14 Must-Have Hand Tools For Home Decor & DIY Projects

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Last updated on October 21st, 2022 at 02:50 pm

A Basic Hand Tool Kit List For Homeowners And DIYers

Are you looking for a list of hand tools for home decor and DIY projects, but not sure what to get? Then this post is for you!

If you’re anything like me, I’m sure one day you were scrolling Pinterest and the internet, consuming all the fantastic home decor and renovation ideas out there, designing your dream home to a tee, just wishing you had the money to design your home exactly how you want it. 

That’s when suddenly, you came across a bunch of blogs that talk about DIY, home renovation, and home decor… and realized those people were making their home look stunning ALL BY THEMSELVES.

Trust me, I’ve been there! Once the world of Do-It-Yourself opened up to me, I realized the possibilities for designing my dream home WITHOUT costing an arm and a leg are endless! And even better, I can do it all myself! And you can too!!!

In this post, I am going to share with you the 14 must-have hand tools you need to make your room look nice. To accomplish this, all it takes is a few simple (and cheap) tools.

In other words, a room doesn’t need much to make it look nice; all it needs is a little paint and some key design pieces. So these tools will be perfect for you as you start your journey into the great world of DIY. 🙂

Time to dive in!

If you have these hand tools, you have most of the tools you need to make your room look nice!

List Of Hand Tools For Home Decor & DIY Projects

  1. Contractor Pencil
  2. Tape measure
  3. Ratcheting multi-tip screwdriver
  4. Adjustable wrench
  5. Needlenose pliers
  6. Square
  7. Level
  8. Hammer
  9. 10-in-1 Paint Multi-Tool
  10. Painter’s tape
  11. Paintbrush & roller
  12. Spackle & putty knife
  13. Caulk gun
  14. Sandpaper (& face mask)
  15. [BONUS TOOL] Drill & Impact Driver Set – with multiple size tips
  16. [BONUS TOOL] Multimeter

Contractor Pencil

First off, you might not consider a pencil a tool, but you will soon! A pencil is a vital item to have around when you want to make your room look nice. 

I always forget how important a pencil is until I don’t have one around! In addition, pencils help you mark measurements on the wall to drill a hole for picture hanging or on the wood you need to saw.

Moreover, they can be used simply to help you write down your measurements as you’re working. That way you won’t forget and have to remeasure. (Been there, done that! Don’t recommend it either!)

Any pencil will work, but I like these contractor pencils found at Amazon because the lead is thick, and they give you refills so you don’t have to worry about sharpening your pencil.

Tape Measure

Next on the hand tools for home decor and DIY projects list is a tape measure. You’ll most certainly want to hang wall decor or place new furniture to make your room look nice. A handy tape measure is a must to accomplish both of these tasks. They help you take measurements of your space, so you know how your new items will fit before they arrive.

In addition, they’re super handy to measure doorways to ensure your new items will fit through. Once, I ordered a new refrigerator and did not check the size of the door compared to the size of the fridge before it was delivered.

The delivery guys showed up and seeing the large box, I got nervous!

However, I got lucky. I had an exterior door wide enough for the refrigerator to fit, but the delivery guy had to take the refrigerator out of its box before he could roll it through. Oops!

If I had just used my tape measure, there would have been nothing to worry about on my end.

Tape measures come in several different sizes, but I love this tape measure found at Amazon because it self-locks, fits nicely in my hand, and most of the time, I’m not measuring anything larger than 25 feet.

Plus, if you need to relay exact measurements to a DIY partner and you struggle to remember smaller line measurements, this tape measure is fantastic. It has tiny measurements written on it for fast and accurate measurements! No more accidental measurement mistakes because you tried to read your tape measure too quickly and translated it to the wrong number!

