5 Things You Can Repurpose Into Homestead 'Mojo'

Repurposing building materials is at the heart of sustainability and mojo is what you build with. I’ve tried many ideas at my homestead and here’s the tips I’ve found are the most affordable, brings that homestead mojo to work for you, and instead of filling up the landfill you’re helping save the planet.

Know Your DIY Limits: Safety on the Homestead

Not everyone who has the time and inclination for DIY projects should necessarily engage in such endeavors on every level. Some completed self-done projects have function and form, some exhibit neither, and some are outright dangerous. Knowing your limits and when to trade your skills and products for those of others is a fundamental safety issue on a homestead. Sustainability, stewardship, and homesteading are much more than DIY.

5 Easy Options for Restoring Old Furniture

In general terms, refinishing refers to the act of repairing or reapplying a wood finishing coat on a furniture object. Refinishing can be applied to a variety of surfaces or materials, including metal, plastic, wood, glass with the help of varnish, lacquer, paint or wood finish. Here are five options for refinishing furniture in your home.

The Many Benefits of Refinishing Old Furniture

In context of furniture, “refinishing” refers to applying a protective coating to a furniture item that has lost its original or previous protective layer. A typical furniture refinishing involves sanding, staining, sealing, and application of protective layers. Here are five reasons to take on the task.

Homemade Soap for Laundry and Gifts

I used to think of soap-making as one of those cool things I’d love to try someday, but for a long time it seemed too complex and intimidating. Then, one day it so happened that I had all the necessary ingredients – namely, a box of lye crystals and a bottle of non-food-grade oil I had absolutely nothing else to do with. I took a deep breath and dove in. Even a beginner soap-maker can produce simple, multi-purpose, natural soap at home.

5 Easy Ways to Recycle Wooden Pallets

Not only is recycling your used wooden pallets helpful for the planet, but it can help you stay young in brain and body by encouraging you to learn new skills. You can also have great fun as a family working on wooden pallet recycling ideas.

Turn Unreturnable Bulk Bags into Potato Planters

When I first started building my garden and raised beds, I ordered several bulk bags of garden loam and bark mulch. The bags are made of a sturdy, heavy-duty fabric, and I didn’t want to just throw them away, so I had to give some thought as to how I could use them. I decided to recycle the bulk bags into flexible raised beds in which I could grow potatoes and carrots. What this gave me were three extra raised beds with very little effort.

Woodworking Arborist Salvages Urban Trees

Working as an arborist in Colorado, Ryan Baldwin saw an opportunity to salvage city trees destined for the dump into usable lumber for woodworking projects.

How to Stretch a Hat using an Inflatable Ball

Hats are useful to keep damaging UV rays away from sensitive head and neck areas. They protect kids from the sun and wind as they play. But what if your favorite hat is just too small? Here is useful hack for stretching a hat using an inflatable ball.

How to Install a Top-Locking Chimney Damper (with Video)

Installing a Lock Top Chimney Damper is a common project among do-it-yourself homeowners. Many times the fireplace throat damper rusts apart and is non-functional, allowing heat and air from your home to escape through the chimney and vice versa. In today's chimney industry, we have top-locking chimney dampers that are easy to install, made of stainless steel, and completely seal a chimney flue when not in use.

Make A DIY Painted Coffee Mug

If you’re looking for a special, one-of-a-kind gift for Father’s Day, this hand-painted coffee mug might be the DIY project idea for you.

World's Best DIY Bike Cargo Trailer

We recently built a fabulous bike trailer that smoothly hauls loads of up to 300 pounds. All told, we spent about 10 hours putting it all together.

Handbag Reboot: 3 Ways to Upcycle Old Purses

Rather than throw out old handbags, ditch the landfill and upcycle them instead. Here are three unique ways to transform your well-loved bags into useful additions to your home.

DIY Outdoor Patios: What You Need to Know

Why pay for someone to come and install an outdoor patio when you could do it yourself? Outdoor patios are perfect for people who love to entertain. They don’t require a lot of maintenance and they can be completed within a single weekend. This post covers sizing, siting, and building materials.

Solar Backyard Chicken-Coop Building Plans

A community of smaller portable chicken coops are better than one, big, stationary one. Download building plans for a solar heated design that’s also great in hot climates.

DIY Ceramic Water Filter Kits, Revisited

DIY water filter kits allow just about anyone to create potable water from natural, fresh water sources such as ponds and streams. Simple, off-grid water systems using these kits can negate the expense and effort of packing in water and having lots of plastic bottles to recycle or dispose of.

DIY Decorative Tray

Learn how to make your own decorative tray using repurposed materials!

Building a Wood-Fired Pizza Oven for Full-Barn Farms

Have you ever thought about building your own Wood Fired Pizza Oven? Tim Rohrer with Full Barn Farms, shares how they went about building a Wood Fired Pizza oven for personal and agritourism use.

A Sweet Season Flows: How to Tap Maple Trees and Make Syrup on a Wood-Burning Stove

Though sap flow occurs in a wide variety of trees, there is one variety that produces a sap sweeter than them all: The Sugar Maple. For a six-week window of time before the break of spring, the sugar maple flows. The sap can be tapped, and then boiled down on a wood burning stove at home to make golden, luscious homemade maple syrup.

How to Build a Bluebird House

Provide nearby bluebirds with a winter haven by learning how to build a bluebird house out of hollow logs.

Making Soap: Yes You Can!

Soap making is fairly easy and rewarding, especially when you make a soap that’s better than anything you can buy!

Creating Catnip Mousies with Dried Herbs

Learn how to create a simple catnip mouse toy for your cats. This project is a great one for children and other beginning sewers, or someone with a lot of cats on their gift list.

Homemade Garden Shed

If you have a garden, then you have garden tools and supplies and you need a place to put them. Carefully evaluate what you have and what kind of space you need to store them. That allows you to choose (if you are buying) or to build a garden shed special to you.

DIY Ring Holder Jewelry Dish

Welcome to the world of repurposing — taking items and giving new life as gifts, home décor, and accessories that you and your friends will love. Follow along the four easy steps to make your own eco-inspired ring holder.

How to Build a Mason Bee Hotel

With many pollinators at risk, or on the decline, it is important to protect them in any way that we can. Mason Bees are great pollinators and building them a home to live in is easy!

