100 Things You Can Make Yourself

DIY Bird Feeder

photo: Thinkstock

Hello, Blisstree Reader! Check out this new post we just published: DIY Done Right: Crocheting Is Now Cool, with neat ideas, patterns, and how-tos.

Convenience is certainly, well, convenient. Take a trip to just about any type of store and notice how everything is packaged and prepared. It seems the more we advance, the more stuff is done for us. I don’t mind letting someone else do all the work for me, the problem is, of course, that convenience is expensive and we’re getting really lazy. I started thinking about all the things we can make ourselves if we put forth a little effort, and found lots of cool instructions online.

My fellow cheapskates, I give you:

100 Things You Can Make Yourself

  1. Applesauce
  2. Spaghetti sauce
  3. Barbecue sauce
  4. Maple syrup
  5. Jelly
  6. Peanut butter
  7. Mayonnaise
  8. Bacon
  9. Guacamole
  10. Pesto
  11. Salsa
  12. Mango salsa
  13. Vanilla extract
  14. Hummus
  15. Coffee
  16. Tofu
  17. Gravy
  18. Chocolate kisses
  19. Wedding cake
  20. Stuffing
  21. Rootbeer
  22. Ginger Ale
  23. Pancake mix
  24. Pudding pops
  25. Ice cream
  26. Chicken Nuggets
  27. Pizza
  28. Pasta
  29. Pickles
  30. Wine
  31. Beer
  32. Whiskey
  33. Dog treats
  34. Playdough
  35. Fingerpaint
  36. Bubbles
  37. Books
  38. Laundry detergent
  39. All-purpose household cleaner
  40. Soap
  41. Shampoo
  42. Hair conditioner
  43. Moisturizer
  44. Mouthwash
  45. Baskets
  46. Incense
  47. Paper
  48. Rubber stamps
  49. Jewelry
  50. Curtains
  51. Rugs
  52. Candles
  53. Camera
  54. CD Cases
  55. Bookshelves
  56. Couches
  57. Tables
  58. Stool
  59. Sweater
  60. Skirt
  61. Poncho
  62. Coat
  63. Blouse
  64. Shorts
  65. Gloves
  66. Socks
  67. Tree fort
  68. Backyard shed
  69. Gazebo
  70. Windmill
  71. Birdhouse
  72. Compost
  73. Bio-diesel fuel
  74. Solar-powered generator
  75. House
  76. Snowshoes
  77. Sun clock
  78. Bread
  79. Potato chips
  80. Pretzels
  81. Donuts
  82. Sausages
  83. Bagels
  84. Piñata
  85. Crayons
  86. Gnocchi
  87. Guitar
  88. 4th of July sparklers
  89. Lava lamp
  90. Tortillas
  91. Kimchi
  92. Hula-hoop
  93. Loofah
  94. Cheese
  95. 3-D glasses
  96. Kite
  97. Igloo
  98. Modeling clay
  99. Crossword puzzles
  100. Cufflinks
Share This Post:
    • http://blogvsspaceblog.blogspot.com CD Santa

      Some of these are interesting. But some are just ridiculous. Homemade maple syrup? Homemade PAPER!?

    • http://www.simplythrifty.com Deborah Ng

      Why is it so ridiculous to make your own maple syrup or paper? Long before Log Cabin or Mrs Butterworth, people made their own maple syrup – and in places like Maine or Vermont it’s really not so far fetched.

      I also have a friend who recycles and makes paper for invitations and greeting cards. She does well in her business.

      It’s not ridiculous if you enter it with an open mind. Not all of these things are for everyone, my list is to give you an idea of the things you can do yourself.

    • http://chocolatebytes.com/ Heather

      That is truly an amazing list!

    • Vanilla

      I am so making the sparklers!

    • Pingback: Sweet Links for August 16()

    • Pingback: 100 Things You Can Make Yourself | Terror Suspect .com()

    • Pingback: openswitch » 100 things you can make yourself()

    • dacker

      As someone who grew-up in Vermont, has helped make syrup, and had a teenage brother industrious enough to make his own maple syrup one year, I can tell you that only 0.1% of people would be able to do so — and it would not be economical.

