Blathers Text

You've just started Animal Crossing: New Horizons and looking to get your hands on a shovel. You'll need to craft your tools using the DIY recipes you find or are given by characters as you progress through the first hours of the game.

To unlock the shovel recipe you'll need to have done two things already — crafted yourself a Flimsy Axe and donated 5 critters (fish or bugs) to Tom Nook which leads him to invite his pal Blathers the Owl to your deserted island and set up the makeshift tent which will eventually become the Museum. Once he has arrived, speak to Blathers and he'll give you the recipe for the Flimsy Shovel, the weakest shovel in the game (speaking to Blathers also unlocks the Vaulting Pole).

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Flimsy Shovel

To create a Flimsy Shovel, you'll need:

  • x5 Hardwood

Hardwood can be collected by swinging your Flimsy Axe at trees (up to three times each) and collecting the wood that falls. Hardwood is one of three available varieties of wood, the darkest of the three.

Flimsy Shovel

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Shovel

The flimsy shovel is a decent start when you need to dig a hole or bash a rock to harvest materials like iron nuggets, but you'll soon want something more robust.

To upgrade your Flimsy Shovel to the stronger Shovel, you'll need to purchase the 'Pretty Good Tools DIY Recipe' from the Nook Stop terminal in Resident Services. It costs 3000 Nook Miles, so if you don't have enough, better get fishing, catching bugs and generally topping up your Nook Miles.

Once you've got the required recipe, you'll need the following items to create the shovel:

Beware The Power Of Fruit In Animal Crossing New Horizons

This article is part of our Animal Crossing: New Horizons walkthrough, which includes a Complete Fish List, Complete Bug List and Complete Sea Creatures List. If you're looking for specific fish or bugs, we can tell you how to catch the elusive Coelacanth, Mahi-Mahi, Giant Trevally, Stringfish, Golden Trout and all the Sharks and Beetles, along with a full list of critters leaving at the end of the month (unless you visit Kapp'n's Boat Tour islands, of course!).

We can also help with How to Spot Redd's Fake Paintings and Statues, How to Make Bells Fast, How to Breed Flowers, How to Get more DIY Recipes, How to Upgrade Nook's Cranny, where and when to find special characters like Gulliver, Sable, Label, Wisp, Celeste, Pirate Gulliver and Jack, plus tips on using the Star Wand, Tool Ring, Rock Trick, Cutting Down and Moving Trees, using amiibo on Harv's Island, How to Back Up Your Island Data, How to Time Travel, How to Get a 5-Star Island Rating and a whole lot more.

If it's new content you're looking for help with, we can help you find gyroids, unlock Brewster's café, use the new Pro Camera App for selfies, enact new ordinances, get the beloved Froggy Chair, and even learn How to Cook.

And finally, Where to Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch, if for some reason you haven't yet picked up the game, and How To Buy The Happy Home Paradise DLC, too!