You can create your own custom collection from scratch with these three steps:
1) Create a custom collection, putting in the fields you want to use
2) Put data into the fields
3) Create a page with the display code for your custom collection.
But an easier way is to use the Collection Quick Start method. Create a new page, and choose "Collection" page type. Then add a new collection from the quick start list. This will do the three steps above automatically.
The custom collections in the side bar are how you could create these collections manually. Those tutorials are great if you want to learn how to code a custom collection.