Introduction: Answer Life's Burning Questions

Picture of Answer Life's Burning Questions
People search for stuff at Instructables all the time. Sometimes they find what they're looking for, sometimes they don't. But there are a few common how-tos that come up often enough that make us wonder, "why don't we have an Instructable on that?"

The answer is of course, because no one has written one. But you can change all that.

Below I've listed out a number of popular 'wanted Instructables'. If you write an Instructable about one of these topics we will send you a free Instructables Robot T-shirt. Answer more than one of these questions and and we won't keep sending you shirts, but we probably will send you something cool that we have made here at Instructables HQ.

Wanted Instructables:

  • How to cook prime rib
  • How to make out (stay classy on this one)
  • How to make a man fall in love
  • How to cut hair
  • How to build a deck
  • How to fly fish
  • How to pour a beer (including methods from a bottle and from a tap)

The only rules are:

  • The Instructables have to be of good quality. Lots of people are looking for these answers so put some extra effort in. They have to be detailed, contain plenty of good pictures, and actually provide a good answer to the question. If they're lousy (you know when they are), no t-shirt for you.
  • They have to be titled as above (or with very minor variation). Why? Because that's what people are looking for.
  • They have to have a publish date after September 3rd.
  • They have to be on the list! Only Instructables answering questions on the list will be admitted to the group.

Generally, there's going to be only one winner, but if there's a good faith effort by two people at the same time, we'll call both of you winners.

I've created a group to keep track of everything, called Burning Questions. If you want the shirt, you've got to add your Instructable to the group.

When we've determined an Instructable is of high enough quality, we'll add a link to it below, in the "Answered Questions" section and take it away from our "Wanted" list. Once it's added to the Burning Questions group I will send you a private message letting you know how you can claim your free shirt.

Have any questions about the Burning Questions Contest? Comments? Post them below as comments to this instructable!

Answered Questions:

This is how to add an Instructable to a group.
And this is how to write a great Instructable.


monarch508 (author)2016-01-12

Is there a more current version of the Burning Questions post?

watermelonhead (author)2009-06-30

what about "what is the meaning of life?" that's one of life's burning questions- and i know the answer! 42!!!

josuchav (author)watermelonhead2010-12-13

Yeah, but that is not a very useful answer...
How about an ible on how to aske the right question in order to understand the meaning of life, the universe and everything?

We might need a lot of mice for this one.

Wolf Seril (author)2007-11-17

I have great burning question that I am in serious need of right now. How do you fix a broken USB cable? My rabbit chewed it up. Along with a bunch of other cords- actually, just how do you fix cables in general?

Ausmaus (author)Wolf Seril2007-11-18

If they've just been chewed through, you can solder the wires together. If you're not sure how that works, I'm certain there are a great many soldering instructables on the site.

Fire Explorer 3 (author)Ausmaus2010-12-02

Don't bother fixing (*gasp*), buy new...seriously... fixed ones imnsho usually dont work well/right/at all.

Rock Soldier (author)2009-11-28

I think a "How to answer someone's question" Instructable would be nice.

Foaly7 (author)2008-09-06

A nice instructable would be one on the ultimate and Perfect Batch File that includes a lot of features.

threecheersfornick (author)2008-02-22

An instructable on how to sing would be good.

homba (author)2008-01-18

Is this still going on? I could whip up a hair cutting instructable. I cut both of my boys' hair and they're starting to get shaggy. :) I can also do a mean prime rib and a deck to put your grill on ... hmmm

noahw (author)homba2008-01-18

This is actually the old burning questions Instructable. The contest is still going on (it doesn't have an end date) and is now published with more up to date specifics at:

How to cook prime rib has already been answered - but we are still looking for a hair cutting Instructable (using scissors).

Check out the list of what we still want answered on the link above and see if your interested in doing any of them.

homba (author)noahw2008-01-18

I'm on it - thanks!

ScruffyRasputin (author)2007-12-06

I think it would be great if someone could post an instructable on how to skin and tan an animal. I have read several guides on it, but have not had the chance to give it a shot, and think it would be more useful to hear directly from someone who has the practical experience. I'd also be interested in an instructable on different kinds of spring snares for catching food. Basically, I'm interested in survival skills.

there is an episode of "dirty jobs" on discovery channel that is all about a facility that does all the tanning and hide proccessing..... its all shown pretty much step by step.

drinkmorecoffee (author)2007-09-21

I think how to hitchhike should be on the list...

Agreed. I would like to learn about that, especially since it seems much less possible these days (at least, in the US)

ScruffyRasputin (author)2007-12-04

I'm working on a killing-off ant instructable right now...but I need to write a ten page picture and take images for the instructable before I can finish it.

done with the instructable...also, I meant to write paper instead of picture XP

noahw (author)ScruffyRasputin2007-12-05

Just saw it submitted to the group. The group is managed, so Instructables don't get added instantly - thats why your project didn't appear in the group when you added it. I'll check it out and get back to you later today with the next step. Thanks for answering a burning question!

ScruffyRasputin (author)noahw2007-12-05

Just glad to help. I think I may have submitted it a few too many times because I didn't understand it was moderated at first. Thanks for the comment!

