Looking for a new woodworking project to build during your free time? Then you will love our list of attractive, useful small woodworking projects that you can build right at home. The best part about these projects is that they don’t require a large workshop or years of woodworking experience, you only need a few common tools and some old-fashioned elbow grease to get started.
What Can You Make Out of Wood?
Wood is a very versatile material and you can virtually make anything out of it. All you need is a creative mind and a passionate heart.
Just by looking around from where you’re at now, I bet you can identify at least three items in your surroundings that spark a good idea for woodworking projects that sell. Whether it’s a wooden frame for your TV, wooden cutlery and bowls, or wooden picture frames above the fireplace. The sky’s really the limit in what you can make with wood.
Woodworking is an incredibly rewarding hobby that can last a lifetime, and be passed down through generations. Here are 30 great beginner woodworking projects that will get you comfortable with the basics of building with wood. Some can be completed during the weekend while others can be done in just a few hours, either way, you’re sure to create something great out of wood with these projects.
1. Wooden Chopping Board and Serving Tray
This easy and attractive board lets you slice, dice, and serve in style. Scribe the arcs with a 4-ft steel ruler or a yardstick then just glue the whole thing together. However, be sure to use water-resistant wood glue and to keep your board out of the dishwasher if you don’t want to see the whole thing fall apart. One more thing is to keep the boards as even as possible during glue-up to minimize sanding later.
2. Backyard Lounger
The ideal place for relaxation and self-reflection is on a good, comfortable chair in your backyard during summer. Now you can skip the malls and build yourself the perfect lounger with a circular saw and cordless drill. With just two 10-ft long pine 1x10s and the right tools, you shouldn’t need more than a couple of hours to build yourself a rustic looking and super comfy backyard lounger.
3. Wood Wagon
Turn this sharp-looking woodworking project into your child’s most-treasured toy that will be cherished for generations. Even in this digital age, a hand-built toy wagon is the quintessential child’s gift. Since it does not require an app or batteries, it’ll never become obsolete. A memorable toy that your kids and grandkids will love hauling around with their toys, or even the dog!
4. Chess and Checkers Board
Game boards are so much fun to build as it is to play afterward. Instead of buying one from the store, why not build one that will last for years, passing down through generations of chess and checker players in the family. While you may think that it might involve a tedious process of cutting and gluing 64 small wooden squares together, it is certainly far from the truth. This simple project only requires a few hours spread over a couple of days.
A stout and sturdy workbench is the perfect workshop companion for building all kinds of projects. You could add some crisp lines and pleasing proportions to your project, but most importantly it has to be functional. Though this is a beautiful piece to add to your projects collection, it is an ambitious one.
6. A-Frame Toolbox
Traditional A-frame toolboxes have been used by generations of tradesmen, such as carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and mechanics. However, this could also be an easy wood project that you can customize for a particular type of work and worker. Open-top designs are preferred to boxes with hinged lids as they provide quick access to the tools. Though they may look a little rough and ready, these small wood projects are workhorses, not works of art.
7. Planter Box
Building a beautiful and enduring handcrafted planter box can really help you boost your garden and home decor. This is one of the easiest DIY woodworking projects for beginners which require basic tools and skills.
8. Stackable Sawhorses
No workshop is complete without a pair of sturdy sawhorses. Sawhorses are strong, easy to build, and can conveniently be stacked for easy storage and transportation. They’re indispensable for use as a cutting and drilling station for woodworking projects at home. When topped with plywood, they instantly become a worktable.
9. Table for Two
This is a uniquely designed furniture piece that deserves a spot in the contemporary art museum. This is one of those easy woodworking projects for beginners that can be completed in a single weekend with just four 8-foot-long 2x4s, a sheet of plywood, and some hardwood scraps.
10. Shoe Cabinet
Looking for easy woodworking projects for beginners? Then you cannot miss out on the shoe cabinet. This handy shoe storage can be built in one hour. You can park it in your closet or even use it as a stool to reach the high shelf. All you need is a 4 ft x 4 ft sheet of ¾ inch plywood, wood glue, and a handful of 8d finish nails.
