Elevate Your Upcycling & DIY Projects With These 11 Tools

It's no secret I LOVE upcycling and DIY'ing. To me there is no greater joy or satisfaction than rolling up my sleeves and discovering a dusty old bookshelf for next to nothing and completely transforming it with a bit of elbow grease and creativity. Or totally making a side table from scratch! But the last thing I want you to do is walk past a piece of furniture that has infinite possibilities, or have a DIY project in mind but don't end up seeing it through as you're not sure how to execute it. 

One hack I recommend is knowing what the best home DIY tools are. Whether it's a jigsaw, a drill or a detail sander, once you've tried them you'll find a world of possibilities right in front of you. That's why I have created a detailed guide sharing the tools you need to elevate your upcycling and home DIY projects. I know the thought of using a jigsaw or a drill may feel a little intimidating, but this year I want to encourage you to give them a try. In fact, you’ll never look at a piece of second hand furniture or DIY home decor project the same ever again after you read my guide. I promise! Read on to find out what my top 11 tools for elevating your upcycling and DIY projects are.
   
Ps. How cute is my apron! It's the Boston Bib Apron from Cargo Crew and I got my name embroidered on it. I wear it when I am cooking in the kitchen and in the studio when I am upcycling and DIY'ing. It's so comfortable, has 4 pockets on the front (ultra convenient for my kitchen utensils and DIY tools) and the quality is beautiful! 
 
The-Tools-You-Need-To-Elevate-Your-Upcycling-and-Home-DIYs The-Tools-You-Need-To-Elevate-Your-Upcycling-and-Home-DIYs

 

 

1. Jigsaw

My jigsaw is my absolute "go to" upcycling power tool. They allow you to cut timber, metal and MDF, and that means you'll start looking at furniture and your home DIY projects very differently now. The great thing about jigsaws is that they are not expensive and perfect for home DIY projects. A great entry level jigsaw (which I have) is this one from Bunnings. If you're looking for a jigsaw that's a more powerful and has all the bells and whistles, you can't go past this one or this one; but truthfully, the entry level jigsaw is perfect and cost effective! Owning a jigsaw is one thing, but you do need different blades for cutting different materials. A blade that can cut MDF, won't necessarily be able to cut timber (it might burn the timber!). Some jigsaws come with blades but I would always speak to someone in the tool shop team at Bunnings and let them know what you want to cut, and they'll be able to recommend the best blade. 

 

2. Clamps

If you are using a jigsaw, then you'll need to buy a couple of clamps to hold down whatever it is you are cutting, such as timber, metal, plastic or MDF. They are so easy to use and make using a jigsaw so much safer and easier. These are the clamps I have and I always use at least 2 for my projects. 

 

 

3. Drill & Screwdriver

Everybody needs a drill. Whether it's to drill screws or remove screws, a drill is a "must have" power tool. Depending on the job at hand, you'll need a variety of drills bits in different sizes. You can buy sets at hardware stores so you always have the right drill bit for the job. If you're unsure how to use it, ask a friend or speak to someone at a hardware store, like Bunnings or Mitre 10. When it comes to screwdrivers, I have found it best to buy these in a set so you have variety for all your projects like this one. I love screwdriver sets as they usually always come in a fantastic storage box, which means you won't lose them as you work around your house. 

 

4. Electric Detail Sander

Everyone has a drill at home, but not everyone has an electric detail sander. I had always been so intimidated by sanders. When I knew I couldn't avoid buying one, I went to Bunnings (my second home btw) and was introduced to an electric detail sander, which is the perfect size for the home DIYer. This is the one I use and it's the perfect entry level sanding tool. It comes with multiple sanding sheets in different grits, which is great for learning which one you need for your projects. I also find the pointy tip is essential for getting into those pesky furniture nooks.

 

5. Paint Roller

Everyone has a paint brush at home but I actually love using rollers more! They don't leave any pesky paint strokes and I find I always end up using less paint. But there are different sponges depending on what your project is. I use a foam roller for painting furniture, and I use a microfibre roller for everything else.

  

6. Paint Scraper

I honestly cannot remember a home DIY project where I haven't needed a paint scraper for one thing or another. They're perfect for scraping off chips of paint, applying joint compound and grout, filling holes with multipurpose filler, and a multitude of other things. You can buy metal, silicone or plastic paint scrapers in different widths and lengths. They are extremely versatile and very easy to use.

 

7. Paint Stripper 

A little while ago, I bought a coffee table from my local tip shop and it had layers and layer of varnish and paint on it. I tried sanding it off but it was taking far too long. I then realised I could use paint stripper! This stuff is incredible and it's perfect for removing paint from furniture. It's easy to use. All you need to do is apply a thick coat with a paint brush, wait a few minutes and when you can see the paint and/or varnish has bubbled, remove remove it with a paint scraper. It's very, very satisfying. And quick! Although, it is a chemical so I advise you wear gloves and a face mask. 

 


8. Painters Tape

I cannot think of a project where I haven't needed to use painters tape. It's so helpful and versatile, and it always provides a professional finish. It comes in different widths and adhesives, but my favourite is this one, which I used to paint a checker print onto fabric and if you're looking for a wide painters tape, I also love this one.

  

9. Strong Glue

If you're looking for a strong, reliable glue that dries clear, my "go to" is Selley's Liquid Nails. It's amazing! I used it to glue the PVC pipe legs onto my DIY Wavy Chubby Side Table. I also often use Selley's Hold Up as well, but I don't use this for projects involving rubber or plastic. If you have these two strong glues by your side, your upcycle and DIY projects will never fail you.

 

10. Multipurpose Filler

I've recently used this for the first time and I can't believe it's taken me this long! I prefer to use a ready mix filler so I don't have to worry about mixing it myself, and it's perfect for filling in holes, cracks and dents in walls, furniture, timber, brick and stone.  

 

11. Tiling Sponge

Tiling furniture and home decor is actually so easy! But if you want the best result, investing in a quality tiling sponge will give you a true professional finish. I use this one as it's got a general sponge on one side, which is great for wiping off grout and ta polishing stone (the blue sponge) on the older, which holds a lot of water but is perfect for wiping over your tiles that one last time before letting the grout cure and set. It really does polish the tiles and give it such a beautiful, clean, professional finish. I highly recommend it!