The Must List: Thrifty Decor Chick

by Chris on April 18, 2012

I’m over the moon on this one, folks. One of my favorite people evah is here! If I told you all  the “behind the scenes” stuff about Sarah and me, I have a feeling you’d question how we even make it in blogland. We are equally immature and have a tendency to be complete morons. Of course, telling you that probably isn’t a good segue for her “must have” tool installment. However, this girl knows what she’s doing. She is literally the reason I bought my first power tool. Hang on her every word!


Hello there! I’m tickled to be over at Chris’ place today – I love her dearly and love this blog series! I’m learning all kinds of great info from these lovely ladies.

Chris asked me to talk power tools today and I was happy to oblige. I’m a tool girl, have been for a long time now. I’d rather spend a few hours roaming the aisles of the hardware store over a clothing store any day of the week. It truly is my toy store. ;)

I’m sharing my top three power tools, in the order of ease of use. Now, none of these are hard to use, you just need some practice, patience and good safety gear. It’s all about getting comfortable with a tool. And believe me, there are still some I am not comfortable with at all!

The first is the most basic – the screwdriver:


It’s so basic some may not even consider it a power tool, but I could not live without mine. I use it at least once a week for smaller projects here and there.

It’s a breeze to use, and I prefer the cordless version for most jobs around the house. (I have a corded version for big projects.)

I use it most often for hanging art (I use an anchor and a screw for 90 percent of my art because I have an irrational fear if I don’t it will come crashing down in the middle of the night and scare me to death.) But anyway. Art and also hanging drapery hardware – those are two biggies around here:


The next one on my must have list is the nail gun:


I think this is one people shy away from – for cost reasons and because of the fear of handling one. But the cost isn’t too prohibitive for a basic version – I’ve seen the gun and a small compressor come in at just over $100.

The safety aspects of the nail gun make it hard to hurt yourself. Of course it can happen, so use care and get familiar with it first, but it’s incredibly easy to operate. Mine is an older version with a small compressor and it does the job very well – I’ve had this one for at least six years and it’s still kickin’. :)

And if you get one, the possibilities are endless! My Dad and I installed built ins in my son’s room and I made over our kitchen island with mine:


Finally, the BIG ONE. She’s a beast and I love her. The compound miter saw:


I bought mine only a few years ago and cannot imagine my DIY life without it. It seems like I use it for nearly every project now. I used to have every piece of wood cut at the hardware store, and still do sometimes, but this makes life SO much easier.

I was a teensy bit afraid of it at first, but like all tools, the more you use it, the more comfortable you get. There are safety features on this one as well, but it’s always best to take your time when using a saw. (And be fully aware where your hands are at all times.)

With a compound miter saw, the sky is the limit! With mine, I’ve installed board and batten throughout the house and was able to create a fun book nook for our kiddo:


Well there you go! I hope my power tool must haves make you feel a bit more comfortable and a little less hesitant about trying out one for yourself. :) Like I said, there are a few I still haven’t tried (the table and circular saw to name a couple), but someday I will – like when Lowe’s doesn’t cut all my wood down for me anymore. ;)

Thanks for having me Chris! Love ya!!



Lauren@ Inside My Present April 18, 2012 at 8:32 am

I have just convinced my fiance to get us a miter saw. After that all we’ll need is a nail gun! So glad to see a list of the must haves- I’ve been dying to do a DIY project. Now, if I can just get over my habit of getting my fingers stuck in thing!

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor April 18, 2012 at 9:39 am

Ha!!! I snorted when I read that. You speak the truth my friend. Thanks for having me!!

becky mercado April 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm

YES… I have all three of these. Drill screwdriver is a must … just seems that it’s always out of juice. The corded one is a hassle sometimes but it’s always ready and powerful. I love the nail gun…there’s something exhilerating about it. My next “want” is a super duper jig saw or dremel saw to cut very intricate designs. A girl after my own heart. Too bad I don’t cook.

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor April 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Becky I don’t cook either. Much anyway. :)

Jenoside April 18, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Oh, I sooooo need a compound miter saw. I have all the other things, but I need that saw. Some day!

Autumn April 18, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Awwwww, our sweet Dewalt mitre saw was stolen out of our garage this week. So sad!

Cathy Farquhar April 19, 2012 at 12:24 am

I guess one out of three is good, I have the screwdriver (it was a Christmas prsent) my family thought I was crazy. But my Dad has all the tools that I think I will ever need.

Cathy <;)

MarLaney April 19, 2012 at 3:49 am

I’ve been keeping an eye out for a nail gun…I want one so bad! Wood glue will only get you so far.
When I was younger I wanted to be a carpenter, I used to make myself Barbie furniture (dad cutting the wood for me). I couldn’t go into carpentry because I’m too afraid of all types of saws. I have a new one thats been sitting in the garage for a year. I just don’t trust myself with one. I should really get over that fear.

Great must haves!

Kim @ Plumberry Pie April 19, 2012 at 9:01 am

Thanks for the tips, Sarah! Maybe I’ll finally use a power tool. Still haven’t checked that off my list yet:) – except a chainsaw cutting out monster bushes. yikes!

And Chris, thanks again for this series…seriously all my faves are here!! Sarah is the bomb. Crack up every time I read one of her posts!!

Elaine April 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm


Are you on vacation? Have missed your posts for a bit now.

Lex Malla Books April 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Thanks for sharing. I still need to get a nail gun and a saw. I think of all the things I could do with them and want to run out and get them right now!!

debbiecz April 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm

My plumbing contractor of a husband has learned he needs two of everything as tools keep making their way to my gardening bucket, craft drawer, etc. Some of my particular favorites are the tin snips, wire cutters, sawzall (the fence guy almost had a heartattack when I used it to cut some nasty roots that were in the way), the pipe bender and my all time bestie is the dry wall saw/knife. I’m the coolest & fastest mom when I pull that one out at the school pumpkin carving day – it carves like butta!

Sarah April 20, 2012 at 10:52 am

Is there a link for this blogger, Thifty Decor Chick?

Chris April 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm

There’s no link? Eeks! It’s Of course, you could always just Google Thrifty Decor Chick.

Laura April 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I was just looking at a nail gun, and this one looks just like the one the guy at Lowe’s said would be great! I can’t wait to get one….good to know it’s easy to use!

trinity April 22, 2012 at 12:06 am

When I got divorced, I went out and bought a Skil saw and some saw horses. Then, I just cut boards, I don’t even remember what I did with those boards. But I remember to this day the healing exhilaration of it all. Since this time, I have bought and used drills and all kinds of tools, but a nail gun!! Wow!! I never even entertained the idea of a nail gun!! Oooh, gotta have a nail gun now!!!!

Chris April 22, 2012 at 11:03 pm

I love it, Trinity! Way to be empowered! :) Nail gun–best power tool I ever bought. Just my opinion. ;)

Ronda May 8, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I am dreaming of a big garage or barn to collect and use my tools in. It has to have electricity and a big utility sink. Wouldn’t that be heavenly?!

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