Best DIY Books Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Want to try to learn something new on your own? Well, then DIY books are a good way to get going. There are DIY books on every topic ranging from essential oils to mechanical repairs. Do you want to learn how to make new crafts? Or what about cleaning your home with all natural, safe ingredients? Or fixing electrical problems around the house? After all, no one wants to be searching for the perfect DIY book forever. Our top 10 favs were put together to inspire many different aspects of the DIYer. Want to be frugal? We have you covered. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, you should check out our top 10 fav DIY books.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 7 hrs of research
Easy to make
Aimed for beginners
Explanations for use
10 Best DIY Books
1. Essential Oils for Beginners
Easy to make
Aimed for beginners
Explanations for use
No listed writer/editor
Basic uses only
Stop scouring the internet for all those DIY recipes! Have your recipe where you need it instead of dragging all the ingredients to your computer where you’ll have to worry about the aftermath of cleaning up once you find the perfect recipe.
Just starting out with learning how to combine oils to make what you need? This book gives you easy to follow instructions and recipes simple enough for the beginner to enjoy.
If you are getting into using E.O.’s you probably do not want to be wondering if the mixes you're putting together have chemicals involved. Worry not! These recipes are chemical free and aim to create a healthier environment in your home.
The value of this product is greater than its price tag, and even that is affordable! When compared to other books on the same topic, you may find yourself returning to this as your number one choice- both in content and in price!
2. Healing Power of Essential Oils
Comprehensive coverage of making and using oils
Useful to all oil users
Pages are fragile/thin
Want a book with all the information and a reliable source on how to use your essential oils? Written by an essential oils evolution host, Eric Zeilinski, this book helps everyone from beginners to advanced users with homemade oils and their uses.
This book not only takes you through some easy recipes and build up your knowledge to make more complex ones, but they have each oil listed that is used, alphabetically along with its uses. Get ready to find exactly what you want and what you need to make it with ease.
If you are a stickler for knowing the author of every book you read, enjoy the comfort of knowing this DIY was put together by Eric Zielinski- a professional in the field of Essential Oils and natural remedies. Know that your sources are verified and so you do not have to wonder if the writer simply went around and grabbed recipes off of every DIY site to collect for you, but rather that he knows what he is doing and why from the start.
While a little more expensive on its topic than the others on this list, it doesn't come without a much-added benefit of knowing you're getting a great product. With Dr. Z to guide you, you know that you're looking at an expert in the field vs. what may only be an amateur on the subject. Keeping your health first in mind, having someone who knows how each thing can affect you will leave you with peace of mind.
3. DIY Nail Art
Perfect for beginners.
Good for all ages.
Ready for a little crafty fun with your teenage niece or daughter? This book offers an enjoyable list of DIY nail designs that allow you to get a cute look without the cost of a salon!
Don’t be confused while your doing your nails at home as to whether or not you got the correct order of color and design. This book takes you step by step with visuals to help you perfect the look. Spend your time instead admiring your handiwork and the fact you didn’t have to pay big buck to look awesome!
Whether you are used to doing your own nails, or this is your very first time, this book is so easy to read and understand that doing your nails will be a cinch. So find yourself a buddy and work together to get that blaze of fire going on your fingertips- this book will make sure the only thing that goes up in smoke is the feelings of ‘I can’t’.
No matter what, no one can put a price tag on time spent bonding with family members. With teenagers and pre-teens, this can be difficult to set up. This DIY guide provides a natural past-time for most teens and pre-teens and gives an added boost to the activity, which makes it a great value.
4. Diagnose and Fix Everything
Clear explanations of how things work
Step by step instructions
Made interesting instead of dry
Help with troubleshooting
Requires a lot of technical tools
Very little illustrations
Need help learning how to troubleshoot some electronics laying around the house? Find out how to track a problem down and learn how to decide on fixing it in this handy DIY book.
Most how-to books involving electronics are dry, use big words and leave you bored to tears. With the aid of an old technician and his simplicity with words, you’ll find this book both easy and even a bit entertaining to read. Who knew learning electronics could be fun and simplified?
While a little outdated (published in 1996), this book teaches the useful tool of troubleshooting. While the machines in the book are old, the concept and ability to understand enough to find the problem remains consistent. So pick up the skills in this book and start learning how to apply them to the tech of today!
