Top 10 Power Tools Every DIYer Needs

Top 10 Power Tools Every DIYer NeedsTop 10 Power Tools Every DIYer Needs

Time and time again I’ve been asked what my desert island tool would be. But honestly I have a hard time narrowing my answer down to just one tool. Instead I decided to make a list of the Top 10 Power Tools that Every DIYer Needs in their tool arsenal.

Next week the stores will be crowded and your family may want to know what you’d like for the holidays. If you are like me and ask for tools over jewelry, you’ll want to take inventory of your tools and see if there’s that one tool that you are missing. The ones that make the cut on this list are the tools that I use over and over again on projects, home repairs, and maintenance.

In no particular order, here are my Top 10 Power Tools Every DIYer Needs:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

1. Circular Saw:

A circular saw is one of the most versatile tools in the shop (and on a jobsite.) This one tool can potentially take the place of both a miter saw and a table saw. But, you have to have a steady hand and set up a guide bar (or use a Kreg Rip Cut) to get precision cuts. If you are building a deck, fence, or other outdoor structure, nothing will take the place of this mobile tool.

Porter-Cable 15 Amp Circular Saw


2. Table Saw:

The table saw is the king of making rip cuts. You can cut your own custom lumber, shave off rounded edges on boards and cut down large sheets for cabinetry and furniture. The table saw can handle small rips and make multiple cuts at the exact same width (when you lock the fence in place.) One accessory I recommend for your table saw is a Microjig GRR-Ripper to keep your hands and fingers safe. You can see a good example of the uses for a table saw and the GRR-Ripper in this tutorial for building sports gear storage in a small space.

DeWalt FlexVolt 50v Max cordless table saw


3. Miter Saw:

Nothing beats the precision of being able to cut a miter and bevel cut, which is a necessity when adding crown moulding to your home.  For that reason I recommend forgoing a standard chop saw and outfit your shop with a compound sliding miter saw. The sliding feature allows you to cut lumber that is wider than the actual blade width. I highly recommend saving up for a quality miter saw. You will get what you pay for on this power tool. For more information, see my video tutorial for using a miter saw.

Makita 10″ Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw


4. Drill/Impact Driver Combo:

A drill is the equivalent of your right hand man while working on any project. Go ahead and upgrade to a stronger drill and if you buy one that double as an impact driver, you’ll save room in your toolbox.

Milwaukee Drill and Impact Driver Set


5. Bandsaw:

Before I had a jigsaw, I used my bandsaw for many curved cuts (and even ripped some lumber with it.) Although it may seem like an extraneous tool, having a bandsaw can be your friend when you want to make precision profile cuts in any wood. You’ll notice I didn’t include a scroll saw on the list and that’s because I would guess that 90% of the time the bandsaw (or a jig saw) will perform the tasks you think you need a scroll saw for. One of my favorite projects using a bandsaw is making this pallet serving tray.


Delta Bandsaw

6. Cordless Finish Nailgun:

Having a cordless nailer is the way to go when you are working on small projects or installing trim. This battery-powered 18 gauge nail gun doesn’t require a compressor. In my book, this is a huge plus for anyone who hates to haul out a big, heavy, and loud compressor. Not to mention dealing with the maintenance on a compressor. One of my favorite projects using a finish nailer are these cute scrap wood trays using leftover moulding.

Porter-Cable 18 ga. Cordless Nailer


7. Oscillating Multi-tool:

Where would I be without a multi-tool? In a jamb, that’s for sure. The oscillating tool is a mighty little tool you can bring to the location that needs cutting. Notch out your framing lumber; cut detail areas; sand in tight corners; scrape up tiles; and even cut nails with this tool and a metal blade. The oscillating tool has been my BFF when I need a small hand held option to the bigger tools (like sanding inside a window sill after repairing wood rot.)

Rockwell Sonicrafter


8. Power Sander:

Save your energy for more important tasks than sanding. Let the power sander smooth, strip and finish any surface in no time. Honestly, I can’t imagine ever hand sanding again.

