HER toolbox

Essential items for a woman's toolbox

A woman's toolbox can be a valuable asset to any household. Stocking this important resource with all the right gear can help you be better prepared for life's little surprises, big or small. Here's a list of tools and supplies for the around-the-house, DIY-ing, prepared-for-anything woman's toolbox.

HER toolbox

Cutting tools

  • Include both fabric and utility scissors -- one for fabric and one for wire, binding straps, paper and cardboard.
  • A 12-inch-blade hacksaw and a folding Japanese Dozuki saw round out the tools for cutting. The Dozuki saw cuts on the pull stroke, not on the push as Western saws do, making cutting much easier; the folding ones fit into a toolbox.

Hanging equipment

  • Self-drilling wall anchors are one-step anchors; no need for a pilot hole. If you need to make a small pre-drilling hole, use an awl.
  • Monkey hooks are specialized picture hanging hooks -- a breeze to install or remove and don't leave a big hole.
  • Self-stick wall hooks, with Isopropyl alcohol to clean the wall before attaching the hooks, provide quick hangers or tieback holders.

Screws and nails

  • Get a set of drill bits and one box of wood screws 1/2-inch, 1-inch and 1-3/4 inches long for each bit.

With the drill bits, include pre-drill bits to match each size of wood screw. Pre-drilling prevents wood from splitting. Use drywall screws for plasterboard, and include some 1 and 2-inch nails.

Basics tools

  • A 12-volt drill should meet most DIY needs; don't forget a spare battery.
  • Include a medium weight hammer and a 12-inch-long level.

Magnets can be used to locate nails in walls, sticking things onto the fridge, and, if you attach one to the end of a yardstick, it makes a great tool for picking up nails or pins. For finding a stud in the wall, a stud finder is essential; get one that also shows electrical wires. Pliers, crescent wrench, side cutters and a small ratchet set round out the basic tools component of the toolbox.

Marking, mending and miscellaneous

  • A self-erasing fabric pen will make marks that will disappear after an hour. Use it for marking the wall when hanging pictures or curtain brackets.
  • A collection of miscellaneous tools you will need include: various-sized cup hooks, releasable zip ties, some adhesive-backed hook and loop tape, a metal 25-foot and one fabric 60-inch tape measure marked in centimetres and inches.
  • Don't forget a package of Band-Aids, safety pins, anti static spray and a can of textile silicone spray, which makes drawers close smoother and drapery rings glide easier. Spray it on the cushion form to ease re-stuffing.
  • Tape will be an essential item for completing a woman's toolbox. Important kinds of tape include two-sided carpet, painters and packing tape. Don't forget other adhesives, like wood and fabric glue. Poster tack comes in handy when trying not to make holes in the wall with posters and pictures.
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