Brennn10 (author)2007-12-03

Just got a fly fishing rod for my birthday, maybe if I have time I could make an instructable on how to fly fish.

wdhowellsr (author)2007-11-20

I was going to spend the next few hours writing an Instructable about, "How to build a deck". The reality is that the web site is faster and easier as it provides free plans and estimates. I don't work for them but if I had a friend ask how to build a deck I would probably refer him to this site.

grue (author)2007-10-20

will u ship to canada?

noahw (author)grue2007-10-20

We ship t-shirts for the Burning Questions Contest anywhere in the world. Which question were you thinking about answering?

ti112 (author)2007-09-26

I want to know how to record or download a live webcast

Bilou (author)2007-09-22

I have a question. Two days ago, I gave a shot at my first instructable. It's about how to make Jello shots. I don't know if I did something wrong, but it doesn't seem to appear in the search results on the site nor in the explore>most recent page. Can anyone give me a clue about what is hapenning? Thanks, Bilou

ti112 (author)Bilou2007-09-26

it may take a while. my Halo3 instructable took around a day to appear

Lord Of Mystra (author)2007-09-17

"How to exercise your dog" What are you looking for here, like, creative ways to do it or like walking, playing fetch, swimming, etc.?

noahw (author)Lord Of Mystra2007-09-18

I think that with all of these questions you could chose to answer the question creatively or with a standard method that you have tried. I think that what is important to remember is that your answers are for a broad audience, and that the more methods/options you include in your answer, the more people will find it useful. For "How to exercise your dog" I can imagine anything from instructions about how to build a treadmill device, to how to build a dog run in the back yard, to teach your dog to "heal" so that you can run with it.

noahw (author)noahw2007-09-18

Playing fetch, swimming, and running with your dog are all good ways to exercise your dog and would all work as an instructable as well. In fact, a "How to Teach a Dog to Swim" instructable would be awesome!

Lord Of Mystra (author)noahw2007-09-18

Hmm teaching yor dog to swim would be cool but i would have to find a dog that cant swim.

OR... *gets maniaclly hyper* A giant hamster wheel! heheheheheheheheheheheeeeeeee...

Lord Of Mystra (author)2007-09-17

I made an organic ant killer and submitted it to the group. : )

alfonso (author)2007-09-16

Perfect! My dad is building a deck right now, so there will soon be a how to build a deck instrucible from me!

noahw (author)alfonso2007-09-16

Great - I was wondering who would tackle that one. At first I thought that I would take a stab at it myself since I built a deck with my father two years ago, but unfortunately I don't really have good pictures of the building process. (This was before I started documenting all of my projects step by step). Remember to document the process as thoroughly as you can - deck building has a lot of steps and important points that people will want to know. I'll be on the lookout for your post!

Lord Of Mystra (author)noahw2007-09-17

Dude! Awesome deck! I love the stairs.

alfonso (author)noahw2007-09-17

Ok, i might also make it a collaberation so that some other people could have some imput.

noahw (author)alfonso2007-09-17

Thats a great idea. I would recommend that you post the steps and pictures first, and then get other users' input for the instructions where necessary. Post many steps and take lots of pictures so that there will be plenty to fill in about. You can even post a forum topic announcing that you have opened the project up to collaboration and that you are looking for input from people who know how to build decks.

alfonso (author)alfonso2007-09-16

Acctually I think ill do the how to make a bow and arrow first, i've been doing that for a few years now...

Easy Button (author)2007-09-04

wait if you already made a burning question instructable on the other contest and if you make a new one now do you get a shirt or the other thing

Easy Button (author)Easy Button2007-09-06


Metal4God (author)Easy Button2007-09-17


Metal4God (author)Easy Button2007-09-06

did you gat a shirt

noahw (author)Easy Button2007-09-04

This is a new round, so even if you answered a question in round 1, you can still answer a new question in round 2 and get another shirt.

Easy Button (author)noahw2007-09-04

Ok thanks and a double thanks for the fast reply.

killerjackalope (author)2007-09-07

I'm going to do the rip DVD's as I do it often enough

killerjackalope (author)2007-09-04

I can quite easily do how to build a bonfire with either diagrams or real pictures. Also how to draw, though a definitive how to is simply impossible in my opinion (I'm qualified as I have learnt to draw four times in my life due to three broken arms).

noahw (author)killerjackalope2007-09-05

It doesn't need to be definitive, just as helpful as it can be for someone who is looking for more information on the subject. You can always link to other guides at the end of your Instructable so that people can have access to more info you didn't include.

killerjackalope (author)noahw2007-09-07

yeah I just did the base one to see if people would bite then continue from there because it would turn into a 100 page instructable that made no sense unless it's broken up

CreamOtheCrop (author)2007-09-06

I have an instructable on how to clean a mattress on the way, unfortunately I am in the process of moving, so I don't know when it will be ready. Its my first instructable. I'm excited!

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Bio: I've worked for Instructables off and on since 2006 building and documenting just about everything I enjoy doing. I am now the Creative Programs ... More »
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