Hello practical people, are your fingers itching for a fresh fortnight of projects? Every two weeks the Able Skills team share some of their favourite Instructables and DIY hacks, throwing down the gauntlet to find out exactly what your making is made of! If you're looking for a project for a rainy autumn day why not make...

  • A phone charger out of a Smints box
  • A £2 vacuum sealer
  • A small folding table

1. A Smints Box Phone Charger


Never let your battery die while you're out and about ever again. If you have a (very) little bit of electrical knowledge, a 9 volt battery and a regulator, you can put this puppy together in little more than an hour. OK so it's probably not the best portable charger on the market, but it's easy and cheap to pop together – and it will give your phone a much-needed charge when you're away from a socket. Take a look at the full Instructable from Fituro to make your very own.

2. A £2 Vacuum Sealer

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Whether you're a foodie keen to try cooking something sous vide, or a practical sort looking to preserve food items or keep objects in mint condition, vacuum sealing is the way to do it. But you don't need specialist equipment to achieve a vacuum seal, instead you need this Instructable from MadScienceHacks, aquarium air line tubing and a syringe which you can pick up for little more than a couple of quid. Pretty handy, eh?

3. A Small Folding Table

Do you love working with wood? If you're into your carpentry, this is the project you'll want to pit your wits against. With a fiendishly clever folding system, this brilliant project should take you a week or two of spare time at least (depending on how much of a master carpenter you are!). Once complete, you'll have a great looking, modern folding table perfect for sticking in the boot of the car for picnics or whippingout when you have a few extra guests over. Try Andrea Biffi's Instructable to build one yourself.

What's your favourite type of practical project? Do you love working with wood or prefer an electrical how to? Share your latest creations and upcoming projects with other makers and doers below.