Nail-Polish Marbling

Upcycle old nail polish by using it in a DIY project: marbling! This craft can be used to brighten up a ton of items, from a plain coffee mug to a decorative cardboard box.

How to Recycle Your Used Motor Oil

Changing your motor oil is important to the health of your car. But recycling that used oil in the proper way is crucial to keeping the earth clean. Here are the easy and proper ways to recycle motor oil.

DIY Medal Key Chain and Magnets

Old trophies and medals are special reminders of triumphs in our past, but they can quickly pile up and become a large collection. Instead of discarding old medals, why not turn them into a keepsake that is both functional and practical?

DIY French Press Terrarium

This unique terrarium is a great way to repurpose a French press that has seen better days. Small terrarium plants or mosses are perfect for this tiny terrarium.

Cork the Caulk

Did you know that every caulking tube comes with a cork? Save money by sealing your caulking between projects with this simple hack.

Make Light Fixtures from Old Chicken Feeders

Even with minimal building capability, you can learn how to make light fixtures from old metal chicken feeders. The feeders may be hard to come by, but if you know someone that has been in the commercial chicken-raising business, then you can likely find some in their used feeder pile. The total cost per light was $19.32.

How to Make a Mini Terrarium from an Incandescent Light Bulb

As more people choose to reduce their energy consumption and buy newer, energy-saving light bulbs, more incandescents are disposed of. Divert incandescent light bulb waste by hosting a terrarium-making workshop, where students can up-cycle their incandescents into something new: mini terrariums! This post will show you how.

Making Your Own Tools

Forging metal means a lot of time standing over the fire, holding the metal – with tongs, obviously – in just the right place to get the proper amount of heat, and withdrawing it at just the right moment. Too much heat and it sparks and disintegrates, too little and no amount of hammering can budge it. Movie blacksmiths look like bodybuilders slamming white-hot metal with sledgehammers; the reality involves a lot more frantic and often delicate tapping, as the smith has only a few seconds to make the right changes before it cools again.

Get Power from ‘Dead’ Batteries by Building a ‘Watt Wringer’

When your electronics say “low battery,” it means just that: The batteries are low but not dead. The energy that remains in seemingly dead batteries can be used in this simple night light project that you can build at home in about one hour. Your new night light will shine for months and is reusable for years, powered by “dead” batteries.

DIY Teacup Cactus Planter

A tiny teacup and an even tinier cactus make an adorable planter that’s easy to assemble. Small children’s toys, pebbles and other little decorative items add a whimsical touch.

Make Homemade Pillows with Repurposed Fabric

Repurposed pillow covers are an easy way to wake up your stale sofa and chairs, not to mention they offer a second life to household items that normally would have ended up in a dumpster. Here’s how to repurpose your castoff fabrics into fun, fresh pillow and cushion covers.

How to Make a Roman Shade by Recycling Clothes

These step-by-step instructions will show you how to make a Roman shade to fit any window in your home. You can save lots of money by recycling clothes for the fabric of your custom DIY Roman shade.

DIY Compost Bin Plans

Compost bins don't have to be unsightly or difficult to build. Try these DIY compost bin plans for a structure that looks great while it produces compost for your garden.

How to Make a Soil Sifter

Learn how to make a soil sifter that takes the weight off your back with these plans for a wheeled sifting box in a frame.

Multi-Purpose Garden Trellis Plans

Use these garden trellis plans to build a clothesline trellis that serves double duty, or skip the clothesline and use your trellis to shade a comfortable garden bench.

Repurposed Clementine Crate

Repurpose an empty wooden clementine crate into a stylish organizer. All you need is some paint, papers to collage with and glue!

DIY Plant Labels

You can recycle the plastic stakes that lawn-maintenance companies leave in customers’ yards by turning them into simple, DIY plant labels.

Carpet-Sample Rug

Turn a collection of carpet-sample pieces into an eclectic rug for your kitchen or bathroom! This resourceful DIY project can be made with just four materials - some of which may already be in your home.

How to Build a Guitar from a Wood Pallet, Part 3: Sound Chambers

Ah, the fun begins for building a wood pallet guitar. In this post, we apply the following building steps: planning material, matching the right tools to the wood, shielding cavities, and basic electric guitar electronics assembly and testing.

DIY Framed Floral Arrangement

This framed floral arrangement made with dried flowers and corsages is a lovely and sentimental art piece. It can be made with flowers saved and preserved from many occasions, or from this year’s Valentine’s Day flowers.

How to Build a Guitar from a Wood Pallet, Part 1: Materials List

This post is an overview of my wood pallet guitar. It explains the material sources, how they were obtained and preparation involved with little or no budget, along with the story of my life. Also, you’ll learn the benefits of recycling, repurposing, and reclaiming.

Shaking Off a DIY Fail

Homegrown.org's Amanda Hoover shakes off a DIY fail — an attempt at homemade natural food coloring — and holds her head high.

Homemade Cat Toys

It's important to keep indoor cats occupied to help them live long, healthy and happy lives. These homemade toys will do just the trick! The supplies are low cost and/or can be made by re-purposing items you already have at home.

DIY Holiday Card and Mail Holder

This simple DIY project is a great way to display this seasons' holiday greetings, or to keep your mail organized. The materials are free or low-cost, depending on what’s in your recycling bin and craft or junk drawer!

DIY Metal Tray Magnet Board with Button Magnets

This simple DIY project is a quick and easy way to repurpose a metal tray into a pretty place to display photos, notes, even holiday cards. The supplies needed may be found in your home or bought inexpensively at a local craft/home improvement store or found at a thrift shop.

Spoon Carving from Green Wood

Spoon carving is good practice for hatchet and knife skills, and a spoon is a beautiful sculpture that feeds more than one hunger!

Laying Salvaged Tiles

A simple technique for using salvaged tiles to make beautiful floors.

Adirondack Chair Plans

These Adirondack chair plans create the perfect patio furniture to relax in on a cool day or warm night.

How to Knit: 2 Cast On Methods

Before beginning knitting you need to know how to put stitches on your needles. Try these two cast on methods to get started.

DIY Shutters

Make these DIY shutters to give your home a fresh, rustic look.

