Woodworking Projects and Ideas for Beginners [Video Tutorial] Woodworking Projects and Ideas for Beginners [Video Tutorial]
Hello everyone, today I’m back with some more wood carving ideas. The winter is approaching, so there will be a lot of time for... Woodworking Projects and Ideas for Beginners [Video Tutorial]

Hello everyone, today I’m back with some more wood carving ideas. The winter is approaching, so there will be a lot of time for us to stay in the workshop, working on some new projects.

As you will see, a great number of videos will inspire you to use scrap wood. As we are craftsmen working with the wood, sustainability is something we should definitely think about. Why throw away old wood, if we can repurpose or recycle, making amazing designs out of it?

You probably read my previous posts with project ideas and video tutorials. For example, I compiled a list of wood lathe projects for beginners, which I wrote to complement my wood lathe projects gallery with more details. This time, we will focus on some other tools and designs.

Like in my previous posts, in the first section, I will describe which tools and types of wood (scrap or not) you could use for making the projects I selected for you. Then, we will check out woodworking project ideas from all over the world, starting with simple ones and ending with those that require some variety of tools and practice. In both cases, if you are a beginner, don’t worry. I chose all of these projects to suit beginner levels of expertise. Therefore, I’m sure you will find something for you!

To Work On These Projects You Will Need…

To create any piece of craftwork, you need two things: tools and materials. So, before going to tutorials, we should check what we will need on our desk before getting to work.

Power Tools

Most of the projects I selected for you here need power machines to be done.

First and foremost, you will need almost all types of saws. Apart from being a regular scenography item in most old-school horror movies, this machine is probably one of the symbols of woodworking. It is basically made of a metal round blade, which spins very fast and is extremely sharp. To see how creative you can be with saws, go check my scroll saw pattern gallery. 

Depending on the position of the blade, there are various types of this very useful tool. The most common type is the classic table saw. But there are also circular and scroll saws, which are mobile and provide more precise cuts. The band saw refers to saws that have a tape-like blade. Their smaller, mobile counterparts are jigsaws. Finally, there are hand saws, which are considered to be hand tools.

Other than that, you will definitely need a drill, with a variety of bits. A grinder will do well for a couple of projects too. Some of the carvers use a nail gun in the tutorials, but if you are a beginner and don’t have one, it’s not a big deal. Just use a hammer and nails instead.

Once you’re done with coarse cutting and shaping, you will need to make surfaces smooth. Regarding power tools, you can use band or tabletop planers and a variety of sanders for this purpose. There are small electrical sanders, but also band and wide belt sanders for larger projects. If you are interested in buying a belt sander, I have some pro tips in my best belt sanders review, which you will probably be interested in. 

For fine edge work, a router table is recommended, although not necessary for beginners.

Hand Tools and Other Accessories

Of course, the basic hand tools you need for any woodworking projects including those in this list are chisels, gouges, and knives. I believe no wood carving workshop can go without these, so I won’t go into too many details here. 

Furthermore, a hand planer will help you shape wood surfaces just the way you like them. They are also tools that are indispensable in any wood workshop, so I made a review of the best hand planers in my opinion. You can check it out if you ever need tips on buying hand planers. 

For finer surface work, we use various types of sandpapers, ranging from coarse to fine-grained. You can find everything about sandpapers in my best sandpapers review. Rasps are a good complementary to the wood smoothing equipment.

Several projects here require clamps usage. Clamps are devices which we use whenever we need to hold two or more pieces of wood firmly together. Usually, we do that when we glue several chunks together, so we will put them in a clamp’s grip until the glue dries. If you want to know more about these super useful devices, read my post on purpose and types of woodworking clamps. If you need one and you are planning to purchase it, consult my best woodworking clamps review before you do.

Mallets and hammers are very useful to have around any workshop, and especially in a woodcarver’s. We sometimes need mallets when we work with gouges, but they are also very useful for working with joints of any kind.

The glue will be required in most of the tutorials you are about to see. It holds pieces of wood together, which enables us endless play with designs and shapes. Each material has a special type of glue, so we need glue made for that particular surface. If you are interested in this topic, you can find all information about that in my best wood glues review.

