Most DIY kits will leave you with a useless pile of pipe-cleaner animals or clay models—especially if they are touted as taking a mere hour or less. Not the ones from Ian Anderson’s new company, Self-Assembly. The platform is for the design lover with a crafty streak, offering materials lists and DIY instructions for a collection of chic, actually practical home decor pieces. Though not kits in the straightforward sense, in which everything you need comes in a box, Self-Assembly lays out the process supply by supply, step by step, so you can make your own salt and pepper mills or marble side table in under an hour, or a translucent fruit bowl or light pendant in under two.
How does it work? First, you choose your project. Let’s say it’s the “difficult to assemble” Extrusion Velvet Sofa. Ian provides a quick rundown of how long the process will be (in this case, six hours), the various steps (24), and the average cost of the supplies (about $700). There’s also an index of all the parts and alternate parts you’ll need, plus the tools, all corresponding with handy purchasing links. At the bottom of the page sits a comments section, where you can help out your fellow DIYers with tips and tricks you learned along the way.