Some people think that working with wood requires having a wood shop and a lot of big, expensive tools.
However, not all wood craft projects need that much equipment, and even beginners can make beautiful, functional pieces of home décor. Wood is an incredibly strong, versatile material, and these DIY wood crafts are a great place to begin.
Easy DIY Wood Crafts
1. DIY Hand Stamped Kitchen Utensils
This DIY wood project is a great way to personalize kitchen utensils, but the techniques can be used on any wooden item. These utensils make a beautiful housewarming gift, or keep them for yourself.
To use the stamps, place the utensil on a flat surface, place the letter against the utensil, and then strike it firmly (but not too hard) with a hammer.
You may want to practice on some scrap wood to get the feel of it. To make the text stand out, rub some wood stain over the imprint, and then immediately wipe it away.
2. DIY Blanket Ladder
Blanket ladders are incredibly fashionable right now, and they can be used to store blankets, towels, and even those clothes that aren’t quite ready for the laundry (instead of piling them on a chair). You can make your own blanket ladder quickly and easily, with just a few dollars’ worth of pine boards.
To make this ladder, you will need three 1×3” pine boards, a miter saw, and some nails.
- Cut two boards to 65” to make the sides of the ladder, and then cut the bottoms of those boards at a slight angle, so the ladder will lean against the wall.
- Cut four more pieces of board to 18 inches to be the rungs of the ladder. Measure the rungs out evenly along the long boards.
- Nail them in place through the side of the ladder.
- Finishing with a weathered gray wood stain gives your ladder an antique look.
3. DIY Wood Pen Holder
This DIY wood craft project is perfect for pens, pencils, paintbrushes, crayons, and all sorts of desk supplies. It’s a great gift for a child, because it keeps their art supplies visible, and the block of wood is non-toxic and virtually indestructible. To make a wood pen holder, you will need a block of wood.
Depending on how many supplies you want to hold, it might be 8-12 inches long, and 3-4 inches high and deep. You can cut a 4×4” to length, or glue up some 1x3s to make the block.
Then drill two rows of holes in the top, large enough to hold pens or supplies, and 2-3 inches deep. Personalize the pen holder by adding letters, stickers, or other decorative elements.
4. DIY Wood Kitchen Counter Shelf
Over-the-sink shelves are a great way to increase storage space in the kitchen, and are in high demand right now.
If you have a stove with a raised instrument panel at the back, you could also build this shelf to place over the rear of the stove to hold salt, pepper, cooking oil, and other items.
- First, measure the height and length you want your shelf to be. Note that the wall behind your shelf may not be flat, due to tile or a backsplash, so you may need to make your shelf top a bit deeper to compensate.
- To make the shelf, cut four pieces of 1×4” boards two inches shorter than your shelf height, to act as the legs. Nail or glue them together in pairs, so you have two legs.
- Then cut another 1×4” to the length of your shelf top, and nail it in place.
- Do this again, so that your legs and shelf top are both two inches thick. If necessary, cut a piece of 1×2” to the length of your shelf and add it to the back of the top, to create a deeper top that will compensate for a back splash.
- Paint or stain your shelf to match your kitchen, and finish with a waterproof sealer.
5. DIY Wooden Accent Table
If you can find a lovely wood slice, then turning it into an accent table is a fantastic way to celebrate the natural beauty of wood. This is a simple DIY, since all you need is a wood slice, table legs, and a drill.
Keep in mind that, while hairpin legs have a great, modern look, your table slice may not be completely flat, so you may need to either shim before attaching these legs, or choose adjustable legs that can compensate for natural variation in the wood.
6. DIY Wooden Slat Hanging Frame
This DIY wood hanging frame craft project is a great way to display prints, posters, or even your favorite child’s art.
If you don’t have a table saw to create a slot in the center of a 1.5” deep board, you can create the same effect by attaching paint stirrers to the back of your facing board, using small shims to create a small slat behind the board to hold your paper.
Create two facing boards the length of your artwork, designed to hold the art. Drill holes through the top board for hanging with a cord, or attach a picture hanger.
Slide the artwork into the slat behind the board on the top and bottom, and, if necessary, hold it in place by sliding a piece of cardboard or a popsicle stick into the slot to hold the paper with pressure.
7. DIY Upholstered Wooden Bench
This DIY wooden bench is a compact size that will fit into any room in the home, and it’s a beginner-friendly wood craft that is a great place to polish your skills.
It’s all made from 2×4” boards, which you can cut yourself or have cut to size. The most challenging part of the project for beginners is learning how to use a pocket hole jig.
To make this project:
- you will need to cut two lengths of 2×4” to 27” long, four lengths of 13.5”, and four lengths of 11”.
- Drill pocket holes in the ends of the two longest boards.
- To make the legs, predrill holes and use wood screws to attach two 11” boards upright to two of the 13.5” boards, laid flat. This assembly gives your legs a flat and stable base, and helps support the top.
- Screw the two long boards into the top side edges of the leg assembly, completing the bench.
- Sand the bench, and paint or stain it.
To make the upholstered top:
- Start with 1” plywood cut to the dimensions of the top of the bench.
- Add a layer of foam and glue it to the plywood.
- Then lay out a layer of cotton batting, and place the plywood, foam side down, on top of the batting.
- Wrap the batting from the front to the back of the cushion, stapling it in place.
- Then choose your favorite upholstery fabric, lay it out, and repeat the process.
- Starting in the center of one side, pull the fabric tightly around the cushion and staple it to the plywood base.
- Then do the same thing on the opposite side center.
- Then do the same thing on the other side center, then the opposite side center.
- Work your way around the cushion, from the center to the corners, always doing one side and then the other. Fold the corners under neatly.
- You may also want to embellish your cushion with a row of upholstery tacks around the bottom edge.
8. DIY Wooden Serving Tray
Wooden trays are incredibly useful, and not just for serving tea or coffee. They can also be used to keep a desktop organized, or even serve in a pinch as a laptop desk.
To make this tray, cut a piece of 1” plywood to the size of your tray. Cut a 1×2” into lengths that will wrap around the plywood and make the sides of your tray.
Screw the sides into place, or use nails and wood glue to secure them. Sand and paint or stain your tray.
Working with wood is fun and rewarding, and opens up whole new worlds of what you can DIY in your home.
With some practice and some tools, there’s no end to the number of things you can craft, make, fix, and design with wood.