Ratcheting Multi-Tip Screwdriver

Next on the hand tools for home decor and DIY projects list is a screwdriver. You were probably thinking a screwdriver was going to be included on this list, and you’d be right. However, I think you need one specific screwdriver that’ll be a total game-changer (cost-wise and use-wise) as you start your DIY journey.

Firstly, this type of screwdriver has multiple tips stored within it, so you only ever need one tool no matter what type of screw you come across (hello money saver!).

Secondly, the ratcheting part lets you screw things in one-handed and much faster than screwdrivers without this feature.

As a result, there’s been many-a-times when I was trying to hold an outlet cover in place with one hand and twist my screwdriver with the other. Half the time, the screwdriver falls off the screw head and I have to realign it. Or worse, the screw didn’t make it far enough in, and I dropped the whole thing completely.

It’s a feature you’ll likely take for granted until you don’t have it anymore, then you’ll be wishing you did.

Adjustable Wrench Set

Next on the hand tools for home decor and DIY projects list are adjustable wrenches. Adjustable wrenches are probably one of my least used tools on this list. However, I have come across a few occasions where I’ve needed one! If you need to tighten or loosen a bolt, these babies do the job.

For a budget-friendly option, the adjustable ones are awesome. You only need a couple in various sizes, and they’ll adjust to whatever size bolt you’re working with. As a result, you need fewer tools while you’re working. In addition, you won’t waste time trying to search for the one wrench that fits perfectly.

Needlenose Pliers

A needle nose plier is always useful when you want to make your room look nice. This is because just as their name suggests, their head is very skinny, so they’re perfect to fit into tight spaces.

For example, when you use drywall anchors to hang decor, occasionally they get stuck halfway in and the top collapses in. It’s super frustrating because you don’t want to create extra holes in your walls!

That’s where a needlenose plier would come in handy; use the skinny head to grip the ruined drywall anchor and slowly work it out. If it didn’t damage the wall, you can just use the same hole with a new drywall anchor. No extra wall repair needed!

Moreover, needlenose pliers are also excellent for jewelry making if you’re into that type of DIY as well. Now that’s what I call a double bang for your buck.

For as cheap as they are, you might as well grab an entire plier set, so you always have options!


Next on the hand tools for home decor and DIY projects list is a square. I love using a speedy square to make wood shelves just like these! Speedy squares are triangles that give you perfect 90-degree and 45-degree angles.

For example, you can use this square tool found at Amazon to make sure the brackets on your DIY shelves are perfectly lined up. Further, the straight edge on this tool is perfect for drawing straight lines.


Continuing on down the hand tools for home decor and DIY projects list is a level. To further make your room look nice, wall decor makes a huge difference. So, you want one of these tools in your arsenal.

You don’t need a big one, one of these small torpedo levels found at Amazon will work for most decor jobs.

Using a level to level your pictures or shelves perfectly will give your wall decor a beautiful and professional finish. And most importantly, you can avoid random decor rolling off your beautiful shelves because they aren’t completely level!


Adding to the list of hand tools for home decor and DIY projects you need to make your room look nice is a hammer. Anytime you need to hit something or pry something, a hammer is just a good tool to have around.

For example, when I was redoing the flooring in my bathroom, I needed a hammer to pry the baseboard off the walls. This tool made the job so easy and I avoided damaging the baseboard while I was at it!

In addition, hammers are useful to hang pictures and decor on the wall when only a nail is needed.

Try to find one that has a good weight to it and feels good in your hand. I love a 16 oz hammer and use it all the time. It would be a great addition to your tool collection as well!

10-in-1 Paint Multi-Tool

The next hand tool for home decor and DIY projects you need to make your room look nice is a multi-tool. If you’ve ever struggled with opening a paint can (or even closing one), then this tool is for you! This 10-in-1 paint multi-tool found at Amazon is my favorite because it’s so functional and super cheap for all the functions it contains.