While some may argue that you can't get good information when your grab anything with older electronics, nothing can be farther from the truth. The price tag may seem a bit daunting, but consider the things you'll know how to fix, that others won't. Soon the value of knowing how to fix what will be considered 'antique equipment" will pay for itself, and many of the concepts ring true even for modern equipment. There is no limit to the value of knowledge!
5. Paracord Outdoor Gear
Step by step instructions
Interesting for all audience levels
Beginners to intermediate
Some instructions only give partial illustrations
6. The Handbuilt Home
Clearly written instructions
Provides a list of needed items for each
Known author for DIY projects
Review before building for counts on materials
Ready to build some new but interesting, easy and useful items around the house? This book will help you redecorate beautifully without breaking your wallet and still get creative.
Sometimes the thought of putting together an item as small as a two-level bookshelf can become overwhelming. It seems like an easy enough task, but making it look good and be functional is not always easy to figure out. With this book, you can do both with simple, easy to follow instructions. The list of supplies is even given so you don’t have to wonder just how many screws you really need.
Ana White is a known author in the field of DIY projects, so when you pick up this book you know you’ll be getting something you can count on. With the youtube, blog and other places Ana has set up a community base, if you run into problems, you can always ask her other DIYers how they resolved it, or even contact the writer herself!
Looking for a DIY with great value? this book is it. Don't let the price tag make you question it's worth, the author is not only known but shows appreciation for those buying her DIY books. She offers to help you personally through video's and social media, so you aren't just getting a book with detailed instructions, you're getting the value of a teacher with the cost of the book.
7. Essential Oil
Great recipes for vegans
Great for make and takes
Small book and small print
If you're just a beginner starting to dabble in the world of essential oils, you're going to love this book from Jen O'Sullivan. In this 65-page guide, the author outlines both beginner and intermediate recipes for oil lovers.
Make and take Essential Oil recipes allow you to use your oils to prepare food and other ingestible items, and this book specializes mostly in this type of recipe. So, if you are either looking for a deliciously soothing food or just want to quit brushing your mouth with chemicals after every meal, this is the book for you.
Tired of trying to find a book of Essential Oil recipes that don’t include animal products of any kind? Well, this book is the one for you. Make your life chemical and animal product free and grab your copy! It’s even small enough to take with you wherever you may need it!
Cost and Value
While some think the price tag for this book is certainly not comparable when you look at the other books on this list, they do not take into consideration two very important facts. The value of this little treasure is two-fold it's able to be easily taken anywhere and it is one of the few vegan-friendly Essential Oil make and take books available. So while you may look at the price and wonder if it is worth it, consider that in the end, you'll be hard-pressed to find another with the same qualities.
8. New Fix-It-Yourself Manual
Good for basic instructions
Helps with most simple repairs
Help to repair older items
Best for average constant repairs
Useful only for items up to 1996 (outdated for new tech)
While an older book, for consistent repairs on items around your home that don’t tend to change from year to year, this is a need to have. Fixing outlets, drywall and making minor repairs are not only a good DIY summer, but great knowledge for continuous use.
Have an old faucet that leaks, or want to replace a broken ceiling fan? This book can help you with small repairs around the house to get you started on the right path. It covers the basics of home self-repair and even to repair some older equipment that could still be useful.
Have some older equipment that you still use even if no one else does? Rather than having to try and hunt down someone who still knows how to fix that old cassette tape player, you can learn how to do it yourself.
Like other books on this list, this manual has a higher price tag and truthfully is the most expensive on our list. You might ask how it compares in value then, well, look no farther than the author. A professional repairman is taking you through the steps of repairing essential and non-essential items in your house. This book's value comes in with it's every day repairs over the larger one time fix it types of books that cover only large renovations. So if you want a book that pays for itself overuse, look no farther.
9. Auto Repair For Dummies
Easy to understand
Teaches basic car care
Has great tips for saving money
Can help with need to know on caring for any vehicle
Best for cars built before 2009
Want to learn how to troubleshoot your classic car instead of paying out of pocket and hoping your not getting your chain yanked? This book can help you with tips and tricks and simple repairs on most vehicles up to 2009 models.
All cars have several things in common- you need to maintain them. Learn the basics such as checking oil, reading your dash lights and knowing how to change your own tires so you don’t end up overpaying another shop again. Learn the tools required for some of the repairs and when you may just need the car repair shop.
