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5 MORE Things to Start Making at Home

5 MORE Things to Start Making at Home

I recently posted the article 5 Things to Start Making at Home (which included resources to help you make handsoap, compost, brooms, butter and cheese). Here are even more ideas to help you get closer to a handmade lifestyle. Whether in your kitchen, your living space, your office or your garden, you can make many of the things you need—and have a lot of fun at the same time!

1. Laundry Soap

I’ve made my own laundry soap multiple times, and the first time I was shocked at how simple it was and how well the homemade soap worked. I thought, Why isn’t everyone doing this? All you need is a big bucket, water, bar soap (I use bar soap slivers leftover from the soap dish), borax and washing soda. (You can also use a couple of drops of essential oil, but that’s optional.) For instructions on preparing the ingredients, see Happiness Is Making Your Own Laundry Detergent. (Bonus: You’ll save a lot of money by making laundry soap at home.)

2. Candles

The typical candles you can buy from the store are made with petroleum byproducts, and they emit some yucky stuff into the air when you burn them. One nice alternative is beeswax candles. Making beeswax candles is a fun and easy project, and the candles are perfect for your own home or to give away as gifts in any season. Beeswax is the part of honeycombs that can be melted down, filtered and used for making candles. For instructions on making beeswax candles with your favorite scents, see Making Beeswax Candles with Essential Oils.

3. Canned Food

Canning in-season fruits and vegetables is rewarding in many ways: You’ll be eating more nutritious foods, you can support local growers by purchasing produce from them in bulk during peak growing season, you’ll avoid toxic BPA found in many store-bought canned foods, and you’ll have a well-stocked pantry full of delicious goodies year-round. Some find home canning intimidating, but after you learn the basics, it’s really quite simple. Here is a guide to the two types of canning: Waterbath Canning and Pressure Canning: Explained. You can also find many helpful canning tips and recipes in the free How to Can app.

4. Paper

Did you know that you can make homemade paper largely using scraps from your waste and recycling bin? I love the look and feel of homemade paper—my favorite type is a thick paper with small pieces of dried leaves and/or flower petals in it. Consider trying this project with friends or family. Some useful how-to information can be found in How to Make Homemade Paper.

5. Bread

The smell of fresh-baked bread fills the whole house, and you bite into a piece of warm, soft bread right out of the oven … now that’s heaven! Making bread at home will save you money, and you’ll have total control over the ingredients (have you ever noticed how long the ingredients lists are on some store-bought breads?). That means you can use organic flour if you choose, add healthy seeds and nuts, and experiment with all different types of breads. For some great recipes and guides on getting started, check out Homemade Bread: Truly Easy and Delicious and 5 Minutes a Day for Fresh-Baked Bread.

Good luck with your hands-on projects!

Photo from Fotolia

Related: 5 Things to Start Making at Home, Homemade Toothpaste and 25 Easy Homemade Gift Ideas

Read more: Bed & Bath, Conscious Consumer, Crafts & Design, Crafts & Hobbies, Food, Home, Non-Toxic Cleaning, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Shelley Stonebrook

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in organic gardening, small-scale, local food production, waste reduction, food preservation and cooking. In her spare time, she posts in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.

371 comments

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8:22PM PDT on Oct 10, 2012

3 out of 5 isn't bad--4 really, as I don't use candles anyway.

8:25AM PDT on Jul 1, 2012

thanks for the tips and for the laundry detergent recipe.

4:43PM PDT on Mar 16, 2012

5 MORE Things to Start Making at Home

A Tree is Nice
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Tree_is_Nice

The Descendants
http://www.foxsearchlight.com/thedescendants/

10:42AM PDT on Mar 16, 2012

Interesting ideas.

10:07AM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

Thanks

9:38AM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

Wish I had the time but I appreciate people who do these things. Thank you for the article.

12:11PM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

Beeswax candles are great :) But maintaining a hive can be very difficult :/

1:52PM PST on Mar 9, 2012

good info, thank you.

1:33PM PST on Mar 7, 2012

This got me to thinking about how my friend used to make paper out of dryer lint. Here is a link to a tutorial on how to do it. The author is Ashley Amber.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Paper-Out-Of-Lint/

9:14AM PST on Mar 7, 2012

I love doing that can of stuff!!!

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