How to Use a Drum Carder in Three Steps

Discover how to use a drum carder, which allows you to make larger batts than are possible using hand carders and can process a larger amount of fiber quickly.

Drop Spindle Spinning Made Easy

If you want to make handspun yarn, you don’t have to use a spinning wheel. Drop spindle spinning is easy to learn, portable and less expensive when you’re starting out.

Six Steps to Hand Carding Wool

Learning how to use hand carders or how to use a drum carder can expand the types of yarn you can spin by giving you more control over the fiber preparation.

How to Find and Fix a Pond Leak

If your pond keeps dropping its water level, you might have a pond leak. Here are some steps to find where it's going and how to find the leaking area to repair.

The Purr-fect Homemade Cat Bed

Are you wondering what to do with old sweaters? Keep your animal friends comfortable by making this homemade cat bed out of a sweater and cotton scraps.

DIY: How to Alter a Pattern

Whether you need to lengthen or shorten a garment, these DIY instructions will teach you how to alter a pattern.

Chimney Sweeps vs DIY

Should you do it yourself or hire a chimney sweep to clean your chimney?

A Short History of Woven Boats

Cultures around the world wove boats: Tibetans floated in Ku-Drus of woven wood and yak skin, Eskimos lashed sealskin around their long umiaks, Arabs traversed the Tigris and Euphrates in quffahs, and the Celts of the British Isles — Irish, Scots and Welsh — had an amazing variety of coracles for fresh waters and curraghs for the sea.

The Sweetest Ant Poison

A MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader in Texas sprinkles dry molasses on fire anthills to kill pesky (and painful!) fire ants.

How to Mix Concrete

This guide on how to mix concrete places emphasis on finding the proper consistency for your mixture.

Non-Toxic Herbal Insect Repellent Spray

It’s that time of year when the flying, buzzing, blood-sucking insects are at their peak annoyance, and, if you want to comfortably enjoy the great outdoors, you’ll need to apply some sort of bug repellent to your body. Try this non-toxic, herbal remedy that Stephanie Tourles has for you!

Find Sustainably Harvested Wood

If you’re getting ready to build a home or begin a woodworking project, consider building with sustainable wood products. With help from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council databases, you can locate sustainably harvested wood.

Tornado Survival Tips

With 1/3 of the population of the US under a tornado watch today, these tornado facts, myths, and survival tips could save a lot of lives!

Stain Your Deck So It Lasts

Download Steve Maxwell’s free list of tested and approved deck stains that have worked well in field tests.

Guide to Do-It-Yourself Projects

This guide to clever DIY plans offers everything from outdoor furniture to solar appliances, with over 40 tried-and-tested do-it-yourself projects and illustrated building plans for you to choose from.

How to Find Your Own Clay and Make Your First Sustainable Pottery Project

People around the world have used sustainable pottery for thousands of years to store and serve food, hold water, boil tea, preserve documents (in the case of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls) and for many other purposes. Cups, bowls, pots, vases, plates, saucers, butter dishes, even a “pot-within-a-pot” used for refrigeration in parts of Africa, are all traditional pottery products. This wide, purposeful use of pottery supported the local agrarian community, which is what Cottage Crafted heartily encourages one specific use for pottery is fermentation crockery. Handmade pottery crocks are perfect for making sauerkraut or kimchi. Fermentation is not only a great way to keep your harvest, it also exponentially increases its nutritional value.

A Hand-Dug Backyard Pond

A backyard pond creates both a beautiful oasis and a convenient spot to store rainwater.

Try a Wood Pallet Project

A couple in Vermont has created potting sheds, a greenhouse and more from repurposed wood pallets.

Making Beeswax Candles

From cleaning raw beeswax to enjoying the final product, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will take you step by step through the process of making beeswax candles.

Not Just for Easter: Homestead Basketry

Many traditional crafts require substantial training, infrastructure, and investment of money and time. Basketry, however, requires only a few days of training to learn basic techniques, and can use materials that be harvested naturally from almost every biome on Earth. It can be practiced around a modern working schedule, and can beautiful, durable and sustainable tools and furnishings, including animal traps, armor, beehives, boats, cages, chairs, chicken coops, coffins, fences, hand tools, hats, huts, sheds, stables, wagons, walls, and weirs.

Handmade Gifts That Say 'I Love You'

Forego chocolate and roses this Valentine’s Day and instead choose homemade gifts, such as these ideas submitted by our Facebook friends.

How to Make Padded Hangers

Use leftover yarn, ribbon or crocheting to upgrade cheap plastic clothes hangers into padded clothes hangers that will keep your garments in place.

A Simple Homemade Lap Quilt

A fun, but informative tutorial on making your own unique lap quilt, from the first-hand experience of a novice quilter. A perfect single day project and a great gift idea!

DIY Homemade Toys: Tug Boat

Making homemade toys can bring simple joy to your family. Try these DIY steps to make a tug boat for the bathtub.

Preserving Vitamins Through the Lean Months

People have found many techniques for preserving vitamins in winter, which still work today. One of the most basic involves fooling plants, as it were, into thinking they are not dead yet.

Ginger Beer Recipe Remix

Who knew that making a soda so delicious was so darn easy?! This office experiment is our most rewarding yet. I mean, Marlin is cool with his aquaponic system and all, but I definitely don’t want to drink fish water. (See aquaponic blog.) Our ginger beer is so refreshing, surprisingly effervescent and just plain awesome! So you’d like to know how to make it yourself, right? Well, I will gladly share the steps and recipe with you.

Office Trials - Aquaponic System

Join the FAIR staff and our (current) fish, Marlin as we dive into office aquaponics. We'll keep a log of our progress with the hope that others can learn from our experiences. We're also excited to use our office-grown wheatgrass!

Solar-Powered Tractor

This solar-powered tractor design works well for small farms and homesteads.

DIY Garden Lights

These DIY garden lights reuse plastic bottles and provide soft, natural lighting for evenings spent outdoors.

DIY Whiskey Barrel Chairs

You can make these outdoor chairs for less than $80 by recycling a whiskey barrel and using a few other supplies from your workshop.

DIY: How to Make Moccasins

Craft and don a coonskin cap like the pioneering greats Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett with this instructional guide.