They can: 

  • Open paint can lids
  • Hammer paint can lids on
  • Scrape paint off walls
  • Dig into corners to clean out stuff
  • Pull nails
  • Clean a roller
  • Spread spackle/compound

Just to name a few things. For less than $15, it’s worth not having to scream at the paint can every time you want to open it and close it in my opinion haha!

Most importantly, paint is such an easy and cheap way to make your room look nice, so you’ll use this tool a lot. So, go ahead and snag one for your toolbox today!

Painter’s Tape

Next on the hand tools for home decor and DIY projects list is a painter’s tape. Yes, painter’s tape is handy to use when you’re painting to keep other areas paint-free. But most importantly, it’s a super designing tool to help you make your room look nice!

Imagine with me; you’re trying to figure out the best layout for your gallery wall art. Or maybe you’re attempting to figure out the perfect height for those new shelves you’re about to install.

That’s where this delicate painter’s tape found at Amazon is the BOMB.COM! Use it to lay out the exact dimensions and placement of your wall decor before you drill any holes. As a result, you’ll save yourself hours of headache from wrong drilling or improper placement.

You can also use your handy level that we talked about earlier to level out the piece of tape and mark out your holes for shelves. After that, you’ll know exactly where to put your shelf without having to lift it and set it down 100 times.

In short, painter’s tape saves you a ton of time by giving you a clear visual of your design, and it’s super cheap to buy and keep on hand.

Paintbrush & Roller

The next two hand tools for home decor and DIY projects you need to make your room look nice is a paintbrush and paint roller.

This is because one of the easiest and cheapest ways to redecorate a space is to paint it! Even if you simply repaint it with the same color, the fresh coat will give your room a clean and new feel.

Don’t believe me? Check out how I painted my bathroom cabinets like a pro. They were already white, but with a fresh coat of white paint, they look completely different!

As a result, a quality paintbrush and paint roller are good to have on hand. (Don’t forget a paint tray as well!) If you splurge a little on a quality 2” angled paintbrush, make sure to keep the paint out of the top of the bristles near the metal part of the handle. In addition, clean it well after each use, so your paintbrush can last a long time.

Moreover, I LOVE my short-handled 2″ angled paintbrush found at Amazon! This is because it doesn’t hurt my hand as much after hours of painting. In addition, I have more control over my paint lines with a smaller handle. Check this one out and let me know what you think!

To sum it up, paintbrushes are nice to keep around for random touch-ups that are inevitable when you’re living in a house.

Spackle & Putty Knife

Another two hand tools for home decor and DIY projects you need to make your room look nice are a putty knife and some spackle.

Gashes in your walls from everyday life are an instant way to detract from all the hard work you put into making your room look nice.

Therefore, having a small tub of spackle and this putty knife found at Amazon on hand makes it super easy to patch those little gashes when life happens.

In addition, it takes the weight off your shoulders that you “have to be perfect” when hanging wall decor. For example, if you mismeasure and need to redrill another hole, fill the hole! Also, if you simply don’t like the placement of the decor on the wall, it’s fine! Just fill the hole and drill another.

In conclusion, once I realized that it isn’t that hard to fix your walls, I was able to decorate my space way better. Just paint over it with your paintbrush or roller and no one will ever know you made a mistake! Heck yes!

Caulk Gun

The next hand tool for home decor and DIY projects you need to make your room look nice is a caulk gun.

Caulk is the magical goo that hides all of your house’s imperfections. For example, it waterproofs your bathroom, keeps bugs out from around your doors and windows, and covers up most areas where different materials meet.

To use caulk, you need a caulk gun. This caulk gun found at Amazon also has a built-in cutter to snip the tip off the caulk tube and a tiny metal rod to poke open the foil inside that keeps it sealed.

After a few years, caulk can start to turn yellow around windows and doors or get worn out around high use areas such as your shower and sink countertop. Just break out a new tube of caulk and run it over the spots where you want to renew it.

New, white caulk is just like new paint – it makes the whole area feel fresh, clean, and complete.