DeWalt Palm Sander


9. Jigsaw:

The jigsaw can be compared to the bandsaw, but you’ll find a jigsaw a must have when you can’t bring the project to the tool or when your piece is too big. A good jigsaw won’t set you back much, but it will definitely save you time (and as you know, time is money.) One of the handiest uses for a jigsaw is cutting inside sheet goods.

Porter Cable Jigsaw


10. Rotary Tool:

A Dremel is one of those tools that you don’t think you need until you start using it. Then you wonder how you got along without one. Cut off metal; sand in tiny areas; drill; etch into a variety of materials and even trim your pet’s nails! This little tool can do so many things if you have the right bit. (My favorite use for a Dremel is creating a notch to remove stripped screws or bolts.)

Dremel Cordless Rotary Tool


11. Bonus Tool – Reciprocating Saw:

If you have all the tools above, go ahead and ask for this demo demon! A reciprocating saw makes fast work of removing studs and joists. Plus, if you like working with pallet wood, this tool is one of best ways (among 5 others) of removing pallet wood.

DeWalt Corded Reciprocating Saw


Did I miss any power tools that you find a necessity? Any tools that you’ll be adding to your wish list?

DIY Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Off Feed Table

DIY Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Today I want to share with you my new workshop configuration that has a DIY Table Saw Stand and a collapsible out feed (or work) table. I’ve struggled for years to find a workbench that meets my need to spread out while building and assembling projects. And I wanted this table to act as an out feed table for my table saw. I’ve looked at many options, but ultimately I needed something that could collapse and store away quickly in case we needed to park our car in the garage (for ice storms, hurricanes, tornados, or blizzards.)

At first I was impressed with Ron Paulk’s plans for a portable workbench that could be disassembled. But, I didn’t have the time to take on another build project. I wanted the instant gratification of having a work table immediately. Around the same time I purchased an investment house and started looking at folding work stands that could transport back and forth to the job site. That’s when I realized I could have my cake and eat it too. I could use a collapsible work stand both in my garage and at the job site.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Best of all, there was no building required for the out feed table, and minimal building for the table saw stand. If you are looking for a similar set up, stick around and I’ll show you how to make your own table saw stand and out feed table in an hour or less!

DIY Table Saw Stand


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Cut List:

  • 2 shelves – 3/4″ plywood cut to 20″ x 24″
  • 2 leg supports – 2″ x 4″ x 17″
  • 2 shelf supports – 2″ x 2″ x 24″
  • 2 top supports – 2″ x 2″ x 21″
  • 4 legs – 2″ x 4″ x _?*

* The height of your saw stand legs will be determined by your saw and table heights. I recommend doing a little math and check it with a ruler. (Take the height of your out feed table subtract the height of your table saw. Now subtract 3/4″ for your plywood thickness from this measurement. This is the height your table saw stand legs need to be cut. If you want to be precise, you can subtract an additional 1/8″ and use shims under the table saw to get the perfect height.)


Start by drilling two pocket holes into the ends of the 4″ face of your 2″ x 4″ x 17″ leg supports.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Connect two table legs by driving 2½” pocket hole screws into the 17″ leg supports as shown below. Repeat for the other side.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Pre-drill one hole into each end of the 2″ x 2″ x 21″ top supports.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Connect the two leg assemblies with the 2″ x 2″ x 21″ top supports using two 2 ½” wood screws as shown below:

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Repeat for the other side. Your table base should look like this:

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Trace the legs on each corner of one of the 3/4″ plywood shelves.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Cut out the corner leg shapes you traced.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Place the shelf in between the leg assemblies. (I made the mistake of trying to add the shelf after adding the shelf supports.)

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Pre-drill holes at the ends of the 2″ x 2″x 24″ lower shelf supports.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Secure the lower shelf support 1 ½” up from the base of the table saw stand with two 2 ½” wood screws per leg.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Place the bottom shelf on top of the lower shelf supports. Then center the top shelf on top of the base and pre-drill holes around the perimeter. Place one screw at each corner and four in between the corners.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Drive 2″ wood screws into the plywood top.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Set your table saw on your new stand. Use shims to raise the table saw and level if needed.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Slide your table saw stand up to the out feed table and start making some sawdust!