DIY Coonskin Cap

Craft and don a coonskin cap like the pioneering greats Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett with this instructional guide.

Nontoxic Wood Stain

Make natural wood stains from vegetable juices to create subtle, eco-friendly colors.

Homemade Broadfork

Learn how to make a homemade broadfork using coil spring harrow tines and some hollow piping. Your new garden tool will make quick work of loosening the soil in your raised beds.

New Uses for Old T-Shirts

Drawers overflowing? Drowning in a sea of more T-shirts than you can wear? Here are two quick and easy ways to get those used Ts back in heavy rotation.

How to Tie a Bandana

Bandanas can be used in varied ways — from sweat bands to gift wrapping. In this video presentation, learn how to tie a bandana for several simple uses.

Do It Yourself With the Wiser Living Video Series, Vol. 1

MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine comes to life in the recently released Wiser Living Video Series. Volume One of the Series features some of our most popular workshops from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIRS taught by members of the editorial team and expert community. Become more self-reliant in and around your home by tackling 19 projects ranging from keeping backyard chickens to making tinctures.

How to Cut a Tenon

Learn how to cut a tenon and complete your mortise and tenon joint for your next furniture-making project.

Wet Felting with Wool Scraps

Learn how to easily wet felt wool using nothing more than wool scraps. It's so easy a two-year old can do it!

Build a Rainwater Collection System

Save the rain for a sunny day with this homemade rainwater collection system. Using recycled water containers and storing up to 275 gallons, this setup is five times bigger than the typical rain barrel.

Make Your Own Fire Pit Using Concrete Tree Rings

This low-cost, easy-to-assemble fire pit from Instructables is made with concrete tree rings and rocks. Just add a grill and you've got the perfect backyard hangout, all for around $50.

Build Your Own Yurt Using Papercrete

Papercrete – concrete made with paper – recycles household trash into a durable material that's perfect for heavy-duty DIY projects.

Wood Pallet Project Ideas

Wood shipping pallets are often free for the salvaging, and these humble platforms can be repurposed as sturdy furniture, distinctive décor, and in other ways both functional and eye-catching.

DIY Finance: Financing Our Own Foodsheds

Around the country, and especially in North Carolina, small farmers and local food business owners are finding folks in their communities that want to step in where conventional financiers will not, and make direct, peer-to-peer loans for these kinds of projects.

Naturally Cool Cob Playhouse

If you're searching for kids' playhouse plans, look no further — this whimsical cob building provides an inexpensive child's oasis with a natural cooling system.

Soda Can Gift Tags Tutorial

Learn how to make creative, impactful, and (surprisingly) classy DIY gift tags from soda cans and thumbtacks.

DIY Patio Furniture Made From Scrap Iron

Looking for a great home metalworking project? Follow these DIY patio furniture instructions to build scrap-metal furniture for your patio.   

Relearning to Sew On Treadle Sewing Machine

On our journey to self-reliance, my husband, Darren, and I have been gathering human-powered tools when we can find them. It’s surprising and sad how quickly hand- and foot-powered tools were junked when electricity became available. From 1850 to 1890, more than 100 apple-pealing devices were patented. Then none, except those running on electric power. And so it goes with thousands of other nifty human-powered appliances.

Aquaponics: The Basics

A general description of how aquaponics works and an easy DIY aquaponic set up.

Portable Sawmill Options: Bandsaw and Chainsaw Mills

If you often find yourself in need of lumber for various homestead projects, consider a small, portable sawmill to cut your own lumber. Portable milling equipment makes it possible for you to create dimensioned lumber for all kinds of DIY projects. The videos below show the versatility of portable sawmills in action. You will also discover tips to assist with assembly.

Not Your Ordinary Potato Stamp

The traditional potato stamp gets a makeover in this tutorial over how to use a spud to make a work of art (and gratitude).

DIY Bicycle Turn Signals

Improve your nighttime cycling safety with these do-it-yourself bicycle turn signals.

Report on the International Builders' Show

The International Builders’ Show featured new residential construction and remodeling products such as fiberglass entry doors, retrofitting, bomb shelters and more.

How to Make Handmade Envelopes

Learn how to make a handmade envelope using upcycled paper and vintage maps with these step-by-step instructions.

Sew Your Own Dog Pack

If none of the commercially available dog packs strikes your fancy (or if they're too expensive), try putting together your own using the pattern and directions provided here.

How to Build a Winter Shelter

Learn how to survive blizzard conditions by crafting a winter shelter out of snow, space blankets, fallen branches, cave openings and more.

Dipping Beeswax Candles

We dipped candles from our hive's beeswax to celebrate winter. Candlemaking is a nice seasonal craft. Here’s how we did it, plus some tips to get you started.

Build a Picnic Table from Five Easy Pieces

This basic picnic table design calls for five cutting patterns only, making it low-cost and easy to build. Originally published as "Five Easy Pieces" in the July/August 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Make a European-Style Hay Rake

It might look primitive, but a European hay rake is well-suited to its purpose. Here's how to make your own.

How to Make a Fruit Picker

Follow these easy instructions explaining how to make a fruit picker, and you'll never be tormented by out-of-reach fruit again.

Choose The Right Fasteners To Make Your Roofing Last

When I designed my wilderness cabin back in 2009, I knew I wanted to go the extra mile to achieve beauty, and that included an attractive roof. If you’re interested in creating a roof structure that’s well insulated, pleasing to

Make a DIY Necklace

Practical Jewelry-Making Techniques: Problem Solving (Firefly Books Ltd, 2012) by Stephen O’Keeffe offers DIY instruction on how beginning jewelry-makers can use simplified methods to create ornate pieces without compromising quality or presentation. Learn how to tie the right knot in order to secure your jewelry creations in this excerpt taken from the book’s chapter entitled, “The Slipknot Necklace.” 

Wood Stove Restoration

You might have to make some parts yourself, but a wod stove restoration project can pretty up that old iron firebox and extend its useful life.

Making Sand Toys

Now that your backyard is equipped with a sandbox or sand pit, make it complete with these rugged wooden sand toys.

Recycle Shirts Into Pillow Covers

Reuse old shirts from the closet easily when you recycle shirts into pillow covers. Includes instructions on how to construct shirt pillow covers.

