Sarah Listi: Problem Solving Fuels Her Passion – Woodworking | Blog | Videos | Plans

If I had a soundtrack to my childhood, it would be Bob Villa on our television narrating This Old House projects and the sound of a hammer banging in that last nail or a saw echoing through the garage. I was always in awe of the things my dad, a lifelong DIYer, would do and create. From building an addition onto my childhood home to rebuilding engines, as well as the sweet memories I have of him woodworking, there was never a shortage of things to assist him with or to learn.

Sarah Listi holding large piece of lumber
No woodworking project is too big to tackle, and Listi enjoys the design challenges each one brings.

When my husband and I started our family, the joy of building and creating expanded further, and my appreciation for the craft grew in ways I couldn’t imagine. After my son was diagnosed with autism, woodworking became more than just a practical or functional pastime for me. It became a form of therapy. I realized I had found a beautiful way to connect where words weren’t needed, and in it I found a piece of myself I hadn’t known was missing. Today, both of my kiddos will occasionally join me in the shop, and I love those moments the most.

From Tools to Projects

Sarah Listi running board through jointer
Listi’s emergence as a social media influencer came about when she was sharing detailed tool reviews on her website toolgirlsgarage.com.

My journey in social media started with sharing detailed tool reviews online at toolgirlsgarage.com. It quickly evolved into documenting what I was doing with my tools too — something I particularly enjoy! In addition to woodworking, I recently started documenting my home renovation projects as I turn our house into my family’s dream home.

Sarah Listi clamping parts for hexagonal tall table
Now, she also builds and documents her woodworking
projects, including the “Hexagon Tall Table.”

One of my favorite aspects of woodworking and construction is problem-solving — whether it’s coming up with a solution to a functional shortcoming in a space or finding a way to incorporate a unique design element. I’m passionate about sharing how a design comes to life and how I resolve obstacles that I encounter. The marriage of creativity and analysis in my projects pushes me to constantly evolve my skill set and keep on learning.

Sarah Listi posing in her workshop

Here’s one thing I know for sure: I have found a community of online support from other makers who are just as passionate as I am about working with our hands!

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