35 DIY Woodworking Projects to Try
Maybe you just learned some basic woodworking skills and are eager to try your hand at something.
You could also have just finished another project and are looking for something new.
Whatever the case, in this article you’ll have access to 35 different projects of varying difficulties and varying designs to try: easy to hard, reclaimed wood to pressure-treated lumber, and all using a variety of woodworking tools.
- Why try a DIY project
- 35 DIY projects to try
- What woodworkers should consider before starting
Why would you want to spend the time building it yourself instead of just buying it? Let’s look at that first.
Why try a DIY project
DIY projects offer a number of benefits, both for yourself and even others around you.
One benefit is the feeling of satisfaction from a job well done—yourself. There is nothing like looking at a newly-completed project and knowing you put that together with your own hands. It’s a great way to boost your mood and your confidence.
Another benefit of doing DIY projects is education. Many times, you take on a project not previously knowing how to do that particular skill. In working through the project, you’re teaching yourself a new skill in a creative and rewarding way, instead of just reading through the process in a textbook.
On top of learning a new ability, DIYs can save you quite a bit of money. Unlike buying a piece of furniture, you pay only for materials when you do it on your own—not labor and other costs.
Although learning something new can sometimes be a bit stressful, DIY projects can also help reduce your stress. Something about doing it on your own with your own two hands can be calming and relaxing.
With all these benefits DIY projects, why wouldn’t you try one? And we’ve got 35 projects, each with step-by-step instructions, to get you started.
35 DIY projects to try
Each of these projects comes with free woodworking plans and a list of tools and materials. First, let’s look at some beginner woodworking projects.
Beginner woodworking projects
Having a place to set keys, hang jackets or purses, and place odds and ends is an essential part of an entryway. With this simple DIY wall shelf, you can design and make your own! It serves as both a functional piece of furniture and a conversation-starter when guests ask where you got it.
The perfect way to use recycled parts, like old horseshoes and scrap wood, is a unique piece of decor. This candle holder is super easy to make and is a commanding centerpiece to a table. Given its simplicity, it is also easily customizable to your needs and tastes.
Sofa sleeves are perfect companions for that hot (or cold) drink you don’t want to spill on the couch. Instead of holding it or setting it on the floor, you can keep your drink right next to you in a sofa sleeve without worries of spills or water rings. It’s also a handy thing if you’re short on space and don’t have an end table for your couch.
Don’t forget the birds with this easy birdhouse project! Use the stormy days of March to build the perfect nesting box for the returning winged singers. This birdhouse can be hung from a tree branch or pole for easy access.
Perhaps one of the most basic wood projects, the cutting board is an essential kitchen tool. Finding a good one is not always an easy task with so many bendy, easily-scratched boards out there.
Every kitchen needs a step stool for those cabinets that are just too high to reach on your tip-toes or for little ones to wash their hands. This two-step stool is easy to move around and easy to build. It can also be painted or stained to match your kitchen design. No more blindly reaching for those tall cabinets!
No matter how big or small your mutt is, they’ll love this super easy dog feeder. It holds two bowls and requires only a couple little boards to put together. This is a perfect DIY project for anyone looking to spice up their pet’s life.
This unique project lends a different mood to your table, one that’ll remind you of Easter or spring—or any month, depending on the flowers or decor put in the bottles. It’s also possible to make the whole of this simple woodworking project from recycled materials.
Add a little twist to a serving tray with this industrial-styled one. Made from a little bit of pipe and some barn boards, it will be a neat serving tray and a great conversation starter.
This bath tray is a perfect addition for your bathtub. No more do you have to worry about your phone or that good book you’re reading toppling into the water. Just set it up on the tray to keep it dry. And if you’re not a bath person—but know someone who is—this DIY also makes a great gift.
If you or your family enjoys a good game of chess in the evening, this is the DIY wood project for you. Using only two kinds of wood, you can easily construct your own board that gives the game a whole new meaning.
Have you ever looked for a frame for your picture and they couldn’t find the right size? With these plans, you can make a frame exactly the size you need to hang your special picture. Not only that, but you can stain or paint it any color you like!
Say goodbye to a cabinet jumbled with spices! This simple spice rack hangs on the wall as a piece of home decor, plus displays all your spices for easy finding and storage.
If you’re a man who wears a lot of ties (or if you have a husband or dad who wears a lot of ties), this is a great project! It’s an easy build and fits any style.
This DIY is a two-in-one deal. On top is the toilet paper dispenser, and below is storage for three or four rolls of toilet paper. It works great if you don’t have much space in your bathroom. You can even make it out of recycled pallet wood!
If you have chickens, chances are you don’t have enough space to store all your eggs. That’s where this project comes in. This super easy DIY egg holder by Ana White holds up to three dozen eggs and keeps them from jiggling or breaking.