Painting With Veggies

Use veggies, fruits and natural items as stamps to make unique wrapping paper. 

‘Storage Wars’ Shows Repurposing Hard Core

Never in a million years would I think a show about storage auctions could be so amazing, edgy and really bringing going green to the masses.Yet, it made sense one day while watching the show.

How to Make a Silk Screen

You need materials and some tools, but otherwise learning how to make a silk screen is fairly simple.

End of Summer Intensive Salt Scrub

Use Epsom salt, lemon, aloe vera and other simple ingredients to clean up your kids when they have stubborn, sticky summer grime.

Fixing Home Foundations

Buck Purlin shares some basic advice on fixing home foundations, including foundation problems to watch for, finding repairs the homeowner can make, when to call in a professional and foundation tools for repairs.

A Portable Compressor

With a simple modification your stationary air compressor can become a portable compressor.

Modular, Prefab, and Compact Green Homes and Structures

A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.

How to Keep Your Home Clutter Free

We’ve been living in the little house for nine months and one of the things I’ve noticed is this: If I don’t pick up my stuff the house looks like a bomb went off. I don’t have a lot of stuff, but it’s still easy to create clutter piles with my limit

Basic Gun Care

If you're own any type of firearm, the following basic gun care practices are essential to keeping it in good working order.

Soap-Making for the Beginner Part III - Giving Lard a Try

Have you ever considered using lard to make soap? It is easy to locate, inexpensive, and has a long history as a soap-making staple. This recipe adds a few extras to improve the conditioning qualities of traditional lard soap.

Upgrade a Gravel Pathway

Let’s put water back into the soil where it belongs. Permeable or porous surfaces, like a gravel path or patio, allow rainfall and irrigation to percolate into the ground rather than spill into the street.

Painting a Beehive

James discusses exactly how to paint a beehive. Sometimes it can be a fiddly job but using an array of stepladders and poles it can be pretty simple

Easy Sand Candles

Celebrate all things beachy by making sand candles! Using paraffin, crayons and sand you can make a beautiful sand candle to commemorate a trip to the shore.

Refinishing Wood Stairs

Steve explains the basics of refinishing wooden stairs, including an easily renewable finishing strategy.

Make a Scarecrow Doll From Cornhusks

Nancy Bubel continues her introduction to crafting homemade cornhusk dolls using the same basic methods to craft a scarecrow doll.

Stained Glass Soap Circles

Here are instructions for making a quick and easy batch of stained glass soap. Once you get the basics down you can make all sorts of unusual and beautiful embedded soap to give as gifts or enjoy for yourself.

15-Minute Mini May Baskets

Make a cute, no-sew May Day basket using felt. Embellish it with buttons, beads and trim and it is ready to be delivered. Fill it with flowers and candy and you can hang it on a neighbor's doorknob like people did a century ago.

Dyeing Yarn With Tang and Jell-O

You can use items you find in your pantry like powdered drink mix, Jell-O and food coloring to make a beautiful dyed skein of yarn.

Three Easy Easter Basket Crafts

Here are three easy Easter basket items for you to make. Children can act as helpers, or you can surprise them. Make rainbow crayons, mini soaps and bath bombs.

Foolproof Reverse-Cast Stepping Stones

This very simple indirect stepping stone technique allows you to make multiple stepping stones that will be beautiful and long lasting. It is good for individual stones and for large group projects involving all ages.

Quality Products for Home, Garden and Workshop

Here are some quality product recommendations from MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors and readers for a food dehydrator, rotary clothesline, woodshop tool, charcoal grill and a treadle sewing machine.

Soap Making for the Beginner, Part II

Part II of a tutorial on how to make cold-process soap. The directions are intended for the absolute beginner and use easy-to-locate materials.

Soap Making for the Beginner, Part I

Part I of a two-part tutorial on how to make soap for the absolute beginner. Readers will assemble materials and prepare the mold this week in anticipation of combining the ingredients to make a batch of cold-process soap.

Recycled Map Crafts

Use old maps to wallpaper a room, shade a window, create a scrapbook, and other useful household crafts.

Best way to sharpen an axe?

Summing up the past week with a few highlights that help to illustrate how we've been getting along in the ending days of the 2012 winter season.

Children's Bedtime Tea

How to quickly and easily make a soothing herbal tea blend for children, plus bags and boxes to hold it.

A Smart Way to Stay Sharp

Diamond sharpening stones make the work of sharpening chisels, plane blades and other edge tools go quickly and easily.

Transformation Tuesday: Trash Turned Giftwrap

Forget the time and money that goes into conventional giftwrap. Use these inspirational ideas to wrap lovely gifts with materials otherwise bound for the recycling bin.

Handmade Gifts From the Heart

Try these easy and unique homemade gifts--from your kitchen and from nature--for your loved ones this year.

DIY Cold Frame Plans

Use these plans, complete with a diagram and cutting list to build your own cold frame and extend your growing season.

Make an Herbal Tincture

Learn how to make an herbal tincture with The Herb Companion team at the Mother Earth News Fair.

Beautiful, Rustic Dog Fence

This rustic, resourcefully sustainable dog fence fits right into the landscape. Before you install a fence, look around your place first to see what's already available.

Grow These Heirloom Bean Varieties

Read this excerpt about heirloom beans from Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Growing, Seed Saving and Cultural History by William Woys Weaver. This book will help you re-discover heirloom vegetables from our American culinary and gardening roots.   

Heirloom Spotlight: The History of Beans

Read this excerpt about heirloom beans from Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Growing, Seed Saving and Cultural History by William Woys Weaver. This book will help you re-discover heirloom vegetables from our American culinary and gardening roots.

Land Pride Introduces New Rotary Tillers

The RTA12 & RTR12 Series Rotary Tillers from Land Pride till soil for seedbed and planting preparation with uses and applications in landscaping, gardens, and residential areas.

Two Ways to Use a Shipping Pallet in Your Garden

When you are apartment gardening in a small space, you are forced to be creative due to your space constrictions. Most traditional pots and containers might not work, so you become reliant on reusing objects to better fit your space.

What Are the Health Benefits of Garlic?

