Picture of How to Write an Instructable

Instructables are the reason this site exists.

There are many ways of presenting your work here, and everybody finds their own style, but there are things that good instructables have in common, and that is the purpose of this Instructable.

Pay attention, there may be a test.

Step 1: Subject Matter

Picture of Subject Matter

The first question from every new Instructabler is "what should I write about?"

The simple answer is... anything. If you have enough passion to create a project, then you have the passion to share it. You should preferably publish something original, but with tens of thousands of projects already published here, it's possible that somebody else has already had a go at your idea, even if you thought of it by yourself.

Don't let that put you off. It's quite likely that many people will prefer your style of writing, or find your instructions easier to follow.

You should use an Instructable to...
  • Show us what you have made.
  • Show us how you made something.
  • Show us how to do something (demonstrate a skill, rather than produce an object).
You should not use an Instructable to...
  • Show us somebody else's work (if you've found something cool online, start a forum topic).
  • Try and sell us something without telling how to make our own.
  • Post something inappropriate.  "Inappropriate" is a hazy thing to define, but please remember that this site is used in schools. Generally, if you wouldn't show your teacher, don't publish it here.

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Nice! I have a question. How do you 'collaborate' on an instructable?
Kiteman (author)  maxstevenson3 years ago
When you start an instructable (or edit an existing one), there is a tab called "More" - hover over it, and select "Collaborate".

You can then add the names of the members with whom you wish to collaborate. They will then be able to edit the text and add pictures, just as you can, but only you will be able to hit the "publish" tab.
Thank you so much for your effort!
Kiteman (author)  cicondeyesterday

You're welcome!

Como puedo hacer mi instructable mas destacado

Yo sugeriría que tratar de mejorar las fotografías, especialmente en su introducción (ver paso 4), para que más personas se ven.

También puede anunciar sus proyectos en otros sitios. Trate de compartir en las redes sociales como Twitter, Instagram o Facebook.

Si usted puede, usted puede ser que intente incluyendo traducciones de inglés en cada paso (como éste), ya que la mayoría de los miembros (como yo) no leen español, y tienen que depender de Google Translate.


I would suggest you try and improve the photographs, especially on your introduction (see step 4), to make more people look.

You can also advertise your projects on other sites. Try sharing on social sites such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

If you can, you might try including English translations in each step (like this), since most members (like me) do not read Spanish, and have to rely on Google Translate.

trailtrekr2 months ago

Thank you Kiteman! Your Ible' has helped me get my instructable featured! Thanks again!


Kiteman (author)  trailtrekr2 months ago

You're very welcome!

trailtrekr2 months ago

Your Ible' helped me get mine featured! :D :). Thank you so much!


Gregarious4 months ago

Thanks for a useful 'ible. I know this has been around a while and has helped many people, just as it will now help me as I have decided to stop 'lurking' and start working. Surprised that I could not find an official guide...surely there is one?

Kiteman (author)  Gregarious4 months ago

This is (semi) official - HQ know I wrote it, and it was Featured by staff.

LocutusOfBorg6 months ago

Say I read a good how-to in a book. Am I allowed to make that as an Instructable? Should I credit the source?

Kiteman (author)  LocutusOfBorg6 months ago

Rewrite the instructions in your own words, use your own photos, and mention the book, you'll be fine.

Jan_Henrik1 year ago

Very cool!

Kiteman (author)  Jan_Henrik1 year ago

Thank you!

Son is off to school. Time to create an instructable. So much to do in so little time. Lol...any way to slowdown time? Lol :)
very useful.i think it will help me improve my instructables
Kiteman (author)  argha halder2 years ago
uglystank2 years ago
Great intstructable. Btw, I am your neighbor
Kiteman (author)  uglystank2 years ago
M.C. Langer2 years ago
Awesome! Thanks for sharing, Kiteman!
Kiteman (author)  M.C. Langer2 years ago
You're welcome, although I don't think *you* really need it.
Thanks! :-)
rimar20002 years ago
Kiteman, this guide is very useful.

I have a [request | prayer | entreaty | petition | cry | wish | instance] to make for step 9: when creating a video instructable, PLEASE ADD SOME CAPTION for non anglophone readers. We are many millions, maybe billions, that can read English but don't understand it when hear.

NOTE: I prepared an explanatory screenshot, but I can't upload images here. When I select the image, the editor does not aware.
That suggestion could be also at the beginning of the Create Video Instructable page: "Consider to add English subtitles / captions to your video, for non anglophone readers around the world" or so.

Kiteman (author)  rimar20002 years ago
Oh, I see.

(Edit coming up. )
Kiteman (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
(And done!)
The Rambler3 years ago
Just a note on a simple and very common mistake in wording that I've noticed.

People often say things like "See picture below" because when you are creating your instructable the pictures are added into a box below the text. Remember that when viewing a published instructable the picture is actually shown above the text.

I know this doesn't seem that important, I just figure it's another way to make an instructable the best possible instructable it can be.
Very clever note. I agree with you.
doodlecraft2 years ago
I've contemplated writing up a "how to write an instructable" instructable myself! I'm glad to see someone much more eloquent than me has already done that! ...now to get everyone to read it before they post their crap. :) Nice work!
Kiteman (author)  doodlecraft2 years ago
Thank you.
This is so great, I learned a lot from this. Thank you so much.
Thank you for this, but is it able to get an old programm from you which is very simple? ;-)
Kiteman (author)  christoph1232 years ago
This is as easy as I could make it.

The best way to start is to make your "thing", and take photographs of everything you do.

Upload those images to the site, start creating an instructable, and then describe what you are doing in the photos.
darman122 years ago
That's a cool coincidence...i'm the 2000th viewer :)
AshleighLm3 years ago
Where do I go to start an instructable?
Kiteman (author)  AshleighLm3 years ago
At the top of every page, there is a tab marked "Create".

Click that, then choose the kind of Instructable you want to write.

(Thank you for reminding me that this needs updating!)
AshleighLm3 years ago
Kiteman (author)  AshleighLm3 years ago
Thank you.

How do I go to the next step? I do not have any "add step" or "next step" button.
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