Archive of DIY Projects Archives | Page 4 of 7 | Truth is Treason

How to: Construct Secret Hiding Places Thumbnail

How to: Construct Secret Hiding Places

Posted on Aug 15, 2011 in DIY Projects – Kevin Hayden

Source: Root Simple

I love alternate views of our normal notions of domesticity and home economics. On a recent trip to the book section of a large surplus store, I noticed our first book The Urban Homestead right alongside books on burying weapons caches, wiring solar panels, acting as your own dentist and assembling SKS rifles. We certainly have exciting company on this journey.

One book in particular caught my eye, The Construction of Secret Hiding Places by Charles Robinson. You can download a .pdf of this book for free here. Of course, the fact that this info exists in book and interweb form means that the secrets aren’t, well, secrets anymore.  Nevertheless, I’ll never view a stairwell, baseboard or that useless space under the dishwasher in quite the same way again.

Do you have a favorite secret hiding place? Anonymous comments are welcome . . ....

Continue ReadingLeave a Comment
How to: Build a Wooden Pergola – Outdoor Living & Gardening Thumbnail

How to: Build a Wooden Pergola – Outdoor Living & Gardening

Posted on Aug 01, 2011 in DIY Projects – Kevin Hayden

Source: DIY Network

Step 1: Select Site, Set Posts
Select the site for the pergola and mark the placement of the four posts. Use a post-hole digger or two-person auger to dig holes to a depth of 24 inches and width of 9 inches. Add a few inches of gravel to the bottom of the holes for drainage. Insert 4×4 posts into the holes. Ensure the posts are level and plumb. Attach temporary 2×4 bracing to hold in place. Mix fast-drying cement according to manufacturer’s directions and pour in holes. Let cure for 24 hours.

Step 2: Attach Joist Beams
Cut joist beams from 2×10 boards to span the pergola posts. To create a decorative look on the end of the joist beams, draw a straight or curved design on the wood and cut along the line with a jigsaw. Temporarily clamp in place while holes are drilled through the beams and posts. Attach the beams to the posts using 3-inch lag bolts.

Step 3: Attach Stringers
Cut the stringers from 2×6 boards to span and overhang the joist beams....

Continue ReadingLeave a Comment
How to: DIY Well Bucket Using PVC Pipe Thumbnail

How to: DIY Well Bucket Using PVC Pipe

Posted on Jun 24, 2011 in DIY Projects – Kevin Hayden

Source: Alpha Rubicon (Public Side)

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. More precisely, water in the newly drilled well – but none to mix mortar with.  The well drilling company hadn’t put the pump, pipe or electrical cable down the hole yet, so I decided to make a well bucket out of PVC pipe and an old inner tube so I could get some water. This well bucket will work with any drilled well at least 4” in diameter. The capacity of the bucket depends on how long you make the main pipe.  I made this one a little over 3’ in length, which gives me about 1.5 gallons every time I raise it out of the well.

Hayden’s Note:

I did not write this article, obviously.  But I find myself in a similar situation with my “Homesteading with a Shipping Container” project over at  I have an 8″ well casing, 140 feet deep, and will be placing a manual well pump on it.  I debated a standard 3/4 HP electric pump, tied into a generator and cistern tank, but ultimately, I wanted self-sufficiency in a grid-down situation. ...

Continue ReadingView Comments (3)
How to: Make Paper Bricks as a Fire Starter Thumbnail

How to: Make Paper Bricks as a Fire Starter

Posted on Jun 20, 2011 in DIY Projects – Kevin Hayden


I’ve been playing around with making paper bricks as a substitute for firewood. One small issue is that I don’t actually have a fireplace at my current house, but I’m not going to let a trivial thing like that hold me back!

A paper brick, and paper brick makerSo what’s the concept? Its pretty simple. You soak some newspaper in water, put it in brick mold, squish out the water and leave it to dry. The brick maker I’m using and a sample brick are pictured. You end up with a compressed brick of newspaper that you can throw in your slow-combustion fireplace.

Getting the brick maker can be a little tricky – there was a time when you could pick them up from any hardware store. The reason why they’re a little hard to find nowadays (in my humble opinion) is that the paper bricks are not as good as real firewood.

There. I said it. I admitted the green, DIY alternative isn’t as good. Wow – what a release!

But all is not lost. The truth is that, in my experience in other houses where I’ve had wood-fire heating, paper bricks do not burn as long as a good hardwood log, or as hot....

Continue ReadingLeave a Comment

How to: 8 Steps to Build Your Bartering Network

Posted on Jun 13, 2011 in DIY Projects – Kevin Hayden

Source: Alt-Market

The trading of goods without the use of paper currency is not a difficult concept. People all across the country do it everyday. Barter, in its simplest sense, is not dead, and never will be. However, the organized use of barter as an alternative to the mainstream economy; THAT is something America has all but forgotten. One serious problem that I consistently seem to run into is the assumption that barter needs “backers”, meaning, many people believe the existing methodology of business must be the driver for barter to become “big” again.

