Writing an instructable is like telling a story, so the process of drawing up the instructions follows the same path as any other DIY making project, only when you start to draw it up you realise that you have to resolve things that don't quite work. This way the finished instructable can be a bit better.
I started drawing up my instructions because I make them into downloadable project sheets for my website dadcando and the extra bandwidth to needed to serve up high quality photos was too much. As it happens, drawing picture of each step is a lot more work, but then the end result is very nice.
- some drawing skill (but not much really)
- a vector drawing package (I'll explain more later)
- probably a digital camera or phone camera
- a decent idea fir an instructable
Step 1: Design your Instructable
You can get round this by taking loads of photos and then using the best to describe a clear story later, perhaps leaving out some of the parts that showed trial and error. Nevertheless, if you learned valuable lessons by making the errors, then it is best to make a note of these and pass on that learning, so that the person following your instructable can avoid falling into the same trap.
For me, I want to describe a way of doing the project that will give the person doing it the best chance of repeating what I did. For this not only do I need a project design (even if it is very rough or just in my head) but I really need an instructable plan. In my case I use this plan to design my project download.
The image here shows my first quick sketch of the steps I would like to show in the finished instructable, and my dadcando downloadable project sheet. For my download I would like to get this one on to one sheet, and that means I will need no more than 9 steps. I sketch out the steps I need to show and tinker with the steps a little to make sure that I have what's needed.
As it happens this project is how to make a bottle cap beetle after my 14 year old son made one, one afternoon, and asked me if I wanted to put it up on line on dadcando. So I already had the finished project. In this case I had to draw the steps from scratch, because I didn't have photos of the individual steps as he was making the model.