Ideas for Simple DIY Wood Projects for Beginners

Workshop with tools

Woodworking projects don’t have to be complex in order to turn out a beautiful piece. In fact, there are several simple DIY wood projects you can try that are perfect for beginners. Below you’ll find an extensive list of simple and fun projects you can build. The best part is that you don’t have to have several years of woodworking experience to build them, or a pro workshop. All you really need is some elbow grease and a few woodworking tools.

Simple DIY wood projects can be as simple as:

  • Shelf
  • Bench
  • Spice racks
  • Coat racks
  • Cutting boards
  • Booster stools

Magazine storage container

In the beginning, it can be easy for newbies to become overwhelmed by the many complicated joints and woodworking techniques they have to learn, but these easy to do projects will give you confidence in your ability to create pretty much anything without the need of several years of woodworking experience. As you become more comfortable using different tools and techniques you can begin to slowly take on more complex projects.

Cutting Board

One of the best and easiest woodworking projects is the cutting board or serving tray. This type of project mainly consists of dry fitting the parts together using wood glue and some sandpaper. You’ll also need a four-foot steel ruler in order to scribe the arcs, however, a thin board or yardstick will also work fine. For this type of project, you’ll also need to ensure you use a special type of water-resistant wood glue, which will make the cutting board dishwasher safe. Additionally, when gluing the pieces together, you must keep the boards as even as possible, which will save you a lot of time later on during the sanding portion of the project.

Booster Stool

You can make a handy booster stool in just a couple of hours. You can use this stool as a step to reach shelves in your closet. For this project, you’ll need ¾ inch thick plywood that’s four by four feet, wood glue, and some 8 D nails. The wood glue will be used on the joints prior to nailing them together using the 8 D nails.

The Wood Bench

The Wood Bench

This project is by far one of the easiest and most beginner-friendly options. You should have no trouble finding simple how-to instructions online. It’s a great project for anyone in need of some outdoor seating in a pinch. This is a simple project that only takes some screws and a couple of boards.

Storage Container for Magazines

Are you tired of your old magazines just sitting in stacks in your closet or garage? Then try building simple storage bins made out of wood. You can easily build up to four bins with just some six feet long 1x4s, one 2×3 foot sheet of plywood that’s around a quarter of an inch thick. To cut the wood you’ll need to use the best jigsaw. I recommend the Festool 561593 Carvex PS 420 EBQ jigsaw, which is a beginner-friendly model that’s packing some serious power. However, the saw’s overall design will give the user more control during use, so it’s also perfect if you’re practicing how to cut a perfect circle using a jigsaw.

Coat Rack

If you’re over seeing everyone’s coats, scarves, and hats all over your living room and entryway, then building a coat rack can be a perfect solution and one that will instantly eliminate any clutter. You can build a coat rack out of a six foot 1 x 4 and some coat hooks. This is a very beginner-friendly project. All you have to do is cut the boards to fit the dedicated space you have in your entryway, paint them in the color of your choosing, and add the hooks. Next, you’ll screw it to the wall. That’s all there is to it.

Spice Rack

A spice rack may be just what you need to organize your huge variety of spices that are taking over your kitchen cupboards. To make a rack that can hold up to eighteen different types of spices you’ll need one wood disc that’s seven and a half inches and another that’s eleven and a half inches. Purchase nine-inch lazy Susan hardware, a one and a half-inch knob, a 5/8-inch brad point drill bit, and a total of four 1 5/8’s of an inch by 5/8’s of an inch dowels for the legs. You’ll also need a protractor and a pencil in order to divide the eleven and a half-inch disc into thirty-degree wedges to create a total of twelve center lines for the bottles. Trace and center the seven-inch disc on top of the large disc. Using a drill press, you’ll drill holes that are 3/8 of an inch deep on the twelve center lines. Make sure you space them between the outer edge of the disc. The next step is dividing the seven-inch disc into thin wedges at sixty degrees and using the drill press to drill some more holes that should also be about 3/8’s of an inch deep.

Drilling

Now you’ll need to drill a total of four holes that are 5/8’s of an inch in diameter and half an inch deep into the large disc. Then you’ll use the 5/8’s of an inch dowels  in order to transfer the holes on the underside of the seven-inch disc. Next, drill four half-inch holes on the bottom of the seven-inch disc and another hole that’s half an inch deep in the center of the top, which is where you’ll install the knob. The dowels should be glued to join the discs. You will also need to glue in the knob.

Adding Some Finish

The last step is applying a nice finish. I recommend one that will complement the cabinets in your kitchen. Next, screw the hardware for the lazy Susan under the eleven and a half-inch disc and take it for a spin to ensure everything is in working order. And that’s it. You’ll have a beautiful, homemade spice rack that matches your existing kitchen décor, and all for a fraction of the price you’d pay for a mass-produced one.

Chic Shelf

You can give your home more of a chic, rustic look by making a branch supported shelf. Of course, you’ll need to head outdoors and look for a branch that’s around one-inch in diameter and features a two-forked design. The branch should be more on the straight side, which will allow it to sit flush with the wall. This project won’t require much other than a nice flat piece of wood for the shelf, some nails, and a little wood glue to add some extra support.

Bookends

Bookends

If you have a lot of DVDs, CDs, or books, then making your own bookends is a great way to keep your collection looking a little tidier. To do, you’ll need hardwood that’s approximately one-inch thick. Cut the wood into six by six-inch squares. You can use a jigsaw to cut a slot on one of the edges. Make sure you cut with the grain. The notch should stop three-quarters away from the edge of the wood. This is a simple bookend design. Really, if you’re handy with a jigsaw, you can get pretty creative with the design.

Related Questions

What Can I Make with Scrap Wood?

You don’t have to use high-quality lumber for every woodworking project and if you hate waste, then putting your scrap lumber pile to use is a huge plus. If you’re looking for ways to put that extra wood to use, try some of the following projects:

  • Birdhouse
  • Floating shelf
  • Coasters
  • Knife block
  • Bottle opener
  • Tray
  • Cutting board

What is Pine Wood Mainly Used for?

Pine isn’t really a popular choice for many professional woodworkers, although it’s very easy to work with compared to hardwoods such as oak. It’s a more affordable option compared to woods such as cherry and walnut and can be a great choice for beginners on a budget. While it’s used often in carpentry, woodworkers also use it to make furniture such as bed frames, nightstands, birdhouses, trays, and much more.

How Much Can You Make Woodworking?

This can really vary depending on what you make, where you live, and your skill level. Woodworking is considered a very competitive field. You can make as much as sixty to eighty thousand annually, if you have a large client base and more than ten years of experience, while those who are newer to the field can expect to make an average of eighteen to thirty thousand annually.

Final Thoughts

These simple DIY wood projects are fun, easy, and affordable. You don’t have to be skilled with a saw, have a large workshop, or be an expert on joinery. In fact, if you’re totally new to woodworking, many of these projects can be the perfect way to get your feet wet in the exciting world of woodworking. With the right tools, good quality wood, and the right jigsaw, the possibilities really are endless.