4 Easy DIY Woodworking Projects for Beginners

If you’ve been browsing woodworking project ideas lately, you might be overwhelmed with the incredibly detailed ones that need tons of difficult steps and sophisticated tools to get them done.

However, there are tons of small woodworking project ideas that you can perfect regardless of your craftsmanship status!

In today’s article, we’ll walk you through 4 beginner woodworking project ideas that you can make as a gift or treat yourself with. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

1. Lazy Susan

Kicking off the list with one of the best beginner projects to consider, a lazy susan is something that is always overpriced at home improvement stores. However, you’ll be surprised at how easy it can be to make one!

It would cost you much less to get the lazy susan bearings and do all the remaining woodworking yourself. Such a project can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours of working if you have the right tools.

Materials & Tools Needed

 

  • Beam compass
  • Pencil
  • Lazy susan bearing
  • 1/2″ plywood sheets
  • Screws
  • Jigsaw
  • Power drill

Instructions

  1. Using a beam compass and a pencil, mark a circle over the plywood sheet.
  2. Use the jigsaw to cut the circle out.
  3. Prime the displayed portion of the lazy susan, then coat it with a layer of paint of your choice.
  4. Flip the cutout circle, so you can work on the underside part.
  5. Find and mark the centre of the circle.
  6. Carefully place the lazy susan hardware over the marked part on the centre.
  7. Screw the part that should come in direct contact with the sheet in place.
  8. Find the spot where you want the lazy susan fixed and mark it to fit the other part of the lazy susan in place.
  9. Drill a hole through the plywood sheet that aligns with all the marked holes where you want the lazy susan screws to be fastened. The hole should be large enough for the power drill’s screwdriver head to fit through.
  10. Fasten all the screws to fix the lazy susan where you want it to be.

2. Cutting Board

Another product that sells for quite a large sum despite being fairly easy and inexpensive to make is the cutting board.

Despite being extremely simple, a cutting board is a must-have item in your kitchen. So, crafting your cutting board is an excellent way to get yourself started in the woodworking art! Here’s a brief description of what you’ll need:

Materials & Tools Needed

  • Pencil
  • Various scraps of dense hardwood (the variety is for decoration only, but you can always get new ones)
  • Wood glue and glue brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Mineral oil
  • Clamps
  • Circular saw

Instructions

  1. Measure a suitable size for your cutting board that is compatible with the wood stock you have for the project.
  2. Prepare the hardwood scraps by cutting them all to similar thickness and length using the circular saw. You can also use a mitre saw instead for extra precision.
  3. If you have different types of hardwood, you can try out different layouts and see which one of them looks the most appealing to you.
  4. Now that you have all the wooden pieces cut out to the right dimensions, it’s time to glue them together with powerful wood glue. We recommend Titebond II Glue because it’s quick and water-resistant.
  5. Apply some of the wood glue between every piece and make sure that you clamp them together until the glue dries up completely. Make sure that you adjust them correctly to keep them as flat as possible and save time on sanding.
  6. When the glue dries up, release the cutting board and use a table saw to trim the uneven parts of wood if you have any.
  7. An optional step here is to use a saw to make a handle for the board. Mark the handle, then cut it out on one side of the cutting board
  8. Use sandpaper to smooth out both sides and edges as well as the handles with a 220-grit sanding block.
  9. Squeeze some mineral oil into a rag and apply it to the wood by rubbing it thoroughly to seal the wood. Reapply the oil until the wood stops absorbing, then leave it overnight.

3. Wooden Sofa Sleeve with a Built-in Cup Holder

If you want to enjoy your hot beverage on a sofa, a wooden sleeve is a great item to have. The problem is, the beverage has a habit of spilling only when we’re most comfortable!

An ingenious solution to that is having a wooden sofa sleeve with a built-in cup holder. The only thing that’s better than getting one is building one yourself!

Here’s how you can make one:

Materials & Tools Needed

  • 3 wooden boards that have equal dimensions (you may want to adjust the dimensions of these wooden boards to have a snug fit to the arm of your sofa)
  • Thin plywood sheet of similar dimensions
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue and glue brush
  • Wood stain for finishing
  • Hole saw (choose the diameter that fits your favourite cups)
  • Power drill
  • Clamps
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape

Instructions

  1. Measure the length, and thickness of the inner, top, and outer side of your sofa arm to determine the dimensions for your wooden sleeve.
  2. Add extra 1.5 inches to the top piece to allow the sleeve to slide in and out easily.
  3. Mark the spot where you want to make a cup holder hole in the top piece of the sleeve. Ideally, the spot should be on the far end of the top piece to be at your arm’s length while sitting. You can test that out by simulating the cup and find the right spot for you.
  4. Find the suitable diameter for the hole you’ll make in the top piece by measuring the diameter of your favourite cup and add an extra half inch.
  5. Attach the hole saw kit to your power drill and cut the marked hole out. Make sure that you clamp the top piece to have a nice cut. You can also test that out on scrap wood before attempting to cut the real one.
  6. Join the 5 pieces of wood together using the wood glue where the piece with a hole is the one the lays flat over the sofa arm. The 3 pieces of wood should take a “U” shape.
  7. Once the glue is dry and the structure is hard enough, use sanding paper to smooth out all the edges and angles to avoid sharp cuts or damaging your sofa.
  8. Introduce the plywood sheet 1 or 2 inches under the hole area to act as a coaster for the cup. You can fix the plywood sheet in place by measuring, cutting, and glueing it to the bottom of the hole. Also, you can use tiny glued wooden brackets for extra reinforcement.
  9. Finish the wooden sofa sleeve with wood stain to match your home decoration and leave it to dry overnight

4. Tablet / iPad Holder

A wooden tablet or iPad holder will hold up much better than those cheap plastic ones. Additionally, they look great and are pretty easy to make! Here’s how to make one:

Materials & Tools Needed

  • 1 large wooden panel ( a good template to use is 40 in x 9.8 in x 0.7 in)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Wood glue and glue brush
  • Screws
  • Clamps
  • Jigsaw

Instructions

  1. Start by measuring the length of your tablet to determine the length of the back panel that your tablet or iPad will rest on. Also, measure the thickness of the device to find out the suitable dimensions for the bottom panel as well as the front tiny panel to keep the tablet from sliding off.
  2. Find the ideal inclination angle for your tablet holder to figure out the dimensions of the back supports. Ideally, you should cut out two equal triangles on the sides rather than one in the centre.
  3. Using the jigsaw, cut out all the needed parts for the wooden tablet holder. Make sure that you make a small recess where the clickable buttons are located on the front panel.
  4. Glue the bottom panel to the back panel or use screws for extra fortification.
  5. Similarly, glue the front panel to the bottom panel using a clamp. A good measure here is to rest the iPad over the holder and see if it fits properly. Modify the dimensions of the holder if needed.
  6. Optional: if you want the back supports to be foldable, use continuous (piano) hinges and screws to install them to the back of the holder according to your measurements. However, if you prefer a fixed one, use glue to fit the two back supports so that the tablet stays balanced on the holder.

Wrap Up

With that said, you now have 4 beginner woodworking project ideas that you can try. Although these projects are fairly easy and quick, they’re extremely handy to have around and save you a huge sum of money when you build them yourself.

We’ve made sure that most of these projects can be completed with a similar set of tools, so you can get them all done without having to buy extra special tools for each one!