Step 1: Find the parts!
Firstly, to make the pedal you obviously need the parts! Most of the parts can be found in the base of a CFL light bulb. I already had the parts to make this and have customised the parts to my liking. In the schematic, it says the input capacitor is 100n. It doesn't matter what value the input capacitor is really aslong as it is within the range of: 47n - 100uF. All the capacitors mainly do is affect the level of distortion at the output (as well as the diodes at the output!). For my transistor, I used a BC337 (On my old one) because I had it at the time but I'm sure that any NPN transistor will work fine. At the output stage, different kinds of diodes produce different levels of distortion. I used simple 1N4001 diodes (The most common diode around) But to get different kinds of output waves, many combinations of diodes exist such as schottky diodes (To produce a lower amplitude giving a nice germanium diode sound due to both germanium and schottky conducting at lower voltages) or rectifier and schottky diodes (Lopsided wave) etc. I tested the input down to 1.5v. at this voltage, it had some quite high distortion and a bit of an annoying hum but worked fine overall. Therefore, a 9v battery would last extremely long is the circuit works down to 1.5v.
The input and output capacitors depict the frequency response of the circuit e.g. The lower the input capacitor, the more bass is cut. This is good if your looking for a nice Trebly overdrive. Otherwise, this capacitor can be increased to any value. The values of these components doesn't particularly matter if your just looking for a simple distortion circuit.
The 100Ohm Resistor that is just above the Diodes can be removed to make the output wave much 'Harsher'.
The 100K resistor at the base of the Transistor mainly depicts the gain. Increasing this resistor increases the gain up to a certain point (It changed the bias of the transistor).
Edit: I have now included my new circuit diagram for the much more RAW! Distortion. Go to the last page for sound samples!Unfortunately, with this new circuit, the distortion isnt so epic at 1.5v :(
For this new circuit, i used a BC337-25, a much more gainier transistor.