I have been wanting to share this post for a while, but hadn’t taken then time to sit down and actually write it. I have discovered a passion for DIY, especially for woodworking and painting projects. I can’t imagine how I decorated and spent my time before delving into this amazing hobby.
But, it may surprise you to know that this discovery was only very recent. Before we moved into our home, I had absolutely no knowledge or experience on the matter. Sure, my Dad was a Handyman, but I never spent time in his shop (much to my regret now). I also started without any of the necessary tools. We had one little household tool kit (you know the ones with a couple screwdrivers and tiny hammer) and that was it for tools.
Now, about a year later, I have been able to build up not only my knowledge, but also my tool supply. With what I have, I can quite easily complete almost any project. This brings me to think of the mission of Charming Imperfections: To inspire others to realize their capabilities of building and creating amazing things in their homes. Women, I’m talking to you especially. You don’t have to rely on your husbands to build or repair things for you! You have the power to do it!
Ok, enough of the pep talk and on to the point of this post. Becoming a DIY’er is more than just getting up the courage, because if you don’t have the tools to use you won’t get very far. I’m going to share a list of the tools I’ve started out with and am currently using. We aren’t rich and for a while I wasn’t sure if I would really get into this, so we went with the most affordable options without compromising quality. That is how I recommend you start. You can always upgrade to nicer things in the future (like the beautiful lime Ryobi tools that I’m so envious of…sigh, someday).
I also want to point out that I didn’t go out and buy all my tools at once. They are an accumulation of tools purchased over a year. There were times I probably should have gave in and bought a power tool to replace the manual ones. I laugh when I think back to my first pallet projects where I sawed and screwed them together by hand! Whew, was that ever a work out!
Oh, and another note: the tools below are not all the exact brands that I use, but I did my research and they are very similar in both price and quality.
Finally, here is my tool shopping guide to start diy:
Starting from the top left of the picture and working right (just a heads up the last three on this list should be the first tools you purchase):
This was a more recent buy and probably should be the first thing you get as a beginner in DIY, but now that I have one, I love it. I got the compressor in order to use a nail gun which is so much faster than manually hammering in nails or drilling screws. You can also use a compressor for paint sprayers and to fill up your car tires.
One of the cheaper tools on this list, the jig saw is one of my favorites. They are so fun to use because you can just zip it around to make all kinds of cool designs and cuts. I also tend to use it when the circular saw can’t reach a tough corner. A great example of my jig saw art can be seen at the bottom of my corner cabinet.
The Kreg Jig was a Mother’s day present for me and I was like a kid at Christmas when Mr. Charming took me to the store to get it! This amazing little tool creates pocket holes which create strong and concealed wood joints. Having it opens up a world of new possible projects for me and I can’t wait to show you what I’ve made so far with it! Check out these 10 Projects Made Possible By a Kreg Jig for some inspiration.
My Dad gave me one of these (it actually had survived when his shop was destroyed in a fire) and it’s amazing! Before I was using only a drill to drive screws, but was constantly struggling with them getting stripped and ruining the bits. An impact driver does a much better job of driving the screw in nice and clean. This also is probably not one of your first tool purchases, but somewhere down the line you’ll want one!
Once you have your compressor, you’re going to want one of these babies! Like I said before, using a nail gun speeds up the process of joining together wood for almost any project.
A nice power drill should be the first tool added to any garage. No home should be without one. This was my first power tool and it’s stuck with me through thick and thin in my DIY adventure. If you don’t get any other tool from this list, then at least get a drill. They are relatively cheap but the range of uses for them is endless.
If you are going to be re-purposing furniture or working with wood (which is about all of DIY projects), then at some point you will probably look at the flimsy piece of sand paper in your hands and think, “there has to be a better way!”. At least, that’s what I thought, and then I bout a sander. Talk about saving your arms and back from all that senseless extra work!
The workhorse of my tool belt. Next to my drill, the circular saw has played a role in almost every project I’ve done so far. It’s an amazing thing and I wouldn’t want any of you to go without one as I did for so long. Seriously, save yourself the frustration of cutting boards by hand.
There you have it! Collect these power tools and you will be well stocked to conquer just about any project you might find on Ana White or Shanty-2-Chic (my favorites for free plans). Getting started in DIY doesn’t have to be this hard scary thing. Try a few simple projects with basic tools and advance as you grow in knowledge and skill. Hey, if I could do it (and there is still much more for me to learn) anyone can!
Please share this post with others that might be interested in getting started in their DIY journey!