Woodworking Projects For Beginners

37 Awesome Woodworking Projects For Beginners

When I was first introduced to woodworking, I was simultaneously excited to start and yet unsure of where to begin.

It turns out, you don’t need years of woodworking experience to build neat (and functional) items.

We all have to start somewhere. Once you accept that you won’t be building a complex sculpture for your first project, you can begin to look at some more basic, yet creative, beginner woodworking projects.

Here are 37 awesome woodworking projects for beginners:

1. Modern Pet Bed (Simple and Stylish!)

When pursuing your new passion for woodworking, what better place to start than with your love for your furry friend.

Build your beloved pet a modern pet bed so you can both lounge around together and bask in the success of all of your woodworking projects!

Modern Dog Bed Diy

Kate from Centsational Style will guide you through the process.

2. My Favorite: The Wooden Sofa Sleeve Cup Holder

If you don’t have one of those fancy sofas with built in cup holders, rest easy knowing you will never have to worry about spilling your favorite beverage again.

This handy cup holder rests securely on the sleeve of your sofa, allowing you to safely set your cup down and free your hands to read or reach for the remote.

Wooden sofa sleeve cup holder

Check out Elsie's and Emma's blog for instructions!

3. A Classy Candle Holder

Let’s face it – new candle holders can be pricey, and they’re not even guaranteed to fit your favorite candles.

Adina Johnson at Simple Country Life has eliminated this issue by using woodworking skills to craft her own customized candle holder!

Rustic Candle Holder

4. Decorate with a DIY 6 Board Farmhouse Desk

If you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for ways to make sure your home stands out and has its own individual aesthetic.

Hand-crafted furniture is a great way to start, so give this DIY 6 board farmhouse desk from shanty-2-chic.com a try!

Farmhouse-Deck

5. Combining Your Passion with Your Electronics: A Wooden iPad Dock

Technology is a given part of today’s modern world; everyone has some sort of smart device whether it’s a smart phone, television, or tablet.

Make your passion for woodworking go hand in hand with your current electronics by crafting this useful wooden iPad dock – you can use your iPad horizontally, vertically, and even while it is charging on this diverse dock.

Wooden IPAD Dock

For instructions, please visit this page.

6. Pocket Sized Woodworking: Tiny Wooden USB Drive

We have all seen just how bendable and breakable plastic can be – I myself have wrestled with bent-out-of-shape USB drives more often than I’d like to admit.

You can save yourself that hassle by creating your own wooden casing for your USB drive that is completely customizable.

Wooden USB drive

7. If You Need Something Multi-Functional, Try Simple Boxes

Simple boxes may be pretty basic to make, but don’t let their title fool you.

Simple wooden boxes don’t have to be boring, they can be used for storage, decoration, and transportation (oh my!).

Build your own simple box with this instructable and personalize it however you like.

Simple Box

8. Make Wooden Art Deco to Further Decorate

If handmade decorations are your thing, now is your time to shine.

With the right tools, you can craft some truly unique pieces that will have your friends and family asking where they can get one too.

Spice up your home décor with this stylized wooden art deco from cherishedbliss.com

Wooden Art Deco

9. DIY Birdhouse that Is Fun for the Whole Family

I know, I know, everyone makes a birdhouse – but there is a reason for that.

Birdhouses are relatively simple to make, and you can personally view the fruit of your efforts as countless birds come to grace your birdhouse with their presence.

Collaborate with your kids to build the perfect DIY birdhouse.  

DIY Birdhouse

10. Festive Fall Porch and Outdoor X Table

Finding the ideal furniture to put on your porch in the fall can be tricky, but fortunately you can easily craft a basic yet aesthetically pleasing outdoor table to house some of your outdoor decorations.

See how your pumpkins and gourds look on this attractive fall porch table.

Fall Patio

11. Easy DIY Lazy Susan

Let me start by saying that it’s ok to be lazy, Susan.

Turntables are incredibly handy to have at a dinner table, for decoration as well as their functionality.