Learn what questions to ask and how to tell if your car really is having engine problems, or if you just need to find a more honest repair shop. Helpful hints on picking out your shop and your best choice of repairmen in that shop.
Who can really put a price tag on knowing the basics of any car repair? We have all had that feeling that what we are told is wrong when all we came for was an oil change, might actually be a repair shop worker looking for that extra dollar. Well, when you can follow along with the terminology and anything basic, you can more easily discern if the AC belt is really going to have any effect on your gas mileage, or if the engine is going to die over some mechanism you otherwise would never hear of. The knowledge in this book can help save you more money than you might even realize- even if the model of your car isn't in its pages, the basics are there for you to start with.
10. Organically Clean Home
Helpful tips on a cleaning routine
Cheap to keep up on materials
Multiple areas of cleaning and recipes
Can be expensive to start
Don’t want to scour the internet or thumb through a book of mixed uses for essential oils? This book focuses on cleaning products you can make and use yourself with products you can buy easily and not break the bank over time.
Learn how to keep up with your New Years resolution and make your house stay neat and clean every day. This book offers green style cleaner recipes and checklists in the back to help you turn a simple DIY into a habit. Who doesn’t want to find a way to make cleaning easier to keep track of?
While getting started with this book seems to come with a heavy price tag of needed items, once you get started, keeping stocked is cheaper than continuing in the old way. It goes with the saying “sometimes the cheaper route isn’t the quicker route”. Paying less for cleaners today may mean paying more over the course of a year, then paying up front and getting twice as much out of your dollar.
Most people fall into the trap of the upfront cost over the long-term savings. This may come out as just that. This book starts out seeming like it would cost you more to use than the alternatives, however, the value starts adding up quickly once you look back and realize that keeping up with the items it teaches you how to make and use comes both more cheaply and better on your health.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
While some DIY books are fun and in style for the moment, we wanted to select material that keeps its use beyond the initial find. While inspiration is great to have, and that lovely DIY on the newest uses for water balloons may be great this year, having something in your home that can be used every year no matter what is new and trending is even better. The books selected for this list are great for this year and all the years to follow and can help you to lead a better and healthier lifestyle as well as to know basic repairs, have something fun to do with kids and not break your wallet. This is one of the most important aspects of any DIY material because if it can only be used once and the knowledge gained is as recyclable as your paper plate, you’ve likely spent money on something that will only end up gathering dust and eventually tossed into the trash.
Knowing what kind of DIY you are looking to get into means looking for something that will stay with you and not float away on the breeze. Things like healthier alternatives to cleaning with chemicals, setting up a relaxing bath to lower stress, when the best time to get your car checked is and a useful tip for having rope or twine when you need it will be a constant and useful bit of knowledge. Knowing how to do your nails might not seem as important as the above, but it gives you something just as important- time with a loved one and a creative skill that may help them to choose a direction of creativity in life.
Ease of Use
What good is a DIY book if your left scratching your head after reading it? All of our DIY books on this list were looked at for having easy to follow steps and/or instructions on how to decide what would be best to use in or on the project. This is exceptionally important because while a technician can tell you what is wrong and what he’s going to have to replace to fix it, you still might not get what all goes into understanding the problem and how it is going to be repaired. The same is to be said with DIY books. While some may tell you what problem is being resolved and what is needed to resolve it, they may not be so clear on how to go about it.
The best way to think of this process is to ask yourself if telling someone to ‘blow up a balloon’ who has never done so before is as good a set of directions as saying, “pick up the balloon, place just the open end securely in your mouth without using your teeth, blow until the balloon feels tight, grab it tight by the neck before taking it out of your mouth and tie the open end securely before letting go”. While the first set is instructions, the second set is more in depth while still easy to follow and perhaps even more easily understood on how it works. This is what we want these books to be like for you.
While it is always good to have some knowledge on the subject involved with the DIY you are planning, the books selected were also chosen because they cover more than one level of expertise. We wanted the list to be able to include beginners as well as those who have a lot of knowledge on the subjects being researched. This is important because a lot of times when you get the inspiration to start a project on your own you can fall into the trap of thinking too big without having the experience to actually support the project. This can end up causing half built frustrations, and partially complete projects that may never meet expectations. Without proper knowledge and guidance, a DIY can become more work than it feels worth it, and thus lead to the same problem as a one use book.
