We all get Pinterest envy from time to time. You scroll through picture after picture of beautifully decorated and furnished rooms. It doesn’t take long before you start wondering how to make your own home look Pinterest-perfect.
But then you start shopping and you realize how expensive it all is. Fortunately, taking on some DIY projects for the home can give you the style you want, 100% customized, for much less.
One area in which DIY can be especially beneficial is in furniture. Woodworking projects can give you customized, stylish, and often sturdier furniture for less. As an added bonus, home woodworking is a more eco-friendly living choice.
If you’re on the hunt for some ideas, check out these options:
Beginner Woodworking Projects for the Home
For the homeowner who wants to make DIY furniture but hasn’t reached the status of woodworking master, here are a few projects to get you started:
A bookshelf is a great starter woodworking project. It’s rather simple, but it teaches you a lot about stability, angles, and basic skills.
If you’re living in a home that lacks storage and/or abundant space, a bookshelf is also a very usable project. You can design it to fit into even the smallest or most awkwardly-sized spaces. And if you need storage for items that aren’t books, simple baskets fit the look perfectly.
A word to the wise: think about the flooring when you’re designing your bookshelf. If the shelf will be on a high-pile carpet or rug, it will need extra stability compared to a hard floor.
Want to step up the difficulty? If you have small pets, install a cushion on top of the shelf to give them a cozy new bed.
Really any wall-mounted cabinet will be made similarly, but a small one like a medicine cabinet is an easier place for beginners to start.
In fact, a cabinet is a great next step after your bookshelf. You’re essentially just building a bookshelf and adding doors.
Here’s a pro tip: before you start, measure some of the items you want to store in the cabinet. Many store-bought medicine cabinets don’t quite fit items like contact solution and other large bottles. But when you’re making your own cabinet, you can specifically plan it all your favorites.
As with all woodworking projects, you can choose how complex you want your cabinet to be, from a minimalistic design to a more ornate DIY medicine cabinet.
If you’re not familiar, shadow boxes are glass-fronted wooden boxes designed to display memorabilia. They can be wall-mounted or placed on a tabletop. They’re fantastic projects for parents who want to display their kids’ awards.
A shadow box is a great project because you can customize it to fit the specific items you want to include. It’s also a fantastic way to learn how to use glass in your woodworking projects.
A bench might be the most stereotypical beginner woodworking project, but hear me out.
Like bookshelves, it can be a real challenge to find a bench that fits your unique space. They’re also great pieces of multitasking furniture because you can include storage to them as well.
It’s important to make your bench with your specific location in mind. Outdoor benches and indoor benches have very different considerations, like weather protection.
And of course, benches can be as simple or as challenging as you want them to be. Whether you’re a beginner or an old pro, you can find a bench-making design to fit your skill level and your style.
Boxes and storage containers are some of the most multifunctional items you can buy (or in this case, make) for your home. They can turn even the most basic shelf into an organized masterpiece.
Small storage boxes are also wonderful gift add-ons. If you’re giving someone jewelry another small yet treasurable item, forget the cardboard box and make your own personal gift box.
Depending on the design you use, boxes are great woodworking projects for learning corner joints and varying styles of lids.
Without a doubt, one of the hardest rooms to keep organized in any house is the mudroom or entryway. That goes double for homes with kids.
Store-bought mudroom furniture can be very expensive, especially if you want a fixture that maximizes space with shelving across most of the wall. DIY mudroom furniture, on the other hand, gives you cost-effective customizability.
When you’re custom-building furniture for this type of space, it’s all about what complexity you want. For a genuine beginner’s project, a simple mounted board with hooks for coats and book bags can go a long way.
But if you want a more comprehensively organized area, a full wall unit can provide space for shoes, coats, book bags, hats, and much more. You can even give each family member their own cubby to make for quicker, less chaotic mornings.
One of the most popular trends in home design today is using your outdoor space. Homeowners are decorating, furnishing, and designing their outdoor areas to make them so functional that they’re just another room of the house.
A key to having usable outdoor space is having comfortable furniture. But have you looked at prices for outdoor furniture lately? Manufacturers know this is a higher priority for homeowners, and they’re taking full advantage with hefty price tags.
Fortunately, outdoor furniture items make for great woodworking projects. Adirondack chairs are particularly popular today, with no cushions needed. You can even create an entire “room” of furniture in this same style.
Basic Tips for Beginner Woodworkers
Woodworking is an entire skill set to learn, and it takes time, but here are some tips for your first projects:
Have the Right Equipment from the Start
Woodworking has the potential to be dangerous, messy, and difficult if you don’t have the right equipment. Before your first project, buy or borrow all the essentials you need like safety goggles, dropcloth and dust collector bags.
Read All Instructions Before You Start
In some woodworking projects, you need precise timing between one step and another. Before you start, read all the instructions and practice some of the new skills you may need.
It’s also a good idea to buy all the supplies you need for the full project before you begin. In some cases, substituting one piece or fixture for another can change the process, and you want to know this from the start.
Read Up on Safety Protocol
You say it to your kids all the time: safety first! Research how to stay safe before you hammer in your first nail.
Find a Project and Start Saving
Woodworking projects are just one way to save money on your home. For more, check out my frugal living tips for moms.