Here is a listing of all our DIY projects – stuff we made ourselves – along with some of the tutorials. You are welcome to pin or repost any of these, but you must link back to this website! Disclaimer: there is no way I can guarantee your project will turn out exactly like ours. You should read through the whole article before starting any project. We all have different skill levels, patience levels and just plain horse sense levels, so please try any of these projects, but don’t blame us if yours doesn’t work out!
1. SODA CAN HEATER
This was an amazingly fun project that took a little time but works surprisingly well. I saw the idea for this a few years ago while browsing solar applications on Youtube. If you want to do more research, go to YouTube and in the search tab type in soda can heater or beer can heater. You will get quite a few entries to look at. We decided to make a hybrid of several designs. We also decided to make a smaller one because we wanted to make sure it would actually work before we committed outselves to making a bigger one. For the post on this amazing project click on: SODA CAN HEATER
2. BED WARMER/COOLER
This easy project involves some material, thread, filler (rice, barley, cherry stones, dried corn) and a little bit of time. Expertise in sewing is not a requirement here. If you can sew a straight line – you are good to go! This would make a fun project for a beginning sewer to make for gifts or for a 4-H project. Now I don’t need an electric blanket in the winter, and my bed in the summer is cooler!
For the tutorial, click DIY BED WARMER/COOLER
3. WATER TOWER
Proper water pressure can make life much more enjoyable – and easier! When you are off grid, it can be essential. Did you know that most water timers won’t run on water pressure of less than 10 pounds? Here is a post on how Ray built our water storage tower, which gave us an extra 10 pounds of water pressure. Our showers are much more satisfying now! To see this post, CLICK HERE
One thing I have always wanted to try making is soap. I love going to Farmer’s Markets or Craft Fairs and smelling all of the wonderfully handcrafted soaps. Then I buy way too many. 😀 When I decided to jump in with both feet, I gathered all of the equipment I needed and then rendered my own lard and tallow. The only thing missing was the soap mold. I found quite a few soap molds to buy online – ones made from plastic, wood and even silicone. My local craft store also had a vew high priced versions. The only problem was they were all one size or another, but not adjustable sizes! I would have to buy several molds! The round soap mold is two feet long and makes up to about a 7 pound loaf of soap (that’s a lotta soap!). The square or rectangle soap mold that my husband made for me can make anywhere from 1 pound (or less if I want it to) to about 6 pounds of soap. Maybe more if it was filled to the brim. So, enjoy making your own soap mold – and then make your own soap! It’s fun! To read about making the adjustable soap molds, click HERE. To read about rendering your own lard, click HERE. For rendering tallow, click HERE. To see the first soap I made, click HERE
5. OFF GRID SOLAR POWERED FREEZER
Living off grid but having all the advantages of modern convenience can take a bit of know-how, not to mention some specialized equipment. While living in our travel trailer as we build our new home, we needed a larger freezer for food storage. In this post you will read how we set up a solar system large enough to power a 5.1 cubic foot chest freezer for food storage. Read about it HERE!