Leave the days of constant condiment passing in the past by simply giving your DIY lazy Susan a spin, so you can sit back and get back to enjoying your meal.

Make Your Own Lazy Susan

12. Multi-Functional Chopping Board and Serving Tray

If you enjoy using your woodworking skills to craft something with a specific purpose, try making a chopping board and serving tray. Make this useful chopping board in less than a day – start in the morning and then show it off that evening.

Chopping-Board

13. The Plant Lover’s Dream - DIY Plant Hanger

For all of you plant lovers out there, this one’s for you. This DIY plant hanger features a curved design that will look elegant wherever you hang it. Spruce up your porch, home, or work space with a hanging planter.

DIY Plant Hanger

14. Rustic DIY Pipe Leg Table

If you have absolutely no idea where to start with your woodworking for beginners craft, try making a DIY pipe leg table. This table is incredibly simple to make, and can be a great work table for future projects as well as an elegant dining room table with just a little additional work.

DIY Metal Pipe Table

15. Wooden Welcome Mat

Oftentimes, your welcome mat is one of the very first impressions visitors get of your home. Impress new and old visitors alike with a freshly made wooden welcome mat! Your new mat will brighten up your porch and show visitors that you know what you’re doing (with both decorating and woodworking!).

Wooden Welcome Mat

16. Impress Yourself with this Pro Quality Curvy Side Table

This one is here to show you that you, too, can make those fancy side tables you see at furniture stores – and it’s not as difficult as it appears. Challenge yourself by crafting this curvy side table that looks great both indoors and outdoors.

curvy side table

17. Refresh Your Bedroom with a DIY Wood Round Headboard

A bed’s headboard can set the tone for the rest of a room – if the headboard is dull, the rest of the room probably is, too. Fortunately, you can make your own amazing DIY wood round headboard while easily staying within your budget.

Wood Round Headboard

18. After a Long Day of Woodworking, Relax with a Bathtub Shelf

I’m no stranger to the comforts involved with sitting back and reading a nice book while enjoying a warm bath. A bathtub shelf certainly contributes to the peaceful and relaxing ambiance that is your bath routine. Create a safe, water-free zone for delicate books, candles, or drinks by making this bathtub shelf.

Bathtub shelf

19. Clean Up with a New Shoe Rack

Children tend to carelessly leave their stuff lying about—it is just who they are. Whether you have kids or not, an additional shoe rack can make a big difference in your space. Organize your clutter and shoes with an attractive shoe rack.

DIY Wooden Shoe Rack

20. Hang Your Winter Gear on a Coat Rack

This versatile coat rack can hold more than just coats – it can house scarves, mittens, hats, and any other accessory you might have on you for the winter. Start hanging your coats on this unique coat rack made out of a single slab of wood.

Coat Rack

21. Enhance Your Daily Routine with a Key Holder

If you’re like me, you have probably found yourself searching for your keys more often than it should be necessary. A great way to avoid this problem is by sticking your keys on a useful key holder that can also act as a small shelf for anything else you might need to grab and go.

Key Holder

22. Revolutionize Your Catalog Storage with a Magazine Holder

Not only is this magazine holder gorgeous, but it is incredibly useful. Avoid knocking over a stack of magazines on your coffee table ever again by keeping them neatly stacked on this magazine holder.

Magazine Holder

23. Easy Rolling Bookshelf

You can never go wrong with another bookshelf. Bookshelves can be used for all kinds of storage. However, they can be a little pricey. Avoid spending exorbitant amounts of money on expensive bookshelves by crafting this simple and portable rolling bookshelf.

Portable Rolling Bookshelf

24. Enhance Your Garden with Raised Vegetable Garden Beds

There are few feelings better than the satisfaction of eating, cooking with, and showing off your home grown vegetables. With this easy raised vegetable garden bed, you can make your vegetable garden the envy of all of your neighbors.