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Collapsible Out Feed Table:

As I mentioned earlier, I was looking for a set up that could collapse easily should I need to pull my car into the garage. That’s how I discovered the Centipede collapsible work table. The Centipede is lightweight but strong, especially when you lay a sheet of plywood on top to distribute the weight.

It’s incredibly easy to set up as you can see from my Facebook Live video I took when I set up the Centipede for the first time:

After setting up the Centipede (which took less than a minute), I laid a  4′ x 8′ x 3/8″ PVC sheet on top of the Centipede for a work surface. The choice to go with the PVC sheet was two-fold. 1) I wanted something that was lighter weight than a piece of plywood (to keep things simple when I’m working on my own). 2) And the second reason I chose the PVC sheet over plywood was to have a nice smooth and clean surface for photography. So far the PVC works great. It has a few scratches on it now, but still works well as a back drop.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

After using this set up all summer, I only found one drawback. The 3/8″ PVC sheet is stable but has some flex in it, so I can’t necessarily hammer on it without some bounce. But, I also purchased a large sheet of rigid foam insulation to use for cutting into when using a circular or track saw. I may try to put the rigid foam insulation sheet under the PVC sheet and see if that helps. Of course, I’ll have to raise my table saw a little, but it would be worth it to have a more stable surface.

Table Saw Review:

If you have an eagle eye, you may have noticed that there are not power cords coming from that table saw! That’s because, it’s a DeWalt FlexVolt Cordless Table Saw. DeWalt sent the tool to me to review and I honestly didn’t expect to like the saw as much as I do. I have been using the saw for over a year now and I LOVE IT! It’s completely portable so I can bring it with me on job sites. There are no cords, which frees up valuable electrical outlets in my shop.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

The saw is definitely quieter than my old table saw. I love that the blade stops very quickly when the red stop button is pushed. (This could potentially reduce the severity of an injury, but not prevent it all together.)

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

The cuts it makes are very precise and smooth. Although it is battery powered, I haven’t noticed a difference in power between the FlexVolt and my corded table saw. I’ve used it to cut through plywood, pressure treated lumber and masonite. The only difference I have noticed is the blade will spin a little slower when the battery is almost drained. It won’t continue to decrease speed, instead when the saw senses the low battery it won’t allow you to continue making cuts without charging the battery.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

You can keep an eye on the charge on the FlexVolt batteries by pressing the button on the charge indicator. I do recommend purchasing two FlexVolt batteries so you can always keep one charged. The length of time this saw will run on one battery is unbelievable. I expected much less out of the battery life, but I cut an entire pantry’s worth of plywood and still had plenty of juice left for another project.

DIY Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Off Feed Table

This little set up is working out perfectly for my small shop. The DIY Table Saw Stand has storage underneath for extra blades, batteries and for the GRR-RIPPER 3D Push blocks (that I highly recommend for use with any table saw. They have changed the way I work with my table saw for the better.)

Let me know if you have any questions in the comment field. I’m happy to answer them.

Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Out Feed Work Table

Disclosure: The Dewalt FlexVolt Table Saw was sent to me for product review. I was not told what to write or paid for my review. 

Must Have Gadget to Remove Stripped Screws | Pretty Handy Girl

Must Have Gadget to Remove Stripped Screws | Pretty Handy Girl

You know the frustration of trying to drive a screw that won’t go any further. Then you find you can’t remove it because the head is completely stripped. Or worse, you come across a screw that is stripped and you can’t remove it. If the rubber band trick won’t work, this is the Must Have Gadget to Remove Stripped Screws that will help you remove a stripped screw in two simple steps.

Removing a Stripped Screw with Speed Out | Pretty Handy Girl

This gadget is called Speed Out. It was sent to me for a product review three years ago. Believe it or not, I haven’t needed to use it until a few weeks ago. I was trying to replace a door knob in our dining room and I was met with a stubborn stripped screw. This screw wasn’t going to submit to my rubber band trick.

Instead I resorted to the Speed Out.

Removing a Stripped Screw with Speed Out | Pretty Handy Girl

The Speed Out is a kit with four double-sided drill bits. Select the bit that best fits into your screw head.