11. Shoe Organizer
In addition to a shoe cabinet, you can also choose to build a unique and interesting shoe organizer that keeps your shoes off the floor in clean, natural wood racks. This simple storage system can handle anything from winter boots to summer sandals with no worries about mud buildup or scuff marks on the wall.
12. Portable Small Bench
How can you leave out a small bench from a list of small woodworking projects? This portable, easy-to-build seat/step stool/tool box/work surface will give your back and knees a break while also helping you hold your tools. This simple woodworking project only takes a couple of hours to build.
13. Magazine Storage Containers
Magazine storage containers are amazing small woodworking projects for beginners to try as their first project. These simple wood storage bins let you archive magazines and other important papers at your fingertips instead of lost in a towering pile of paper. You can build about four bins with just one 2 ft x 4 ft sheet of ¼-inch plywood and two 6 gt long 1x4s. Cutting the wood is easy too with a jigsaw or band saw.
14. Coat and Hat Rack
A simple coat and hat rack will not only look beautiful against the wall but will also help you clear up any entryway clutter. You only need an hour and a 6 ft 1×4 woo for this project. Simply cut the boards to fit your space, paint them, and add on different kinds of hooks to suit your needs, and screw them onto the wall.
15. Spice Rack
Another one of the most interesting woodworking projects around, a spice rack lets you keep your favorite seasonings on ready alert. It’s quick and fun to make and fits in a standard kitchen cabinet. For this wood project, you’re going to need:
- An 11-½ in and 7-¼ in diameter wood discs
- 9-in Lazy Susan hardware
- Four 1-⅝ in x ⅝ in dowels for legs
- One 5-¼ in x ⅝ in dowel handle
- A 1-⅞ in Forstner drill bit
- A ⅝ in spade or brad point drill bit
- A 1-½ in wood ball or other knobs
You can even choose to screw on a ceramic knob on it for a comfortable, attractive grip.
16. Pantry Storage Saver
Are your spices always jammed in the drawer with only the tops visible? Then this nifty rack will be one of the best woodworking projects for beginners to slip neatly into the drawer to solve your pantry storage problem. Best part is that it only takes an hour to build. You can use scraps of ¼-in and ½-in plywood to complete this woodworking project.
17. Rustic Tree Branch Shelf
Give your home decor a little rustic touch with this simple branch-supported shelf. You’ll need to find two forked branches that are about one inch in diameter, with a relatively straight side as you need it to sit flush to the wall. This type of wood projects will help you with storage and even give your house a little mother nature feel.
18. Knife Block
A handsome knife block is fast, easy, and fun to build. On top of that, you can even include a 6-in wide storage box to hold your knife sharpener. If you don’t have a gift this year, you can consider offering to build a knife block for them!
19. Ironing Center
You can also build an ironing center to help keep your ironing gear handy yet out from underfoot. This simple woodworking project only requires a couple of hours to offer you some additional small room organization. Once completed, you can easily screw it into the wall with wall anchors.
20. Stacked Recycling Tower
Forget about large recycling bins that take up plenty of space. This stacked recycling tower will utilize vertical space and lets you keep all your recycling items in one storage rack. One frame fits approximately five containers for you to keep various recyclables. This DIY woodworking project can also be used for other applications aside from storing recyclables. You can use it to expand your storage space in the garage.
21. Swedish Boot Scraper
This is one of the most interesting woodworking projects for beginners that we’ve come across. It’s a traditional Swedish farm accessory that helps you get rid of the gunk from your soles after a long day of farming. The dimensions on this project are not critical, but be sure the edges of the slats are fairly sharp for better boot scraper work. A radial arm saw works well to help you cut triangular openings, but a table saw or band saw will also make the cut. You can also add brushes if you prefer one with a boot cleaner.
