12 Things You Can Do Yourself

fixing the car

There are as many things you can build, fix, or make as there are people to think them up – especially those that will make other things easier or save you money.  Grandma and I don’t have space to list them all, so we’ll run down our 12 favorites.


Workbench:  Everybody needs a workbench in the garage, if only to do those projects that are too dirty to do on the kitchen table and stay married at the same time.  I picked my favorite from the list linked here.

Storage:  I’m debating between french cleat storage for my tools or pegboard.  I have a LOT of pegboard hooks, so it would be very easy to do pegboard again.  I think I might prefer the options that custom-built tool hangers would provide, though.  There are a lot of great ideas on this page.

Solar panel: Solar panels are much easier to build than you might think, and they’re much cheaper to build than buy.  Check out my favorite guide here.

Outdoor lounge (adirondack) chairs:  I’ll be building these soon, as the nights are getting cool and we need somewhere to sit around the fire pit.


Clothing:  It doesn’t take ninja skills with a sewing machine to fix a button or mend a split seam.  You can fix a lot of clothing issues quickly with a minimum of equipment – sometimes just a needle and thread.

Change your own oil:  this can be one of the biggest money savers in your household.  All it takes is a socket from this set, an oil filter wrench, and something to catch the old oil in.  The Family Handyman has great step-by-step instructions.

Sharpen lawnmower blades: a file, angle grinder, or a drill-mounted grinding stone are the only real tools needed.  It’s important to check that the blade is balanced, too.  Of course, the file will take a lot longer than the other two, but they all work!  Check out the step-by-step instructions at the Family Handyman.

Scratches in wood:  Sometimes these can be very easy to repair.  This video shows a few different ways to take care of these problems.


Applesauce: Since it’s apple season around here, I couldn’t help picking up a peck of apples.  Applesauce is surprisingly easy to make, and it’s delicious, too.  It’s a really good addition/substitution when baking!

Hummus: We love to eat hummus as a snack with crackers, carrots, celery, or just fingers.  After buying it so often, we decided to look into how we could make it.  It’s delicious!

Weed killer:  I prefer to use organic products and processes, particularly around my garden.  This weed killer works surprisingly well.  Be careful, though.  It doesn’t discriminate between weeds and plants you want to keep.

Glass cleaner: This window cleaner recipe is almost exactly the same as my mother-in-law’s.  It’s at least as good as store-bought at a fraction of the price.  The best part, to me, is that it’s made with things we already have around the house.

There are thousands more things we can do for ourselves – check back often for additions!