Being prepared for the whatever or anything is more important than ever. Here are nine, easy DIY prepper projects anyone can do.
Seriously. Even if you have never stepped foot inside a home improvement store, cooked anything from scratch before, or don’t think of yourself as handy, you can do these projects!
Are you ready? Let’s go.
9 DIY Prepper Ideas
If you’re looking to make your home a little more prepared, these 9 DIY prepper ideas will help set you in the right direction. Plus, once you see how do-able these projects are, you might just happen to discover the inspiration to start on other preparedness projects!
Prepping for the just in case or for catastrophe is on the minds of a lot of people right now. Between the rise of catastrophe or doomsday preppers and emergency preparedness kits being sold everywhere from Costco to Pottery Barn, you’d think that being prepared or well-stocked is a new concept–or a political statement.
However, there is practicality in being prepared. As well, there is a practicality in being self-sufficient and trying to weave more of it into your life.
There are many reasons for being prepared for the whatever that have absolutely nothing to do with current events, news, or politics. For example, having a supply of essentials on hand can help you through a job layoff, divorce, or illness, when money is tight or when you can’t work.
Generations long before our time practiced self-sufficiency and lived with a prepared mindset as a way of survival. If you have any doubt, think Little House on the Prairie. Preparing for the cold months each year was a process in planning and preparation.
There is comfort and security that can come along with having a well-stocked pantry, saved seeds, extra batteries, and knowing DIY skills, like how to can and preserve food, make candles, or sew.
Prepping is also fun and can give you something meaningful to do with your time, like teaching yourself about food storage and DIY home skills.
Prepping on Any Budget
It’s important to keep in mind that prepping can be done on any budget. You don’t need to buy a nearly $500 Pottery Barn Emergency LUX kit or survival kit to plan for uncertain times.
And you don’t have to have a fully stocked pantry or emergency supply cabinet overnight. You can take your time building reserves over time, and with whatever budget you have.
When it comes to prepping on a budget, it’s about prioritizing the essentials. When you need to buy supplies, you can look for deals or shop the bulk aisles. You can even find free supplies, such as free seeds (which you can sometimes find through seed saving groups, neighbors, friends, at community libraries, or food co-ops).
You can also save money by prepping with family, friends, and neighbors, sharing or swapping deals, coupons, discounts, or finds as you build your supplies. For example, if you want to purchase mylar emergency blankets and you find a bulk deal online (sometimes about the same price as buying one or two), you could swap your finds with others in exchange for items you need.
1. Store Emergency Water
A great, simple DIY prepper project anyone can do is to create an emergency water storage plan. Whether you set up rainwater collection barrels, which can be used for gardening or emergency water, an elaborate solar water collection filtration system, or buy plastic gallon jugs of water at the grocery store, having stored water is a good idea for anyone.
And not just for disaster. Stored water could be needed when town or city water projects go awry. For example, recently, I was glad I had stored water when my town’s plan to shut off water for an hour turned into an entire day+ project.
You can buy collapsible water storage jugs, which are useful if you are living in small spaces, to store water. Also, if your budget is tighter, you can also buy one gallon jug of water (or a case of 6 liters, outside of North America) at a time at grocery stores, discount stores, or box stores like Target or Walmart.
What you need to store water (basic):
- water storage jugs (can be anything really, as long as they are clean and suitable for drinking water or food storage; I prefer BPA storage containers, mason jars and glass bottles).
- pre-filled gallon water jugs (buy at grocery, discount, or box stores)
2. Make Your Own Homemade Butter
Making butter from scratch is not complicated at all. In fact, my kids learned how to make butter in preschool, simply by shaking cream and a little salt in a glass jar–passing is around the classroom, from child to child while singing songs.
What you need to make butter:
- heavy cream
- a glass jar
- salt (optional)
- pure maple syrup (optional for sweet butter)
How you do it:
You pour the cream into a jar, such as a mason jar. Screw on the lid. And start shaking until you see a lump form. This could take 15 minutes or more. As the lump forms, you’ll see liquid in the jar. Drain this and save it. It’s buttermilk. You can use it in another recipe, like pancakes. You’re butter is ready when it looks like a lump of butter. Wrap the butter up or put in a container to store.
You can find a How to Make Butter recipe at Allrecipes.
3. Make Your Own Almond Milk
If you have a stash of Almonds, you can easily make almond milk. While homemade almond milk is best used within a few days, if you know how to make milk from almonds, you can then make it anytime you need milk for cooking–or for coffee.