      To make maple just one quart of maple syrup, you will need:

      * Access to maple sugar trees. Maple trees come in many species, but maple SUGAR trees only grow in a small subset of the US, most notably in northern New England and NY, and in Michigan. Canada, especially Quebec, has many more.
      * Taps and buckets with covers.
      * Appropriate drill for the tap.
      * Cold nights and warm days for the sap to flow.
      * Determination to check and empty the buckets twice a day.
      * If you have made it this far, collect 10 gallons of maple sugar tree sap, and keeping it cold until you have enough.
      * One BIG pot
      * Lots of available energy (gas/electric/wood to boil away 98% of the water in the sap.
      * Hours and hours of time.
      * Hydrometer, so you know when the correct amount of water has been evaporated and the syrup is ready.
      * Cheesecloth or other filtering material.
      * Heatproof hands.

      Oh, hell — no one is going to do all this themselves. Even I just go to Costco, unless I can get another of my brothers to go down the road to a family farm who have a sugar shack, buy it from them, and ship it to me. Costco sells Grade-A Amber, which used to be called Grade-B, until the markets tinkered with the nomenclature.

    • http://www.simplythrifty.com Deborah Ng

      Dacker – Some of these things can be whipped up in five minutes, others take time and patience.

      My point is that there are plenty of things we can do ourselves if we have the time and ambition. You and I may not enjoy making maple syrup, but I know of at least one person who finds it to be a relaxing hobby. Every single thing on this list is doable. It’s up to the individual to determine which projects are worth one’s while.

    • http://chocolatebytes.com/ Heather

      I get what you mean, Deb. I make soap and it takes up to six weeks for it to cure and get hard enough to use (I do the good old-fashioned lye kind, not the melt and pour). I could just go to the store and buy a 12-pack but it’s so much more fun and relaxing to do it myself, and the bonus is that I know everything that’s gone into it.

    • http://smartnotcheap.blogspot.com Michelle Gartner

      I think it’s an awesome list Deborah- I am going to link on it and comment it too! So don’t be offended by my crass commenting, it’s just my dry wit showing and not anything personal. I hope you get a lot of traffic out of this post- you put a lot of effort into and IT is by far the best THRIFT post I have seen as of late. You out did yourself! -Michelle

    • dacker

      Deborah, I took the word, “Thrifty”, as in “Simply Thrifty” literally. There are many items on the list which can be fun and creative to make yourself ( I bake artisan bread as a hobby myself), but most of the 100 items cannot be done to be thrifty — to save money over buying them ready-made. We have mass production and cheap overseas labor (um, near-slave wages) to thank for that.

      I did not mean to offend anyone; maple syrup stuck out at me because I am very familiar with how much work it takes to make it commercially, much less at home.

    • jane

      Hrm, will have to agree with dacker on the thrifty part. I make my own ice cream because I love experimenting with different ingredients, but it’s not very cheap to buy the milk/cream/sugar/whatever else you need. For the same price as a quart or so of my homemade ice cream, I could have purchased 2-3x that in store-brand or even like Dreyers or ben and jerry ice cream, nevermind all the time saved…add to that my hideously expensive but awesome $300 commercial ice cream maker (faster and better results than making it any other way).

      Most of the items on this list aren’t thrifty to make..just fun or easier, if you’re adding a little something to it.

    • Pingback: links for 2007-08-17 « antifaust()

    • Isaac

      This list is ridiculous. I should’ve stopped reading at bacon. Do you really think it’s wise to encourage the same people who are manufacturing homemade lava lamps (#89) to branch out and try their hands at explosives (#88)??

    • http://www.simplythrifty.com Deborah Ng

      Again, Isaac, I realize most people aren’t going to make the things on this list. The purpose of the list is to show people how many things they can do on their own if they put their minds to it. Of course, positive thinking does help.

    • Paige

      Deb I get it.