Removing a Stripped Screw with Speed Out | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the drill bit (the end that has two cut outs in it) first to grind out the damaged screw.

Removing a Stripped Screw with Speed Out | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the drill bit into the center of the screw and drill into the head. The goal is to have a smooth conical shape in the screw head.

Next flip the bit over and use the screw extractor bit (the conical threaded end) to slowly remove the screw. It’s important to keep firm pressure and the drill should be set to spin counter clock-wise.

Removing a Stripped Screw with Speed Out | Pretty Handy Girl
For my stripped screw, it began to extract and then stopped. I had to flip the bit and drill the center smooth a few more times to be able to fully extract the screw. But, ultimately it worked.


This small gadget has earned its place in my toolbox for those emergencies when I need to remove a stripped screw.

You can order your own in one of two ways: 1. Directly from the Screw Out direct website or 2. Order the Screw Out kit on Amazon for cheaper (affiliate link.) Be forewarned there are mixed reviews on Amazon, and apparently you can’t get the lifetime warranty if you order any where other than the Screw Out website. I’ll leave it up to you to decided which you prefer.

Removing a Stripped Screw with Speed Out | Pretty Handy Girl


Disclosure: This is a product review. I was not paid to mention the Screw Out gadget. I was sent one to use at no cost to me. (I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Pantry with Coffee Bar and Hidden Wine Storage | Pretty Handy Girl

Table Saw Safety Guidelines | Pretty Handy Girl

Friends, it’s Nick from over at The Sawdust Maker! A site devoted to helping others take their woodworking skills to the next level. While I am in the middle a joint series on my website, I wanted to take a minute to talk to you about table saw safety.

The table saw is the most used tool in my shop. It also happens to be the most intimidating tool for most beginners to use. So lets get a grasp on these basic safety guidelines to follow.

Before we dive into this, I want to urge you to find your table saw manual and read it. Wait, what? Yes people… actually read these things. It will cover the basic safety rules as well as any safety features specific to your saw.

Now, before you turn your saw on, do the following:

  • Make sure you’re not wearing loose fitting clothes. This doesn’t mean you need to wiggle into your skinny jeans… just make sure nothing is accessible for the blade or work material to catch.
  • If you are wearing long sleeves, roll them up past your elbow’s.
  • Keep shirt pockets free of items.
  • Remove any jewelry.
  • Wear non-skid, well fitting shoes… last thing you want is to slip or trip into the blade!
  • If your hair is long, pull it up into a ponytail.
  • Wear ear and eye protection.
  • Don’t operate while tired or under the influence. Keep those creative juices for your design process!
  • Unplug your machine and do the following:
    • Visually check your saw for damaged components:
      • Check the power cord
      • Check the Blade
        • Look for Gum or Pith on the blade, clean it if it is dirty.
        • Check the carbide and make sure it isn’t chipped or missing teeth.
        • Keep it sharp. It is a lot cheaper than replacing them and will help keep those burn marks down!
      • Check to make sure that the guards, splitter, riving knife are in place and free of damage.
    • Check the alignment of the fence, ensuring it is parallel with the blade. A quick reference is to line it up with the t-slot and visual check to see if it is aligned.
    • Ensure the blade is tight.
    • Check the belts for excessive wear.
    • Check the alignment of the splitter/riving knife.
    • Is there enough room around you for the board you are wanting to cut? There is nothing more annoying than getting part way through a cut and realizing that you don’t have enough room to finish the cut!

DIY Table Saw Stand and Collapsible Off Feed Table

Now we are almost ready to cut a board! Here are some things to keep in mind when stepping up to the whirling beastly hunk of iron.

