Homestead Projects You Can DIY In a Weekend

Homestead Projects You Can DIY In a Weekend

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There’s always something to be done or fixed on homesteads, it seems. Here are 4 simple homestead projects you can do in a weekend.

By Jenny Underwood  It seems to me that there is a never-ending list of projects we need to complete around our homestead. It ranges from the simple to the more complex. But one thing is certain, most of them can be made much more inexpensively if I do it myself, and with the rising cost of everything, that is something that can benefit us all!  

Root Storage Bins

This year saw our gardens produce a large number of potatoes, and we needed a convenient way to store them. I wasn’t impressed with plastic totes since the price, quality, and lack of airflow were all negatives. When my husband brought some dumpster-bound lumber home, I knew I had found the answer. And for about an hour’s work, we had several large crates that worked perfectly to hold approximately 60 pounds of potatoes. Here’s how to make them:    



  • Sideboards (8, 16 inches by 3 1/2 inches) 
  • Bottom boards (4, 17 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches) 
  • Braces (4, 9 inches by 1 inch) 
  • Screws or nails  

You will need either repurposed lumber or new lumber (pallets are excellent). Be creative. Are you or a neighbor tearing down a structure? If possible, take that lumber and make something with it. Don’t worry if the dimensions aren’t “perfect.” You can either just readjust or use a saw to rip the boards to your desired width. We cut our boards 16 inches long for the sides. There was 8 boards total for the sides. (16 inches long x 3 1/2 inches wide) and 4 boards for the bottom. You can use whatever type of saw you have available; however, we used a chop-saw which made short work of that job! Consider how large you want your crates. Don’t make them too large if you will be carrying them. If you’re simply putting them in a root cellar and then filling them, that’s not as big of an issue. Our crates have airflow, so the boards are not touching on the sides. This will save you material; however, if you need something to hold a vegetable like carrots which are usually stored in sand, then you will want your sides solid.    

After you have your boards cut, then you will need to fasten them together. The easiest way is an air gun, but you can also use a screw gun or hammer and nails. Pre-drilling your holes will help to prevent the wood from splitting. Build the sides by laying down 2 short boards (these are the braces that will attach your sides together). Place them the distance apart your sideboards are. Fasten your boards on the braces at each end. Do this for 2 opposite sides. Now fasten all of your sides together by joining the corners and either nailing or screwing them together. Flip the four walls over and fasten the bottom on. You can make a solid bottom or a slatted one for airflow. (shown)  

Garden Cover Structures

Another project that will save you money is building your own garden cover structures. We have multiple raised beds in our garden, and it’s simple to build a hoop house to get an early start on the season. The hoop can be covered with either clear plastic to extend or jump-start your season or mesh netting to prevent bug infestations.  



  • PVC 
  • Plastic covering  
  • Netting 
  • Screws  

To build the hoops, you will need PVC pipe. Measure how tall you want your hoop to go above the bed. Then add approximately 70 inches to that total. (For example, ours is 50 inches tall, so the total length we cut was 120 inches). If you have an existing raised bed, you may be able to do what we did and drill holes in the boards along the sides. Then simply slide your PVC pipe down into the holes and run a screw through them to hold them securely. Place them every 2 feet for a durable structure. We ran ours through the top and bottom boards to make a sturdier fit. If you don’t have this capability, then you will need to make a simple frame to attach your PVC to. Again, drilling holes slightly larger than the pipe will allow you to fasten them together.  

Raised Beds

And speaking of raised beds, it’s super simple to make your own. Raised beds can be made from just about any material, but we prefer either plain wood or a barn roofing metal and wood strip combo. The plain, untreated wood will last for years, but the metal/wood will last much longer. I recommend making your raised beds no wider than what you can comfortably reach from each side to the middle. Ours are 8 feet by 4 feet. This uses exactly 1 piece of metal (12 feet by 3 feet) with zero waste. As the price of metal has increased, these are obviously more expensive than they were 10 years ago when we built our first ones. However, given their durability, we still feel these are an excellent investment.    



  • 1 piece sheet metal (36 inches by 12 feet)  
  • 3, 2 by 4s, 8 feet long (ripped in half) 
  • Screws  

To begin, rip your sheet metal in half widthwise. This will give you 2, 12-feet long pieces that are each 1 1/2 feet wide. Then cut 2, 8-feet lengths. This will give you 2, 4-feet length pieces left over. The long pieces are for your sides, and the short ones are for your ends. If you don’t want your beds this large, then adjust as needed. We then ripped 2 by 4s in half to give us 1 by 2s. You will need 8 1-1/2-foot 1x2s. You will need 4 4-foot long 1x2s and 4 8-foot long 1x2s.    

Fasten the 1 by 2s to the metal on the outside of each piece. Make sure you do the sides and tops of all pieces. Then attach braces on each side and ends. Screw the end of one long piece to the end of one short piece. Continue around the bed. We dug down to level our beds (though this is nice and attractive, it is not absolutely necessary). Then we filled our raised beds with good dirt.  

Some options are:  

  • Topsoil 
  • Compost 
  • Rotted manure 
  • Potting soil  

Ask around if your neighbors feed livestock or horses, and perhaps they will bring you some dirt where they feed their animals, as this is usually rich and full of nutrients.  

Compost Bin

No homestead is complete without a compost bin of your own! These can be elaborate or extremely simple. Ours are made from repurposed pallets. This creates a double-sided compost bin with open fronts. (Think a capital E shape). Place your bin close enough to the house where it’s convenient to dump vegetable and fruit scraps but far enough away that bugs and smells won’t bother you!    



  • 5 wooden pallets 
  • 7 or 8 T-posts 
  • Wire   

To begin, mark out your area and drive your first T-post. Either slide your pallet over the top or attach it from the side with wire. At the other end of the pallet, do the same thing. At a 45-degree angle, attach a second pallet and 2 more T-posts. Then attach a third pallet at a 45-degree angle from that one. Go to the back of the third one at a 45-degree angle and attach a fourth pallet and 2 more posts. Then, at another 45-degree angle, attach your last pallet and T-posts. Wire all of your pallet joints together for a sturdy structure.    

So, remember, even though prices are increasing, there are many things you can make yourself around the homestead to save you money and make your life a little easier! Happy Building!

Originally published in the January/February 2023 issue of Countryside and Small Stock Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy.

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