Garlic has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and ethnobotanist James Duke, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading experts in medicinal plants, places garlic among the best all-around plant medicines in the world. Learn about the host of ailments garlic can alleviate and prevent, and discover some of the added health perks of this flavorful, folklore-infused herb.

Cleaning Concrete Floors

A reader suggests ashes are good for oil spills when cleaning concrete floors. Originally published as "How to Clean Oil From Concrete" in the January/February 1989 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Peanut Butter and Pine Cone Bird Feeder

With the simple addition of peanut butter and bird seed, a pine cone becomes a pine cone bird feeder. Originally published as "DIY Bird Feeder" in the January/February 1989 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

How To Make a Self-Watering Container

Containers are great for those that are gardening in small spaces. Though there is the fear of not knowing when or how often to water them. This is why I started to make my own self-watering containers.

Three Ways To Reuse Soda Bottles in Your Garden

Growing your own food doesn't have to be an expensive activity. There are plenty of ways to cut back the costs and be earth-friendly as well. You can do this by giving a second life to items that have outgrown their initial purpose.

Chic Crafts From Upcycled Clothing and Homemade Recycled Paper

You can upcycle (make crafts from recycled materials) to beautifuly and simplify your world! Have a few old T-shirts that are past their prime? Make them into a rosette pillow! Use homemade recycled paper to send friends and family chic, personalized greetings cards. Overrun with stuff to recycle? Transform tin can lids into a melodious windchime! Have fun and get creative turning your old stuff into treasures!

Copper Washers from Pennies

Make your own copper washers for a penny apiece with this reader tip. Originally published as "Country Lore: Washers from Pennies" in the August/September 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Waste Bin Bicycle Baskets

Conventional options having failed, this reader tried using waste bins as bicycle baskets and found they worked just fine. Originally published as "Country Lore: Inexpensive Bicycle Baskets" in the August/September 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

How to Make Reusable Bags

Have you ever wondered how to make reusable bags to take to the market? They’re easier to fashion than you might think, and you can work with all sorts of materials! See how to melt used-plastic sacks to make a new plastic bag or upcycle a T-shirt into a bag suitable for market. Newspapers make a chic and sophistocated basket perfect for carrying fruits or produce. Upcycling is good for the environment and makes for stylish shopping, too!

Keep Carbide Saw Blades Sharp

Carbide saw blades last a long time and typically perform very well. Learn about two ways to keep them sharp and effective.

Razor Sharp Tools in Less Than Three Minutes

Here’s a method to quickly put a razor-sharp edge on chisels, planes, knives and carving tools. This sharpening technique is based on electric-powered buffing wheels that polish tools to a keen edge. The hardware is simple and quiet. A small electric motor spins a hard felt buffing wheel that’s covered with a fine, waxy abrasive. Use a softer, cloth wheel for concave surfaces on carving gouges.

Tasteful Handmade Gifts

Giving handmade gifts will save money while showing the recipient that you care. Homemade sugar scrub, rice pillows, glass magnets and iPod covers are all easy to make and exciting to receive. Spend time, not money, to give the perfect holiday or birthday gift.

Fixing Toilet Tank Condensation

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers receive guidance on condensation in a toilet tank, including tests to make on toilet parts and room temperature changes.

Solving Water Pipes Freezing Problems

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers receive guidance on pipes freezing and options such as dripping water or insulation used to solve the problem. Originally published as "Keep Pipes From Freezing" January/February 1987 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Chain Saw Fuel Problems

Fix your chain saw fuel problems, clean up your chain saw, and remove deteriorating lining from your chain saw by using a strong solvent.  

Firewood Splitting Tips

Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, provides tips on splitting firewood for home heating via woodstoves or fireplaces.

A Guide to Pond Leak Repair

Check out these three remedies for pond leak repair and discover how to prevent future leaking.

Reuse Vacuum Bags

With a little care, you can reuse paper vacuum bags. A Country Lore tip from the February/March 2011 issue.

How to Crochet a Log Cabin Pullover

Make this crocheted version of a traditional patchwork pattern. Originally published as "A Gallery of Winter Craft Projects" in the January/February 1984 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

How to Crochet a Rainbow Sweater

A simple crochet pattern to make a sweater for the first time. Originally published as “A Gallery of Winter Craft Projects” in the January/February 1984 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.    

How to Crochet Slippers in an Afternoon

A flexible, quick pattern for customized slippers. Originally published as “A Gallery of Winter Craft Projects” in the January/February 1984 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.  

How to Knit a Rainbow Ripple Afghan

Use leftover yarn and this knit-it-fast pattern to make a warm blanket. Originally published as “A Gallery of Winter Craft Projects” in the January/February 1984 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.      

How to Knit a Rib Stitch Scarf

Learn how to knit by trying this beginner knitting project. Originally published as “A Gallery of Winter Craft Projects” in the January/February 1984 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.  

Colored By Nature

Use plants from the forest, field and desert as natural dyes to color your fine fabric creations.

Reinforced Earthbag Specifications

Precision Engineering www.structure1.com has generously provided drawings and specifications for building earthbag structures in seismic areas to meet code. The documents have been combined into one 6-page PDF and are now available online.

Earth Building in Thailand

I had heard there are thousands of new earthen houses in Thailand. That really amazed me, so I set out to learn the details about the modern earth building movement in Thailand.

Low-fired Brick

Low-fired brick is a very sustainable building material with low embodied energy. They are made with locally procured clay and fired with rice hulls, a by-product of growing rice. Brickyards are located near urban areas to minimize transport costs.

Power Tool Poll

Power tools are handy helpers on most do-it-yourself projects, which is your favorite?

That Lovely Sewer Gas Smell

That bad smell coming from your basement or bathroom might be sewer gas. Learn from our expert on how to fix this problem.

EPA’s New Lead Paint Safety Requirements

Thinking of repainting your house? You may want to check out the EPA’s new lead paint requirements. Whether you’re a contractor or a homeowner, there may be safety concerns you should be aware of when sprucing up that old room – especially if you have children.

Small Diameter Roundwood Trusses

The roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.

Repair, Don’t Replace

Some tools can be kept in working order for years with patience and a little elbow grease.   

Cider Press Plans

Want fresh cider? Make your own cider press using these free plans.