  • Keep the splitter and riving knife in place at all times to help prevent dangerous kickback.
  • Use a table saw blade guard whenever possible, this will help keep your fingers out and dangerous wood chips/knots in.
  • Lower the blade below the table surface when the saw is not in use.
  • The table saw blade height should be set so that the carbide teeth of the blade extend a little beyond the height of the work piece. Between 1/4 – 3/8”.
  • Don’t reach over or behind the table saw blade.
  • Never position your hands or fingers in the path of the table saw blade.
  • Keep a 4-6” margin of safety all the way around your table saw blade. This is a DO NOT ENTER zone!!!!
  • Never back a board out of a cut.
  • Cutting a bevel? Place the rip fence on the side opposite of the bevel cut. (see below)

Table Saw Safety Guidelines | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Know what you are cutting into to avoid nails, loose knots, etc.
  • Always have additional out feed support in place at the back of the saw table.
  • Don’t release the work piece until it is all the way past the back of the table saw blade.
  • Don’t cut stacked material.
  • Keep your work area clean. It would be a shame if those scraps sitting in front of your saw caused you to face plant into your saw.
  • Unplug the saw when you are changing the blade.
  • Do not stand behind the blade or the work piece. Trust me, if a board is going to kickback, it will come out of there like a bullet. Last thing you want to do is stand in its flight path!
  • Use a push board, stick (GRR-Ripper) when making rip cuts narrower than 6 in.

Ways to Prevent Kickback

  • Don’t use the miter gauge and the rip fence together. This is a guaranteed invitation for the board to bind and kickback.
  • Use the miter gauge or a sled for all crosscutting and the rip fence for ripping.
  • Never rip wood that is twisted, warped or doesn’t have at least one straight edge.
  • Don’t saw a piece freehand.
  • Use a sliding table for cutting large sheet goods or cut down to a manageable size with a track saw, panel saw. There are several ways to accomplish this. You can clamp a board down to the sheet good and use that as a straight edge for your circular saw.
  • Use feather boards when ripping.
  • Use zero clearance inserts not only will this help keep your cuts crisp, it will also help keep small pieces of wood from meeting your pretty face. Again trust me, getting hit in the face with a loose knot is not fun.
  • Use the proper blade for the job, Most of us use a combination blade. which is good for both ripping and cutting boards. Don’t know your blades? Check out my post here. I did an in depth tutorial on selecting blades.
  • Don’t overfeed your blade. If you are bogging down your saw, you are probably pushing your workpiece through your saw too fast. This is another way to have a board kick back.

Pantry with Coffee Bar and Hidden Wine Storage | Pretty Handy Girl

I found that a lot of individuals are nervous to operate a table saw for the first time. I get it… there is something about hearing the motor start, seeing the blade spin and feeling the wind off the blade. If you feel this way, find someone knowledgeable to supervise and practice!

I know this is a lot of information all at once. But if you respect your investment, keep it tuned up, keep your body parts away from the blade and get out of the way from those flying parts… all that’s left is to go out have FUN!!!! and build something today.

Thanks, It has been an honor to borrow Brittany’s platform today!


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Read these Table Saw Safety and Guidelines to help keep you and your fingers safe! | Power tool safety | Pretty Handy Girl #prettyhandygirl #powertoolsafety #tablesawsafety


It’s the final days before the big guy packs up his sleigh and starts delivering presents to all the good little girls and boys. You’ve been good this year, right? This year I’m asking Pretty Handsome Guy Santa for a few things, but these are the gifts that I’ve received in the past that are my absolute favorites. Feel free to share them with the “Santa” in your life. You can send him or her a link to this post and let them know which number(s) you want. We’ll just pretend it was their idea ;-).

For the Workshop:

1. The Makita 10-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw with Laser was my Mother’s Day gift one year and by far this is my baby in the workshop. After 5+ years it still cuts like butter and is the one tool I’d cry over if it was stolen.

2. A PORTER-CABLE Orbital Jig Saw – years ago, I was given a jigsaw for Christmas that just didn’t cut it. Literally, the blade would bend and refuse to cut through most wood. It felt like a toy tool compared to this MacDaddy. This jigsaw can cut through just about anything I put in its way!

3. The Black & Decker Folding Portable Work Bench was a gift from my father decades ago! It sat in a box waiting for me to open it for 3 years. When we finally moved into a home that had a workshop I opened it up and it has been my BFF ever since. It’s the perfect clamping station and is a portable spot to work on projects. I like to set it up in our driveway for sanding. It’s also the perfect height to help guide long lumber through the table saw.

