The great addition of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the Item Crafting. By collecting materials and learning different building recipes, you can create the tools you need to explore the island, as well as items to decorate your home for example.
Unlock the ability to use the workbench
At the very beginning of your adventure, you won't have the opportunity to craft items right away. Don't worry, it'll be unlocked only a few minutes after landing on the island. When you go to see Tom Nook in the Residents' Services, he'll offer you a DIY Workshop.
Tom Nook will teach you how to craft a fishing rod (you will need 5 tree branches). This free workshop will allow you to use the workbench as you see fit. However, you'll have almost no DIY recipes available. Here's how to unlock more.
At the beginning of the adventure, the best way to unlock recipes will be to talk to Timmy, at the Residents' Services, in order to buy him all the recipes for the necessary tools (watering can, slingshot, etc...). But that won't be enough. For 480 bells, you can buy the DIY kit which contains a straw bed, a frying pan, an ocarina, a set of wooden blocks, a wooden washing machine, a stone stool. Here are some other solutions:
- Popping balloons in the sky: some gifts contain recipes
- Talking to neighbors (animals): they can sometimes offer you some
- Pick up the bottles from the sea: they always contain a recipe.
- Fishing waste (shovel, tire, tin can): this unlocks some recipes.
- Buy recipes via the Nook Stop
As you progress through the game, you'll be able to unlock DIY recipes more easily. For example, Blathers from the Museum will teach you how to make a Shovel and a Jumping Pole. The Nook Stop, on the other hand, will offer more and more recipes as you progress (hairstyles, reinforced tools, an inventory expansion and more).