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5 Things to Start Making at Home

5 Things to Start Making at Home

If you scroll down this list of 5 common items, it’s easy to imagine purchasing each one of them from a store. But if you desire a handmade lifestyle, why not take the plunge and begin experimenting with a more hands-on approach to the items you surround yourself with? Whether in your kitchen, your living space, your office or your garden, you can make many of the things you need. Here are some ideas and resources to help you on your journey.

1. Soap

With a few ingredients and a little free time, you can make a batch of homemade soap. Try oatmeal, cinnamon, homegrown herbs and essential oils to add fresh and warm scents to your creations. Your skin is an important organ—you want to know what you’re putting on it. Read Soothe Your Skin With Handmade Soap to learn how to get started.

2. Compost

It’s an awesome feeling to reduce your home’s waste load and create an amazing, rich garden amendment at the same time. Set up a compost crock on your kitchen counter, and a worm bin indoors or compost bins outdoors for your food scraps. Your outdoor compost can also be home to yard debris and spent garden plants. Read How to Make a Worm Bin and Compost Made Easy to get going on your composting adventures.

3. Cheese

Fresh, creamy mozzarella? Mild cheddar? Goat cheese with fresh herbs? All of these and more can be wonders of your own kitchen if you have a litte time and some high-quality milk. To learn how to make your own cheese, see Easy Cheesy: 4 Super-Simple Recipes.

4. Butter

Churning fresh butter isn’t just an activity of past generations. You can save money, use milk from a trusted, local dairy, and taste the difference if you make your own butter at home. If you’ve never done it, don’t worry: It’s truly a simple process. In fact, it’s just moving around milk! To learn more, see How to Make Butter at Home.

5. Brooms

Most brooms from the cleaning aisle of the store are made with different kinds of plastics—and they won’t hold up very long at home. That means you’ll likely be buying another one a few years down the road. But did you know you could make brooms (handheld brooms for little jobs or long-handled brooms for floors) at home out of simple materials? It could be a fun project to do with others, and at the end, you’ll truly have something unique and sturdy to use in your home. Learn how to make your own in How to Make a Broom.

Related: Homemade Easter Egg Dyes, Homemade Toothpaste and 25 Easy Homemade Gift Ideas

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Read more: Basics, Bed & Bath, Conscious Consumer, Conservation, Crafts & Design, Food, Home, Household Hints, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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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.


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6:54AM PDT on Mar 20, 2013

Very inspiring...fills my head with ideas. But, even if I don't follow through, it's run to read about and I can "talk a good game".

10:42AM PDT on Mar 16, 2012

Interesting ideas.

1:13PM PST on Mar 5, 2012

What's the point of trying to make butter and cheese if I have to get the milk from the grocery store? There aren't any dairies where I live--all the cows are raised for meat (and my family does buy beef locally). I agree with Ra S.: these activities sound fun enough, but they sure don't sound practical at all.

9:11PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

Thank you.

1:12PM PST on Mar 2, 2012

I tend to find that these sorts of ideas are more things to do if you find it fun, than they are practical things to do. They take a lot of time. And you have to ask yourself, what else could I be doing with that time? I suppose composting doesn't take a huge amount of time, but I've always really disliked composting. I'm glad people do it, but it has never worked out well for me.

9:17AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

I checked up on making soap,and like Jackson Z. said it sounds really tedious, not very practical..

7:14AM PST on Mar 1, 2012


8:44PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

thanks for the ideas! making a broom sounds kinda tricky though...and where do you find broomcorn?

7:59PM PST on Feb 29, 2012


5:36PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

I already enjoy making soap. I think my next prject wil be chees.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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people are talking

My is name Patricia Jeff,there are so many thing you can not keep to your self so you need to tell p…

I am kitchen overflows with bounty from our garden and eggs can be found in the henhouse…

Thanks for the info


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