The internet might be the most valuable learning resource ever invented. With the stroke of a few keys, we can access knowledge on any subject we want – and one of the best online learning resources is YouTube.
YouTube is a free video-sharing platform and the second most popular website in the world. With a staggering 700,000 hours of video uploaded every day, the learning possibilities are endless.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of 22 useful skills that you can learn by watching YouTube videos. We’d love to know which ones you find particularly helpful!
1. Hem trousers
Maybe you’ve found the (almost) perfect pair of jeans but the legs are too long. Or perhaps your grandchildren have been given a pair of hand-me-down school trousers they haven’t quite grown into yet.
Hemming trousers properly can be a valuable life skill that’ll help you cut down on waste, save money, and look sharp.
2. Shuffle cards
We’ve all been there. You finish a round of cards and everyone gazes awkwardly around the table. “Who’s going to shuffle?”, someone might ask.
By learning how to shuffle cards properly (not to mention with a bit of flair), you’ll be the first to offer your shuffling services and get the game back on track.
3. Say hello in different languages
Being able to properly greet people from all over the world whether you’re at home or abroad is an invaluable skill to have.
If you’re abroad, knowing how to say hello can help you feel more at home. And if you’re at home and meet someone from another country, greeting them in their language is a great way to help them feel comfortable.
Have a watch of the video below to see how to say hello in 46 different languages…
4. Use keyboard shortcuts to save you time
Digital skills are useful in both our professional and personal lives – and keyboard shortcuts are one of the most valuable.
Keyboard shortcuts are when one or more keys are used to perform an action on your computer without using your mouse. For example, on most computers, using the ‘Ctrl’ and ‘P’ keys simultaneously will bring up the print menu.
Keyboard shortcuts allow you to do a whole host of things on your computer much more quickly than using your mouse. This can boost your productivity at work and save you time in your personal life.
Below, you can learn some basic keyboard shortcuts for Windows keyboards. Or, if you have a Mac keyboard, you can check out this video.
5. Learn the Heimlich manoeuvre
The Heimlich manoeuvre (or abdominal thrusts) is an action you can take if someone’s airway becomes blocked and they begin to choke.
It’s relatively simple and easy to learn, and if performed properly, can save someone’s life.
YouTube is a great place to see demonstrations of the Heimlich manoeuvre. However, to make sure you’re doing it as safely as possible, you should also read this advice from the NHS.
7. Practise calligraphy
Calligraphy is the art of creating decorative handwriting and lettering.
Just like painting or sculpting, it’s a complex art. However, you can learn some of the basics quite quickly and easily on YouTube.
Learning basic calligraphy strokes and lettering can not only jazz up any birthday card or letter, but it can also be incredibly enjoyable and relaxing.
8. Tie knots
When you think of tying knots, images of sailing and fishing might spring to mind.
However, learning how to tie a range of different knots can come in handy in lots of different situations – from camping and other outdoor activities to home storage.
9. Mix cocktails
Whether you’re having a party or a quiet Friday night in, learning how to mix cocktails can offer some variety if you’re bored of beer and wine.
In the video below, Steve the Bartender shows you how to make 10 simple cocktails in 10 minutes.
10. Learn to juggle
Although it might not seem like the most practical skill on this list, juggling is a great party trick to know if you want to impress your friends and family.
Practising juggling also improves your hand-eye coordination, reflexes, and ability to concentrate.
This study even found that it increases the size of the parts of your brain that are involved in visual and motor activity.
11. Play a small instrument
If juggling doesn’t take your fancy, why not think about learning a small instrument?
Learning how to play an instrument is a great way to express yourself creatively, entertain people, and have fun.
The act of learning and playing instruments uses every part of our brain and has many healthy benefits too – including improved memory, reaction time, and multiprocessing skills. It’s also thought to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
The video below will show you how to get started with the harmonica, or if the recorder is more up your street, why not try this video? If you’d like some more inspiration, take a look at our article; 7 of the easiest musical talents for adults to learn.
12. Make a fire
If you’ve been camping, used a fire pit in your garden, or tried to light your fireplace, then you’ll know that making a fire isn’t as simple as setting a bundle of wood alight.
To make sure that your fire stays lit, you’ve got to know how to build a fire properly. And the techniques to do so differ, depending on whether you’re building it in a fireplace, making a campfire, or contending with weather conditions such as wind and rain.
Have a watch of the video below to see how to start a campfire. Or, to start a fire in an open grate at home, you could try this video.