Playhouse Dreams ’n Doin’

A playhouse can be a physical structure or a place to escape to in your imagination. Tell us about your favorite playhouse.

Design a Solar Poultry Waterer, Win a Brinsea Incubator!

We’re looking for the most effective and creative solar-heated waterer for chickens. If you’re creative and love to build useful projects, make a solar poultry waterer and try it out this winter. Then submit your design for our contest. We’ll publish the winning entry in the magazine, and the designer will win a free Brinsea incubator.

Extension Ladder Safety Attachment

For those of us who ever placed a ladder against a tree or pole and climbed twenty feet up only to think, "what am I doing here?"

Make Giant Bubbles at Home

Learn how to make giant bubbles like a professional bubble artist at home with this DIY video. Complete with a recipe to make a giant bubble wand and your own homemade soap solution, you’ll be ready to impress everyone on your street with human-sized bubbles.  

Country Lore: Removing Skunk Odor

Removing skunk odor isn't easy, but one family has found a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to be fairly effective. Originally published as "Skunk Smell Be Gone" in the October/November 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

How to Organize Odds and Ends

Shoe holders make great organizers for items in your utility room. A Country Lore tip from the October/November 2010 issue.

Insulating Pipes and Heating Ducts

Learn how to insulate pipes and heating ducts to conserve money and energy. By following these instructions, you can keep the heat in your pipes and ducts instead of letting the heat flow into unheated areas of your home.

A Homemade Kaleidoscope Will Change How You See the World

Make a homemade kaleidoscope that rivals the most expensive models with a PVC pipe and a reflector made from mirrors and wood. Point it at anything or use the special reflector tray to make unique kaleidoscopic designs.

Oil Burner Tune Up

Winter-ready your oil burner with these 13 checks. Some oil burner maintenance and checks can help keep your furnace efficient.

Caulk Characteristics

Learn the facts about different types of caulk, and find out how each caulking seals the leaks. The list includes latex caulks, butyl caulks, urethane sealants, silicone sealants, rope caulk and polymeric foam.

Types of Caulk and Where to Seal Leaks

Knowing where to caulk and what type of caulk to use can help seal leaks in your home. As much as 80 percent of air leakage occurs in areas other than windows and doors. This makes caulking a winter must! Also, learn about different types of caulking, such as silicon and polyurethane sealants.

A Cardboard Solar Food Dehydrator

Drying food is a good way to eat local produce all year, and if you make this solar food dehydrator for yourself, you’ll be well on your way to delicious meals during colder months.

Wild, Wacky and Wonderful

Have you ever let your imagination run wild and built a fanciful, unique … (spinning wheel, bat house, garden tool)

Exterior Home Painting for Beginners

If you want to learn how to paint your house without the help of professionals, this article from the archives is for you. Exterior home painting can be a snap with the right tools and information.

Clearing Blocked Drains By Hand

We all encounter drain clogs from time to time, but damaging chemicals aren’t the answer. Learn about clearing blocked drains by hand.

Decorate Your Bike for the Fourth of July

Whether you’re riding in a parade or watching from the sidelines, you might consider getting into the spirit of the day by letting your bike go red, white and blue.

How to Make Your Own Paper

If you have a lot of excess scrap paper like I do, it’s time to put that waste to better use. Read this do-it-yourself article about how to make your own homemade, recycled paper, and then get to work turning trash into treasure.

How to Make Bicycle Baskets out of Wastebaskets

Creating storage for groceries and other items on your bike is easier than I ever thought possible. With just two small wastebaskets and some rope, I gave my new bike some carrying capacity, and I spent very little money in the process. Make your own bicycle baskets and save!

How to Build Your Own Desk

Finding the perfect desk with just the right amount of work space can be a hassle and a financial drain. Build your own desk with this do-it-yourself tutorial, and you’ll have room for your computer, notebooks, phone, printer and any other work-time necessities, and you’ll save some serious cash in the process.

Is Long Hair the Answer?

Should we all just grow our hair longer to save money on barber and hairdresser visits, or is cutting it ourselves a better way to go?

How to Build Your Own Reading Nook

Sometimes the best activity on a rainy day is snuggling up with a blanket and reading a good book. Build your own reading nook with this tutorial, and you’ll be able to watch the rain from the warmth of your homemade paradise.

Photo of the Day: Rustic Bench

Photo of the Day features a rustic wooden bench handcrafted by a reader. Be sure to submit your own photos to share your favorite moments with us and other readers. Maybe the next Photo of the Day will feature it!

Make Your Own Homemade Hammock

The time for relaxing in the sun has arrived, and this homemade hammock tutorial will help you hang out in style.

How to Make Homemade Baby Wipes

These cheap and easy homemade baby wipes will make your baby’s bottom and your pocketbook healthy and happy.

Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

 You can build a low-cost, squirrel-proof bird feeder using simple tools and inexpensive materials. All you need is some plastic drain pipe and caps, hardware cloth and a bit of wire (or a wire hanger). In no time at all, you’ll have all sorts of birds at the feeder — and the squirrels will be perplexed!

Hobo Stove Cooking

You can fix breakfast (lunch or dinner) in a matter of minutes on this portable, easy-to-construct tin-can stove.

Marvelous Macrame

Macrameing has been a popular craft medium for decades. Share your most outlandish macrame project.

Creative Uses for Wooden Pallets

Wood pallets can be used as is or stripped and remade into new forms. What creative uses have you found for wood pallets?

Recycle Your Jeans

Convert your old jeans into brand new items without spending a cent.

Make Your Own Broadfork Garden Tool

Prepare the soil in your raised bed in one-sixth the time using a U-bar, also known as a broadfork garden tool. Originally published as "How to Build a Broadfork" in the March/April 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

New Year, New Garden

Here are great ideas on how to improve your garden for the new year. Learn how to build a new garden gate and transform the appearance of your garden without spending any money. 

Some Assembly Required

Holiday gifts frequently come with "some assembly required" and can cause frustration for late-night Santas. What is your most memorable some-assembly-required experience?

A Handmade Roof

You can shingle your roof with hand-split shakes, crafted using a froe and mallet, and dry, straight-grained wood.

Toys for Tots

Create memorable gifts for a youngster with a handcrafted toy or game.

