January Money Diet Day 28 – Make Something with Your Own Hands

Make homemade chocolate truffles | Happy Simple Living blog

One of the (many) reasons I love my sister Catherine is because she is an intrepid DIYer. She will fearlessly experiment with creative endeavors that would intimidate many. She has hand-sewn her own Battenberg lace, for example. She makes those mind-bogglingly complex Ukrainian Pysanky Easter eggs. She raises chickens and bottles her own Limoncello and grows artichokes.

She inspires me to get my hands dirty and try new things. If you’re game in these final days of the January Money Diet, let’s try making something from scratch. We’ll save money, learn something new, and feel the satisfaction that comes from creating something with our own hands.

Here are some ideas:

Kitchen Staples

Biscuit Mix

Graham crackers


Spaghetti sauce

Ricotta cheese




Greek yogurt

Pita bread

Gourmet Treats

Dim Sum






Chocolate truffles


Home Goods

Laundry detergent

Dryer sheets

“Unpaper” towels



Dog treats

Cat Litter

How About You?

What do you love to hand-craft? If you make something at home in the coming days, be sure to let us know what you create in the Comments section of this page.

By the way, if you’re on Pinterest you can check out my “Foods From Scratch” and “Made By Hand” boards for more easy ideas. Better yet, follow my sister Catherine, who posts amazing recipes, craft ideas and DIY home projects.


The signature for Eliza Cross

Photo:  David Leggett

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

January Money Diet Day 28 – Make Something with Your Own Hands

  • Annette

    I made the bread – it was surprisingly easy and delicious – everyone loved it! I will definitely make it again.

  • Beth

    I make my own pizza dough, which I’ll be making a little later today. I also make my own pizza sauce using tomatoes that I canned over the summer. My 7-year-old son doesn’t like cheese on his pizza, so he’s always complimenting me for making him a pizza that is entirely made by me. So funny!

  • Lynn Louise

    I make my own yogurt and still trying to perfect homemade butter. Homemade kitty litter??? I have to try that! I make homemade jam and 90% of the meals we eat are made from scratch. Homemade cake is soooooo much better than any cake from a box. I make my own tied quilts also. I cannot crochet and when I was very young I could knit a little but lost that art. I may start it up again. I have done alot of my own painting, repairing and sewing.

  • Lynette

    I love to make things, my favourite thing to do. I love the kitchen staples list some great things to try there. I would love to be more self reliant in the home goods section I am going to make my own laundry detergent and must try the kitty litter. My favourite crafts are sewing and knitting I am currently sewing an Alabama Chanin skirt and knitting a hat.

  • Colette

    I make a wonderful lathery soap using coconut oil, olive oil, cinnamon & lye, and I love my homemade deodorant. Next on the “to do”list is toothpaste and shampoo. For the first time yesterday, I made “skinny chocolate” with ingredients I had on hand. My favorite is 1 c. melted coconut oil, 1 c. cocoa powder, 1 tsp. real vanilla, 3/4 Tbsp. liquid chocolate stevia. I place the tiny cupcake papers in the tiny cupcake tin and put in roughly cut up pecans and dried goldenberries. These are cooled in the freezer and kept there or in the fridge. I’ve used cashews, craisins, raisins, coconut, & peanuts. There are lots of possibilities! I’m also making a rug out of on-hand cottons and clothing strips. I crochet the first 12 inches with a monster hook and then use a homemade wooden “bodkin” to “weave” the strips. I’m using a twin-size bedskirt as the “filler” strips. It’s looking really good. There are some great ideas from everyone here. I’ll be giving some a try!

  • Elizabeth

    I already make my own granola, tomato sauce, cleaning solutions, laundry soap. Have made my own napkins, but room for so many more things.

  • Sara

    The trufles looks lovely. I have made some homemade cards for friends and family during this month. One of my favourites had pictures of red meat on it, for a meat-loving friend. I also made pizza from scratch several times- yummie!

  • Kimberly

    Funny my niece is getting married and it wasn’t going to be till next Sept so I thought I had loads of time to just find out it is moved up to April and her shower is in March. Thinking of what I can do because I really don’t have the money for 2 gifts. I am going to use one of the many baskets I seem to get and put in canned goods that I had canned this past summer. Also going to make some pasta and dry it to add along with the sauce I had made. The wedding is a little tougher. they are trying to become a blended family and have been jumping over barrels. I am thinking about making a family tree with extra branches. There will be a place to put his, hers and theirs and they come. Family doesn’t have to be the same, just lots of love for all.

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