8 Surprising Projects You Can Do in a Day (With Just Your Drill)

A yellow drill.

The power drill has become the workhorse in many DIY shops. Whether you're installing new cabinets or building gorgeous plant holders for your home, having a drill and a good set of bits is a must for any DIYer. Here are eight surprising projects you can complete in a single day with just your power drill.

1. Wood Doormat

Making a custom wood doormat is easier than it looks. Simply buy a long 1x3 piece of trim and have it cut to one foot in length. Using a 5/16 or larger bit, drill two holes in the side of each piece. Make sure the holes are in the same location for each piece and spaced evenly. Once the holes are drilled, string a heavy piece of rope through each piece and tie off the ends. If you want to stain the wood, apply the stain before assembly.

2. New Cabinets

A man working on wood cabinets with a drill.

A new set of stock cabinets can really transform the appearance of any room. Even better, you can install these types of cabinets with just a screwdriver and drill bit. Simply use the drill bit to create a pilot hole for the screws and install the cabinets in the desired location with your screwdriver bit. If you plan on installing a row of cabinets, sharpen the bit instead of purchasing a new one when it gets dull. A Drill Doctor drill bit sharpener can easily keep your bit like new so you can complete the whole project with one bit and avoid unexpected trips to the hardware store. Ensure each cabinet is supported with a ledger that runs along the wall at the height of 54 inches.

3. Coat Rack

You can make a creative entryway shelf with only your power drill, fancy hooks, and some wood. Depending on the size of your shelf, you may need to have the lumber cut to size at your local hardware store before assembly. With the lumber cut to size, install the hooks at equal distances with your drill. Determine where you want to hang the shelf and find the nearest studs. Hide your install screws behind a few hooks to avoid additional patch work.

4. Candle Holders

You can make a variety of candle holders with either a spade bit or multi-angle drill bit (MAD-bit) and a piece of wood. Simply drill the appropriate diameter hole in a piece of wood. The wood can be as large or small a piece as you prefer, just as long as it's big enough to fit the candle. Finish the project with a coat of paint and protective finish.

5. Plant Holders

A wood planter with green plants against a white brick wall.

Building a wooden plant holder takes five pieces of wood and a handful of screws. Start by drilling pilot holes on each corner of the end pieces, which should be square in shape. Attach two rectangular boards of equal length to each corner piece along with the bottom. You can adjust the size of the plant holder to fit your needs and paint it whatever color matches existing decor. Add some decorative handles for a fancy touch.

6. Kitchen Remodel

You can update the look of your kitchen by replacing the cabinet hardware. After selecting the desired pulls or knobs, use a drill bit to remove the old hardware. Use the existing holes or drill new ones to fit the new hardware and screws. If you must drill new holes, you may need to patch up the old ones if they aren’t covered by the new hardware.

7. Blanket Ladder

A diyer working with a drill in a workshop.

With 2x4s or reclaimed lumber, you can build a ladder to hang all your favorite blankets. You can make the ladder to whatever size fits your space. Avoid splitting the wood by drilling pilot holes for the crossbeams. Assemble the ladder with two screws for each cross piece and angle the ladder against the wall to prevent it from falling.

8. Book Shelf

You can construct a simple book shelf with an 8-foot 1x4 and some screws. Have the 1x4 cut in three sections of 2.5 feet long and rip one piece in half. Screw the two 1x4 inch pieces together in an L-shape. Complete the case by attaching the trim piece to create a lip for the books to rest. Install the shelf in your desired location and paint to complete the project.

Drills are a versatile tool that every DIYer should have. Remember to save time and money by sharpening your drill bits instead of buying new ones. With a Drill Doctor, DIYers can continually freshen up drill bits that have worn down, plus add split points with certain models. Having a sharp bit on your drill helps projects go faster and creates more precise holes. So keep an eye on your bits; they’re more important to a project’s success than you might think.

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