Box of items to repurpose- cardboard box, egg cartons, bottles, tin cans

Homesteading is all about living a sustainable lifestyle. This means we limit our outside resources and extend the life of every tool, supply, and structure as much as possible. What better way to increase sustainability than using what you already have and making it last? Here is a list of 26 DIY homestead projects that utilize repurposed materials.

DIY Homestead Projects that Utilize Repurposed Items

Stop tossing your trash out without considering each item’s potential uses. There is so much that can be done on your homestead with “trash”. Read through this list of homestead projects that you can create for your livestock, garden, and more without needing to make a purchase. 

DIY Homestead Garden Projects

These DIY projects will save money and reduce waste while you build a sustainable garden on your homestead. 

1. Cardboard Box Weed Barrier

Have extra cardboard boxes lying around? Use them to create a biodegradable garden weed barrier! All you need to do is break the boxes down, lay them on the ground in your garden area, then add soil and compost on top. 

Back to eden garden with cardboard and newspaper as weed barrier

You can even go to the local grocery store and ask for their discarded boxes. Just be sure to remove any tape and avoid boxes with a glossy coating. 

2. Milk Jug, Juice Carton, Soda Bottle Planters

DIY planting containers can be made out of many different items that you might normally toss in the trash. Old milk jugs, cardboard juice cartons, plastic bottles, and oat containers make some of the best small planters and seed-starting containers. 

3. Tire Planter

What can you do with old tires? Plant in them! You can lay a tire down, fill it with soil, and grow just like you would in any other raised bed. It is best to use tires for plants you do not intend to eat such as cut flowers, fragrant herbs, and ornamental plants because they can potentially leach chemicals into the soil over time. 

4. 5-Gallon Bucket Container Garden

A bucket container garden is perfect for small-space gardeners and for people who might need a portable vegetable garden option. Drill holes in the bottom of the buckets, add soil, plant seeds or starts, water, wait, and harvest!

5. 5-Gallon Bucket Garden Hose Storage

Grab an old bucket and make a storage container for your garden hose! There is no need to leave your hoses lying around the yard when this simple trick will have them nice and neat in no time! 

6. DIY Herb Drying Rack with Repurposed Baskets and Wreaths

Drying herbs is a great way to preserve them for future use. You can make a DIY herb drying rack out of old baskets and even wreaths! Jill Ragan of Whispering Willow Farm has an easy tutorial

DIY Herb drying rack | repurposed DIY homestead projects

7. DIY Worm Compost Bin

Worm composting is an incredible way to reduce food waste and add valuable nutrients to your garden. You can use buckets and storage bins to create a DIY worm farm for your homestead. 

8. 5-Gallon Bucket Compost Bin

Not ready for worm composting? Use a 5-gallon bucket to create a simple backyard compost system. A bucket compost bin works well for small amounts of compost or for beginning the decomposition process before moving onto a larger compost bin. 

DIY Bucket compost bin | Mama on the Homestead | homestead projects

9. Wood Pallet Compost Bin

If you are ready for a larger compost system and you have pallets lying around, you can build a pallet compost bin! This can be made into one simple bin or into a three-bin composting system. 

10. Wood Pallet Planter

Pallets can also be used for vertical gardening. Turning a wood pallet into a planting container will help you to utilize your vertical space and allow you to maximize growth in a small area. 

11. DIY Garden Markers

There are plenty of pretty garden markers that you can purchase, but you can also make neat DIY garden markers out of items that you would normally toss in the trash. Use tin can lids, spoons, or even popsicle sticks to mark what you have planted in your garden. 

12. Paper Seed Starting Containers

You don’t have to buy plastic seed-starting containers to start seeds indoors. Try using newspaper, cardboard egg cartons, or toilet paper rolls instead!

13. Feed Bag Potato Grow Bag 

Potatoes can be grown easily in bags, but it isn’t necessary to purchase large grow bags. You can use feed bags to grow potatoes just as well! 

DIY Homestead Livestock Projects

Infrastructure for farm animals can cost a pretty penny. These homestead projects will allow you to have solid shelter and supplies for your livestock when you don’t have enough money to buy new (or when you just prefer to use what you have on hand). 

14. 5-Gallon Bucket Chicken Nest Boxes

Chickens need nest boxes big enough for them to turn around in, but small enough to feel cozy and safe. The nest boxes should also have a top. This helps the hens feel protected from aerial predators. 5-Gallon buckets work perfectly as chicken nest boxes! Read the tutorial here

15. Pallet Goat Milking Stand

If you need a solid milking stand for your dairy goats, grab a few pallets and make one! The full video tutorial can be found here.

16. 5-Gallon Bucket Chicken Feeder

Are you in need of new large chicken feeders, but you don’t want to shell out $30 for each one? Grab a 5-gallon bucket, a feed pan, and a drill with a hole saw attachment. You will have a DIY chicken feeder in no time for just a few dollars. 

DIY Bucket chicken feeder | homestead projects | Mama on the Homestead

17. Cattle Panel Chicken Coop

Building a chicken coop doesn’t have to break the bank. If you are homesteading on a budget and you need a secure coop that will keep your birds out of the elements and safe from predators, you can build a DIY chicken coop with some wood and cattle panels. This type of chicken coop can be portable or stationary. 

18. 5-Gallon Bucket Kill Cones

Equipment for processing chickens can get pricey if you purchase everything new. One way to save a little cash is to make your own kill cones out of 5-gallon buckets.

19. Milk Jug Feed Scoop

Need extra scoops for livestock feed? Grab some milk jugs and make a few DIY feed scoops! This is a simple one-step process- leave the lid on and cut a ½ gallon milk jug in half. That’s it!

20. Repurposed Chick Brooders

Brooders for baby chicks can be made out of stock tanks, storage bins, wooden boxes, even cardboard boxes (just be careful with this if you use heat lamps). Here are 5 DIY chick brooder ideas that use repurposed homestead items. 

21. Plastic Bottle Fly Trap

You can kill two birds with one stone here:

  1. Reduce waste
  2. Reduce the fly population

This is a very easy DIY project. Simply take a plastic juice, soda, or large water bottle that you planned to throw away and turn it into a DIY fly trap!

DIY Fly tap | Jill Winger | DIY Homestead Projects
Image from The Prairie Homestead

Other DIY Homestead Projects Using Repurposed Materials

22. DIY Firestarters

There are many natural and repurposed items that can be used as DIY fire starters:

  • Dryer lint
  • Paper towel rolls
  • Toiler paper rolls
  • Cardboard Eggs Cartons
  • Orange Peels
  • Nutshells

23. Flower Pot Saucer Honeybee Waterer

If you have extra saucers from plant pots or anything that can hold a little water, then you can make a waterer for honeybees. This is a good homestead project to do whether you are a beekeeper or if you just want to help out the wild honeybees in your area. 

Honeybee waterer | Mama on the Homestead

24. Mason Jar Bird Feeder

Mason jar chick feeders can be hung up, filled with bird seed, and used to feed wild birds. You can also use a mason jar waterer (the kind with a red saucer) to feed hummingbirds. 

25. Decorate with Repurposed Items

Not all homestead projects have to be practical, sometimes they can just make the place look nice. Anything old that you have lying around can be repurposed into something beautiful. Check out these ideas from Jill Winger.

26. Pallet Fire Wood Storage Box

If you cut and store your own firewood, you will need a good dry place to keep the wood. Pallets work great for making a DIY firewood storage box

What is your favorite DIY Homestead Project?


Keep Creating with these Homestead Projects


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A big part of homesteading is learning to use what you have. Here is a list of 26 DIY homestead projects that utilize repurposed materials.