For the DIYer, the Bob Vila Academy

Today, class, we’re going learn how to make a poured-in-place concrete vanity for the bath.

And a wall sconce, woven from pre-glued birch strips and ironed into position.

Where, you ask?

At the new Bob Vila Academy online – where else?

With classes priced at only $9.99 each, it’s just launched with three experts, at

One of them is a building engineer named Isabelle Larue. She’s the “professor” on the site who can walk a visitor through a step-by-step process to make that wall sconce with little more than a drill, some glue and an iron. She’s aided by a series of four videos.

“It’s simple and easy to do,” she says. “You can install it on a wall without an electrician, and you’ll be inspired by how beautiful it looks. It’s the perfect shape – it forms a nice cylinder.”

It comes in at about $29 in materials, excluding the drill and the iron.

Then there’s Pete Sveen, the Bozeman, Mont.-based outdoorsman and entrepreneur. He’s a “professor” at the academy too, one who specializes in concrete vanities.

Online, he breaks the process down into steps, with pdfs that can be printed out and short video clips. “There are lots of them, so people stay attentive,” he says. “Sometimes when you look at the end product, it looks overwhelming. But with small steps, it becomes doable.”

The material cost is about $85, which covers wood for the mold, foam, silicon,concrete, and sealer. It does not cover tools like an orbital sander, trowel, fixtures, or sink.

He’ll likely be adding more videos – for poured-in-place concrete tables and counters – as Vila adds more segments and more experts to the site.

In the meantime, you can catch up with him here.

And you’ll find Isabelle here.

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