Top 10 Things to DIY at Home to Save Money

Home DIY doesn’t mean spending your weekend with a power drill. Here are ten things you can do at home to save money. And most of them take under ten minutes to do.

1. Home-Made Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Goodbye Store-Bought Cleaner. Hello tea-tree oil. This home-made recipe can be put together in five minutes. Mix together all the ingredients below. Pour into a spray bottle and you’re ready to clean.

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup dish washing liquid
  • 4 teaspoons Borax
  • 5 drops tea tree oil

*Borax is a common household chemical you can get from Bunnings.

2. Home-Made Play Dough

Seriously it’s not rocket science. If you can make porridge, you can do this. And it beats buying a $12 tub from the store. Mix all ingredients together. Heat over low fire and stir until doughy. Allow to cool and seal in air-tight container. Tip: Don’t over-cook the dough.

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Food colouring

3. Home-Made Muesli Bars

Home made muesli bar

This one you might need a little culinary skill. But not a lot. There’s no baking involved. And it’s not like it will sink or anything.


  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup of sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup of wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • Just under 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/8 cup of brown sugar


  1. Grease and line a square baking tin with baking paper
  2. Put the first six ingredients into the frying pan and stir over medium heat until golden
  3. Transfer to a bowl to cool
  4. Stir in the cranberries
  5. Heat the butter, honey and sugar in a small saucepan. Stir constantly for 3 to 4 minutes until
    sugar dissolves
  6. Bring to boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, without stirring, for 5 minutes
  7. Stir butter mixture into dry ingredients
  8. Spoon the mixture into the baking tin. Press down evenly with a spoon
  9. Allow to cool and then cut into rectangles

4. Home-Made Cork Board

The next time you drink wine, don’t throw away the corks. Literally turn it into a cork board for pinning up notices. All you need is an old picture frame. And lots of corks. Just fill the entire frame with corks. Stick them sideways so you can see the names of the wineries on them. Makes every board special.

5. Home-Made iPod Dock

Don’t feel like forking out a hundred bucks for an iPod dock? Stick your iPhone into a bowl or jar for some enhanced acoustics.

6. Home-Made Fabric Deodoriser

I just realised that not all supermarkets sell fabric deodoriser, or the brand I normally use. If you find yourself facing kid vomit of the carpet, this is handy: Mix 2 cups of baking soda with 10 drops of lavender oil or any other antibacterial essential oil. Sprinkle mixed powder over carpet or cushion. Let it sit for an hour then vacuum.

7. Home-Made Kids Games

Paper elephant

Here are my favourite DIY keep-the-kids-occupied-at-home ideas:

Potato stamps: You know this. You probably did this in school. Carve shapes into the potato and let them stamp away. A change from doing hand prints.

DIY train tracks: Get some chalk and let them draw their own tracks in the driveway.
Paper and straw aeroplanes: These paper planes don’t really look like planes but apparently they fly really well.

8. Wrapping Paper and Cards

Finally, a use for those drawings your kids keep bringing home. (Well, the ones you don’t want to keep.) Use them as wrapping paper or stick them onto a card to make a unique greeting card. You’ll never find another one like it in a store. Or any where else. I guarantee your recipient will love it.

9. Lace Lampshade

This one doesn’t look that easy to do. But it was too pretty to leave out. If you like craft and in particular, gluing, you'll love this. It’s a mid-century hanging globe that adds character to the room.

10. Vinegar Dishwasher Wash

Last but not least, a simple trick to get rid of dishwasher ‘bad breath.’ Place a cup filled with vinegar on the top rack of an emptied dishwasher. Sprinkle the bottom section of the dishwasher with baking soda. Run the dishwasher on a hot cycle. An inexpensive way to get rid of odours and grime.