Why I love online tutorials

Online craft tutorials

Written by Fran Swaine of www.skullsandponies.blogspot.com

I absolutely adore online tutorials and luckily for me they are all over the internet. As much as I love craft books (and I have many!) I often find that I get really excited when they arrive, and end up disappointed that there are only a couple of things I want to make. Of course, the joy of craft books is that they sit on your shelf and you can dip in and out of them over months and years when you feel like it. However, for instant gratification the online tutorial is the definitely the answer.

So many of my favourite craft blogs provide regular tutorials these days, that I don’t even need to take a trip to Google’s search box! I find amazing things landing in my Google Reader or Twitter feed that I have a whole stack of craft tutorials bookmarked just waiting to be made.

One of my favourite blogs Crafterholic, regularly links to amazing craft tutorials, like this amazing rope and pom pom rug. How gorgeous is this!

Or this fantastic suitcase for storing your crafting tools:

The quality of online tutorials, is better than ever. With tips like Hilary’s on how to take the best crafty photos - there’s no excuse and it’s obvious the craft community have caught on to the importance of taking a good photo.

Of course it’s not all about look, one of the things that turns a good tutorial into an amazing tutorial is how it is written. A good tutorial has a clear, easy to read style; an amazing tutorial is constantly being improved from the feedback of it’s readers and boy does it make a difference.

Often designers will use free online tutorials as a way of testing out their patterns and ensuring they will eventually sell the best quality product. Two blogs that are fantastic at this are Uhandbag and SewFearless.

Uhandbag sell PDF patterns for all kinds of bags. Often the lovely Lisa Lam will offer free PDF patterns when she is in the process of finalising a new pattern. 

SewFearless design and sell fabulous patterns for Pajama Eaters!

When the pajama eater pattern was first created, blogger owner Jodi offered the pattern up for free so she could get feedback on the creation and how to improve on the pattern before she decided to sell them.

This a great idea for businesses as it ensures you are selling a great product and also gets you a good reputation for offering a good service. From a customer/readers point of view it’s even better - we all love freebies and it means you get to be involved in the creation of a design you love.

This idea that the reader/customer can be involved in the process is probably why I love online tutorials the most. Not only can you feedback to the creator your thoughts once you’ve made it, but you can ask them questions and advice and get tips from other people that have used the tutorial too.

Any crafter can create a tutorial and it’s a great way of giving something back to your readers and getting more traffic to your blog. I recently did a basic tutorial on how to make an iphone case - an easy peasey tutorial but it had great feedback from my readers as well as gaining me new ones. 

I certainly won’t be casting out my beloved craft books just yet, but the online tutorials most definitely has a big place in my heart and an even bigger place in my bookmarks folder!

Fran – www.skullsandponies.blogspot.com