I always avoided a yeast starter because it sounded complicated. It's not. Here is yeast starting for dummies.
Make your starter about a day before brewing. Anywhere from 12 to 36 hours should be good.
Water to DME ratio is 1 gallon to 1 pound. A typical 5 gallon batch would use 1/2 pound dry extract and 1/2 gallon water. Any dry malt extract will do.
1. Boil water with malt extract for 15 minutes.
2. Cool in a bath of ice water to appropriate yeast-pitching temp.
3. Pitch yeast.
4. Pour mixture into a flask or growler and attach air lock.
5. Store at room temperature for approx. 24 hours or until you are ready to brew.
Glass container (flask or growler work great)
Rubber stopper that fits the glass container
1/2 lb dme (makes a 5-gallon batch of beer)
your choice of yeast (a small packet will work since you are growing it in the starter)