Coffee tables are easy woodworking projects that serve as a place to set cups, magazines, books, or keys while you sit on the couch. This chunky-legged coffee table will go with many styles of decor.
Intermediate woodworking projects
The essential for any book lover, bookshelves can also be used to house any number of display items. They add character to a room and are an efficient way to store things you want to showcase. Best of all, you can make yours to any specification you want to fit your layout, space, and color palette.
Popular among those who have patios, or even for a porch, planters are a nice way to dress up the space. Grow a color-coordinating plant—or just a good-looking one—in the planter and you’ve got a beautiful decoration with a function. With this plant stand, you can create your own beautiful lattice-box to match your home’s exterior.
You won’t be able to pass up this darling bed for your dog or cat! Made with love, a few boards, and even some fabric for a cushion, this budget-friendly pet bed will make your pet never want to leave it.
Like the step stool, every kitchen needs a wooden serving spoon. These plans show you how to make one with hand tools—a good brush up on skills you already learned or are just learning. It’s a simple way to make something useful for the house—not to mention they make great gifts!
This drying rack saves space by having the ability to fold up against the wall, keeping it out of the way but still within reach whenever you need it.
Accent your living room or bedroom with this nightstand or end table, whichever you want it to be. It also comes with a drawer to store a book or TV remote.
For anyone who builds a lot, saw horses are an essential component. They provide stability to help you cut wood or other objects. Why not build your own? These saw horses are sturdy and heavy-duty, meant to last through all your projects.
A picnic table: the essential backyard furniture, especially if you have kids. And why spend a pretty penny on one when you can build your own for much less? These plans are for a farmhouse style table—the classic with a little twist.
If you want to eat while you see a TV show, but don’t want crumbs on the couch, this sofa table is the solution. It’s not hard to build and it fits right behind your sofa.
Advanced woodworking projects
As more and more people are trying to get away from sitting at a desk job, this adjustable standing desk is a great alternative to that. It’s simple, sturdy, and stylish. And you can convert it into a normal sitting desk too, if you like!
Designed to look like a cabinet, this project is a great way to keep your garbage or recycling out of sight. Plus allows for easy access with the tilt-out function.
This darling gift will put a smile on any child who loves airplanes (or any child really). They’ll feel like they’re flying while you push them, and they’ll have a unique way to explore the outdoors.
If you’re looking to start your own flock of chickens, a chicken coop is a must. While store-bought ones will cost you a lot, making your own greatly decreases the cost. Not to mention, you can customize the colors!
Every child enjoys a playhouse at some time or another. This one is sure to delight any child, especially with the window box and the transom window.
There’s no doubt about it: buying cabinets is pricey. But making your own is a lot more affordable, and gives you more freedom of design. This tutorial walks you through everything you need to know.
Building your own bedroom dresser gives you the ability to take your own wants and needs into account. This dresser features seven drawers and is extra wide to accommodate all your clothing.
Try your hand at some new seating for your kitchen or dining room. These chairs have a simple but classic look that will go with most decor styles.
Surprise your husband or wife with this porch swing! You’ll have a place outside to relax on a warm evening. It requires only a few materials to get going.
Now that you have some ideas for woodworking projects, take a moment to consider a few things before you get started.
What woodworkers should consider before starting
While reviewing your plans before beginning is good, here are a couple other things to check out before making your first measurement.
Time it will take
Some projects might only take a few hours, but some could take several days to complete. This greatly depends on your skill level and the complexity of the project. Don’t bite off more than you can chew! If you don’t have the time to complete the project, it’s best to wait.
Tools and materials you’ll need
There’s nothing worse than realizing halfway through a project that you don’t own the saw or piece of wood you needed. Take time before you start to make a list of what you’ll need. Then check that you have it all before proceeding.
Making things yourself can be cheaper than buying it, but it can still get beyond your budget if you’re not careful. Have a realistic idea in your mind of how much you want to spend, and price out all your materials.
If it’s over budget, consider choosing pine instead of mahogany or cutting down on the accessories. Keeping track of how much everything costs before starting will keep you from overspending unnecessarily.
Knowing the moisture content of your wood before beginning your project is vitally important. Wood easily absorbs and releases moisture, and as it does so, it can warp or crack, potentially ruining a project during construction or after completion.
You wouldn’t want your beautiful new headboard to crack down the middle!
The moisture content should be between certain percentages, depending on its final location:
- Indoor: between 6 and 8%
- Outdoor: under 20%
- Wood flooring: between 6 and 9%
On the average, though, it’s safe to have a moisture content of 9-14%.
But how do you know what the moisture content of your wood is? While store bought lumber might be dried correctly, you never know with reclaimed wood, pallet wood, or other types of wood not bought from a store.
Knowing the numbers, you’ll know if you need to dry your wood some more or if it’s good to go.