Carefully consideration of just what it takes to do any of these projects was considered and then books selected that offered an extensive step by step guide, some even with images, were what we attempted to find for you to make them worth your purchase. If a guide was trending, but more often than not seemed to let down the buyer, we discarded it as being a useful tool- and that includes some DIYs which focused on those who already understood what such a project would need without having to have it explained. Other books on this list have projects which can lead the reader from the easy steps and into more advanced projects as they go- giving the advanced user the ability to skip ahead and still find things they don’t yet know how to do.
Some of the books on this list may seem useless at first glance. They were simply written too many years ago to be helpful, however, there is still information even in outdated books that continue to be useful no matter how old they are. While a book on taking care of your car that is dated for 2009 may not seem helpful, many first-time care owners will discover that the car they are driving is an older model, or that the information on everyday checks is still useful.
One of the biggest concerns is to make sure you, the reader, know when you are going to purchase the book whether it will cover the items on your DIY inventory. To help you decide if the book listed here is what you are seeking, we have provided a date on its publication whenever it includes electronics or cars in its inventory. If you own classical cars, or still prefer to stick to your cassette tapes, we wanted to make sure you to could find useful DIY information, so providing books that cover older objects are still a necessity, and perhaps even more so with each passing year seeing finding them as a harder and harder task.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
While most books must go through a publisher before it hits the shelves; if you have specific knowledge that could be useful for most you could publish a DIY book yourself! In fact, you could possibly have it published on websites such as Amazon or eBay and make residual money from your sales. If you have always wanted to be an author this could be a route you might want to consider.
DIY books can come in handy and do offer a ton of valuable information; however, if something seems a bit “too hard” or out of your league don’t forget to ask an expert. Expert help could be exactly what you need to complete your task effectively time and time again.
Other Factors to Consider
For those who are looking into going all natural through essential oils, there are a few basic considerations you will need to take. Not all oils are equal, not all oils are natural, and some oils can cause unexpected allergic reactions. Before using any DIY book involving ingredients like these you should first check with your doctor to make sure the oil won’t interfere with your health in any fashion. Some medications may also react badly with some natural ingredients and since health was a big reason for the choices made, we want to bring this to your attention
Always do your research before using anything like natural oils to create cleaners, bath time scents, or anything else where you may come into direct contact with them. Stronger scents mean stronger reactions when things do not mix. This is as true with natural products as it is with any form of the chemical. If you have children you may also want to consider what the oils can do when used n a way they are not intended. Many of the oils used for scents that relax or help to ease the body are highly toxic when ingested. This is true of the plants they are taken from and remains true even after they are bottled.Keep in mind that some oils still use chemicals to help purify and/or enhance their use. These can be dyes or perfume mixes in the bottles. ‘All natural’ doesn’t always mean ‘all natural’.
Ask questions. This is true of any online purchase, asking questions is important. Don’t just see a great price and jump onto the boat, the online world is full of scam artists looking to make a dollar. Research everything, and just use our lists to help you start with what we think are the best products for your dollar. While some may seem more expensive, there is a good chance you're getting much better quality than you would for your bargain bookstore deal. After all, we are here to help you make the best choice possible and leave you a satisfied consumer. Cheaper is not always better, and in fact, it rarely is.
Before using any of the books on electronics, please check the publication date to assure it will have the information you need. Another good thing to think on before opening any electronic or trying to repair your own vehicle is the warranty. If it’s a newer electronic or car, you may end up voiding the warranty on it if you take it apart in any fashion on your own. It’s always best to consider everything before diving into any DIY project.
Before selecting any project, from natural oils to work on cars or electronics, there is always a line of thought to be considered as well. While it is used mostly in creative paths such as writing, a list of “what do I feel like I need” and “what do I really need” as a building block for any project is a great process to take. Sometimes what we think may be therapeutic and help us to relax or get things done actually ends up being the opposite. Always choose your projects with careful consideration- before, during and after you have made your book purchase.
Choose the information you yourself can trust. Some of us don’t mind picking up a DIY book that comes from your local garage sale and putting it to good use, but if you can’t trust the information in it, you may end up causing more damage than you would expect. Select carefully, read over the synopsis and decide if the book meets your expectations. Don't be afraid to look over additional FAQs and/or read many of the reviews provided. A good way to figure out if a review is worth considering is through compare- and it goes for both good and bad reviews. If the same comment comes up repeatedly within the same context for a good review, it may be unreliable. If it only ever seems to come up once or seems unrelated to the product and is a bad review, it may be either very rare to occur, or could just be an angry customer. In both, if you find reviews that seem written less professionally it’s likely to be genuine.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are essential oils good for?
