Learn A New Skill This Weekend

Learn A New Skill This Weekend

A weekend may not seem like a lot of time, but you might be surprised by what you can learn in just 48 hours. Here are a bunch of new skills you can pick up on the weekend, or at least master the basics.

Image: AVAVA/Shutterstock

Learn to Code, Design and Create a Web Site, and Other Computer Skills


It’s hard to get involved and obsessed with technology without wanting to make some of it. That might mean designing a cool website or developing an app of some kind. We’ve put a lot of effort into bringing relevant lessons and resources to help get you started in all those areas. On the coding side of things, we have Lifehacker Night School courses on the basics of programming and making a website. You can even learn about the design aspects in our Photoshop lessons.

For a more in-depth look at learning all sorts of new things, we really like Lynda. It’s not free or anything, but you don’t pay much per month for a membership and you can pay for that membership for only as long as you need it to learn the skills you want to learn. You can pick up a lot in a weekend through one of our lessons, but you can learn a load more over the course of a month. If you’re looking for other alternative resources, however, you’ll find those at the end of all our lessons. Video-based learning isn’t for everyone, and we’ve got plenty of books and digital text that can help you as well.

If hardware is more in tune with your interests, you’ll want to check out our lessons on building a computer. Perhaps you’d like to make that computer a hackintosh, in which case you should bookmark our guide on building one. If you’re looking for something a little less intense, check out our home networking lessons. It’ll help you learn more about how your home network works, plus add some great new features.

Advance Your Knowledge of Photography, Drawing, and Other Artistic Skills


If you’d rather indulge your artistic side this weekend, we can help you out there as well. In addition to learning Photoshop, we’ve got a whole set of lessons on the basics of photography. If you’re still trying to find the perfect camera before you get started, we can help you pick one out. Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to still photography. We have video editing lessons as well.

Cameras aside, you might want to learn to draw. We can teach you digital drawing and painting, or there are plenty of other resources that can help you do it the old fashioned way. Youtube has plenty of lessons, such as drawing everything from eyes to feet to hands to manga. A quick, specific search will dig up pretty much anything you want to learn to draw, but those videos should give you a good start.

Pick Up a New Musical Instrument


Plenty of people have learned to play a musical instrument just through the help of the internet, thanks to so many people offering their expertise for free. You can learn popular instruments like the guitar, piano, and drums drums (and maybe you’ll someday be as good as this 91-year-old woman), or even orchestral instruments like the flute and violin. Searching on sites like Youtube and VideoJug bring up loads of options, so you really only have to decide what you want to learn to play, watch the videos, and practice.

Master Some Handy DIY Skills


We post a lot of DIY projects, but many require a few skills. Some of the coolest projects involve an arduino, as it’s a tool that makes it possible for some amazing electronic hacks. Here’s a getting started with arduino guide, plus a comic to help you familiarise yourself as well.

If you’re thinking of making anything from a new T-shirt to a laptop sleeve, it helps to learn how to sew. While this might seem like a skill you can get by without, it really opens you up to a world of new things you can make. I’ve made my own wallet, sling-style backpack, a laptop sleeve that converts into a memory foam pillow on the aeroplane and lots more. If you’re design-savvy, it also helps to know how to screenprint (or just fake it with a permanent marker) so you can truly customise all the stuff you make.

Learn to Cook


Cooking is a really handy skill that everyone can appreciate. Even if you don’t love to do it, learning a few dishes is a great way to impress people or save some money while still eating tasty food. We’ve put together more than 10 dishes everyone should learn to make, so that’s a good place to start if you’re particularly new. If you’re looking for recipes and demonstrations, we’ve found some great stuff on How2Heroes, Epicurious, and Gojee.


  • If you like programming and are looking for something different (assuming you’ve been taught with C/Java/other common, imperative language), go learn a functional programming language.
    Haskell is arguably the most popular one currently with a lot of free documentation and a HUGE online community. Truly great fun.

  • “Learn a new skill this weekend”
    What a load of crap. How to make cucumber shot glasses is the kind of skill the average person could learn in a weekend. Unless you already know how to program in another language, design for another platform or play another musical instrument you have no hope in hell of getting the hang of even the basics comfortably in a weekend. Especially not on your own. And even with pre-existing related experience it’s a big stretch. “Learn to cook”? Maybe “learn to cook A PARTICULAR DISH”.

    Cut the hyperbole. Please.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!