22. Sliding Bookends
Bookends are not only practical, but they’re also one of the easiest woodworking projects for beginners. This sliding bookend helps you arrange books, binders, and even DVDs that like to wander neatly in your office. This simple woodworking project is so easy to complete and it even lets your office or house exude a minimalistic or Muji feeling that you’ll love.
23. Petite Shelves
Petite shelves are simple woodworking projects for beginners to start out their woodworking journey. You can place this in the living room or the garage to help you hold novels, picture frames, or tools. You can even customize it a little according to your preference to build a unique and beautiful shelf.
24. Art Block Holders
These creative art block holders make the best gift for an artsy friend or someone who’s always losing their pens or brushes. You can make this with just a simple block of wood and drill holes on top to hold brushes/ pens/ scissors/ and more. It’s one of the easiest woodworking projects and can be completed in as little as 30 minutes. After which you can paint and decorate however you want.
25. Recycled Planter Box
If you have an old wine crate that’s sitting in the backyard, you can easily turn it into a beautiful planter box. Otherwise, you can also grab a few plywoods and screw them together into a box. Paint and decorate the box and you’re done! Now you can start planting and wait for your beautiful flowers to bloom.
26. Serving Tray
Wooden serving trays are very popular these days as they’re simple, neat, and beautiful. Create your own serving tray in a couple of hours and it may just be a conversation starter whenever you serve your guests coffee or tea.
Do away with your boring mailbox and build a cute house-shaped one like this for new mails/ letters to rest. This is a cute little idea that will separate your address from others. In fact, it’s so adorable that the mailman might just get excited to deliver your mail the next time just so he has the opportunity to pop your letters into this unique wooden mailbox.
28. DIY Drawer Dividers
Drawers definitely are very important for storage, however, there is no denying that keeping tools and utensils inside can get messy very quickly. This is where drawer dividers will come in handy! This little DIY woodworking project is not only easy and fun to make, but it’ll help you stay organized and on top of things all the time. You can now say goodbye to wasting precious time frantically searching for the teaspoon or keys.
29. Kids Scooter
Be the coolest parent around by building your child a DIY scooter. Just grab a slab of wood, saw it to your preferred size, add on some wheels and a handle and you’re all set! You could even turn painting and decorating the scooter into a near little project for your kids to join. All the other kids will be green with envy the next time you and your kid head to the park with this unique handmade scooter!
30. Wooden Coasters
These wooden coasters are modern, clean, and simple to make from scrap wood! You can cut them to any shape you want, circle, rectangle, or even octagonal shape. Paint them or have a marble sticker over like the photo above for something a little more modern.
How to Make Make Money with Woodworking Projects
Woodworking can be a very rewarding project, especially when your clients and customers appreciate all the time and effort you spent on it. Here are a few things you can do to boost your projects among shoppers.
Find a Niche
Less is definitely more in this case. While you may have the skill to build a wide range of items, it’s in your best interest to identify and focus on a niche. This will help you build your online brand and a loyal following of customers that know exactly what they want from the things you sell.
To find the perfect niche, you can start by thinking about what you enjoy making the most and check what you would consider the best project you can sell.
Customize Your Products
Go through the internet and do some online market research. Check out your competitors and others who specialize in your niche, what they’re offering, and how you can improve their projects. Thus outdoing your competitors in selling.
This may take some effort and research to sort out, and you may not even get a definite answer. However, we’d advise you to just find some great ideas to acquire some direction for your new online business. We wouldn’t suggest switching niche and product ideas too late in the process though.
You can also aim to set your products apart from the rest by including some personal touches. Feel free to add more colors, features, accessories, and just about anything that will make your product more special. This is also one of the best strategies to make your woodworking projects easier to sell.
Wondering where and how to sell your woodworking projects? You will also need to figure out if you’re going to market your products online or if you’re planning to rent out a store? If you choose to bring your business online, there are a few great platforms available for DIY artists including Instagram and Etsy. You could even partner with local venues to set up a pop-up shop! Selling online or in-person will help you earn extra money.
