Getting Started with DIY Natural Projects

One of my favorite things about being a DIY-er is that I can teach what I learn to others, and I’m especially fond of sharing ideas with DIY beginners unsure of where to start. These people are eager to make changes and get to see quick results that encourage them to continue pursuing this lifestyle.

However, some challenges DIY beginners face is that this lifestyle is either:


  • too expensive
  • too complicated – it takes too long, or
  • it’s too… different.

And it’s true, you can run into all of these challenges when you’re making the switch to a DIY lifestyle. But you don’t have to. Simply look around your home at what you’re already using and try to replace that before moving onto something you’ve never tried. It can be food, cleaners, body care products – you name it.

You can keep it simple and make the switch a lot easier by simply opting for better versions of the things you already use in your own home. Here are my favorite simple switches for DIY beginners:

1. Bread

Try switching to homemade bread with a few simple ingredients. This was one of the first switches I made because it was so simple. I worked at a pizza parlor in high school that made all dough from scratch and they gave me their recipe.

I’ve used it for years now to bake delicious bread, rolls and pizza. And the bonus? It’s so cheap. Especially when you compare it to the additive-free store-bought alternatives. Here’s a great recipe.

2. Chicken stock

Try switching to your own homemade chicken stock that’s free of MSG and preservatives. Homemade chicken stock is an excellent source of nutrients and great to use for soups, sauces or as a warming, nutrient-dense beverage.

And it’s just one more way to get your money’s worth out of a whole chicken (the cheapest way to buy chicken). Here’s our tutorial.

3. Cleaning Spray

Try switching to a homemade, all-natural cleaning spray to replace the commercial cleaners in your home that are full of toxic ingredients. Chances are, you have all the ingredients you need to make your own cleaning spray – vinegar, liquid castile soap, borax and a few pure essential oilsHere’s a good recipe to follow.

4. Laundry Detergent

Try switching to homemade laundry detergent that is scented with natural essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances that can harm your health.

This is one of the easiest switches you can make and, if your budget is limited, you can offer to sell half to a friend or family member who loves natural stuff but doesn’t want to make it. Find our recipe and instructions for natural laundry detergent here.


5. Dish Soap

Try switching to a dish soap that is free of artificial foaming agents and synthetic fragrances. It might take a little while to get used to if you’re accustomed to seeing lots of suds in your dish water, but this homemade dish soap will get your dishes nice and clean. Add citrus essential oils like lemon or a combination of orange and lime for extra degreasing power. Here’s our dish soap recipe.

6. Body Wash

Try switching to a homemade body wash using raw honey, liquid castile soap, oil and essential oils. Commercial body washes contain harmful ingredients, like endocrine disrupting phthalates. Find our luxurious recipe here.

7. Toothpaste

Try switching to a tooth cleaning agent that doesn’t contain additives, like glycerine, that can actually break down your enamel over time. Our whitening tooth powder contains safe ingredients like baking soda, sea salt, and bentonite clay, that clean your teeth naturally. Here’s our simple recipe.

8. Face Wash

Try switching to the oil cleansing method. Cleansing your skin with oil may seem counter-intuitive, but it really isn’t. The oil cleans and moisturizes without stripping away your skin’s natural oils (which causes your skin to over-produce oil). Give it a shot – it’s super easy. Here’s a tutorial.

9. Shampoo

Try switching to a simpler way to wash your hair. Commercial options contain artificial foaming agents and hormone-disrupting additives that soak right into your body. Our homemade shampoo is natural, easy and only takes two ingredients. Find our recipe here.

Share with us! What simple switches have you made?

*******


photo credit to Victor1558

Print Friendly

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for us to support our website activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this website.

DISCLAIMER: Information on DIY Natural™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. Read full Disclaimer & Disclosure statements here.

Comments

  1. bobbi says

    I currently make the laundry det like my mom does, the shampoo-because I have curly hair. I just got my ingredients for homemade dishwasher det and for body/hand lotion (my daughter and I are going to make that). I do make some breads, but my kids don’t like it too much, I make rolls instead. :) I also want to make some “hanitizer” as my son calls it. :)

  2. Kate says

    What would be even better is if you use/suggest products that are not tested on animals (Arm & Hammer and Dove both test)Save the animals, save the environment. I already use some of these ideas and am always looking for more. I have bookmarked these. Thanks. I want to learn to make bread.

    • Heather says

      I just made my first batch of laundry soap and scented fabric softener. I love this post on basic baby steps! Thank you for posting! I so happy I found this site! I am wanting to make a bigger change so I am taking baby steps so I don’t get overwhelmed with all the new changes. :)

      • says

        That’s a great way to go, Heather! Baby steps definitely help you make changes that will stick with you in the long run. Glad you found us as well. :)

  3. Michelle says

    I started the oil cleansing method (castor oil + sunflower oil) about two years ago. Being in my 40s, I don’t have 20-year-old skin anymore, of course, but this method has significantly reduced my fine lines and pores. The problem dry patches I used to get every winter are history, and my skin just looks and feels better overall. I highly recommend it. It only takes a few seconds to rub on and wipe off, plus it’s great for removing eye makeup without using petroleum-based or chemical-laden products. LOVE IT. I can’t wait to try your recipes for laundry soap and shampoo! Thank you for all the great ideas!!

  4. Julie Boros says

    thank you! i am in the process of switching over and this is a great prompt. i am a textile practitioner and i was taught to use wash my hands with white sugar to exfoliate the dry/dead skin. i also use this on my body and face. its simple, wet your face cloth and sprinkle small amount of sugar on it and rub it on required area. it works a treat!

  5. scarr says

    Baking homemade bread was my first step in DIY. I use a dutch oven or a cloche to bake my breads and they turn out fantastic. Also, homemade stocks are a great way to use up all of your leftover veggie bits. I do not make homemade stock as often as I should, but it is a great habit to get into.

    I have now incorporated homemade laundry detergent, counter spray, and dish soap to my list (all from this website, thanks!). Like you said, it can feel overwhelming if you try to do everything all at once. I find that when I run out of a conventional cleaner or product I look for the DIY way to replace it.

  6. says

    I am so happy you made this list! I am slowly becoming a DIY-er. I have had problems finding a good homemade bread to use for sandwiches though! Is this bread recipe a good sandwich bread recipe?

    • says

      Yes, Sammi! I find that the sooner I use homemade bread for sandwiches, the better, though. After a few days, we prefer to do grilled sandwiches or toast it and enjoy it with butter, since it’s not as soft.

  7. Lauren says

    I am a big fan of many of your suggestions. Chicken stock in the crockpot with a little vinegar is easy and extra nutritious, particularly if you freeze it afterwards for later use. My favorite, however, is baking soda as an exfoliant and general scrub for everything.

  8. Liz says

    Hi Nina,
    I started with some of your home cleaner recipes and I’m really pleased with the results. I’d really like to take a stab at the facial and beauty products, but I feel travel challenged. I travel weekly for work, flying and driving, and the recipes seem to be geared toward cold storage or making by the day. In the summer, my suitcase may spend the whole day in the car for the week.
    Do you have an article or advice on how to Travel Naturally???
    Thanks!
    Liz