If you’ve ever wondered what to do with that can of frozen limeade you’ve had in the freezer for months, or how to make home cleaning products from scratch, Pinterest is your nirvana. This very popular website is like the biggest corkboard in the world, where people post their ideas and goods, from crafts to cooking and gardening to design.
It’s a great site when you’re looking for some specific advice, a unique gift, or just trying to find a fun project to do with (or without) your kids.
I’ve always been a big fan of making things like Halloween costumes from scratch, so Pinterest certainly appeals to me. The Pinterest app is an excellent way to view all the ideas, particularly as the images really pop on an iPad screen.
A short time after I downloaded it, I found a recipe for frozen coconut limeade that I wanted to try – it looked perfect for the hot summer that’s already creeping in on us. Yeah, you could say I was drawn in from the beginning. Time to pull my craft scissors out of the closet.
How it works
You simply download for free, set up an account, and then start taking a gander at what’s being featured on the front page. You can scroll down, and then when something strikes your fancy, you can tap it for more information.
Like what you see? You can tap the heart symbol at the top to save it as a favorite, or “pin it.” When you choose to “pin” your first item, the app will ask you to create a new board. For example, if you like a particular dessert, then you might want to create a board with “Dessert” as the title. That’s where you’ll “pin” all your desserts from now on.
Once you’ve had a look at the random stuff on the front page that covers a wide range of topics, you can tap on the magnifying glass symbol at the bottom of the page, which will take you to a breakdown of all the topics Pinterest covers … and there are many of them. You’ll find art, architecture, food and drink, gifts, health and fitness, DIY, and more and more and more.
If you think you’ve discovered something that a friend would like, you can recommend it, and when you’re ready to share your ideas and creations with others, you can create your own items.
To keep track of pages that you’ve liked, your own boards, and followers you’ve got, you can tap on the person symbol on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. It’s like your own personal cyber file folder.
When you choose to take a closer look at an item, Pinterest will also show you recommended or related items based around the same subject.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself on this app for hours.
When I tried it
So I set up my account, and immediately scrolled like a fiend. It wasn’t long before I found a recipe for raspberry scones that looked fantastic. I could serve those at the tea party I’ve been threatening to throw for the last 10 years!
I marked that recipe as a favorite, and then I was off to look for other items. I just had to get the details on how to make a hay bale swimming pool, even though bales of hay are few and far between here in de islands. The adult hot chocolate kit also appealed – a mason jar filled with layered chocolate powder, marshmallows, and with a small bottle of Bailey’s tied to the lid. What a great gift idea!
By the time I had been on Pinterest for about an hour (and missed one of my favorite TV shows in the process), I had already pinned about 20 items I vowed to revisit when I had more time to try them out. The acid test will be whether I do so or not.
Pinterest starts out like that huge shop you decided to visit to get just one item, and ends up as an emporium where you stop at lots of shelves, even though you’ve been trying to leave for half an hour. There are so many interesting things to see, you simply won’t be able to help yourself.
Beyond searching for what floats your boat, you too may have products, ideas or recipes you wish to promote. Pinterest has a big enough following to make your small business ideas grow.
- Pros: Free. Good images. Lots of stuff to see.
- Cons: Need to be connected to the Internet. Could use a few more instructions for beginners.
- Cost: Free
- Seller: Pinterest, Inc.
- Devices: Android and iOS
- Rating: E for Everyone
- Three stars