The Crafter’s Essential Guide to the Hardware Store

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware StoreAlright fellow crafters, here’s the drill (pun intended!). I know that the idea of shopping for your craft supplies at the hardware store can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming at times, especially when more often than not, stores have about 100 aisles to go through. The good news is that I’ve teamed up with Orchard Supply Hardware to make this process completely approachable and painless as possible.

And while this list could be twice as long with other fun items you may find at a hardware store, here are my essentials items that can be used in a number of ways, ensuring the most bang for your buck. There’s also a free printable AND giveaway at the end of this post that you won’t want to miss!

TAPE1. Tape. Of course! There is a huge variety of tape that can be found at the hardware store these days, especially at Orchard Supply. Masking, packing, washi and even glitter duct tape, you name it. I highly recommend Scotch Blue’s specific type of painter’s tape made especially for taping off designs on recently painted surfaces (for all your thrift store makeover needs). You can also use it for the follow projects:

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware StoreFruit Slice UmbrellasHalf Painted DoorGeometric Photo Booth Backdrop

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware Store2. Cork Rounds. Typically found in the nursery section of the store, cork rounds can be used for more than just soaking up excess plant water. The backs tend to be made of hard plastic, making them perfect to use on multiple surfaces.  Here are just a few examples of the projects you can make with them:

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware StorePainted Photo FramesBulletin BoardDIY Mousepad

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware Store3. Dowel Rods. Incredibly versatile AND cheap. What’s not to love? Dowels come in a number of sizes and shapes (you can get square ones too) and can be used as long individual pieces or chopped up into multiple smaller ones, depending on your project. The following projects are a great way to start experimenting with them if you haven’t before:

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware StoreBlanket Ladder, Coffee Cup Holder, Inkodyed Wall Hanging

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware Store4. Copper Fittings. You don’t need to know a thing about plumbing to use copper fittings in your projects! If you can’t find the right size you’re looking for, you can even buy large copper tubing and cut it, like I did in this necklace diy. Here are a few other ways to bring the ever-so-trending copper into your life:

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware Store Copper Flower Bud VasesCopper iPad Stand, Copper Necklace

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware Store5. Drill + Bits. I went too long without a good drill in my life and now I’m kicking myself for all the projects I’ve missed out on.  Seriously invest, you won’t regret it at all. You can even buy different types of bits, like a spade bit, to help you make larger holes (like I used for these wooden votives). I have this drill from DeWalt and it was about $60. If you’re still not convinced, here are some projects that will maybe change your mind:

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware StoreWood Slab Table, Key Holder, Embroidered Sewing Box

 The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware Store6. Vinyl Letters. If you do not have the best handwriting, or if you don’t want to invest in a cutting machine, vinyl letters are the absolute best way to go. Plus they’re really easy to work with and can be easily removed from most surfaces. Here are some quick yet high impact projects:

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware StorePretty Shampoo Bottles, Song Lyric Wall Art, Balloon Banner

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware Store7. Sandpaper. You will use sandpaper on everything from wood to cement, resin to plaster, and everything in between. Even if you don’t have a specific project in mind, I recommending having a sheet or two on hand at all times. You really never know when you’ll need to smooth something out. Here are a few projects where sandpaper came in handy:

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware StoreDresser MakeoverGlitter Bracelets, Plaster Lip Magnets

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware Store8. Plastic Bucket. Whether you’re dip dying, marbling, or just storing flowers, it’s always nice to have a good plastic bucket on hand. And when it’s not in use, you can use it as additional storage in your craft room– win, win! Here’s what I mean:

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware StoreHow to Press Flowers, Nail Polish Planters, Indigo Dish Towels

Now that you have the rundown of all my favorite items, I have two fun pieces of news! First, the lovely and talented Ann Shen created a free printable for you guys! You can print it right at home and either hang it on your wall or take it with you to the hardware store as a shopping guide:

The Crafter's Essential Guide to the Hardware StoreDownload printable here!

Second, now it’s time for you to win a chance to go and buy all the supplies for yourself! Two of you will each win a $75 gift card to Orchard Supply Hardware. Spend it on stocking up your craft supplies, or recreating this painted planter project I shared last week, or something new all together. It’s up to you! Best of luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • Christine Peterson Bures

    I would buy a sander.

  • Deidre Hopkins

    I would buy the copper fittings and dowel rods — I love the little iPad stand!

  • Cnester

    I also like using washers as pendants and even nuts as beads! I’d definitely stock up on dowels and sandpaper! I’m stretching what little sandpaper i had as far as I can, lol! Love this post <3

  • i just realized they have patio furniture.. the basics, but way cheap!! I would love to get a new side table and umbrella for shade while I bead away outdoors. :)

  • Shannon Crabill

    I really want one of those paint spray guns. I watch enough DIY shows that with one good quality one I could refab so much stuff!

  • I would get some dowels and the copper pipe because I have this ladder in mind from the Meyer’s website…so simple but SO cute!

  • michelle warnke

    i would probably buy some spray paint and maybe some vinyl letters too! i have a bunch of wedding projects to do so I am sure I could find some fun stuff!

  • This is such a great post! (And thanks for the giveaway!)

  • Kristen

    Love this!! Thank you for hostin such an awesome giveaway!

  • This is SUCH a great supply roundup, and I love how you combined everything with projects to make! You are whip-smart, girl! Thanks for hosting the giveaway! I’ve been really wanting to buy some more plants, so as much as my DIY supply wishlist is ten miles long, I would probably get…plants! :) xoxo

  • Such a fun idea for a post!

  • Nicole Laha

    Always forget about copper + dowel rods. Thanks for the inspiration – So many great DIY ideas.

  • Nik V

    I would definitely invest in a drill {finally!} I LOVED all the ideas here too <3

  • lisa

    I’d love to get the
    Costa Nursery Farms 2.3 qt Bonsai

  • sheri

    i would buy some paint and spruce things up!

  • I would print out this post as my idea list! :) I never realized you could get cork in the nursery section. I really want to make diy coasters one of these days. :)