      You don’t necessarily expect us to make this stuff but you’re letting us know we can if we want to. To stop relying on convenience once in a while and make a stool or a bowl of salsa. I do get it and I think it’s a great list and obvious you worked hard.

      Granted, some of the things aren’t necessarily thrifty but if you do make an initial investment some of these things have a way of paying for themselves.

      Also, when you consider homemade foods such as maple syrup are generally safer and healthier than processed and chemicaled products you find on your grocery shelves, that makes it all worth it.

      Still. I get it. You’re encouraging people to think of all the things we can make on our own without having to rely on the mass produced – even if some people think they’re ridiculous.

    • Pingback: 100 things you can make yourself « Clip news()

    • Pingback: 100 More things you can make yourself()

    • http://www.cheapogroovo.com Dave

      Thanks for this great list!

    • http://www.simplythrifty.com Deborah Ng

      You’re welcome, Dave, and I just posted 100 more!

    • Pingback: Weird Daily » Blog Archive » 100 Things You Can Make Yourself()

    • http://www.momadvice.com/blog Amy

      I think this list is EXCELLENT! I know lists like these take so much time so I appreciate what you have done over here. I am going to post it up on my site! Hope it gets you some traffic!

    • Mr. The Hat

      I don’t understand why anyone would NOT make their own Guacamole. Honestly… the stuff I see in those packages in the stores is frightening to me.

      Avocados, salt, lemon juice, onion, tomato, cilantro, chiles… or a plastic tub full of erythorbate-whatever, diethylhydratedfecalomadehyde & yellow number 5?


    • http://www.simplythrifty.com Deborah Ng

      @Hat – I so hear you. No jar stuff can compare with my party dip. And it’s so simple, my five year old even knows how to make it (with a little help, of course.)

    • Pingback: Freelance Writing Jobs » Blog Archive » Content Theft is a Personal Violation()

    • Catherine

      Perhaps you should have put pancake syrup on the list instead of maple syrup. If you buy a bottle of McCormick’s maple flavoring you will find the recipe for maple flavored syrup right on the box. Works for me.

    • Pingback: Links for 2007-08-18 at pierson.homeip.net()

    • Pingback: Rise v4 » links for 2007-08-18()

    • Pingback: 100 Things You Can To Yourself at The Internet Journalist()

    • Pingback: All that is Weird, Wise and Wondrous on the web | Novatronic » links for 2007-08-18()

    • fake name

      I love making my own stuff!

      Don’t forget how to make your own yogurt, your own plastic, your own pasta, your own Oreo cookies…

    • Pingback: links for 2007-08-18 « CF Bloke blog()

    • http://domestikgoddess.com Jen / domestika

      I love the diversity of this list. After all, DIY is about the creative process as much as it is about the end product — and every one of us finds different activities enjoyable.

      I keep honeybees, for example. No doubt it would be much easier to go to the store and buy a jar of honey for next-to-nothing from some mega-corp that imports cut-rate honey from China… but it’s the joyful challenge of bee husbandry, the eternal learning process, the scents and sensations of working among the bees, and the sweet ritual of the honey harvest that makes the home honey production so worthwhile. It’s my guess that the maple syrup DIYers feel much the same way…

    • Pingback: Dutch Blitz » 100 Things You Can Make Yourself()

    • http://www.sacramentofoodgroup.org Melly

      I love this list. I can relate to Whole Foods check-out remorse.

      I used to always make my own hummus. I’ve made my own candles, and I used to always have a garden and can tomatoes, marina sauce, zuchinni, pickles, jams and jelly, etc. My mom used to make the modeling clay for us.

      LOVE this list!

    • Pingback: 10 Reasons Why Building Your Own House Sucks()

    • http://lifeinthelostworld.blogspot.com/ jayedee

      i love this list!
      we homeschool and we are SO gonna work our way thru this list, as possible, an item at a time!
      i can’t wait to see the thought processes this inspires in my children!
      thank you!

    • Pingback: Dagelijkse dosis links 19-08-2007()

    • http://www.howiwillberich.com Matt Wolfe

      This an awesome list. I’m definitely going to try some of these.