HEPA Filters in Forced-air Furnaces and Air Conditioning Systems

Our recent article about energy-recovery ventilators stated that using a “true high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter” in your forced-air heating or air conditioning system would reduce allergens more effectively than regular filters. But one reader pointed out that this could be dangerous. So we went to the experts for their advice.

Holiday Happenings

Does your family celebrate the season in a non-traditional  way? Please tell us about it.

Country Lore: A Handy Fireplace Draft Stopper

If you have a dectorative fireplace that is more of a conduit for cold air than a source of heat, this easy-to-make fireplace draft stopper should help keep your home warmer in the winter. Originally published as "A Handy Fireplace Draft Stopper" in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Cheap, Easy-to-Build Wood Storage Shelves

Need more storage space? Who doesn’t? You can make better use of the space you have available with some wooden shelves. Building free-standing shelves is easy and can be inexpensive. This is a great woodworking project for beginners.

Do-It-Yourself Pole-Barn Building

Fast, solid, and cost-effective, a pole-barn building can serve as a workshop, storage space, or livestock shelter. Originally published as "Do-it-yourself Pole-barn Building" in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Feed For Animals - To Go

Put a barrel or two on wheels and you can feed your flocks and herds with ease, including diagrams, photographs and instructions.

Country Lore: Pedal Powered Snow Plow

With a riding lawn mower chassis, bike chains and gears, and two plastic shovels you can create this pedal powered snow plow. Originally published as "DIY Human-powered Snowplow" in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Country Lore: New Lives for Old Treadmill Parts

This reader discovered multiple alternative uses for treadmill parts from a unit that had reached the end of its life. Originally published as "New Lives for a Used Treadmill" in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Country Lore: Free Frying Pan and Windshield Scraper

This reader has discovered a sample credit card has other uses, such as emergency windshield scraper or pot scraper. Originally published as "Free Windshield Scraper and Frying Pan Scraper" in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Country Lore: Straw Bale Insulated Cat House

Keep your outdoor cats safe and warm in the winter with this three-bale insulated cat house. Originally published as "Straw Bale Insulated Cat House" in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Country Lore: Nifty Folding Camp Chair/Game Board

You can build this handy folding camp chair/game board from one piece of oak lumber. From the December 2009/January 2010 Country Lore department. Originally published as "Nifty Folding Camp Chair/Game Board" in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

If I Had a Hammer: Do It Yourself and Save!

“If I Had a Hammer,” Andrea Ridout’s DIY home improvement guide, is helpful to both expert and novice, homeowner and renter. Let this book assist you in completing your own projects instead of hiring professionals, and save!

A Highchair to Grow With

Build a highchair that will follow your child through years of growth and development.

Ultimate Paper Recycling

To make the pulp for homemade paper, look no further than your waste and recycling bins.

Learn Something New from These How-to Online Videos

How-to online videos are a valuable resource for any do-it-yourselfer. But there are a lot of videos out there, so we’ve picked noteworthy ones and provided a few links to help you find more in the future. From building a workbench to changing your car’s oil, these engaging and instructive videos will inspire you to start a fun, new DIY project.

Country Lore: Super Simple Woodstove Hearth

A reader describes the inexpensive, easy-to-build woodstove hearth he assembled from scrap lumber, stone, and mortar. Originally published as "Super-simple Woodstove Hearths" in the October/November 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Country Lore: Great Green Homemade Gift Baskets

You can use plant cuttings, clearance-sale plants, and recycled baskets to make attractive homemade gift baskets. Originally published as "Great Green Plant Gift Baskets" in the October/November 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Low-Cost, Multipurpose, DIY Greenhouses

With an assortment of recycled materials you can create an affordable DIY greenhouse and enjoy fresh food all year long! Originally published as "DIY, Low-cost and Multipurpose Greenhouses" in the October/November 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Can I Do This Myself?

Are there any fix-it projects that you have taken on recently, that you previously would have hired someone to do?

Country Lore: Easy Homemade Solar Oven

This simple, effective homemade solar cooker needs just a few supplies you probably already have at hand. Originally published as "Easy-to-make Solar Cooker" in the August/September 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Free, Unique Scrapbooking Supplies

Greeting card pictures and textured paper make great scrapbooking materials. From the August/September 2009 Country Lore department.

Country Lore: Low-Cost Grey Water Irrigation

A reader explains how waste water collected from your kitchen sink can become the feed source for a grey water irrigation system in your vegetable garden. Originally published as "Low-Cost Greywater Irrigation" in the August/September 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Country Lore: Poplar Wood Garden Gate

A reader describes how she built a simple poplar wood garden gate from branches, angle brackets, and chicken wire. Originally published as "Simple Garden Gate" in the August/September 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Earthbag Building Materials and Prices

The cost of building with earthbags varies. You can almost build free if you take the time to scrounge the materials. Here is a “middle of the road” cost estimate on supplies that assumes you’ll buy the major items but also take time to shop around.

Low-Cost Multipurpose Earthbag Building

With this novel technique you can make an earthbag building to serve as a studio, garden shed, chicken coop, or root/storm cellar — no permit required! Originally published as "Low-Cost Multipurpose Minibuilding Made With Earthbags" in the August/September 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

How to Build a Trellis

Beautiful and practical trellises are easy to build for flowering vines or garden crops.

Country Lore: Buy Textbooks for Cheap

If you're in college or enrolled in a few courses, you can buy textbooks for cheap at Half.com and save a lot of money. Originally published as "Save Money on Textbooks" in the June/July 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Country Lore: Outdoor Solar Shower

With the sun providing heat, you only have to provide the water for this outdoor solar shower. Originally published as "DIY Outdoor Solar Shower" in the June/July 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Country Lore: Sneaker Sandals

A reader describes how she made sneaker sandals from worn out shoes and sneakers. Originally published as "From Shoe to Sandal" in the June/July 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Country Lore: Homemade Buck Saw

The author reports this easy-to-make buck saw design has reliably served his family for years, and should for you as well. Originally published as "DIY Bucksaw" in the June/July 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Country Lore: How to Make Reusable Produce Bags

This reader is so opposed to using use disposable plastic bags for fruits and vegetables she figured out how to make reusable produce bags from cloth. Originally published as "How to Make Reusable Produce Bags" in the June/July 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.