For decades, barter organizations of every shape and size have been so focused on pursuing a centralized corporate profit model that they forget the foundation of success in barter is the strength of the individual participants. This is why we have seen so many false starts and failures in localized commerce initiatives. It is the same reason why many existing barter groups remain in a sort of stasis, unable to grow, frustrating organizers and members alike. Liberty Dollar, for instance, was so centralized that a single federal raid was all that was needed to dismantle Bernard von NotHaus’ accomplishments and his years of effort....

Continue ReadingView Comments (1)

How to: Bake Camp Fire, Survival and Flat Breads

Posted on Jun 02, 2011 in - Food & Recipes – Kevin Hayden

Source: Various

Bannock bread is any of a large variety of flat quick breads. The word can also be applied to any large, round article baked or cooked from grain. When a round bannock is cut into wedges, the wedges are often called scones. But in Scotland, the words bannock and scone are often used interchangeably.  This is a very simple form of bread to make while camping or in survival situations.

Bannock on a Stick – Different Recipe

Indian Flatbread – Roti or Chapati

This recipe makes 4 Roti’s:
1/2 Cup Whole wheat flour
Pinch of Salt
1/4 Cup and 1 tablespoon of luke warm water
1/4 teaspoon of Oil
1 teaspoon of Ghee or clear butter

Continue ReadingLeave a Comment

How to: Make a Family Meal Plan that Works

Posted on May 31, 2011 in - Food & Recipes – Kevin Hayden

Source: Off the Grid News (Great website, highly recommended!)

It is another typical day. You wake up and jump in the shower thinking about what to throw on the table for breakfast. After considering many possibilities, you realize you are out of time. You grab a couple boxes of breakfast cereal from the cupboard and the gallon of milk from the fridge. Lunch passes in a blur too, the bread winner of the family ends up buying lunch at the local fast food joint, and you end up feeling guilty about the health (or lack thereof) of the cookies you snatched up for a snack. Finally, after a long and tiring day, you stand despondently in front of the fridge while the kids bounce off the walls screaming they are hungry. Must be another pizza night.

Does this sound familiar? You need a plan! If you thought making a menu was only for those über-organized. Type-A personalities, think again. You will reap lots of benefits such as:

  • Reduced stress knowing what to make and when to make it.

Continue ReadingLeave a Comment

How to: Build a Signal Fire – Wilderness Survival

Posted on May 25, 2011 in DIY Projects – Kevin Hayden

Source: The Art of Manliness

Cell phones and GPS die and break. Knowing how to signal your distress with natural resources and basic tools is a valuable skill. Whether you’re marooned on an island or lost in the wilderness, a man (or woman!) needs to know how to get help.

Signal Fire 101

The most common and most effective method of signaling for help, assuming you don’t have any form of electronic tech, is the signal fire. A well-built signal fire will attract attention for miles in every direction. It also has the added benefit of indicating to an airborne rescuer (i.e. helicopter) what the wind conditions are like in your location. A good signal fire differs in several ways from your basic camp fire or cooking fire, however, and you will want to make sure you get these differences right in order for your signal to be as effective as possible.

First, you will need to evaluate your resources. If you are in an area with an abundance of dry wood, there is no reason why you shouldn’t keep your signal fire lit as long and often as possible....

Continue ReadingView Comments (1)

How to: Cut Down a CCTV Camera Pole

Posted on May 23, 2011 in DIY Projects – Kevin Hayden

Source: YouTube

I take no responsibility in what you choose to do with this wonderful and slightly educational film. If nothing else, maybe it will spark some brainstorming sessions.

Kevin Hayden


Continue ReadingLeave a Comment

10 Things NOT to Say at the Farmer’s Market

Posted on May 16, 2011 in DIY Projects – Kevin Hayden

Source: Chicago Tribune

The farmers market season has begun and fans of the region’s asparagus (now), strawberries (soon) and tomatoes and peaches (later this season) will be lining up at their favorite purveyors for the locally grown fruits and vegetables (no, you won’t find pineapples or oranges, at least not in the midwest or north), artisan cheeses, honey and locally-raised meats and poultry.

When you grab your market tote to head out to a farmers market, consider taking along the  “What’s In Season” list  from the Illinois Department of Agriculture (check your own state website or organization for local seasonal foods!).  And when the season for soft berries (raspberries, blackberries, etc.) begins, bring along a reusable plastic container to keep them from being crushed in the tote home.

When you arrive, here are some helpful tips on what NOT to say…

1. These carrots have dirt on them.
2. How much for one?
3. If I buy two pounds of beans, do I get a discount?
4. What kind of pesticides do you use?

Continue ReadingLeave a Comment

The Benefits of Raised Garden Beds

Posted on Apr 18, 2011 in DIY Projects, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading – Kevin Hayden

Source: Urban Garden Solutions

Plant Earlier & Grow Later

There are many advantages to using raised garden beds, starting with the fact that the soil within raised garden beds warms up much earlier than your yard soil as it is higher up and not surrounded by more hard cold compacted ground. On the other end of the growing season, when the ground is getting colder, the soil in raised beds stays a bit warmer, longer. Some commercially available raised garden systems include built-in season extenders or greenhouse covers.