Raised Vegetable Garden Bed

25. Give Your Home a Modern Feel with Triangle Shelves

Let’s face it: normal shelves can get a little old, and there is only so much you can do to decorate and rejuvenate them. Luckily, stylish triangular shelves are only a brief woodworking project away! These triangle shelves can store or display whatever you like, all while adding a fresh feel to your space.

DIY Wooden Triangle Shelves

26. Switch It Up with a Pallet Wood Coffee Table

Get rid of your store bought coffee table and replace it with this rustic pallet wood coffee table. This table is inexpensive and easy to make, and you can easily customize it to meet the design needs of your room.

Pallet Wood Coffee

27. Versatile Plywood Daybed

If you’re redecorating your home and unsure of what to throw in a room, try a DIY plywood daybed. Once you craft a simple plywood daybed, you can dress it with whatever you like to make it suits any room it gets placed in.

DIY Plywood Daybed

28. Redesign Your Backyard with a Wooden Bench

Furniture, especially for poorly made plastic outdoor pieces, can come at a ridiculous cost. You can easily craft a stable wooden bench that not only holds your weight but also contributes a lot of aesthetic value to any backyard.

Wooden Bench

29. Work Harder with a Modern Desk

While this design is often used as a homework and cubby desk for kids, it can easily function well as an office desk too. This sleek modern desk is a great addition to any work space. While it requires some painting as well as woodworking skills, the result is well worth the effort.

DIY Modern Desk

30. Deceptively Simple Stacked Plywood Bench

This bench looks professionally made, but it really is quite simple to do. You will need a lot of wood glue, but that is a basic part of a woodworker’s kit anyways. Get stacking and try crafting this stacked plywood bench.

Plywood bench

31. Classy X-Leg Bench

Personally, I think X-legged pieces look very classy and can go with almost any interior design style. While they might seem a little intimidating to make due to how fancy they appear, you can take the plunge and craft your own X-leg bench to show yourself just how diverse your woodworking skills are.

X leg bench

32. Conserve Space with Crates Storage

If it fits your home’s aesthetic, try putting this crate storage piece together. Crates get thrown out all the time, so you can easily snag a few for this ambitious looking storage project.

Storage Boxes

33. The Perfect Pallet Nightstand

Nightstands are a given part of a bedroom. What’s a bed without a nightstand? Well, still a bed, but you can spruce it up with a handcrafted pallet nightstand. Who knew a pallet could turn into something so perfect for a bedroom?

pallet nightstand

34. Refurbish Your Living Room with a Pallet Coffee Table

You’ve seen the pallet nightstand, now get ready to craft a pallet coffee table. This coffee table can be topped with inexpensive pool fencing glass that gives it a professional finished look. Another benefit to this table is the multi-level storage!

pallet coffee table

35. Still Looking for More Storage Space? Try this Bookshelf

As this is the second bookshelf on this list, you can probably tell that I’m a big fan of bookshelves. But what’s not to love? This bookshelf has a nice homey feel and is perfect for organizing your books and other miscellaneous items.

bookshelf

36. What Every Woodworker Needs: A Woodworking Table

Since you are already embarking on your first adventures in woodworking for beginners, you probably already have some sort of woodworking table already. However, you will find out sooner or later that you can never have enough surface area to work with when woodworking. Make a new woodworking table for your future projects!

woodworking table

37. Great Pallet Herb Garden

If you’re big on growing herbs yourself, a pallet herb garden may be just what you need. This convenient pallet herb garden is great for decoration and making the entire gardening process easier for you!

I always reference this list whenever I’m looking for something fun and new to craft to test my skills and practice my woodworking – even though these can be crafted by beginners, there is a lot of room for customization! Was this list helpful for you? Let me know what you think about these potential projects in the comments, and feel free to give this list a share, so your friends can try them too!

pallet herb garden

Woodworking Tools:

So now that you have some ideas to start making your first crafty piece of genius, you probably wonder what tools to use?

Woodworking is the same as any other trade; it’s not the tools that really count.