Essential oils are usually natural oils that are used to replace anything from chemical cleaners to enhancing a bath experience. Most of them are safe but always look to see if the ones you are planning to use are safe for your personal environment and health.
q: What kind of things should I look for in a DIY book?
That all depends on what you are looking for. Do you want easy and quick projects, or are you looking for long-term goals in learning? This list is compiled mostly for the latter with the former being a possibility. A DIY book should at the very least be easy to understand and have good instructions. If the book your considering won’t help you to complete a task, it probably is not a good book to purchase.
q: How did you select the books on this list?
We wanted to bring you a wide selection of reading material, while at the same time bringing commonly sought out information. We used information on the books, the best ideas for planning a DIY and the most commonly searched for guides and this was how we felt the list was best set for you as a consumer.
q: Why have multiple books on the same subject?
DIY books all vary in both the level of information and what kinds of things you can do with them. In order to provide a great top ten, we wanted to cover some topics of DIY that vary greatly from one to the next. Also, sources vary, which means while some may prefer a Dr. Oz endorsed a book, others may want a new source of information.
q: How do I decide which DIY book on the list is best when they do vary on topics?
Just as with what you should look for in a DIY book, this all depends on what you are wanting to accomplish. A great method for this is deciding if what you are after is a life-changing goal, or you just want something easy to do on your day off to relax. All of the books offer a long-term benefit, but there are a few where the benefit is not necessarily immediate. Take the time to look over the entire list and see if what we have brought you would fit both your want and your time schedule for a DIY project.
q: How expensive will the Essential Oils books be to follow?
Each of the books listed on oils offers a variety of mixes. Depending on which oils you wish to purchase will change the cost of what it takes to follow along. A beginners kit is typically an inexpensive endeavor for those just looking to start out before deciding to jump all in.
q: What kind of crafts can I expect to find in the “Handbuilt Home”?
These are all furniture designs from a woman who learned how to craft using what she could afford to use and on her own. She teaches you how to make everything from beds to tables and shelves, however, as a forewarning, these are homemade designs. Many of the instructions and item lists may have flaws due to this being written by a confessed early learner for others who are looking for others in the same level. Ana White does have a community page however and you can find a sort of community built up to help with the process as you go. That being said, it’s a great book because you aren’t stuck wondering what went wrong if you find yourself with a missing piece to your building puzzle which is great news for anyone who has gone for a DIY and bitten off more than they bargained for. She also has a youtube channel to watch and further help you in understanding or following her instructions to assure your project turns out the way she intended it to.
q: Does “How to Diagnose and Fix Everything Electronic, Second Edition” cover MP3 players and Blu Ray?
No. This book was published in 1996- before those things were even invented. When going to purchase this book, please consider if the item you are hoping to fix was made before or after the publication date. The good news is, that in learning what this book has to offer you will more easily understand electronics in general. Having that base of knowledge is very useful if you’re having problems with more advanced equipment. Also, you might find that knowing how to repair older items will come in use as a hobbyist- people who know how to fix VCRs are a rarity these days, and knowing how to fix an old game machine or computer may prove surprisingly useful even if the one you have is quite a bit more advanced!
q: What is a para-cord and how useful is it really?
A para-cord is the cord used in parachutes attaching the parachute itself to the person wearing it. A para-cord can be useful in more ways than one might initially think. They are built to be durable and last a long time under extreme circumstances. While you may not think you would ever need to know how to use one, consider the possibility of being in any situation where a rope might come in handy to have- a para-cord would definitely be able to take on most of those same situations. The book on this list tells you how to have one on you without making it obvious, as well as teaching you all the different knots you might need to use based on the situation.
q: What kinds of designs are in “DIY Nail Art”?
This book seems to have been put together more for a teenager or a parent looking for a way to connect with their child. The designs are simple and easy to do but are not typically what you might wear out as an adult. Many of the designs are animal print or part of a cultured style normally seen more in high school. This would be great for the first dance styles, first date or perhaps even prom.
q: Do any of the essential Oil books cover mixes that help to destress?
Essential Oils for Beginners and The Healing Power of Essential Oils both contain recipes to aid in rest and relaxation to de-stress from a long day.