A tip in getting the soil in your raised garden bed soil to warm up after the long winter is to add humus-rich composting material that is not fully composted and still producing heat during decomposition. Not only will this help warm up the soil sooner, but will also add nutrients back in that an intensive garden needs after each succession of planting.

Maximized Space

A raised garden bed can be as long as you would like, but should only be three to four feet wide so you can reach any place within the bed without standing or kneeling on the soil....

Continue ReadingLeave a Comment
How to: Break Open a Coconut Thumbnail

How to: Break Open a Coconut

Posted on Apr 12, 2011 in - Food & Recipes – Kevin Hayden

Source: The FED – Fitness, Exercise and Diet

Love fresh coconut but hate those pesky shells?  Follow these easy steps and soon you’ll be on your way to busting your own coconut!
1 fresh coconut
1 large bowl
1 sturdy hammer
Hard surface
Plastic bag 
Step 1: Supplies
Get your bowl, hammer, and coconut situated on a hard surface.  You could also put down some old newspaper or paper towels if you are fastidious about dirt/grit getting into your food.  (If this were LOST, you wouldn’t care, but I digress…)
Step 2: Hammer Time
Hold the coconut firmly against the hard surface and give it a whack just until it cracks.  Hold the coconut over the bowl to collect the water inside (drink this stuff up or save for later).  Once all the water has drained out, smack it a few more times to break the coconut in half.
Step 3: Completely bust the coconut
Place one half of the coconut on the hard surface (open side down) and hammer it into small/medium sized pieces. ...

Continue ReadingView Comments (1)
How to: Build a Water Tower or Outdoor Shower Thumbnail

How to: Build a Water Tower or Outdoor Shower

Posted on Mar 09, 2011 in DIY Projects, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading – Kevin Hayden

Originally posted by unknown author as:

A Tower and A Shower

Setting up a water tower became the first major project on our Arizona homestead unless one counts the septic tank installation. While that (the septic) was being handled by a licensed contractor as required by Cochise County regulations, I got going on the structure that would eventually support a 500 gallon water storage tank.

Why 500 gallons? Why not 750 gallons or possibly 1,000 gallons? After all, even a small family can go through a lot of water in a week when you consider bathing, toilet flushing, laundry, etc. The answer was simplicity itself: Cost. A 500 gallon tank could be purchased online and delivered right to our door for under $400, and the dimensions of the one we actually purchased (64 inches in diameter, 42 inches high) also just “felt” right.

Since the camp trailer’s bathtub is being used to hold the food and water dishes for our household cats and the shower head itself has been gone for years, I decided to build the water tower with side walls that would serve to both (a) brace the support posts holding up the water tank and (b) provide a place to take showers....

Continue ReadingView Comments (7)
DIY: Innovative, Low-cost Indirect Lighting That Looks Expensive Thumbnail

DIY: Innovative, Low-cost Indirect Lighting That Looks Expensive

Posted on Mar 04, 2011 in DIY Projects

Source: HomeTone

What is it?
This is a very inexpensive way of reinventing your room with an indirect method of lighting that can actually add a modern touch to your room. This DIY project involves minimum material making it very cost-effective and the results are remarkable! The creator of this lighting system has been largely inspired by Freshome for various things like furniture and architecture – however, this Indirect Lighting system has been mainly inspired by a high-end villa in Holland. Hence, this project requires a small amount of money and very little effort while giving the appearance a high-end, stylish lighting design.

diy project

To make your own Indirect Lighting system you would mainly require laminated flooring sheets (you can decide which color goes best with your surroundings), tube lights (for the lighting effect) and wooden studs (to keep the laminate planks away from the lights affixed on the wall); the tools required would be screws, special nails/hook screws, a saw (to cut the laminates), a screwdriver, a level, strong adhesive (flooring adhesive) for mounting the laminate planks and some tape to keep the laminated sheets in place till the adhesive dries....

Continue ReadingView Comments (1)
Colorful Scraps Give New Life to Furniture: 10 Unique Reupholstery Pieces Thumbnail

Colorful Scraps Give New Life to Furniture: 10 Unique Reupholstery Pieces

Posted on Feb 24, 2011 in DIY Projects – Kevin Hayden

Have you ever wanted to spruce up an old chair?  Maybe some eclectic couch you saw at a thrift store?  Several of my friends do typical re-upholstery, giving new life to old pieces.  But what about using patches and scraps to really jazz it up?

Design by Leftovers 

Created by Swedish design duo Linda and Jona Netsman, Design By Leftovers’ motto is “pre-loved can be re-loved.” Inspired by India’s colorful buses, as well as life, death, and contrasts, this collection is full of stunning eccentricities, including graffiti-covered chairs, desks and more!

What was once retro or yesteryear turns into a unique hodgepodge of colors and materials.  From velvet to leather, suede and silk, patching various scraps together gives those classical carved-wood chairs and couches a new slate on life.

Within each unique piece, one can easily see the tonal focus – royal purples and soothing sky blues, bright pinks and even earth tones set the stage for one-of-a-kind furniture pieces....

Continue ReadingView Comments (1)
web counter