My Essentials


I wanted to start this blog as a way to keep track of the woodworking pieces I make.  Kind of like a woodworking diary if you will.  If others want to/are able to duplicate my projects then thats even better!

I’m currently a grad student which means I’m living on a grad student budget..  BUT I also have a love for nice furniture. My bank account does not share this same love..


Just tragic

I was actually watching Design on a Dime one night (ironic), when I saw them making the cutest DIY canvas painting and thought ‘I can make that!’ I went to the HGTV website to try to find more pictures of said cute canvas paintings but instead ended up down the rabbit hole of the internet and on a slew of DIY blogs. One thing lead to another and I had basically blacked out and made two bathroom shelving units for my roommate and I. That escalated quickly! Since then I’ve made a few gifts for friends, some more adorable shelves for our apartment and an entire pinterest library of must haves.. or makes.. or whatever you want to call it.

Tonight, I was working on a birthday gift for my boyfriend when I decided I want to start keeping track of all of the pieces I make. So here we are!  And for my first post I want to document my tiny little tool collection. Have to start from somewhere!


HERE IT IS IN ALL OF ITS GLORY! All packed in to a questionably sized costco cashews box. (wondering why mom and dad needed this many cashews)


My first purchases were a drill, a saw, some screws and wood. Those are your real essentials. The rest just make your life easier.  You can find really good tools at Home Depot for actually very reasonable prices.. especially when the very nice worker at the store decides to give you an additional discount (see photo below).  But even without the surprise discount, I was able to either find tools on sale or use coupons I scoured the internet for. There’s that grad-school/student loans budget saying hello again!



So I’ll show you what I’m twerking with as of now.

HA! See there’s the hand written $10.00 off that I got for looking very lost and confused. But that drill makes me feel so cool and powerful! I love it. The jig saw I will admit has taken some getting used to.  Because I haven’t done any sort of woodworking previously, it has been a lot of trial and error.  Get the jig saw they say! Its fool proof they say! wrong. Nothing I have cut has been very straight which results in me trying to sand everything to fix/conceal the wonky lines. Oh well. One day I’ll buy a mitre saw or table saw or something like that but until then, I rely on my home depot friends to cut the big pieces for me and this little jiggy friend and a whole lot of clamps to do the rest.

I made sure to have these guys on the left for all of my drilling and screw driving needs. The pocket hole kit on the right is my latest purchase. I have seen so many amazing projects with the Kreg jig.. but das espensive!!! This kit I got at home depot for 20 dollars rather than the $100+ for the Kreg. I’m just hoping I didn’t waste $20 on a flimsy product.  I’ll be sure to post an update on what I think of it.

The rest of what I have is boring.. nails/screws, wood glue, sanding blocks and stains.



aaand here’s a little sneaky peaky on the boyf b-day present. Post on the completed project to follow!

What are you guys’ essentials? What am I missing in the make your life easier department? Let me know!

– MK