However, to really rake in more money, you’re going to have to market your products as well. Before setting a price for a piece of decor, you need to first conduct sufficient research into your competitors, your demographic to better understand what people want and what they can afford.
Great product descriptions will also help you sell better since you know exactly what they’re looking for. It is a good idea to also advertise the features of your product well by mentioning all the good/benefits of the item to bring the person in and closing the sales.
Production and Selling
Now it comes down to actually creating your products. Before creating and selling, you need to make sure you source good materials. And if you’re planning to churn out a lot of inventory, it is advisable for you to head to a supplier for pieces of wood or to purchase in bulk to cut costs. It is also never a bad idea to source inexpensive materials without sacrificing quality to build your inventory.
If you have decided to market and sell online, you need to invest a little in plenty of high definition pictures with contrast and saturation that will put your products in the best light. You can even give your online clients and customers plenty to go on with as many different placements and decoration ideas as you can. A good idea is to spark their inner creativity simply through your photos.
Another thing to consider is how do you plan to accept payment? Will you be accepting payment plans for selling larger and more expensive pieces? You should create a secure and fast method (for both parties) to lock in the money you’re making.
Types of Wood Finishes
Now after you’re done building your project, you’re going to have to paint and apply finishing that will help add colors and lustrous surfaces. Here are the different types of wood surface finishes along with the most suitable applications for them.
Lacquer – This dries faster than other finishes and usually comes as a spray. This works well when applied in multiple layers, but do not use over old paint or varnish. One thing though, lacquer does give off noxious fumes and can be a fire hazard in your home.
Oil-Based – Oil-based finishes dry slowly but the end result is a rich, satin finish. However, since this type of finishing shows water or alcohol spills, it is better for furniture in low-traffic areas.
Polyurethane – This synthetic material is highly durable and water-resistant. Not only that, but it provides a natural appearance. It’s also available in multiple sheens: satin, semi-gloss and glossy. This finishing is ideal for kitchen cabinets, doors, furniture, and floors. However, they’re not recommended for outdoor use as they may turn yellow or crack when exposed to sunlight.
Varnish – Varnish is a very durable finishing that can be used on bare or stained wood. This must be applied to a dust-free surface with a clean brush. You can also mix in a little paint thinner for thinning and cleaning.
Wax – Wax offers a glossy sheen and can be removed easily. However, this is also not as durable as the other finishes and may need to be reapplied frequently.
Water-Based – Water-based finishes dry quickly and can be applied on bare, stained, or painted wood. The good thing about it is that it does not yellow with age and is ideal for protecting decorative finishes. A drawback is that it may not be as durable as other finishes.
Shellac – Shellac dries quickly and provides a hard finish. However, it may break down over time. This is great to be used as a sealer and stain killer on drywall, cured plaster, and new wood.
Application Tips for Types of Wood Finishes
Here are a few more tips that will help you out when selecting and applying different wood finishes.
- When picking a wood finish, try applying a small amount to a piece of wood that matches the flooring or furniture to make sure it ends up with a coating that you want.
- Stir the finish in the container before application to ensure the finish is even.
- Apply the finish in thin multiple coats.
- Use a synthetic or natural bristle brush or an application pad to apply the finish accordion to the manufacturer’s direction.
- Allow the first coat to dry completely before continuing with the next coat.
- Lightly sand between coats to remove any drips and bumps, then wipe thoroughly for a smooth surface.
- Wipe down the entire surface to remove any remaining particles after the final coat has dried up.
We have reached the end of our article and not only have we provided you with many ideas to get you started on your woodworking projects, but we’ve also included some ideas on how to possibly sell your projects better!
If you lack ideas or need a little prompt to go in the right direction, you can just head over to our list of the top 30 woodworking projects to spark your imagination and get some creative juices flowing. After that, you can look through the types of finishes and the methods of marketing your projects better.
Once you’ve established the budget and tied up all the loose ends, you may just end up with a potentially thriving business on your hands! This will help you bring in extra income spending time doing what you already love doing!