We all have that friend: They have favorite DIY TikTok accounts, and they’ve found the DIY Instagram influencer that best speaks to their aesthetic vision. They sprung for Discovery+ so they could have unfettered access to HGTV at all times. They dream of laying tile and hanging wallpaper. Their wishlists are bursting with paint samples and how-to guides. They want to DIY their homes—even if they’ve never correctly held a hammer.
The gift-giving season is the time to hand them that hammer; use this guide to usher your friend/cousin/brother/niece’s new hobby to fruition. Use your gift to urge someone to work with their hands and discover how to make a living space their own. These gifts are the best because the start of a new year is (inexplicably) around the corner. I’m told everyone wants to be their best selves, try a new hobby, train themselves into being a different kind of person when the calendar flips to 01/01. So, why not help your person become the DIY diva of their dreams?
First, let’s talk gear.
Cordless Drill ($99)
A cordless drill is a must-have for any beginning DIYer, whether the project is simply hanging some cool art or something more involved, like building a table. This set is a great starting place because it comes with 2 chargeable batteries, the charger, and a bag in addition to the actual drill. Dewalt is one of the brands used most by professionals, so its look is more utilitarian than aesthetic. But the yellow-and-black drill brings more torque with the 20 volts and is smaller than a number of drills on the market.
Normally, I would recommend a pretty basic bit set for a cordless drill. That’s how I slowly built up my kit, buying additional sets depending on the material type I’m working with (masonry versus wood, for example). But this 110-piece Dewalt set is such a good deal for a huge set with a lot of options, good for DIY and basic construction applications. Plus, the Dewalt cases for bits are really easy to see what’s inside and good for long-term storage.
Basic tool set ($42)
I like gifting a basic toolset as a housewarming gift, and there’s no reason it can’t be a good idea for your friend/sister/cousin looking to DIY. I included a set instead of individual hand tools, but a complete set will make the DIY project process so much easier, and you can always own two hammers. This particular set is also helpful because it has hex key wrenches (aka those Allen wrenches used to make all those IKEA furniture), a utility knife, and some spring clamps. What can you do with these tools? Use the flathead screwdriver to break up the end of a candle so you can save the jar. Use the Phillips head to switch out those ugly switch plates and to take apart your washing machine to better clean it. (Or maybe that last one is just me.)
Work overalls ($59.99)
Dress for success! A pair of overalls or coveralls give you peace of mind because you won’t be pulling up those stretched-out yoga pants, and you’ll have a place for your pencils and measuring tape. Dickies also has a detailed measurement guide, so you can very casually ask your bestie for her chest, waist, and hip measurements before buying.
Next up: What do they want to DIY?
Picture hanging tool kit ($13.99)
Ok, you have the gear, now let’s DIY some shit! The first project is almost always hanging that art you bought two years ago. It deserves to be hanging on the wall instead of leaning. And this picture hanging tool kit is perfect for almost anything you’d like to hang. It has two built-in levels and little buttons to punch where the nails should go into the wall. It should mean fewer holes in your walls, which is good for renters especially.
Kreg Jig K4 Master System ($139)
Are you ready to up your woodworking skills from nonexistent to joining like a pro? The pocket hole jig from Kreg will do just that. It lets you join pieces of wood together in a discrete way, and the K4 is a versatile tool. The jig works for materials ½ inch to 1.5 inches thick, with increments of ⅛ inch. The jig can be clamped to a workbench, or you can use the portable base. Included in the kit is the drill bit and stop collar, a 6” square-drive bit, starter screw and plug sets, dust collection attachment, and clamp.
Sheet gripper ($32.80)
This is the coolest thing I ever saw a DIY influencer/content creator share, shout out to @house.of.esperanza. The gripper helps carry big sheets of plywood, plastic, MFD, whatever material a DIYer needs to haul. It’s better on the hands and back and makes you look like a prepared genius.
Taskrabbit gift card ($Whatever You Want)
If you think your DIY friend might give up halfway through the project, it’s probably good to stuff a Taskrabbit or similar helper service gift card into their stocking. Being seen for who you are—unable to follow through on a new hobby—is priceless!