16 Items You Can Make Yourself

homemade gift wrapping

Lukas Korynta / Stocksy United

Making things yourself can be both satisfying and cost-effective. As you run out of things that you normally buy, challenge yourself to come up with a homemade replacement. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to make many of the products that you're used to buying.

Here are 16 things to consider making yourself.

  • 01 of 16

    Beauty Products

    Homemade Balms and Salves

    The Spruce / Erin Huffstetler

    Commercial beauty products are expensive and full of questionable ingredients, so start making your own. Lip balm, lotion, shampoo—they're all a cinch to make at home. Pick and choose the ingredients according to your unique needs. Then, customize finished products with your favorite fragrance.

    Hang on to your empty store-bought containers, and refill them with your homemade products. Even lip balm and deodorant tubes can be washed and refilled. Just be sure to relabel the containers, so you remember what's inside.

  • 02 of 16


    Homemade Soap

    kahvikisu / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    Stretch your household budget by making your own liquid soap, foaming soap, and hand sanitizer. Once you've cut your teeth on those projects, move up to hot-process soap. It's a bit more involved​ but will give you artisan-quality soaps.

  • 03 of 16


    old used candles

    The Spruce / Erin Huffstetler

    Round up all the leftovers from the candles you've burned (those hunks of unmelted wax and almost-empty containers), and use them to make your own candles.

  • 04 of 16


    Baking Soda and Vinegar

    The Spruce / Erin Huffstetler

    Stop lugging home overpriced cleaning products, and start making your own. If you keep a few basic ingredients, like vinegar and baking soda on hand, there's no mess you can't tackle.

    Continue to 5 of 16 below.
  • 05 of 16

    Spice Mixes

    Homemade Spice Mixes

    The Spruce / Erin Huffstetler

    Use the spices you already have in your pantry to make the spice blends you need for recipes. Italian seasoning, apple pie spice, poultry seasoning—they're nothing more than a handful of spices mixed together.

  • 06 of 16


    Homemade Tomato Sauce

    The Spruce / Erin Huffstetler

    Homemade applesauce and tomato sauce are so much better than anything you can buy at the store. Load up on apples and tomatoes when they're in season. Then, make enough sauce to last you a year. Think you're too busy to fool with homemade sauce? Just pull out your crockpot, and it'll do most of the work for you.

  • 07 of 16


    Homemade Ketchup

    Rachel Tayse / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    Made-from-scratch condiments make any meal better. Discover how easy it is to make your own ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, cocktail saucesteak sauce, and more.

  • 08 of 16

    Dairy Products

    Sour cream

    milanfoto / Getty Images

    Cheese, sour cream, butter—they're a heck of a lot easier to make than you might think. Start a batch of cheese now, and you could be eating it in as little as 30 minutes.

    Continue to 9 of 16 below.
  • 09 of 16

    Jams, Jellies, and Spreads

    Glass of homemade strawberry rhubarb jam
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Grocery store jams and jellies are meh, so grab some jars and make your own. If the idea of canning intimidates you, make freezer jam. It takes minutes to make​ and requires no special equipment.​

  • 10 of 16

    Baked Goods

    Yeast Rolls

    The Spruce / Erin Huffstetler

    Don't settle for mass-produced bread when homemade is an option. It takes very little hands-on time to make a loaf of bread or a batch of pizza dough, and the difference in taste and texture is huge.

  • 11 of 16


    Vanilla beans with vanilla extract
    Kristin Duvall / Getty Images

    There's a big difference in price between real and imitation vanilla extract, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for second best. Just grab a bottle and a couple ingredients, and you'll be well on your way to your first bottle of homemade vanilla. You can even make your own ​non-alcoholic version.

  • 12 of 16

    Gardening Supplies

    Woman planting lettuce
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Gardening can save you a lot of money, or cost you a lot of money—it just depends on how you approach it. Learn how to make fertilizer or compost yourself, and you'll fall solidly in the savings camp.

    Continue to 13 of 16 below.
  • 13 of 16

    Craft Supplies


    Evan Bench / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    Crafting is all about making things, so why not make your craft supplies, too? Did you know you can recycle old crayons into new crayons?

  • 14 of 16


    Broth being ladled from saucepan
    RUSS ROHDE / Getty Images

    Real broth packs more flavor and nutrients per spoonful than boxed broth. Just toss some veggies and bones in a pot, and you'll be well on your way to your first pot of homemade broth.

    On a low-sodium diet? Just scale back or omit the salt to meet your needs. When you make your own broth, you have complete control of the ingredients. You can even make vegetarian broth.

  • 15 of 16

    Gift Wrap

    homemade wrapping paper

    Lukas Korynta / Stocksy United

    Save money, and cut down on waste, by finding things around your house that you can use as gift wrap or make your own gift boxes.

  • 16 of 16

    Pest Control

    Fruit fly trap

    uberculture / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    Battling wasps, roaches, mice, or some other pest? See if you can come up with a homemade solution, instead of paying for one. You can also get rid of ants, moths, fruit flies, fleas, and flies.