Woodworking is a fantastic way to work with your hands and get the satisfaction of creating something that looks amazing, but if you’ve never picked up a saw or a hammer in your life, it can be hard to know where to start. There are tutorials by the score on the internet for amazing projects, but many of them are designed for people who have some previous experience with the craft. If you want to try your hand in working with wood, here are five easy projects to get you started.
1. Pallet Shelf
Wooden pallets are handy to have around, even if you’re not hauling cargo. With a couple of tools, you can turn them into just about everything. For this project, all you need is a drill, a sander, a saw, and some sandpaper and paint or stain to make it your own. Cut off a section of the pallet after the second board, and two more loose boards from the top of the pallet. Attach one loose board to the back of the pallet to keep things from falling off the back, and the other to the bottom. Sand, paint and hang, and congratulations — you’ve completed your first woodworking project!
2. Shoe Organizer
If your shoes keep piling up in the hallway, a shoe organizer can cut the clutter while giving you a new woodworking project to be proud of. All you need for this project is some 1″ x 12″ plywood, some 1″ x 2″ lumber, and some wood screws — and of course, some paint or stain to make look like something you’d be happy to keep show off in your home.
3. Gun Rack
Millions of people own one or more gun and store them in their home. Of those, 26% are men and 15% are women who own firearms for their own protection. Hunters make up another 11%. Why not have a decorate gun rack to show off your favorite pieces? A basic gun rack isn’t difficult, even for beginners. A basic rack is just a rectangle with insets to support your favorite rifles or handguns. Be careful with your measurements to make sure that everything from the longest rifle to the smallest handgun will fit comfortably.
4. Small Wooden Bench
Benches are actually simpler than they seem, and they’re a great project for beginning woodworkers to test their skills on. All you need is some 4″ x 4″ posts for the corners and 1″ x 4″ boards for the rest of the bench. Make sure you’ve got a sander or some sandpaper and elbow grease so you can enjoy sitting on your new bench without worrying about splinters or sharp edges.
5. Drawer Spice Rack
There’s nothing worse than having to search your entire cabinet or drawer for the spices you need to make dinner. This spice rack fits in a drawer on top of whatever you have in there, doubling your space while keeping all of your spices face-up so they’re easy to see. This project is a little more complicated because you will need to cut away the top of an existing drawer, and attach the insert to the existing drawer sliders, but if you’re tired of searching for spices in a cluttered cabinet, this project is one you should add to your list.
The best advice we can offer is to keep practicing. You will make mistakes and you will bash your thumb with the hammer now and then. Don’t quit just because your project doesn’t turn out like you were hoping. You won’t get better unless you keep practicing!
Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington