We’ve all been there: The end of the Internet. Or at least what feels like it. After you’ve killed enough time Facebooking, tweeting, reading, blogging, animated GIF bingeing, pinning, Wikipedia-hunting, emailing, Tumblring, IMDBing … then what? And what if you already did all the real life things you can think of? What else is there!?
Relax – while it might feel you’ve exhausted your Web resources, you have not and there is one particular fail-safe to keep you from getting bored that can also help you out in the real world. Yes, it’s the wonderful world of YouTube tutorial videos. So to keep you preoccupied and to make good use of your spare time, we’ve rounded up some of the best how-tos from YouTube that you can give a shot.
1. Some bangs for your buck
This one is probably more for the ladies, but interested gentlemen are also encouraged to listen up. The fact that you’re already home, in your sweats, eating potato chips while reading this means you’re way too far gone to put on some real pants and make it to an actual salon. Or maybe you’re just not feeling like spending your hard-earned money for something as simple as getting bangs. If you feel like your hair is extra mangy and would like to spruce up your look without getting a major makeover, bangs are a good way to go, and this tutorial can get you there. Few notes I want to drive home before you go gung-ho on your fringe: Go through this tutorial with dry hair and take it easy with the cutting … take your time, be patient, and snip off a bit of hair at a time. You don’t want to end up like this.
2. Create an origami Master Yoda
The art of paper folding can be relaxing and fun when you put effort into it. Instead of going for a predictable design like a crane or a frog, why not go whole hog and do something more intricate? This tutorial is pretty lengthy, but it’s worth it – you’re freaking making Yoda out of paper! Besides, we are supposed to be killing the blahs, aren’t we?
3. Learn to fold your t-shirts in two seconds
I enjoy folding laundry a lot more than any other household chore, so for me, this tutorial is worth Favoriting. Even if you absolutely hate organizing your clean tees, this exercise might make it more fun, almost like a game. There are many available tutorials like to the one below, but this folding technique is believed to have originated from the Japanese, so give your closet and drawers a little history and class with this age-old technique.
4. Tie one on
If you love fashion, you will love this how-to. If you only have one sad little scarf in your wardrobe, this is the perfect tutorial for you to get into in order to explore your options (there are many!) and expand your outfit possibilities.
5. Learn to become a musical genius with four chords
The piano is one of the easiest musical instruments to learn, in my opinion. There is a wealth of suitable tutorials on YouTube that will teach you all the basics like a piano teacher in real life would. However, if you have no patience for it, you can skip the mumbo jumbo and focus on these four chords:
Why these four? It’s been said that most pop songs contain the same basic chord structure. Knowing the right chords will enable you to virtually play more tunes on the piano, without the need for formal lessons. And take it from someone who’s had formal piano lessons as a kid and has promptly forgotten all she’s learned – it’s a challenge to play the piano and sing at the same time without fumbling with the notes. These chords are simple enough for you to sing songs like the ones Axis of Awesome included in their pretty cool medley:
Definitely a boredom killer, right? When you’ve exhausted all your 4-chord songs, you can give the old classic below a try. It’s easy to learn and when you learn to play and sing it in front of an audience, you’ll be an automatic hit.
6. Draw a realistic eye
Out of all the body parts, the eye is perhaps the most interesting and intricate, especially when it’s manually or digitally rendered by talented artists. Now, you may not be an expert in drawing, but this tutorial does a good job in capturing the magic of the eye and how it can ensnare an unwitting audience. Give this tutorial 10 minutes of your attention and see what you come up with:
7. Let YouTube teach your how to Dougie
When you’re done flexing your fingers from all that piano-playin’ and eye-drawin’, go right into working out your entire body with this insanely popular dance move (if you’re looking to learn how to dance Gangnan Style, we’re so over that … go someplace else). Once you figure out the basic groove, you can go right ahead and take your moves to the dance floor. You can even add your own spin to it once you’re feeling more comfortable. The two actors on this video are renowned for their dance skills on the TV show Glee, and they will have you Dougie-ing in no time. And then in turn, someone can ask you to teach them how to Dougie. It’s the circle of life.
8. Bake the chocolatiest, most sinful chocolate chip cookies ever
After you’ve gotten a decent workout from practicing The Dougie, you can get friendly with Nigella Lawson, that awesome Food Network personality that always has something amazing to offer. This particular recipe will quickly become one of your absolute favorites if you enjoy indulging. You’ll see why after you watch the video:
Although the clip was composed on the premise of needing consolation from desserts after a bad breakup, at the end of the day, anyone can benefit from yummy cookies, right? Right.
9. Give an old tee new life
Now that summer’s fast approaching, distressed shirts are so in. Instead of buying pre-cut clothes at the mall, you can do it yourself to one of your old t-shirts you don’t mind reworking. If you’ve done this more than once and are comfortable with what you’re doing, you can even do it to new-ish tops. I personally followed this tutorial using my Florence + The Machine concert tee, and it looks even better now.
Believe me, my tee turned out so well that it’s taking me everything I’ve got to stop myself from cutting up the rest of my shirts in this way for the hot weather that’s on its way.
10. Put down Instagram and learn HDR quickly
I have nothing against taking ordinary photos and slapping on filters to make them look amazing, but since you’re looking for something new to learn, here’s an awesome effect to apply to images using Adobe Photoshop.
Unlike some tutorials that claim you can achieve the HDR effect with just one photo, HDR actually requires at least two of the same angle, one focusing on the darkest areas, the other on the lightest. So in order to give this tutorial a shot, you actually need to get your camera out and take some practice shots. But you don’t have to be a pro, promise: You just need a couple of landscape photos, and if your camera is capable, one with a higher ISO and one with a lower so you can grab the contrasting lighting.
Then, get thee to Photoshop – if you don’t have the software, you can get a 30-day free trial from the Adobe site. Already used that? Try a variety of the free versions out there and do a quick YouTube search for “HDR tutorial” for that service. Here’s one for Gimp, for example.
And there you have it! You just killed an entire afternoon (maybe even a day) becoming a more well-rounded, smarter, better person – all thanks to YouTube. Now go impress someone with your origami-folding, Dougie-dancing, piano-playing self.