For now at least, the sun is owned by everyone and no one, so why not use it’s power to become a little more independent?

Going solar is a worthy homesteading goal, and a simple one to begin.

We aren’t completely off grid yet, but we do hope to go solar soon as we become more involved with our homesteading activities.

Of course, we’ll create our own solar generators, furnaces, ovens, and hot water heaters as much as we can (although we’re okay calling in experts if we have to!)

I’ve scoured the internet, and found some simple solutions to going solar.

Here’s 4 projects you can start today to make homesteading a little more self-sufficient!

Solar Oven 1

1. Make Your Own Solar Powered Generator*

While I’m no electrician, these directions for a simple DIY solar powered generator look easy enough.

For this project, you’ll need:

  • Solar Panel (recommended: 40wp, 17.2v)
  • Charge Controller
  • Deep Cycle Battery
  • Inverter
  • Wires
  • Wire Connectors

You can produce 150 W of electricity, not enough to support electricity-guzzling appliances, but it’s more than enough to power a 60 W light blub for 6 hours or an energy saving light bulb for 25 hours.

In a grid-down situation, you’ll be able to power your laptop for 5 to 8 hours. Not too shabby!

*I’m not an electrician, and I haven’t put together this DIY solar panel together myself. These statements aren’t intended to take the place of a certified electrician. If you attempt this project, you do so at your own risk.

2. Build a Solar Powered Heater Out of Aluminum Cans

Go Solar With These 4 Simple Homesteading Projects You Can Do In A Weekend! Here's how to do it, what you'll need, and exactly what to buy! From FrugalChicken
Photo from

Seriously, I’ve already started collecting aluminum cans for this one since it seems so simple even I can do it.

Last year, the horse barn was FREEZING in the winter, and I’ve vowed that this winter, it will be at least 40 degrees inside.

Solar Water Heater

I’m just not sure I want to do homesteading activities, like milking a goat, in 14 degree weather.

I’m sure you understand.

The nice thing about building your own solar powered heater? You’re reusing something that’s otherwise going to a landfill.

For this project you’ll need:

  • 240 aluminum cans
  • (3) 2x4x8 studs
  • 4 ft. x 8 ft. x 1/2 in. sheet of plywood
  • High temperature silicone
  • 4 ft. x 8 ft. sheet of Plexiglas or Lexan
  • A can of heat-resistant flat black spray paint
  • Plastic tubing
  • Drill Press with wide drill bits
  • Screws
  • Optional Air Blower (consider a solar-powered unit)

Even though the air blower is optional, I recommend it because from my research, it will heat your space faster and more effectively.

Here’s how to construct it:

3. DIY Solar Oven

Go Solar With These 4 Simple Homesteading Projects You Can Do In A Weekend! Here's how to do it, what you'll need, and exactly what to buy! From FrugalChicken

There’s many different ways to build a solar oven, and I’m sure you’ve seen one using a pizza box.

That one is a little too simple to be effective when homesteading, and I’m not sure it will get hot enough to actually cook anything substantial.

Here’s one that will get hot enough so in a grid-down situation, you can still have a hot meal, but that isn’t overly complicated to construct. And you can get everything for this homesteading activity from the dollar store!

Make it this weekend!

For this project you’ll need:

Two cardboard boxes (one at least 15 inch x 15 inch, the other slightly smaller)

Piece of cardboard at least 2 to 3 inches larger than the largest box

Roll of aluminum foil

Flat-black spray paint (you can also use black construction paper if you’re worried about chemicals)

An oven bag


Here’s how you make a simple DIY solar oven!

If you just want to buy one (and that’s okay!) here’s a great option:

4. DIY Water Heater

Go Solar With These 4 Simple Homesteading Projects You Can Do In A Weekend! Here's how to do it, what you'll need, and exactly what to buy! From FrugalChicken
Photo from

I love this project because the concept is simple: Water heats up from the sun, and the hot water rises, and becomes available to you. You’ll always have hot water, as long as the sun is out.

Our house is currently heated by propane, but I would love it if we could at least heat our water using solar energy!

Building a solar water heater looks like it might be a little bit of a project, especially if you’re like me and not super handy, but it’s pretty simple.

For this project you’ll need:

  • Aluminum sheeting
  • 2x4x8 studs
  • Plywood
  • Copper tubing
  • SunTuf polycarbonate (can buy at your local big box store)
  • Epoxy
  • Black high-temperature BBQ paint

Here’s how you can build your own solar powered water heater!

Going off grid doesn’t have to be hard or expensive!

Try one of these simple homesteading projects and take another step towards independence by going solar!

Getting excited about all the buzz about solar power? Here's 4 diy solar projects you can complete this weekend - you probably have most of these materials laying around!

Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category.  Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.

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  1. Great post, love the suggestions. Might have to try the oven one this summer (I’m renting so I don’t know if I could get away with the other’s…) For the water heater, you might want to consider using black pvc pipe to help keep the cost down (instead of copper) and placing it on the roof. My aunt has this set up for her pool and it works great. By placing it on the roof you prevent most critters from inadvertently damaging it…. I have another friend that has a similar set up (also for their pool) but on the ground and she is constantly fixing it because something stepped on the tubing.
    Love the suggestions, and they look easy enough to do.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Ricki, thanks for your comment. I hadn’t thought of black PVC. And that makes sense about putting it where it can’t get stepped on – I’m sure some critter would make short work of it at my place if I left it on the ground!

  2. Thank you for an informative article. I so want my own homestead and to be off grid. I have been wanting a solar water heater, something small to get the feel for solar so when I do get a homestead property I will have some knowledge of what’s expected.

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