Let’s start at the very beginning…

…a very good place to start. I’ve mentioned that most of my first DIY projects had to do with storage. Before I felt like I could take on any built-ins or larger scale projects, I needed to start with building some basic shelves. I feel like more shelving is something that every homeowner wants, but a lot of times we settle for the cheap, store bought options. While those can be great, I really wanted to create something myself and add a bit more character to my space.

I’m all about re-purposing & reusing. When we moved into our house about 4 years ago, there was a ton of quality scrap wood in the garage. Determined to make something beautiful, with our hand-me-down circular saw & corded drill, I started to plan. I wanted a space to display some of my favorite travel items, and bring more color into our recently painted, enclosed porch (thanks to my mom for painting that). I’ve gotten much better at styling over the years, but these shelves have pretty much remained the same since I put them up.

Picking up a power tool for almost the first time can be intimidating. The very first time for me was building a cajón with my dad while I was in college. He definitely did the heavy lifting on those cuts, but I’m thankful he allowed me to be part of the process.

When it came to building my shelves, I was on my own. I just picked up the circular saw and went for it, heart beating 120 bpm, looking confident & tough on the outside, but kind of freaked out on the inside. I vividly remember checking to make sure I counted all 10 of my fingers multiple times. Once I had four shelves cut with straight edges, I couldn’t help but do a little happy dance. I DID THIS!

It didn’t take long before I stained the shelves, and then pulled out that old corded drill and stuck them on the wall with some L brackets. It was at this point that I knew I could take on more DIY & building. Yes, power tools can be scary, and need to be respected, but if you’re willing to take the time to understand safety and how to use them, you can really soar!

Here are some of my top tips for getting into using power tools:

  1. Read the entire manual for every tool you use. Seems simple enough, but it’ll tell you all about how to use the tool, and safety measures. This is the number one thing that gives me confidence when using a new power tool.
  2. Start small. Use a drill, maybe with a pocket hole jig, and that’ll help you get comfortable with some noise.
  3. Learn about tools alongside someone with experience. Ask a friend or family member to teach you how to use new things, and use them first under their supervision.
  4. The internet is a great resource. YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, & blogs have some fantastic tips.
  5. Remember you are in control, keep your eyes open, take a deep breath, & go for it!

Published by Bonitabyrachel

I'm Rachel! An avid DIYer, crafter, & maker. I love diving in and trying new things. I live in Indiana with my husband Dylan & our sweet dog Hoss. When I'm not building, you can find me caring for my plants, cooking a yummy meal, or painting some watercolors. Thanks for joining my DIY journey!

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