start tinkering with your materials and come up with new and innovative ways to use them, you’re tapping into your creative side.
  3. Making things can be educational: Not only do you learn about the process of making by doing it yourself, but you also might be able to teach someone else about it as well.
  4. Making things is social: Creating something together with others can be a rewarding experience that bonds people in a special way.
  5. Making things is simply fun: We all have those moments when we just get lost in the creativity of it all and forget that we’re supposed to be working on a project.

There’s just something about taking something simple and turning it into something amazing that captivates us!

5 Great Ways to Show and Celebrate Your Passion for Making

Here are some great ways you can show and celebrate Making:

  1. Start a blog or vlog focused on your passion for Making. This can be a great way to share your thoughts and experiences with others as you learn more about the craft.
  2. Join or start a local makerspace or hackerspace and get involved in various projects and discussions related to Making.
  3. Take part in maker events, such as hackathons or Maker Faires, and meet other like-minded individuals who are also passionate about Making.
  4. Make something unique and special for someone special in your life – this can be a great way to show them how much you care about them and what you’re capable of creating together.
  5. Find mentors – people who have experience in the field of Making – and learn from them as you continue on your journey into this fascinating field.

I Love Making

If you love making, you're in luck! You can now download your very own 'I Love Making' meme from our website. We've also created some fun web apps that allow you to customize your own colorful 'I Love Making' text and 'I Heart Making' images.

Show off your passion for making with our easy-to-use tools and share your creations with the world. Let your love for making shine and create your own unique masterpiece today!


Making is a great way to express your unique creativity and passions. By following these tips, you can show off your skills and create something amazing for yourself and others.

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