Crafting and Making

Make Stuff , great place to go for easy instructions for making many different things. LOTS of stuff here. Also annoying banner ads, but oh well.

Soap making threads , from the Countryside discussion forum.

Native Tech , online information sources regarding the technology and art of Native Americans.Weaving, cordage, painting, pottery, games, foods, plants, beads, featherwork, tools.

Home Depot Project Index , I know, it’s a big box store, but their website has lots of practical information on home improvement projects. “Fix it, build it, install it, grow it.”

Useful Crafts — basic info for knitting, weaving, hooking rugs, crocheting, soap making, candlemaking, rug making, cross stitch. From one of my more favorite frugal places on the web, Pat Veretto’s Frugal Living page at

Root cellar homepage at Walton Feed

Root cellars

Root cellars from Maryland Extension

Missouri Alternatives Center , several troves of interesting information.

How a chain saw works , from the How Stuff Works website, a comprehensive look at chain saws.

The Texas Guide to Rainwater Harvesting , from the Texas Water Development Board, downloadable in Adobe Acrobat pdf format. Just about everything you need to know.

Harvesting rainwater , access, sources, building code/public health issues.

The Brick Oven Page , from the Masonry Heater Association, domestic, commercial, sourdough,

Adobe Bakeoven .

Nicaraguan Outdoor Masonry ovens

Ovencrafters , some basics and instructions for baking in masonry ovens.

Haybox cooking , how to make a crockpot that doesn’t require electricity. From the Center for Alternative Technology in the United Kingdom. Great info here, more tip sheets, access.

Herbal Salve Recipes , make them yourself in your own kitchen, grow your own herbs.

Plastic bags , a long list — and getting longer — of recycling uses for plastic bags, a plentiful resource in modern society.

Recycling links from them that’s doin about how to do it.

Alternative Technology Internet Links , lots of information.

Homemade with love — gifts from the kitchen , from the southern food pages at the Mining Company.

How Stuff Works hundreds of reports describing how out technology works.

Centre for Alternative Technology , “Europe’s foremost eco-centre.” Educational group, offers publications and research (some online at the site), demonstration projects.

Natural homemade cleaners , recipes made from common ingredients.

Lindsay Books , a great publisher of incredible how-to books, need to know how to build a machine shop from scratch? It’s here, as is detailed information about running vehicles on producer gas. Good fast service, we’ve ordered several of their titles.

The Bag Bed , this project was awarded a price from the American Plastics Council as the most unusual recycling idea for plastic grocery bags. This site shows you have to weave the bags into a fabric and then turn the fabric into a warm sleeping bag/bed for homeless people. It takes about 1,000 used plastic bags to make a bed/sleeping bag, but it is warm and comfortable. Or so the site says. Lots of pictures, easy instructions.

EcoGenics , research & development in alternative energy and building systems, has manuals (not online, for sale) on alternative fuels production (methane, alcohol, producer), solar energy, and other alternative building subjects, including building closed loop ecosystems, based on their actual experiences..

How Things Work , a very big pile of information explaining how things work. Many things.

Crafts & Hobbies , from Pat Veretto, Frugal Living guide, great collection of fun and useful things to do.

A solar windowbox air heater , make it yourself to fit your own windows. We are interested in any feedback from readers who have built something like this, as it is on our list of projects to do.

The Society of Primitive Technology , nonprofit org dedicated to the research, practice, and teaching of primitive technology. Lots of interesting content here, in particular, see Building a house on limited means , “the elimination of all that is unnecessary to build a dream,” how 2 people with a household income of $10,000/year built their own home. This should be taught in high schools, but it will never happen, ’cause it is too sensible, and too threatening to the housing and mortgage corporations.

Brad’s Draft Resources , links to harness makers and other draft animal resources.

B.W. McNair and Son , commercial supplier of draft animal and steam powered farm equipment.

Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion , “where your past is our present,” annual get-together of owners and afficionados of classic 19th and early 20th century farm equipment. Exhibits of draft animal, steam and early gas powered farm equipment, including threshers.

Southeast Old Thresher’s Reunion , steam, gas, and antique farm equipment.

National Threshers Association , annual event featuring 40+ working steam engines powering sawmills, threshers, and etc.

Oklahoma Steam Threshers Association , located in Pawnee, Oklahoma, sponsoring the “March of Machines,” antique tractors and cars, steam threshers, horse drawn farm equipment.

Grain Harvesting , a page of information about the history of grain harvesting, from hand reaping through the invention of the modern “combine”, with particular attention to the McCormick Reaper, from the Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

Hand Papermaking , how to make your own paper. Sources of fiber and pulp.

Popular Science , on-line presence of the hardcopy magazine, lots of fun info and features.

Thickos guide to distilling alcohol . Lots of details, step by step instructions.