Chel asks: “Hi Mr. Kate! You are such an inspiration to me. What are your best tips/tools for a beginner DIYer (upcycling furniture, making jewelry, etc.) that is sort of scared and doesn’t really know where to start!? Keep on creating! You and your team are amazing!”
My Answer: Hi Chel! Thank you so much! I’ve heard from various people over the years that they “don’t know where to start” when it comes to DIY projects. Having some tools and supplies on hand is a great way to give yourself the confidence to at least try a project that piques your interest. Experimenting is key when you’re starting out to just see what different techniques work best and I’ve found that there are often happy accidents in the experimentation process.
Per your wonderful question, I compiled some of my essentials to create a DIY starter kit. You can get all of these items in a one-stop-shop at Michael’s or online at sites like Jo-Ann Fabric. Having these items around will allow you to at least start (and finish many) of the projects that are in our DIY section.
In my kit:
- Adhesives. Glue is the stuff that will allow you to stick the finish on many projects. You’ll need a couple different glues on hand so you can successfully adhere different surfaces together. I recommend: E-6000 or Dazzle-Tac for metal, plastic and leather projects. Decoupage medium or Mod Podge for paper, glitter, etc, and a hot glue gun with all purpose glue sticks for pretty much everything else. For wood and furniture projects get Gorilla Glue.
- Primary colors in fabric paint and acrylic paint will allow you to mix them an make new colors and quickly spruce up clothing or art, etc.
- Paint brushes to use with your fabric and acrylic paint
- Glitter, rhinestones, gem stones – because anything looks better with either of those!
- Spray paint primer will get you started on many upcycling furniture projects because things like lamp bases, drawer pulls, dressers, etc. always need a coat of primer before you paint.
- Metallic spray paint – kind of like the glitter gem stone rule, you can quickly freshen up something with a coat of metallic gold or silver paint.
- An x-acto knife or craft knife
- Hole punch – I like a leather hole punch because it has different sized punches and can be used on various things.
- Twine – I like natural hemp twine. Use it to hang things, wrap things or hold things in place.
- Wire – flexible wire in different gages to use making jewelry, decorating or using with floral projects.
- Needles and thread– Embroidery thread in primary colors will help with clothing projects for sewing on gems and beads.
- Painters tape
- Wire cutters
- Hook nosed tweezers – amazing for picking up and placing small items in nail art, beads, etc.,
- A sharpie a pencil with an eraser!
Here are some of my past projects using only one or two of the items above:
1. For my DIY Pearl Encrusted Sunglasses I used E-6000 to apply the pearls to my sunglasses.
2. The Faux Flower Lampshades took a hot glue gun and faux flowers.
3. My Wire Wrapped Vases required flexible wire and pliers.
4. And for my DIY Sparkle Lashes, I used hook nosed tweezers!