    • Pingback: 100 Things you can make at home. at Emirates Baby()

    • Pingback: TheWizardBlog.com » Blog Archive » Lists of Something To Do. Yourself.()

    • Pingback: website deyaert thomas » 100 dingen die je zelf kan maken…()

    • Pingback: Top 10 Online Shopping Blogs()

    • Pingback: 100 Things You Can Make Yourself ∞ Get Rich Slowly()

    • Pingback: clanMcGraw.com » Blog Archive » Do-It-Yourself()

    • Debbie

      Another good thing about making things yourself is that, once you get good enough anyway, you can make them exactly the way you want them. Once you find the perfect recipe, you can have that thing whenever you want, even if a restaurant goes out of business. If you sew, you can make something that fits perfectly and is your favorite color. Sometimes you can save money buy just making something once instead of buying an okay one, then buying a better one, then buying an even better one.

      Thanks for this list; I’m going to try some things.

    • http://? CJ

      I really do like the idea of this list. However, in practical terms, I think that making most of these things would actually be impractical and uneconomical. Unless you had loads of time on your hands….

      To add to the maple syrup debate – I grew up in rural Ontario, Canada, and my family made maple syrup every year; my brother continues to do so. But this is a task that only 0.00001% of the population would be able to do – it is enormously labour-intensive, and depends a lot on the weather and luck. It is totally uneconomical – for example, my brother took two weeks off work to make his syrup last year; so he lost two weeks of wages, for a few bottles of syrup. Not to mention all the time (sometimes up all night), energy (carrying all that sap!! and wood for the fire etc), etc spent, and volunteer help from other family members (argh) and the cost of all the equipment. They end up being hugely expensive bottles of syrup.

      Of course, if the aim is simply to make something for the sake of it, or because it’s relaxing or enjoyable, that’s totally different. But if the aim is to be thrifty and save money, I think you’re generally better off buying these things.

      So you need to take into account what it’s actually costing you to make things yourself – in terms of time, loss of earnings (potentially), energy, resources, raw materials etc.

      So perhaps the lesson is to differntiate what is thrifty to make ourselves from what is not (if saving money is your aim, as I said). For example, making your own meals, lunches, sandwiches, baked goods etc is generally VERY cost-effective, for very little effort. But aside from that, I can’t think of too many things….

    • Pingback: Angelsfire.nl » 100 Things you can make Yourself()

    • http://www.simplythrifty.com Deborah Ng

      Hi CJ,

      Thanks for stopping by. The purpose of this list isn’t to suggest everyone make something on this list – it’s to inspire us to use our hands to create things rather than buy what is convenient. I understand some of these are a little far fetched for many of us, but my point is some people do it. I make my own zucchini bread, but the guy who makes maple syrup may not be into that. It’s all a matter of preference.

      Of course one needs to take lots of things into consideration and make sure it’s worth it (to the individual) to put out the time and labor to make certain things. It costs me more to grow my own veggies every summer than to buy them, but it’s worth it because they’re fresh and organic. Again, it’s all up to the individual. Thanks so much for your input – do stop by more often.


    • Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday | How I Will Be Rich()

    • Pingback: Tudo aquilo que você pode fazer em casa « mnagano.com()

    • Pingback: Do It Yourself-ers « my two pence()

    • Jessica

      I always love trying to make things that most people only think of as store bought. Like marshmallows. I do it mostly for fun, and because I like a challenge. I did laugh a little about maple syrup only because my first thought was “Shouldn’t I be a tree?”. I do realize there is a process to taking the sap and turning into syrup. A very tasty process.

      Also, my mother in law is paper making fiend. She uses hers as card material and has made wedding invites for about five family weddings at this point. It’s more art like than what you’d put in a printer.

    • Smiller

      The only problem I see with this list is that if you don’t already have all or most of the materials on hand to make a particular item, you’ll spend so much money getting the appropriate stuff that you might as well just buy it from Wal-Mart.

