I’m going to go out on a limb and give the non-committal answer that people make for different reasons: necessity, compulsion to make something out of nothing, the challenge of the puzzle, curiosity, and maybe even the satisfaction of seeing a successful finished project after hours/days/weeks/months/years of invested time.
I don’t even know what I make these days. I knitted in the past. Dabbled in quilt-making. I spent a summer during my undergrad years in the dorms during summer school. One of my hall mates had a sock monkey from his youth (this was before Paul Frank, thanks). I decided then that I had to have one too. A lot of time was spent making sock monkeys and weird sock creatures for friends and family.
Having a kid has cut into my time to work on fiber/textile projects. I dread (am intimidated by) home improvement projects. Yet I find them to be really interesting once I’m immersed. I spent a day one summer under the house rerouting a water line. It made for a pretty interesting day once I got past the camel crickets in the crawl space. What’s the most fascinating to me about these home improvement projects? It’s a peek into how the guts of a house work. It’s interesting to see how things are put together. That’s really something I never cared about until I bought a house.
Lately I’ve been interested in projects that seem doable mainly because I don’t know enough about the topic at hand to feel otherwise. An example? Arduino. Raspberry Pi. WordPress. Google searches and Youtube videos bring answers or at least more breadcrumbs. The internet keeps the trail warm I guess. At this early point I don’t even care if a finished project results. It’s just cool to have something to sink my brain into.