Must Have Tools For The DIYer

*Free Printables Inside!*

As many of you know, I work as a Set Decorator, which is a position within the Art Department of the Film industry. And just like everyone else in the Art Department ( i.e. Production Designers, Art Directors, Set Dressers, etc ) I have what is called a kit. A kit consists of must have tools and equipment that we travel with from film set to film set, so that we are prepared for any and every situation that arises. “That door hinge is not properly attached? Let me grab my drill and take care of that!”.

It dawned on me recently that DIYers should probably also have a kit. Why shouldn’t they have a collection of any and all tools that they might need for whatever project may come to their creative minds? Always better to be prepared… right? Therefore, I decided to compile a list of some must have tools for all you DIYers reading this, so you can start building your own kits. Let the fun begin!

Must Have Tools Of The DIY Trade

Whether you consider yourself a beginner or an expert in the world of DIY, here are the must have tools that your DIY projects have been asking for.

There are a handful of basic tools that are used by both beginners and experts alike, Measuring Tape, Hammer, Pliers, and Wrench. The difference is in the quality or strength of the tools.


Now, it is one thing to tighten up a screw that is already in place, it is a whole other beast to need to drill the hole in a piece of wood to make way for a screw while you build a table. That in a nutshell is a huge difference between the need for this beginner tool versus the expert one below.

When it comes to beginner DIY projects, the need to cut something typically ranges from paper products to fabrics. As for needing to cut something for an expert DIY project, it could very easily be a piece of wood or metal that you are working with. Very different tools would be needed in both cases.

I will bet that you have never thought of glue as a tool, but the need to fasten and secure materials comes so incredibly often during DIY projects that I would be stupid not to include it along with other fasteners.

I know for a fact that no one likes splinters! Luckily, there is a way for both beginners and experts to give the wood for their next project a nice, smooth finish.

A rule of thumb that all DIYers follow, whether they know it or not, is “always double check your work”. Is that line straight? Are those frames all leveled? These questions can all be answered by the following beginner and expert tools.

As for non-tool items that we should all have in our “kit” regardless of what level DIYer we consider ourselves, these ones always come in handy!

  • Tape ( to keep your painting projects clean and tidy )
  • Mod Podge ( the DIYer’s first love )
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Wire ( to hang those cute picture frames )
  • Paints
  • Brushes
  • Drop Cloths ( because who wants to stay in the lines?! )
  • Furniture Polish ( to make your projects shine! )

Now you have the complete shopping list to start building your kit filled with must have tools. You will be prepared for any and every project your creativity comes up with!

Ready to start shopping? I created the shopping lists, so all you have to do is print it out and get started! Click on the list you want.

Beginner DIY Shopping List

Expert DIY Shopping List

Have any other tools that you feel are “Must Have Tools”?
I would love to know what they are! Tell me about them in the comments.

Happy Decorating

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