What you need to make almond milk:
- pitted dates
- maple syrup or sweetener (optional)
- fine mesh strainer bag or milkbag
- bottle for storing the milk
You can find a How to Make Almond Milk recipe here at How to Make Almond Milk.
4. Make Your Own Candles
Making your own candles is a DIY prepper project anyone can do. Knowing how to make your own candles is an important skill. Plus, when you know how to make candles, you also have a bonus inexpensive gift idea for family and friends.
Every fall, my children and I make candles for our upcoming year, for emergency, and also for gifting.
What you need to make candles:
- wax (I prefer soy wax)
- mason jars or recycled, clean jars (e.g, jelly jars)
- scents or essential oils (optional)
- popsicle sticks, wick holders, wick tabs, or pencils for holding wicks in place
You can find a How to Make Mason Jar Candles here at wiki.
5. Build a Cold Frame
Building a cold frame is an easy and fun weekend DIY prepper project anyone can do. A cold frame (think mini greenhouse) is useful for growing veggies during the cold season. It can also help you get your spring seeds started.
You don’t need a lot of land or space to use a cold frame. In fact, you can even make a balcony or patio friendly cold frame, which is a great option for self-sufficiency and preparedness for city or urban dwellers.
What you need to make a cold frame (basic):
- wood, plywood, or used pallets
- old windows, plexi glass, or plastic
- measuring tape/ruler
- electric screw drill & screwdriver
You can find an example of How to Make a Small Balcony Cold Frame here on YouTube. However, there are many examples and tutorials online, from basic to fancy, and from cheap to pricy. If you’re not in the mood for building your own cold frame, you can always buy one, like this one online.
6. A Go-Bag
A go-bag is one of those true emergency preparedness items. Whenever I think of one, I think of the series The Walking Dead. A go-bag is basically a bag that you could quickly grab in a pinch that contains survival essentials. A bag that you could reach for and leave a situation fast!
Making a go-bag is an easy and simple DIY prepper project that anyone can do. It’s also a project that you can make piece by piece, little by little, depending on your budget.
What you need to make a go-bag (basic):
- backpack or bag with straps
- first aid kit
- extra batteries
- small waterproof bag or sack or container to hold matches and lighter
- essential medications (e.g., epi-pen, allergy medicine, advil/tylenol, antibiotic ointment)
- a mylar survival blanket or bivvy sack
- a water filter, like a Life Straw, or iodine, water purification tablets
- food (anything high in calories, think athlete or mountaineer food, and with a long shelf-life)
- swiss army knife or multi-purpose tool
- compass & paper map of your location (and map of where you might go in an emergency)
- hat & gloves
- LED light, propane lantern, or candles
- water bottle or collapsible carrier, like a soft flask.
- duct tape or multi-purpose tape
- bandana or buff (multipurpose, including for first aid)
- emergency stove (like a mini stove used for backpacking or make your own coffee can stove)
- solar charger
- flint/firestarter tool
- emergency phone & important contact numbers/addresses (on paper)
- some cash
- copies of important documents, like birth certificate and passport
7. Food Storage Tote or System
Another DIY Prepper Projects anyone can do is to create a designated emergency food storage tote, shelves, or storage area for food in reserve. This could be as basic as a plastic, pest proof, air tight storage tote that you keep tucked away in the closet, or a sophisticated shelving system in a bunker (where your food supply is safely hidden).
If organization is your thing, you could go wild organizing and labeling your emergency food supply.
What you need to make a food storage tote (basic)
- plastic tote
8. Plan Out Your Emergency Escape & Destination
When it comes to DIY Prepper Projects anyone can do, planning out an emergency escape and destination in the event of the worse case scenario is a good project. This might be even more important for city or urban dwellers. In the worse case scenario, where would you go? Do you have a family meeting point, in the event of telecommunications (cell phone) failure? Do you have a designated refuge point?
What you need to make an emergency escape & destination plan:
- map, pen, paper
- go-bag, including emergency addresses, directions, & contact info
9. Start a Seed Saving Collection
Starting a seed collection is another good project when it comes to DIY prepper projects anyone an do. You can start a seed collection on any budget, and even find seeds for free or save them from your organic produce.
What you need to start a seed saving collection:
- dry storage containers for seeds or create your own seed packet envelopes
To learn how to start a seed saving collection and save seeds check out Seed Savers.
Drop a comment below. What are your thoughts on these 9 DIY Prepper Projects Anyone Can Do list?