    • http://random-tangent.com Random_Tangent

      Wow. I can make all purpose cleaner with ammonia by adding ammonia to a bottle of 409?

    • jdg

      Don;t forget you smokers can make your own cigarettes…I got all my stuff at http://www.StuffYourOwn.com

    • http://wwww.deweystreehouse.blogspot.com Mama Squirrel

      What’s wrong with making pancake syrup? I do it all the time.

      Neat idea–I’ve linked!

    • shelly53

      Love this !!!!! Much can be made with out all of the fuss!!!! yes–maple syrup, too!

    • shelly53

      much can be made without the fuss—-even maple syrup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Tony

      I don’t know where everyone else is from, but making whiskey is illegal in the US.

    • http://www.damselandfamily.blogspot.com Rachel May

      Tony, it’s legal to make — you just have to get a license… http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/id10.html

    • Ashley

      If time is money, then making my own paper would put me in the poorhouse.

    • http://wwww.deweystreehouse.blogspot.com Mama Squirrel

      Oh, give her a break already! Not only does she have to deal with people stealing her list (I hope my “memed” version of it wasn’t one of the offenders–I did link clearly to your original post), but she has to fend off this kind of flack from people who missed the point. No, I wouldn’t be building a crawfish trap or a sunroom either (the second list), but isn’t it nice to know that somebody does know how to do that? It encourages me to think of other things I could make myself.

    • Pingback: Great link « Just Vessels()

    • Pingback: Der wilde Garten | links for 2007-08-19()

    • http://www.Proverbs31living.blogspot.com Abbi

      I enjoyed the list and found that I have made or helped to make over a 3rd of the items on there. And as far as most of the others I would be quite willing to try and think that it would be possible to make them too if I had the time. (I think I’ll skip on the alcohol however.)
      I also thought I would add to the maple syrup debate. We live in MN, which is another area that has lots of sugar Maples. Most of my growing up years we tapped trees and made syrup. It was so fun! The time to tap them is when spring is coming and what better time to be outside and collect sap. I come from a family of 6 kids who where homeschooled. That provided much of the free labor, a great activity for kids! My parents also helped and loved the time outdoors. We used recycled goods for the most part to collect the sap (very little expense) and my dad welded together a special stove to boil the sap down in (again free except for labor which he enjoyed). I say Hurray for syrup making!
      Concerning time versus money. I enjoy making many, many things by hand. It might take me more time to make it than a factory and if I counted up how much everything cost me by $15 an hour than things would be pretty expensive indeed, but I have time. I have chosen to be a homemaker and we live of one income and so I can do what I love, take care of my kids and do “time consuming” projects.
      Great list!

    • Dee

      I think alot of people miss the meaning of this list. Even though some people think alot of these things cost alot to do themselves, ie: maple syrup making and ice cream, there are always ways to do things in small batchs and cheaply… i have seen small quart and pint ice cream balls that u put ingred. in and ice and just toss around for 20 mins to make ice cream.
      I think this is great , i am a diy person.. id rather make it than buy it. tks!!

    • Catherine

      I have a batch of apple butter cooking in my crockpot right now. It is seasoned and sweetened to my family’s liking, and it smells heavenly. You can’t buy that taste or smell in any grocery store. DIY works for me.

    • http://kids-birthday-party-ideas.squarespace.com/ party ideas

      My husband and I made the paper for my 150 wedding invitations… from cutting up the 100% linen tablecloths to dying them the right color to letterpressing the text. It wasn’t about being thrifty at all but about the shared experience. And, BTW, they were really cool too.

    • Pingback: geekman.com » 100 Things you can make yourself()

    • http://abbyweldon.blogspot.com Abby

      I would be in trouble in I made my own sauces. I go through them so fast that I would always be in the kitchen.

    • Pingback: 100 Things You Can Make Yourself « Skullbocks’s Weblog()

    • Pingback: Hanttula » 100 Things You Can Make Yourself()

    • Pingback: Lists of Things to Know how or about, or things you should be able to do. « Delusions of Adequacy()

    • Pingback: Lists of Things to Know how or about, or things you should be able to do. » Delusions of Adequacy()

    • http://jymster.org/wordpress/ Jym

      Really useful list!

