Using the Right Fasteners

A line-up of screws and fasteners against a white background.

Using the right fasteners can make or break your next DIY project. For every material you use for your DIY projects, there’s a dedicated fastener made for the job. Start with the right fastener for the materials you're working with, and you’ll be able to finish the job more quickly with more beautiful results.


A nail in a piece of wood.

Sometimes, less really is more. When you're making simple connections (for example, securing two pieces of wood together or securing a piece of wood to a wall), a nail may be the best fastener choice. Nails are very strong and durable. Finishing nails are made to look sleek and smooth with small, rounded heads. For very small, simple projects such as hanging frames on the wall, these nails are probably the best choice. Hammer your nails in straight, and they should stay strong and secure for many years to come.


Many DIY projects benefit from simple screws that can be put in place with a drill or screwdriver. Screws are made with metal threads on the shaft that create a secure connection. The size and length of the screw you use depends on how heavy your materials are, and where you plan to secure them. There are all different types of screws, so choose the right one depending on what you're working with. Some screws are easy to figure out: wood screws are used in wood pieces, sheet metal screws are designed for hard metals, and so on. Use machine screws if you plan on using nuts to keep screws in place. Hex bolts are used for big DIY projects involving heavy construction.


A profile of a toggle bolt in a ceiling against a red background.

Sometimes, a bolt may be needed for a heavy DIY project. If you need something highly supportive, you probably should fasten it with a bolt. Toggle bolts, for example, help to distribute the load of a heavy object over a large surface area to provide support. Toggle bolts are often used to hang things from ceilings for this very reason. Timber bolts are very handy when working with wood pieces because they're designed to prevent slippage in wood. Or, create a pivot point using shoulder bolts. Attach something to solid stone or concrete with a tough stud anchor bolt or sleeve anchor bolt, depending on the type of material you're working with.

Upholstery Fasteners

In DIY, every material has its own unique fastener, including fabrics. In upholstery, fasteners are specially designed to be malleable so you can use them exactly as you need to. Hog rings are adjustable; you simply squeeze them into position after placing each end through the fabric pieces you're working with. Upholstery clips, which are somewhat hinge-like in appearance, come in many different shapes and sizes so you can secure big or small pieces of fabric together.


A riveter and some rivets.

When you need to strengthen a DIY project and make a secure connection between two pieces of metal, use a rivet. A metal rivet is a short pin or bolt that holds two pieces of metal securely together. Use rivets wherever an extra connection is needed, or your connection needs to be incredibly secure. Rivets aren't usually used as primary fasteners, but rather to strengthen an existing connection.

When you’re DIYing, find the right fasteners for the materials that you’re working with. Whether you need heavy concrete bolts or rivets, there’s a fastener for every type of DIY job. Always use the right tools and materials for every DIY project, and you’ll end up with gorgeous finished results that you’ll love showing off.