Woodworking is a versatile skill that offers a sense of accomplishment and a tangible result for your efforts. Here are 22 insanely simple woodworking projects perfect for beginners in 2023:
22 Insanely Simple Beginner Woodworking Projects
1. Simple Phone Stand
A phone stand is a practical project that allows you to learn the basics of cutting, sanding, and finishing. The design can be as simple as a block of wood with a slot for your phone.
Building a birdhouse is a fun beginner project. It involves creating a simple box structure, a hole for the bird, and a perch. This project allows you to practice cutting, drilling, and assembly.
3. Picture Frame
Creating a picture frame enables you to learn about measuring and cutting wood accurately. You can add complexity by cutting mitered corners and adding a finish.
Coasters are quick, easy, and useful. They allow you to experiment with different types of wood and finishes. You can also practice your sanding skills to ensure the coaster is smooth and won't scratch surfaces.
5. Wine Rack
A wine rack may sound complicated, but you can create a simple design using just a few pieces of wood. This project gives you the chance to work on dowel joinery and finishing techniques.
6. Wooden Spoon
Carving a wooden spoon is an excellent beginner project. It allows you to practice shaping and carving wood, and you end up with a useful item for your kitchen.
7. Serving Tray
A serving tray involves straightforward cuts and assembly. You can make it more complex by adding handles or a decorative edge.
Bookends are a great beginner project, allowing you to experiment with different designs and finishes.
9. Candle Holder
A candle holder is a simple project where you can practice drilling large, straight holes. You can experiment with different designs and finishes.
10. Pencil Holder
A pencil holder is a practical project that involves drilling several holes into a block of wood. This project is a good exercise in measuring and drilling.
11. Plant Stand
A plant stand can be as simple as three legs and a top. This project allows you to practice joining wood at angles.
12. Magazine Rack
A magazine rack is a practical project that gives you experience with assembly and joinery. It can be made with a few slats of wood and some dowels.
13. Key Holder
A key holder is a quick project that involves drilling holes and adding hooks. You can add complexity with a routed edge or a custom finish.
14. Step Stool
A step stool is a useful project that involves a bit more assembly. It’s a good chance to practice making strong, secure joints.
15. Napkin Holder
A napkin holder can be as simple as two pieces of wood for the sides and two for the base and top. This is a good project for practicing measuring and cutting wood accurately.
16. Wooden Box
A wooden box is a classic beginner project. It involves making a basic box shape and adding a lid. It's a project that lets you practice joinery and finishing techniques.
17. Garden Tool Caddy
A garden tool caddy is a practical project that involves creating a box with a handle. This project is perfect for practicing handle shaping and joinery.
18. Hanging Shelf
A hanging shelf is a simple project that involves cutting wood to size, sanding, and finishing. You can add complexity by making the shelf adjustable.
19. Cutting Board
Making a cutting board is a great project for beginners. It involves cutting, glueing, clamping, and finishing. Plus, you can experiment with using different types of wood to create designs.
20. Spice Rack
A spice rack is a practical project that involves creating a series of shelves. This project lets you practice accurate measuring and cutting, as well as assembly.
21. Jewelry Holder
A jewelry holder is a simple project that involves drilling holes and adding hooks. You can also add a base to hold rings or other small items.
22. Coffee Table
A coffee table is a more significant project for beginners, but it's still achievable. It involves creating a tabletop and legs, and then assembling them. This project gives you a chance to practice a variety of woodworking skills and to create a piece of furniture you can use every day.
How To Make Woodworking Projects Safely
Here are some tips for making woodworking projects safely:
- Use proper safety gear. This includes safety glasses, dust mask or respirator, ear protection, and closed-toe shoes. Make sure clothing is tied back and won't get caught in machinery.
- Keep your work area clean and uncluttered. A messy shop is more likely to lead to accidents. Sweep up scraps regularly.
- Secure your workpiece. Use a vice, clamps, or other holding methods to securely hold the wood so your hands are free. Never hold small parts in your hands.
- Inspect your tools for any damage. Make sure blades are sharp and guards are in place and working properly. Repair or replace any worn or damaged parts before using tools.
- Unplug tools when not in use or making adjustments. Treat all plugs, cords, and switches with care to avoid shocks.
- Watch out for kickbacks when sawing. Never cut with the grain against the blade rotation.
- Start blades, sanders, saws, etc. only after making sure they have cleared your hands and body.
- Use the right tools for the job. Don't force a tool to do something it wasn't designed for.
- Don't work when tired or distracted. Your focus is important for safety.
- Keep your shop well-lit to avoid tripping or other accidents in poor lighting conditions.
Following basic safety practices can help ensure your woodworking projects are completed safely and without injury. Take your time and be aware of potential hazards.
11 Woodworking Tools for Beginners
Here are some common woodworking tools that are good for beginners to start with:
- Hammer - A basic claw hammer is essential for general construction tasks like nailing. Look for a smooth wooden or fiberglass handle for control.
- Tape measure - An accurate 25-foot tape measure is a must-have. Make sure it locks securely.
- Combination square - Used to measure and mark 90-degree angles. Get a steel-body model with adjustable heads.
- Hand saw - A basic 10-12 inch backsaw cuts smoothly and is better for beginners than a speedier crosscut saw.
- Coping saw - Useful for intricate interior cuts on finished projects. Blades are replaceable.
- Chisels - A set of smooth-cutting metal chisels in various widths for carving and shaping wood.
- Pliers - Needle-nose pliers help grip small parts. Combination pliers have wire-cutting jaws.
- Hammer - A claw hammer is a basic tool for driving and removing nails. Look for one with a comfortable grip.
- Orbital sander - A small 2-3 inch random orbital sander smoothly finishes surfaces without scratching.
- Pencil - Keep sharp pencils handy for marking measurements and guidelines on wood.
- Ruler/tape measure - An accurate steel ruler or tape measure is essential for precise measuring.