There’s something cathartic about woodworking and creating a real, quality, functional work of art with your hands. All you need is wood and some quality tools, and you have the ability to create nearly anything you want with some work and know-how. Even if you’re a DIY beginner, wood is simple to work with, and you end up with a tangible product that you can use and cherish. Here are some of our favorites, simple enough that any beginner can follow along. In additional, you read more on Simple Wood Projects For Beginners.
Sofa Sleeve & Cup Holder
Have you ever rested a Pepsi on the sofa arm, only to find that it left a gross, wet condensation stain? Never experience that again, with a unique sofa sleeve that you can make yourself with clamps, a hole saw, a tape measure and a power drill.
Cut wooden board into three equal lengths to fit your sofa arm (you’ll need to measure it first) and wood glue them together. Measure a circle the diameter of a glass or a soda can, and use the hole saw to cut the hole into the middle board. Then, glue a second sheet of wood underneath that board. Now you’re ready to finish it with any wood finish you like!
Rainbow Wood Knife Holder
Keep your knives perfectly organized with this rainbow wood knife holder. All you need to do is take a piece of scrap wood and measure it into ten equal portions, then paint each portion with a different stain color. Now, use a router and a half-inch straight bit to cut a thin groove into your scrap wood, the size of your magnet. Glue the magnet into the strip, and round the edges of the wood with your router and a round-over bit, and you’re ready to go!
Who doesn’t want a desk that folds into the wall? The space-saving potential is huge! Build your own Murphy desk with some simple pine boards, wood glue, and a couple of piano hinges. It may look complex at first glance, but all you’re doing is building a box that will serve as the shelf frame, and then building a two-legged desk that attaches via piano hinges and latches solidly into the wall.
The underside of the desk will be showing when the desk is folded up into the frame, so you might want to consider putting an interesting detail there. You could hang a picture on the underside, or paint it with chalkboard paint to make an instant memo board whenever the desk is not in use.
Classic Bird House
Building a bird house is the quintessential woodworking experience, and you haven’t really been initiated into the super-secret woodworker’s club until you’ve done it. This is simple enough for a child to accomplish.
You’ll just drill some holes into 5” wood squares for added ventilation and an in-and-out space, and attach a dowel for climbing. The two 5” wood squares are attached by two thick dowels to create a wooden frame, and use two more wood squares on top to build a roof.
A PVC pipe with holes drilled sits under the wooden roof frame for even more airflow while still offering adequate shelter, which your bird friends will appreciate.
Rustic USB Drive
Real hipsters carry their USB drives around in a little wooden keychain, and now, you can, too. Your own wooden USB drive takes only a minimal amount of tools, including a saw, a chisel, sandpaper, and a drill. You’ll also need a cheap USB drive, which you can get from any Best Buy or Target. Take the drive out of its plastic casing before you get started.
Shim up the USB drive so it can make contact with the port: a skinny table saw will do the trick, and you can sand it down so it fits well. You’ll use a chisel to put a recess into a block of wood so the drive fits, and then glue another piece of wood on top to create a seamless fit. Drill a small hole near the end so your keychain fits. Then, all that’s left is shaping and gluing, which you can achieve with some sandpaper.
Jelly Bean Dispenser
You’re not an adult until you have a jelly bean dispenser sitting on your counter. This awesome dispenser uses a Mason jar as the reservoir, and you’ll make a nifty dowel handle to pull, which releases the jelly beans for your enjoyment. Make sure to use food-safe polyurethane to finish this, which you can find at any hardware store.
In addition to jelly beans, you can use this for M&Ms, gumballs, or any small candy that tends to roll. You also don’t have to limit yourself to a Mason jar for the reservoir. We’ve seen cool versions of this project using large vintage light bulbs or fish bowls, instead. There’s a lot of room for creativity, so don’t be afraid to put your own spin on it.
Your Very Own Puzzle
Put a spin on puzzling by building your own custom wooden puzzle. For extra quality, try using hardwood, though pine or plywood will do fine in a pinch. Use the thinnest wood sheet you can find to avoid putting undue stress on your jigsaw blade. All you need is an image you want to put on the puzzle and some Mod Podge to attach it. Then, cut out a border – it can be traditional, square, scrolled, anything you like.
Now your creativity comes in, as it’s time to draw and cut out your puzzle shapes: They can be any shape you like as long as they interlock with each other snugly. You’ll get very acquainted with your jigsaw during this project. Cutting freehand tends to be easier, and you can practice on scrap wood before you tackle the actual puzzle.
The best part about simple woodworking projects is that you have a lot of wiggle room for creativity. Don’t be afraid to change up dimensions, use different finishes, and put your own unique spin on any of the projects that you try.
About the Author Kevin Smith:
Hi! I’m Kevin, voice of LuxuryHomeStuff.com, blog author, and passionate manufacturing engineer. This space is where I share D.I.Y tips, smart home appliances, stories of home-improvement and home-decor, and resources to help you explore an informed and compassionate relationship with luxury home stuffs.