While everyone loves the convenience of buying new clothes, new furniture, and pre-packaged food at the grocery store, it all comes with a cost. If you’re trying to save or make money, finding some do-it-yourself projects is the perfect place to start.
Do-it-yourself projects are a cost-effective way to have fun, earn and save money, and avoid credit card debt. No matter your interests or skill set, there is a DIY side hustle that you can start. You can personalize your own clothes, grow your own food, or repair your own furniture—and there will be people who will pay you for your DIY skills.
If you’re trying to save money on high-cost items, then learning how to refurbish furniture is a fun place to start. Refurbishing your furniture makes it last longer, saves you money when redecorating, and helps you learn new skills. You could also refurbish furniture as a side hustle—buying low-cost furniture at yard sales and estate sales and fixing it up to sell online.
Many types of furniture can be refurbished:
By revamping your own furniture, you’re potentially saving thousands of dollars. You could also expand your skill to make money by taking custom orders from online shoppers on websites like Etsy, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace.
Spice up old clothes
One massive form of waste that many American households struggle with is clothing waste. People buy fast fashion, but those clothes are not built to last. If you want to save money on clothing, and create a new, unique wardrobe—start with what’s already in your closet.
Ideas to spice up your clothes include:
- Adding patches to cover holes in old jackets and jeans.
- Sewing new buttons on your favorite button-down shirt.
- Embroidering a floral pattern on the sleeve of your old sweater.
Updating your wardrobe could be as simple as sewing on a button, or as complex as restoring valuable, vintage clothing. If you practice your sewing and design skills enough, you can turn this into a side project that brings in additional income. You could even start a business repurposing clothes from yard sales and thrift stores, and selling them at craft fairs and on digital marketplaces.
Start a garden
If you’re trying to lower your grocery bills, a garden is a wonderful way to start. Growing a garden has several benefits:
- Helps make your home more self-sufficient.
- Allows you to learn more about agriculture and native plants.
- Creates a routine that includes fresh air and exercise.
- Promotes healthy eating.
You don’t need to start with a massive garden, and you don’t need a large amount of space. If you’re interested in gardening, but you don’t have much experience, develop your green thumb by starting an herb garden. You could plant it out on your porch, in your kitchen window, or the backyard. Simply choose a couple of herbs that you use often in your cooking, and start growing them.
Once you have a healthy herb garden started, expand it to include vegetables. Here’s some simple vegetables to begin with:
- Green beans
With these vegetables in your garden, you can make a variety of dishes and grow your own lunches and dinners right in your backyard. And by composting your food scraps, you can create your own fertilizer to nourish future crops.
While DIY furniture projects help you save money on interior design, DIY home modifications save you money on your monthly bills. Making your home more energy-efficient reduces your electricity bill, saves you money, and helps the planet.
Here’s a few DIY home modifications project ideas:
- Replacing your windows to reduce your use of air conditioning.
- Switching your light bulbs to LEDs to be more energy efficient.
- Installing a smart thermostat.
- Adding an occupancy sensor to your water heater to reduce the energy used to heat your water.
While some of these projects may involve some research (and quite a few YouTube videos), none of them are so in-depth that you need professional electrical or plumbing training. Please be cautious when pursuing projects that involve extensive electrical or plumbing modifications.
People have been preserving food for centuries. Preserving food allows you to buy fresh produce in large quantities (often at reduced prices) and enjoy it all year round. This skill pairs particularly well with another DIY project on this list: gardening. By preserving your produce, you reduce food waste, limit the amount of money you are spending on food throughout the year, and promote healthier eating habits in your home.
There are different ways to preserve food, many of which have been around for generations. The more popular ways to preserve foods are:
Learning any of these preservation techniques can help to lower your yearly grocery bill. You can also get your family members involved in your food preservation project, and find fun ways to preserve everyone’s favorite foods.
Making and selling crafts
If you are a creative person and you love crafting, why not start saving money and making money from your crafts? Making your own cards and small crafts will save you money on holiday and birthday presents throughout the year.
If you want to make money and start a successful business from your home, selling crafts is a great way to build an online business. Digital marketplaces like Etsy are built for artisans and crafters. All you need to do is start creating products that you think people would be interested in buying. Crafty items like these could be a hit:
- Wall decorations
- Handmade cards
If you want to bring your business outside of your home, start selling your crafts at local farmer’s markets, craft fairs, and other public events. These events will help you gain popularity and earn some money on the weekends if you’re already working a 9-to-5.
Each of these DIY projects has the potential to help you save and make money. From reducing your electricity and grocery bills to creating a new stream of income, DIY projects help improve your financial situation, reduce credit card debt, and grow your savings account.