So you’re ready to take your DIY to the next level and go for the hard stuff. Woodworking can seem like it’s only reserved for the pros, but really with the right materials and the right mentality, you can create easy, small wood projects to wow your friends.
Although woodworking projects may draw correlations with saws, nails, and screw guns, there are some easy ways you can create useful and attractive pieces with just a a few pieces of reclaimed wood and glue.
Of course, these are woodworking projects, so there are some that will call for a hammer and nails. In some cases, you might need to put a little extra elbow grease into it, too. Starting small will help you gain confidence as you grow and develop your skills!
Here are some popular woodworking ideas that can get you started on your DIY carpentry journey.
We’re easing into it nicely with a beginner’s option. Making your own coasters is a fun way to make a personalized household staple for guests to enjoy or even a gift! It can be as simple as repurposing the tree branch that fell in the yard or using some pieces of wood that washed up on the beach.
To make coasters, there are two simple routes from which to choose: sliced wood or repurposed wood. Repurposed wood is pretty straightforward. Finding flat pieces with jagged edges will give a unique shape and style to coasters. Just coat for a sleek finish and place on your coffee table!
Slicing wood calls for a little more work, but not much. Use a handsaw to slice the branch into slabs in uniform pieces. Use sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges. From here, you can opt for art, whether it be a splash of color or monogrammed letters, and seal it.
Clear Satin varnish is a popular choice for preserving and showcasing your handiwork. They can be found as a spray or paint at a local hardware store or online. If you opt not to create any hand-made art, play around with different varnishes!
2. Cutting Board
A cutting board is a simple accompaniment to coasters. It’s basically the same premise on a larger scale. Cutting boards are another highly-useful household craft that can be personalized and showcased. It’s also sturdy enough to use, bringing you a sense of pride while you prepare meals!
To make a cutting board, you’ll need a bigger stump. A handsaw might also create cuts that are too jagged, so a chainsaw with a trusted operated would fair better for this craft. Even with a chainsaw, you’ll still get to put the elbow grease in and sand away any jagged edges.
Once you have a slab worthy to be worked on, you can let your creativity take over. Paint a warming quote, your favorite family recipe, or just monogram.
Some people may opt to cut on display the raw wood, but it’s always a good idea to consider varnish. Finding food-safe varnish is easy to do online or at your local hardware store. It preserves the integrity of your work without contaminating your food. A win-win.
3. Rustic Palette Sign
Creating the rustic palette sign requires a similar approach to that of the cutting board without the need to cut up a tree stump. You can use any slab of wood or 2×4 you can find, depending on the shape you want to achieve.
A really easy-to-do palette sign can be made with just one palette and some paint. Common ideas include a WELCOME sign, family name or home numbers, or even a short quote. Use one board, or several glued together side by side, to paint your own personal message on the board. Let dry, varnish, and then prop it up or add some hooks or string to hang. It can really be as simple as that!
The beauty of creating DIY wooden bookends can be as easy or difficult as you’d like it to be. Using solid wood to create a sturdy prop for your books is about as easy as DIY bookends can get. Of course, things get better when you get your hands dirty and add a personal touch.
If working with blocks of wood, carving them can be an exceptional challenge if you’re up to the task. Some people go as far as to incorporate both pieces of the bookends to create a continued piece that spans the entire shelf like this guitar.
Alternatively, you can keep it simple. Using a flat piece of wood, cut it into even squares and glue them together. You’ll want one piece to be perpendicular, creating what looks like a 90-degree angle. This will serve as the bookend, and in the open space you can add any variations you’d like!
Some inspiring bookends use mason jars, figurines, or letters to enhance their hand-made bookends.
5. Wine Rack
Creating a wine rack has a similar sliding scale of difficulty as bookends. While some require drilling holes and XXX, others are as simple as fastening some restraint or hook to a slab of wood to hold the bottle.
For a moderate level of difficulty, you can use a similar practice as with the bookends to create a zigzag wine rack. Create a perpendicular base from a board of wood, using wood glue or nails to adhere. Drill 1-2 holes into the center of each flat surface.
Use a longer piece of wood to lay flat behind the perpendicular angle you’ve created. For a wine rack with more capacity, continue to make perpendicular angles with wood and drill holes into it, adding to the zigzag.
This can be mounted by gluing the angle to a flat piece of wood and hanging it. For extra reinforcement, especially on the larger projects, you can use metal braces attached at the seams.
For this project, you’ll want to make sure you allowed enough space for the bottle to rest without slamming into the rest stored in the rack.
