Did you ever wish you could sew? Make your own sushi? Change a flat tire? Renovate your bathroom? Renovate your entire house? You can learn to do all those things, and a whole lot more, thanks to the Internet — or, more specifically, a little website called YouTube.

Launched in 2005, YouTube connects users from all around the world who upload 300 hours of video every minute. You can watch anything from a marriage proposal at Disney World to a cat falling asleep — and everything in between.

But YouTube isn’t just for the latest viral snippet; you can also find a whole lot of productive information out there. Heck, there are even videos to teach you how to pump gas. (That’s how my New Jersey-born and bred nieces learned to pump their own gas here in Florida when they visited last week.) Herein, five things you didn’t know you could learn how to do from the Internet — and technically, that would be six, if you count the bonus sushi video above.


Button popped off your sweater and you’re too embarrassed to take it to the dry cleaner just for them to sew it back on? Have no fear. Learn how to sew on a button, how to sew a perfect hem and even how to sew a whole garment. I have a friend who learned how to sew — enough knowledge to make her own wedding dress — from watching online tutorials. Seriously.

Tiling your bathroom shower

We learned this one the hard way. Once upon a time, my husband decided he was going to recaulk a couple of tiles in our shower. One hour later and half the shower was gone (turns out quite a bit of mold was lurking behind all those tiles). Hence, our bathroom renovation project began. And if it weren’t for YouTube videos, tiling the shower back together again would’ve been a big ole mess. Now, thanks to a tile guru in Atlanta, our bathroom looks quite spiffy. Thank you, hubby dearest!


Seriously. There’s a video for that.


Until the penning of this article, I honestly didn’t know what coding was, but I’m pretty sure I can now put it down as one of my resume skills. Coding is used for just about everything because code is how we humans speak to technology, telling it to do the amazing things that it does. One of my favorite resources is Khan Academy, an online school started in 2006 by Salman Khan, whose goal was to provide a “free, world class education for anyone, anywhere.” The group's Hour of Code course is enough to give you a taste of what code can do for you. And when you’re done, check out the courses in history, finance or even astronomy.

Playing an instrument

Want to learn how to play guitar? What about piano? How about trombone? You can learn how to play virtually any instrument with online tutorials. The best part about these videos is that they're absolutely free; private lessons can run $60 to $100 an hour. Sure, this will take you longer, and you’ll need some discipline to stick with it, but at least you won’t be fumbling through a lesson with a real, live person, trying to give the impression that you’ve been practicing all week.

Bottom line? A wealth of knowledge online is more accessible than ever. You can learn how to repair a washing machine, how to make balloon animals, fix a leaky faucet, how to fold a shirt in under 2 seconds (that one is super cool), change the screen on your phone, change the tail light on your car … the list goes on. So instead of watching Charlie bite his brother’s finger again (though it's mighty entertaining), why not learn something new instead?

Related on MNN:

6 skills you can easily learn on YouTube
Lost among the cat clips are the many tutorials that offer a convenient way to pick up a new skill.