    • http://blog.liedel.org Nancy

      As society “advances” and we learn to depend on other people and countries, we lose our ability to care for ourselves. Most stores only have 48 to 72 hours of supplies in them, for food.
      I have no problem with buying goods and services, however, we should also have some idea of how things are made and what goes into quality. What does it hurt to know how to make syrup? I would not do it, but I live in an area where there are too many people for enough sugar maples to grow.

      I bake my bread, crochet and know how to milk a cow. Do I have a cow? No, and we don’t plan to get one, but there may come a time that this knowledge is darn helpeful.

      This is a good list of practical links for education alone. Dogging on people who put a list like this together strikes me as more than a bit mean spirited.

    • Catherine

      I agree with Nancy that we should know how to do things, and make things. You never know when or if you might have to make do. No, I’m not being “chicken little”. But it never hurt anyone to be prepared. Besides, there is a whole lot of satisfaction in being able to say “I made it myself”.

    • Pingback: 100 Things You Can Make Yourself Website Find For Homeschoolers | Homeschool Reporter()


    • Pingback: r3tr0.net()

    • Pingback: 100 things to manufacture from Simply Thrifty | diyblog.info()

    • Jennifer

      This is just a list of stuff meant to inspire. It’s not telling you that you have to do everything. Make your own list of things that you know you would like to do….

    • http://homemakerofthe21stcentury.blogspot.com/ Homemaker of the 21st Century

      What an awesome post!! Great ideas and wonderful links :) I linked to it on my blog as well!!

    • Pingback: 45 Things You Can Learn Online for Free!()

    • Amie

      Thank you soooo much for this list! I made my own laundry soap from this list and it worked great. Not to mention all the money I saved!!!!! WOW Please Please keep posting this stuff! Especially homemade cleaners!

    • Pingback: 50+ Frugal Tips, Ideas, and Resources | Moolanomy()

    • Pingback: The List Maven Presents: The Best of b5 Lists()

    • Pingback: Why They Call Me "The List Maven"()

    • Gina Terry

      Thanks for your time and effort compiling this list, I will definitely be busy trying some of them out! I have been an avid canner for years now, making jellies and butters and applesauce, and have also been making my own laundry soap for several years, spending as much in a year as I used to in one month! Even though some items are not so thrifty, they are fun and enjoyable, and we know what we are putting into them! Thanks again for the list! =)

    • PK

      I don’t think people are trying to be obnoxious by pointing out that some of these would be a little past the time- and labor-intensive threshold for most people to manage on their own. Of course it’s worthwhile to do something yourself sometimes just to have done it, or because it’s enjoyable! But the post *is* in a blog entitled “Simply Thrifty,” and perhaps more to the point, the introduction mentions that “convenience is expensive.”

      This is *true*, don’t get me wrong, in a lot of cases. There are others where economies of scale apply or where you might eventually get to saving money but it would take a while to recoup the initial outlay. But I suspect that between the title and the reference to the expense of convenience, a lot of people were probably expecting a higher proportion of the list to be about ways to be frugal through DIY and a lower proportion to be about things that might be costly but are fun or educational or possibly higher quality when you do them for yourself.

      Anyway, it’s a fun list, and of course it’s up to each individual which ones are really worthwhile for his or her particular situation. It’s great to have them compiled like this!

    • cynthia williams

      I think this is an awesome list chockful of information, I dont know when I will get the time to do any of this but I do know I would love to spend an afternoon doing one of these projects. Thanx Deb for this list , I saved it to my favourites list, good job!!

    • Ben Grim

      Even the Amish dont make all these things.They go to the store buy them.Hey the way Russia is talking you may need to know how to do these things.Armageden is coming BE PREPARED.