13. Poach an egg
A poached egg is usually thought to be the more complex and sophisticated sibling of the humble fried or scrambled egg.
However, when done right, poached eggs are surprisingly easy to make – not to mention delicious.
So whether you just want to start your morning off with something a little different, or you’re having friends over for brunch and want to go that extra mile, why not learn how to poach eggs?
14. Try your hand at origami
You could say origami is exactly what it says on the tin, except the tin is written in Japanese. In fact, origami comes from the Japanese words oru, which means ‘to fold’, and kami, which means ‘paper’.
Like calligraphy, origami is an ancient and complex art that can be tricky to master quickly. However, you can learn a wide range of basic shapes on YouTube.
Not only is origami good fun, but it’s also thought to improve your hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and concentration. It’s therapeutic too – allowing you to practise mindfulness and focus on the present moment throughout. Plus, in the end, you’ll be left with a beautiful folded shape that you can use as decoration or a gift.
The video below will show you how to make a basic crane, or you might like to try these easy lotus flowers instead. If you’d like some written advice alongside the video, why not check out our introduction to origami as well?
15. Get to grips with basic car repair and maintenance
Vehicle maintenance can be expensive – especially as cars are becoming increasingly complex. This means that fewer and fewer repairs can be carried out by a layman.
However, there are still a handful of basic car repairs and maintenance that everyone can learn and carry out at home.
Learning how to do things such as changing your oil and replacing a tyre can be a great way to save time, money, and stress. So why not give it a go?
16. Whistle with your fingers
We’ve all been there: maybe you want to get the attention of your friend but they’re too far away, or perhaps your dog is running off into the distance and you want to call them back.
Sure, you can shout, but nothing draws attention like a loud, piercing whistle – and the loudest way to do this is by using your fingers.
17. Solve a Rubik’s Cube
A Rubik’s Cube is one of the world’s most famous puzzles and solving one might seem like an impossible task. But, like anything, there’s a method to learning how to do it.
In fact, depending on whether or not you’re a beginner wanting to solve your first cube or you’re experienced and want to improve your time, there are plenty of great tutorials on YouTube.
If you’re looking to solve your first Rubik’s Cube, why not check out the video below?
18. Chop an onion without crying
Over thousands of years, onions have evolved a defence mechanism that discourages animals from eating them by releasing an irritating chemical called Propanethial S-oxide. This is what irritates our eyes when we chop them up and causes us to tear up.
If you’re always getting teary when preparing dinner, why not watch the video below to learn how to cut an onion effectively without it making you cry?
19. Pick up some magic tricks
Again, magic tricks aren’t the most practical skill on this list, but being able to channel your inner Houdini will be sure to impress and entertain your friends and family.
From card tricks to coin tricks, YouTube has thousands of magic tutorials.
20. Learn some basic plumbing skills
The best skills to have in your arsenal are ones that’ll save you stress, time, and money.
Basic plumbing skills such as fixing a leaky tap or unclogging the kitchen sink are easy to learn, and could save you time and money.
To fix a dripping tap, why not try the video below? Or for sink unblocking tips, have a watch of this video.
21. Practise touch typing
Touch typing is a style of typing that means you don’t have to look at your keyboard. And like using keyboard shortcuts, it’s an excellent digital skill to learn.
It’s great for boosting your typing speed and accuracy. So for those of us who work with computers, it can make us more productive at work. Plus, it looks good on your CV.
Touch typing is also better for your posture as you don’t need to constantly be hunched over your keys, looking at which one to hit next.
22. Learn how to cut hair at home
Before the pandemic, you might have thought learning to cut hair wasn’t a particularly useful skill – unless you wanted to be a barber or a hairdresser, that is. Yet, when we went into lockdown, many of us saw the value in good quality DIY haircuts.
So to make sure you and your loved ones are always looking your best, and to save some money in the process, why not learn how to cut hair?
YouTube has thousands of tutorials suited to all different types of hair and styles. We also have our own quick haircutting guide.
Haircutting for men
Haircutting for women
From practical skills like car maintenance and cutting hair to entertaining party tricks like juggling and magic, we hope there’s something on this list for everyone.
When it comes to YouTube, one video often leads to another, so who knows what you might discover next?
To search for courses and access more helpful learning advice, head over to the learning section of our website. Here, you’ll find information on everything from the benefits of learning a new language to different digital skills that you can learn from home.
Have you learned a new skill from YouTube recently? Did you find any of the videos above particularly helpful? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.