With enough patience, a carpenter can create beautiful and delicate pieces without ever using a power tool. However, that doesn’t mean that the right tools don’t speed up the job!

With a little searching on the Internet, it’s not hard to find articles on which tools are best for beginning woodworkers. This “Beginning Woodworking” article from WoodGears.ca is an excellent one (with explanations included). 

Of course, if you’re in a hurry to get started, here’s a quick list of starting tools everyone should have:

  • Steel ruler

    No good woodworker ever builds anything without measuring it nine ways from Sunday. Steel rulers are best for beginners, because they can also be used as straight-edges.

  • Saw

    For a beginner, this should be a handsaw, a jigsaw, or a circle saw. A high-quality handsaw is enough for most small wood projects and is much less expensive than a good quality power saw.

  • Drill

    The drill will likely see more use than any other tool you own, so get a good one. Don’t go for the cordless drill at first; the batteries run down and they’re less powerful. A good quality corded drill isn’t too expensive and will last forever.

  • Clamps

    Even if you don’t use glue, clamps are indispensable tools. Holding workpieces stationary makes measuring, cutting, drilling, and even sanding much easier.

  • Sandpaper

    Various grades of sandpaper are used for different jobs, from actually shaping workpieces to putting the last glass-smooth polish on lacquered surfaces.

  • Chisel

    Chisels aren’t just used for cutting slots; a sharp edge is useful for everything from removing excess wood to removing excess dried glue.

Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, but it’s enough to get you on the right road.

Once you’re familiar with woodworking basics, you’ll probably want to move on to tools that let you work more efficiently.

The most important power tools, according to most woodworkers, are the table saw and the drill press.

However, since both are comparatively pricey, they’re not the best tools for the first time woodworker. If you're ready to move on to the next level, be sure to check out our reviews on the best router table and our wood router reviews.

Tips and Tricks

Woodworking is extremely simple, for the most part.

Common sense and patience will take you a long way; following plans and learning from other woodworkers - in person or via articles and videos - will take you even further.

That doesn’t mean you have to figure everything out by yourself, though.

Woodworkers develop tricks over years of experience and, most of the time, they’ll share them.

  • Driving nails and screws can split lumber, if you’re not careful. To keep nails from cracking lumber, dull the tip of the nail with your hammer before driving it. This changes the profile from an wedge into a punch; instead of pushing the wood out of the way, it simply punches a hole in it. If screws are splitting your boards, drill pilot holes with a drill bit about half the size of your screws.
  • Never mark your boards with pens or markers. The ink sinks into the woodgrain and requires deep sanding to remove it. Even if you intend to paint over the wood, always use pencils to mark out your pieces.
  • Measurements are your best friends. The cost of buying a new piece of lumber because you mis-cut the first one isn’t just the price of the board: a bad cut means time wasted. Time is a woodworker’s most precious tool.
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    Choose the right wood... for your tools. You’ll hear “choose the right wood for the job” all the time, but the right wood for the job could be teak. Teak is hard on tools and hard on woodworkers. Make sure your tools can handle the materials you choose. In other words, don’t try to open your own sawmill with a handsaw.
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    Lay masking tape along cutting lines. The tape will help reduce ‘tear-out’, which is when the saw rips small chunks of wood from the edge of the piece, leaving unsightly gaps. Masking tape is also great for keeping glue off surfaces it’s not supposed to contact.
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    Build your own jigs. Every woodworker has tasks that he does more often than others. Woodworkers who build a lot of picture frames often have table-saw jigs for cutting perfect 45 degree angles. Cabinet-makers have jigs for cutting finger joints rapidly and accurately. When you find yourself wishing you could get a repetitive task done faster, you probably can. Figure out how to build a jig that will speed up the job.

Dive into Woodworking

With all this information at your disposal, what are you waiting for?

Even if you don’t have the tools on hand, a quick trip to the local hardware store and twenty-five dollars is enough to get you started.

A determined beginner with a hand-saw is dangerous enough, but when glue or nails are tossed into the mix, there’s no telling what you could build.