10 DIY Skills That Are Easier than You Think

hands installing laminate wood flooring
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When it comes to DIY tasks, it can be intimidating to tackle jobs you’ve always hired out or seen someone else do.

But many skills are easier to develop than you think. After all, consider all the daily tasks you’ve already learned to master.

There’s no reason to hold back on learning more. As the saying goes, “getting started is the hardest part.”

1. Sewing

You may have had a few weeks of introductory training in middle school during home economics, but that may be your only exposure to sewing.

It’s a basic skill, once you learn to use a needle and thread or a sewing machine. You may also need to learn how to make and use patterns.

Once you master the technique you’ll find yourself eager to make pillows, stuffed animals, clothing, curtains, and more.

2. Canning

woman putting vegetables in large glass jars

Whether you have your own garden or source your fruits and veggies from a neighbor, friend, or farmer’s market, canning fresh produce is easy to do.

It’s a great way to stock up on the freshest foods for winter and prepare for times when you need an additional food supply.

The process requires few supplies, such as jars and lids, a canner, and a pressure cooker.

From there, you can make and can salsa, sauces, pie filling, fish, meats, tomatoes, peaches, corn, beans, pears, and countless other staples.

3. Woodworking

There are some basics of woodworking that, once mastered, you’ll find yourself using for myriad projects in the workshop.

For example, proper sanding will be useful inside and outside the house. Similarly, learning to make a 45-degree miter cut will provide the skill set for making picture frames and installing trim work.

Pick a few basics and add new types of joints, tools, and techniques as you continue to learn.

4. Laminate Flooring

hands installing wood laminate flooring

You can save a ton of money installing laminate flooring yourself. These click-together boards are made for the DIY enthusiast.

You’ll need to be comfortable with a miter saw for thicker flooring, but can get away with scoring using a sharp blade for thinner products.

Watch a few videos, focusing on how to stagger the design and create tight seams. The rest comes through trial and error, and practice.

5. Automotive Maintenance

You may not be able to swap out an engine right out of the gates, but many vehicle maintenance issues are well within the DIY wheelhouse.

For example, you can check your own transmission, oil, windshield-washer, and brake fluid.

You can also learn to change your own oil and filter with a couple of tools and a bit of time.

Replace wiper blades, change filters, replace hoses, swap out the battery, and even replace spark plugs.

6. Painting

Indoor and outdoor painting skills open up a world of possibilities for the DIYer.

Not only can you paint your house to improve curb appeal and protect the exterior of your home, but you can change the look of indoor spaces too.

Beyond wall surfaces, proper painting techniques allow you to create new counter, cabinet, and floor surfaces, update the deck or patio, and spice up fencing.

7. Smart Device Installation

smiling woman with phone touching smart home screen

There’s no need to call in an electrical or handyman for most smart device installations.

Simply follow the directions. Put safety first by turning off the power at the source before working with any electrical systems.

Swap out your wall thermostat for a programmable one. Then work on motion lights, cameras, electronic door locks, smart lights and plugs, showerheads, and appliances.

8. Cooking and Baking

Of course, you know you can bake your own cookies and learn to grill a steak. But there are many things you commonly buy without even thinking about making them from scratch.

Baking and cooking your own foods provides you the power of making healthier choices and keeps you from running to the store unnecessarily. Consider making your own bar-b-que sauce, salad dressings, tortillas, wonton wrappers, pasta, bread, tortilla chips, and dips.

9. Growing a Garden

garden growing in raised bed

Dirt, seeds, and plants. There’s a bit more to it, but at the most basic level, even having a basil plant in your kitchen is gardening.

The point is, growing a garden can mean having a few pots on your deck, installing some gutters to the side of your home, or building raised beds.

It can mean growing fields of corn or a few pumpkin plants.

So start small and enjoy the ‘fruits of your labors’, even if those are vegetables or herbs.

10. Using Power Tools

They can be intimidating, and you should use caution when powering up power tools.

But, in truth, there’s a wide variety of tools you can easily master that will make your DIY tasks much easier.

Start with a power drill/screwdriver. This must-have tool is useful for everything from hanging art to building a deck.

Also, practice with jigsaws, miter saws, sanders, planers, and grinders. You’ll be addicted, and ultra-productive, in no time!