6. Mail Organizer
Like a wine rack, a mail organizer can be as simple as a open-top box or as complex as a series of them. Either way, it’s a relatively easy woodworking project that is incredibly useful!
Start by deciding how large you want it to be by creating the base and the back of the mail organizer with pieces of wood. It will serve more or less like a box, so the sides and the front will have to fit properly with the base and back.
This easy-to-make box can be replicated again and mounted together on a longer board. The more boxes you make, the more you’ll be able to separate your mail!
As with all woodworking projects, sanding, painting, and finishing are essential and personal parts of the process.
Attach a hook on the back or drill it straight into your desired wall to start using your handmade organizer!
7. Hanging Geometric Shelf
Once you have one piece (or more!) of handmade artistry hanging on your wall, you’ll need some more to match. These hanging geometric shelves are easy to make, lovely to look at, and a perfect addition to a home with rustic decor.
These hanging shelves rise and fall with difficulty depending on the shape you want to make. An easy and attractive go-to is the triangle. It’s as easy as making a hollow triangle from scraps of wood and mounting them in an appealing sequence.
Other DIY-ers opt to add more sides, making hexagons, octagons, or bigger! The limit lies with you. Start with one and once you see how easy and fun it is to sand, paint, and mount your masterpiece you’ll be inclined to try for something else!
What invokes thoughts of beginning woodworking better than a birdhouse? They’re a great way to add offer hospitality to wildlife, flex your creative muscles, or spend some time crafting with the kids. All you need is some wood, a saw, nails, and a drill.
The birdhouse starts with making a simple wooden box, as we made for the mail organizer. For a very easy-to-do birdhouse, make sure it’s a perfect square. The roof, instead of measuring a point on the front and back wall to which you’d need to attach a pointed roof, then just forms from one of its sides. This triangle birdhouse is easy, different, and fun! You can use an old license plate or any other roof you decide to attach.
Of course, they’ll need a door – that’s where the drilling comes in. Make it wide enough for a bird to fly in, but small enough that bigger predators will have a hard time. Once you get the knack of the traditional birdhouse, you can start building more unique and aesthetic ones with your newfound architecture practice!
9. Clothes Rack
Another incredibly useful and notably easy woodworking craft is the clothes rack. This can be for a spare room to offer guests a place to hang their clothes or used as a coat rack.
A clothes rack involves two long pieces of wood crossed on either end and a long rod to connect the two. You’ll also want the base to be sturdy, so a pair of shorter pieces of wood will help to keep the crossed ends together. Wood glue might help keep it all together, but nailing it will be the most reliable.
A clothes rack can come from just about any sturdy shape attached at the middle. Play around with different wood you have to create impressive pieces of work that you can put some hangers on to showcase!
10. Bath Tray
It’s not all about hard work, sometimes you need to refresh and restore. A popular and Instagrammable option is the bath tray. These are perfect for setting up a good book, candle, and glass of wine right after you complete the task of making it!
To make a bath tray, be sure you know what you’re working with. Have a long-enough slab of wood that it will be able to span your tub. From there, it’s all about sanding, finishing, and drawing a warm bath!
11. Jewelry Holder
From a child getting her first necklace to an adult with years of chains to organize, a jewelry holder is a staple in any bedroom. Depending on the style of your existing decor, there are hundreds of variations of jewelry holders that suit your personal style.
A very easy jewelry holder involves a pyramidal design of two pieces of wood. Cut notches into the edges of the wood so as to let earrings or necklaces hang without getting tangled. The right sized notches will ensure it stays put.
You can also add some hooks for a versatile approach to hanging your jewelry. Feel free to mix and match!
Design, finish, and set up this perfectly easy home-remedy!
12. Desk Organizer
Finally, an all-around easy to do, good to have object you can make on your own. The desk organizer can come in many forms. A box will do well for holding a lot of materials, whereas a small block of wood can fare well if you just have some spare pens that need a home.
Either way, the desk organizer is easy to make. For a simple version, a thick chunk of wood an be used. Drill some holes for pencils, create craters for paper clips, or notches for notes.
If you want to make it a little bigger, a compartmentalized box will help to sort and organize your daily tasks. You might need a little more wood and a little more pre-planning, but it’s still very simple to lay out before you start gluing and committing to your shape.
These projects are just a few examples of how woodworking can be made simple. With a little power tool practice and a lot of inspiration, these can be transformed into covetable household items and gifts that you make again and again!