    • http://binkwaffle.com Holly in OK


      I like the list and agree with several posters at the same time. I think the main point of the varying comments is that handmade does not usually equal thrifty. Knowing that I can make all of those things is intriguing for me, because I like to do crafts, cook, etc. But I do them because I enjoy them, not because most of them net any financial gain or savings for my family.
      I knit socks, for example. I buy a $15 skein of sock yarn (minimum price) and knit for what, 20 hours PER SOCK? Maybe 15? NOT cost effective, but very cool looking, creative, and a great pastime for me when watching TV with my family, waiting in the parking lot for my kids to get out of school, etc.
      I think the list is fun and inspiring to do things you haven’t done before, even if just to say you did them. (Like the bagels I so screwed up a few years ago. Or the tamales and sushi I’ve become very good at making.)
      I think, though, that seeing that your site is about being thrifty as well as the paragraph about convenience, it’s rather easy to think that you’re suggesting that these things will save us money or will best utilize our time that we are wasting right now by not doing them. I understand that’s not your point at all, but I can see it might be easy to think so and that by seeing things that way, one’s comments might be stated differently than if we all thought you were just giving us creative ideas and springboards to thinking outside the box.
      Don’t forget to add hominy to a future list! I read the Little House books growing up and have always wanted to make hominy, head cheese (ONLY to say I did it), etc. after reading them. :-)

    • Anna

      Neat list, All the comments about maple suryp made me think I better put in my two sense. Yes very time consuming but very cheap if you use downed timber for fuel and recycle canning jars for preserving. My parents have made it nearly every year I can remember. It is great fun! So much of your list is very doable and MUCH cheaper and a great thing to do with ones children!

    • Luci

      This list is great! I just hope more people will add to it. Such as the process of making Hominy. I would also like to know the process of making whole made cottage cheese. My mother made it when I was little but can’t remember all that she did. I can remember her sitting me on a chair in the kitchen and I had to shake this jar with cream in it till all the butter particles would cling to each other forming the cake of butter. ( My little arms got very tired ) but oh how I wished I had the chance to go back and do it again with my mother!!!!!! Anyhow, this list gives us a chance to learn how to do these things and to enjoy it while we are doing them. And to see what our parents went through with doing it the old-fashion way. To me it is better! I also loved the Little House on the Prairie shows but if I remember right Pa and Ma also loved some of the new and easier ways that came along. Would’nt you of just loved to had a taste of Caroline’s Berrie pies!!!!!!!!

    • Andrea Bogolub

      This site is something that we all need. Saves a lot of money and we sure need to these days.

    • http://www.cheapgoodiesplz.com alicia.

      That’s amazing.. I’m sure my husband (who would always rather make things himself) will be happy about this. Can’t wait to try the pizza!

    • http://whatwebsite Brooke

      Good job explaning it. Lovin the pictures, altough I still couldn’t be able to make anything on that list, except maybe playdoh but I don’t have the ingredients.

    • http://www.recoveringconsumer.com Recovering Consumer

      Just a note: The link for #38 Laundry Detergent is no longer valid. You may want to try http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/laundrysoap.htm instead.

    • Cora

      Love the list. The meditative aspect of creating a thing with my own hands is very satisfying, whether it’s applesauce or a Halloween costume. Sometimes it’s more expensive but there’s no compromise in the final product — I’ve made exactly what I want, not what a factory churns out for the masses. Also, the more I learn to do myself, the more resourceful I catch myself being all around.
      Also, I just discovered my next DIY project; Google “homemade marshmallows”!!!

    • anne-marie

      i’m a little disgusted that people need to be told they can make things like apple sauce, spaghetti sauce, salsa, pesto etc themselves…. does everything come out of a jar in the USA? no wonder obesity and diabetes are such a problem… still, it’s nice to see someone encouraging people to do something for themselves…

    • Pingback: The 7 Effective Habits of Highly Frugal People - Young and Frugal()

    • Pingback: Free: One Hundred Things You Can Make Yourself for Cheap!! - CoolCanucks.ca - Canada()

    • Pingback: Freebies - Page 31 - Southern Maryland Community Forums()

    • http://www.reciperewards.com Free Recipe

      You can definitely make a lot of things yourself. Most people don’t have time to make anything like no one has time to sit and eat breakfast anymore. People seem to choose convenience rather than saving money these days. But thanks for this list because it made me think how a lot of us are unable to do simple things anymore.