Want to learn about other ways to make your bathroom look nice? Check out these 10 easy steps to refresh your outdated bathroom on a budget!

Sandpaper (& Face Mask)

Last but not least, sandpaper is a hand tool for home decor and DIY projects that is nice to keep around. Sandpaper comes in several different “grits”, and each one serves a different purpose. The smaller the grit number, the more coarse the sandpaper.

Twenty pieces of sandpaper in a pack is relatively inexpensive (~ $20 a pack), so I like to keep a pack of 80 grit, 120 grit, and 220 grit on hand (if you do a lot of sanding, eventually you’ll want to invest in a mechanical sander like this DeWalt one found at Amazon that I love! But for now, these small packs will do the job).

The 120 grit is great for sanding out the spackle you put on your walls to patch those holes and gashes before you paint.

If you’re doing any type of woodworking or refinishing furniture, it’s great to start with the more coarse (80 grit) sandpaper. After that, you need to sand it down with the next grit size up. Continue this process while working your way up to the 220 grit paper.

You’ll have a beautiful finish on your wood project, furniture, or walls once you’re done.

Most importantly, I can’t forget to mention wearing a face mask. I’ll be the first to admit it’s not something I always remember to wear. But, when you (and I) think about how much damage we could be doing to our lungs, we might want to change our minds. 

For example, those fine wood and drywall particles are rushing in and out of our lungs the entire time we’re sanding. We need to do our future selfs a favor, and just wear the mask for the short time we’re sanding. Our lungs will thank us when they’re still functioning well into our 60’s and 70’s!

[BONUS TOOL] Drill & Impact Driver Set – With Various Bits To Drill & Screw

Surprise! Since you stuck with me this long, I felt you deserved a couple of bonus tools that’ll help you finish making your room look nice. The first of those tools is a power drill.

Drilling holes and screwing in screws for all your wall decor is so simple with a power drill and impact driver set. I’m considering it a bonus tool because it’s not necessary to make your room look nice, and it is pricier than all the other basic tools you’ll need.

However, with the amount of time and effort you’ll save using one of these bad boys, you’ll soon want to invest in one. This is especially true if you plan on doing a ton of decorating or DIY projects in the future. (Which I hope you do!)

Above all, don’t forget to purchase a battery and battery charger for your drill (batteries are almost as expensive as the power drill itself). Moreover, choose a drill bit set with several different screw tips and drill bits. Then you’ll be prepared for all your DIY drilling needs!

Your hands will thank you later!

[BONUS TOOL] Multimeter Set

Finally, I also put a multimeter as a bonus tool because you won’t need it for most decorating projects. However, if you ever desire to switch out your outlets/ switches or light fixtures for a more modern color or look, you’ll want this toolset. (I would switch them out because it will help your room look nicer!)

A multimeter tells you whether a wire is hot (receiving electricity) or not. You can get them in all shapes and sizes (I personally own and like this set because it gives you a plug for outlets, a pen for light fixtures, and a normal multimeter for anything else!).

Also, they are more of a safety tool than a decorating tool. The last thing you need is to get injured because you thought a wire was dead and it wasn’t (safety first!).

Final Thoughts On Hand Tools For Home Decor & DIY Projects

Congratulations! You now know the 14 hand tools for home decor and DIY projects you need to make your room look nice. You’re well on your way to becoming a #Handywoman and #DecoratingBoss!

This isn’t an all-inclusive list because each project might need very specific tools and materials. But, if you have these basic tools on hand, you’ll be able to accomplish most decorating projects and make your room look fabulous!

Now go out and choose a decorating project you want to take on. After that, purchase a few of these basic tools needed to complete it. Lastly, brag about how you’re a handywoman now. You’re in an elite group of women, and I’m so excited to tackle DIY and renovation projects with you!

Catch you in my next post!

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14 Must-Have Hand Tools For Home Decor & DIY Projects

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