4. Speaking of Table saws, if you own one, the GRR-RIPPER 3D Pushblocks are absolutely the safest way to push your wood through the saw. Hands down (pun intended) the GRR-RIPPERs have changed how I use my table saw for the better.

5. Dremel MM30 Multi-Max Oscillating Tool This little powerhouse is my desert island tool (well assuming I have access to electricity.) This is my favorite tool to grab for cutting and sanding. It was a life saver when I was renovating my kitchen. From cutting through nails to cutting notches in studs, this tool has the power and precision to cut through a multitude of materials. Plus, the detail sanding head is great for small sanding jobs. Grab this one quick, they are selling out on Amazon quickly!

6. Rockwell 3RILL 3-in-1 Impact Driver Despite it’s 12 volt battery, this impact driver, drill and driver is my go to drill. It packs a lot of power in a smaller drill that is easy to hold and fits in a woman’s hand. The lithium battery lasts and lasts. Finally, the quick release hex chuck holds tight to drill bits and driver bits. This is my little green machine.

7. HomeRight EZ Twist Paint Stick I’ve painted almost every room in both my homes. I had tried many painting gadgets and always returned to the original edger and roller I’ve owned for over a decade. But, all this changed this past year when I tried the HomeRight EZ Twist Paint Stick. It literally cut my painting time in half! Plus, it eliminates the hazard of stepping in the paint tray (which I’ve done too many times to count.)

8. 3M TEKK WorkTunes Hearing Protection These ear protection muffs make remembering to use them in the workshop easy. I love hooking up my iPhone to the WorkTunes to listen to podcasts or music while working. The only problem is that we only have one pair which leads to a few battles when Handsome Guy wants to use them while mowing the lawn and I want to use them at the same time.

9. 3M Tekk Lightweight Safety Glasses – Having protective gear that is comfortable to wear is important. These safety glasses are so lightweight and comfortable that I often forget I have them on. The clear sides give full peripheral views. They are inexpensive which makes them perfect for a stocking stuffer ;-).

10. Tomboy Tools Magnetic 13 oz. Hammer I rarely buy tools specifically made for women because they don’t normally live up to my tough standards. But, this hammer is an exception. The hammer is lightweight, but still strong enough to get me through framing walls in our kitchen. It is perfectly weighted and has a shock absorbing handle. The magnetic notch on the head allows you to rest the nail and set it with one swing over your head. Best of all, because of its color the guys won’t run off with it. And, it’s easily spotted on the job site.

11. Duluth Women’s Work Gloves – Finding work gloves that fit a smaller woman’s hand and don’t slip around are important to me. These work gloves fit like a…well…like a glove. They are padded for comfort and the fingertips are reinforced on all sides (the place most other gloves fail.)


For Your Wardrobe:

1. Women’s Crosscut Performance Flannel Shirt – Have you ever wanted to spend the day in your pajamas because they are just so darn comfy? This flannel shirt is exactly like wearing your PJs all day! I own two of these crosscut flannel shirts now because I would wear them every day if I could. Recently I figured out how to dress up my flannel shirt for church.


2. Plaid Military Cap This is my go to hat for bad hair days. The hat is lined with a satin lining and has a comfortable fit. I have a small head, so finding a hat that fits my youth sized noggin is huge! If you order this hat and you have a regular size head, order up a size.


3. Buckle Payton Boot Stretch Jeans – Can we get a little personal here. I’m curvy, and I have a hard time finding jeans that a) won’t wear out in the thighs b) won’t ride so low they leave me with a muffin top. These are my favorite jeans. They look hip, but not too young. And I own two pairs that I wear almost daily. The price point is decent and they don’t accentuate my blogger butt. I’ve paid three times as much for a pair of jeans that ripped after only a year. When I die I want to be buried in these jeans!


4. PHG “I Saw Too Much” T-shirt – This is by far my favorite shirt that I designed. The Alternative Apparel shirt is lightweight, but not at all flimsy. It’s definitely a flattering cut on a woman. The same graphic is also available on a mens’ shirt. Oh hey, look! I’m wearing my favorite hat, jeans and shirt all in one photo! I told you I love them.