    • http://www.attractedactions.com career advice

      There are many things we can do to be more self sufficient and successful in life.

    • Pingback: January 5, 2010 – Tuesday – Freebies()

    • Charlotte

      Please check your link “couches”. It connects to a fairly obnoxious rambling blog called “@sshole” or something equally charming. Though somewhat entertaining and disgusting, nothing at all about how to make a couch. Unless I didn’t read far enough???

      • Barngirl

        I just tried the “Couches” link and went to the site that shows you how to build a couch with storage under the seat… maybe try again?

    • Barb H

      I look at your list and can’t believe people aren’t doing a lot of these things. I guess I do it in self defence when I look at the store shelves and see Jello already made, when apples are in season make up lots of applesauce and pear sauce and put it in the freezer. We raise our own chickens so have fresh eggs and of course the meat. Know people in the city can’t do some of the stuff but you can have a container garden.

    • Pingback: 100 Things you Can Make Yourself - Frugal Living - City-Data Forum()

    • Pingback: Get Skinny and Be Successful()

    • http://www.clicktodonate.org david

      I was looking up how to make bread pudding for my kids and came across this wonderful site.. hhmmm I think ill use homemade raisin bread for the pudding. :)

      And I will definitely be back here for some other fun projects!


    • http://Maggiepaper.com Maggie

      Cool I luv it,it’s so awesome I can’t do it though I have to do something with paper!!!!=)

    • Jeff

      I really think this is a great site, there are a lot of people who just don’t think, for those that do, take the things you make and use your talent to make a living. Quit relying on others, make something of yourself. I use my leather knowledge and make things that I sell on marketplaces like amdrm.com and do pretty well. There are lots of site but this one is by far the easiest and cost me the least, I get good exposure and real people help when I need it. Don’t just sit and wonder what to do, get off your duff and do something. Nice article, add regular everyday things to your list also.

    • Badminton Racquet

      Sports will give us happy and heathy ! It is good for us !

    • charity juliet maniquez

      …….exercise is the most important thing for you to become healthy

    • Doree Weller

      Interesting post. Thanks for doing all the legwork for me! I’m interested to try a few of these.

    • Matt Jabs

      This is Matt of diyNatural.com – thanks for the love of our homemade laundry detergent recipe – and great article!

    • FindSoundInSilence

      lets bang your head FINDSOUNDINSILENCE

    • Pingback: 34 Little Ways to Share with the World « Support Newport Harbor High School!()

    • Rusty

      My favorite is homemade Vanilla. I just posted a how-to for it too!


    • Pingback: make things from scratch | The List of Us()

    • Pingback: How to get rich using $10 | Your Business Allies()

    • Pingback: How To Build Money Tree Pot | banktoyu()

    • Pingback: How To Make Money Tree Puzzle | moneypaynow.com()

    • Ruth

      $15 for a skein of sock yarn??? Is it made of gold thread? I crocheted a blanket 82″ x 110″ for $40 by buying yarn from the eBay. There are different stores within eBay such as Knitters’ Paradise – and it’s a bargain even after paying shipping.

      A lot of these things would not be worthwhile if you were selling the stuff as you couldn’t charge enough for your time. However, if you have to sit in the parking lot, or on a commute train (in my case) or be in the room when the TV is on or whatever, you might as well get something out of that time.

      I make things myself for 2 reasons: 1) to save money and 2) to get something I otherwise couldn’t get – and 2) still has to be priced very reasonably. For example, the last summer dress I made was $7 for 3.5 yds of cotton, plus thread and power for my machine and iron. The pattern has served numerous times in different configurations.

    • http://www.thriftymommy.com Karen Weideman

      Thanks Charlotte for catching that. This post is a few years old but still, I’m not sure what happened.