I Saw Too Much funny DIY shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

5. Merrell Women’s Leather Encore Slip-On Shoe Life is too short to walk around in cute and uncomfortable shoes. If you can’t tell by now, I’m all about the comfort over fashion. I am also lazy and despise taking an extra few minutes each day to tie and untie sneakers. For that reason, these are my favorite shoes. They feel like slippers, but have non-slip soles and leather exteriors. Merrell makes several slip on shoes in the Encore line. It’s up to you which style you like best!


For Your Picture Taking Abilities:

1. Canon EOS Rebel T5 SLR Digital Camera Pack If you are still holding out on buying an SLR camera, don’t wait another day. I have an older Canon T1 Rebel camera that I bought four years ago. It is amazing the difference it makes in my photography! Case in point. The picture on the left was taken with my point and shoot, and the right with my Canon Rebel T1 a few years later. The colors are more vibrant and the photo has a lot more depth. And the details are more crisp.

Boy's Red, White & Blue Themed Room | Pretty Handy Girl


The Canon T1 is no longer manufactured, but if you see a used one grab it! I have bumped my camera more times than I can count. (Hello, I’m a DIY tutorial blogger, it happens!) I have purchased a few lenses (a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 and aCanon EF-S 10-18mm Wide Angle Lens) for my camera but have kept the same body.

2. Lightscoop Standard Version Bounce Flash – If you are trying to save money on photography equipment consider buying a Lightscoop instead of a camera mounted bounce flash. This little gadget clips onto the shoe for your flash and simply reflects the flash light onto the ceiling (or wall if you have your camera pointed sideways. I still don’t own a bounce flash and use this little guy a lot!

3. Induro AKB1 Tripod Believe it or not, this three legged creature has saved many a rainy day photoshoot! Plus, it let’s me take better selfies. If you finally upgraded to a SLR camera, you really need a good tripod. Indoor photography is tough without one. This is the tool that lets you get beautiful pictures in darker settings without having to raise your ISO (which can result in grainy photographs.)

4. August Blossoms Camera Strap Technically this strap won’t improve your photography skills but it will safely hold your lens cap in the pocket and distinguish your camera from others that look the same. If you’ve ever been to a blogger event, a lot of us have the same camera. And personally, I think the cloth neck strap is a lot more comfortable on my neck.


For a Better Night Sleep:

1. Savvy Rest Serenity Layered Latex Mattress If you’ve been an exceptionally good kid this year, why not ask for this mattress. You can tell Santa that you’ve reached the age where you need a good mattress that will last well into your retirement and beyond (20+ years.) We’ve been sleeping on our Savvy Rest mattress for a year now and I have to warn you that if you get one you won’t want to leave home anymore. I am so eager to get home and sleep in my own bed anytime I go away. I sleep much better and my hips and back thank me every morning.

A DIY Mattress?! How I Chose a Savvy Rest Mattress | Pretty Handy Girl

2. Talalay Latex Foam Pillow This is the same pillow I’ve had for over 15 years! You’d think a 15 year old pillow would look flat and shapeless. And it would, except this pillow is a latex foam pillow and has the exact same shape as the day I bought it. For what it’s worth, I’m a side/stomach sleeper.


For Helping You Wake Up:

1. Jonathan Adler On the Go Coffee Mug This is my absolute favorite coffee mug. It fits in any cup holder. It keeps my beverage warm for a while. The fitted lid means less spills. And let’s be honest, it looks stylish!

2. Hamilton Beach 2-Way FlexBrew Coffeemaker I call this the marriage saver because I really wanted a Keurig to make quick cups of coffee. But, Pretty Handsome Guy prefers to make a pot of coffee in the carafe. I like mild coffee and he likes high octane coffee! When I saw this baby, I bought it immediately and now our marriage is saved!

I hope you found something to ask Santa for. Or you saw something to get as a last minute gift!


Disclosure: I was not compensated by any brands to write this post. These are my honest to goodness favorite things I own. In full disclosure, some of the links above are Amazon affiliate links.