In the end, we want to make our projects shine and glitter. To do that, as well as to protect the wood, we will need some kind of oil finishes and sometimes some varnish as well.
Finally, I would like to mention some small accessories, which don’t carve themselves but make carving possible. I suppose you can imagine that it’s good to have a pencil and an eraser around, to mark holes and cut lines. Also, you will need some kind of measuring tool for woodworking. This could be a simple ruler or a tape measure, or, if your woodcarving career is getting serious, some calipers or spirit levels as well.

Wood

I have already written many times about wood types elsewhere, so here I will keep myself very short. 

In most of the videos I prepared here, carvers used scrap wood. That means they didn’t specify which wood type they used. However, have in mind that using scrap wood doesn’t necessarily mean using bad quality wood. 

There are several projects here you can do with plywood, which is a manufactured type of processed wood, common in the furniture industry. It’s everywhere, so it’s easy to find and recycle for some cool woodcarving projects.
Most of the wood types used in the tutorials are hardwoods: basswood, oakwood, maple, mahogany, cottonwood, birch, and poplar. This is because most of the tutorials suppose you have some power tools at hand, and when working with electric machines, we usually use hardwoods.

Now that we are properly equipped, let’s get down to the point and see how creative we can be today.

Simple Holder for the Phone and for Flowers

Estimated Time Needed: 30 minutes (per project)

Tools and supplies used:

  • plywood and/or basswood (or any other type of wood that’s easy to carve)
  • circular saw
  • jigsaw
  • hand saw
  • drill
  • sander
  • satin varnish

In this super funny video, you have two different project ideas. Out of some old scraps of wood, this carver makes a quirky flower vase and a simple mobile phone holder for watching clips without having to hold the phone.

To make these, you won’t need almost any money and very little material. Although cheap, all these objects are practical and make great birthday/anniversary gifts.


How to make a wooden stand for the phone

Estimated Time Needed: 30 minutes

Tools and supplies used:

  • basswood or any other wood available
  • circular saw
  • sandpaper
  • oil finish

I was appealed by the simplicity of this project, so I decided to put it here although I already have another phone holder on the list.

It doesn’t really matter which type of wood you choose here, as this kind of object doesn’t require any special durability or functionality. Basswood would do great, but you can use whatever lies at hand.


How to Make a Basic Box

Estimated Time Needed: 45 minutes

Tools and supplies used:

  • table saw
  • clamps
  • glue
  • sandpaper

This is a great project to do if you’re interested in learning the basics of making joints in woodcarving. How do you make a box out of a single wood plank? By knowing how to make rabbet joints!

Making rabbets takes some attention and precision, which will come with time and practice.

However, the effort will most certainly pay off. You will need this knowledge for making any type of squared object out of wood, like beds, cabinets, boxes, etc.


How to Make a Woodworking Mallet

Estimated Time Needed: 1 hour

Tools and supplies used:

  • a plank of oak wood
  • table saw and a scroll saw
  • clamps
  • drill
  • band sander (regular sandpaper will do the job as well)
  • nail gun (or just a hammer)
  • glue
  • oil finish

According to the variety of tools he uses, the carver in this video is obviously a professional. However, don’t let that scare you. Being new at something and not having everything can sometimes be an invitation for improvisation and therefore provoke a spark of creativity. 

Also, he didn’t specify which type of wood he used, but I would recommend some hardwood, such as oak or hazelnut. These two types of woods are very durable and are regularly used for making workshop tools.


A Small and Simple Table Made of Wood

Estimated Time Needed: 1 hour 30 minutes

Tools and supplies used:

  • maple or pine tree planks
  • drill
  • glue
  • clamps

In this tutorial, you will see a step-by-step guide on how to to make a simple club table out of several planks of wood. The carver didn’t specify which type of wood it is. Usually, maple and pine are used for making furniture. In any case, as this is only for practice, you can use whichever wood type you find in your local supply store.

Also, here you will learn how to make another type of joints, necessary for objects such as frames and desks. Good to know!


How to Make Floating Picture Frames

Estimated Time Needed: 2 hours

Tools and supplies used:

  • mahogany and eastern cottonwood
  • table saw 
  • hand saw
  • circular saw
  • bandsaw
  • glue

You can learn some great skills from this tutorial, which can help you either make frames for your own artworks or make a business working with artists or art galleries. Namely, the craftsman in this video uses the so-called spline jigs to strengthen the frame corners. I would say, a very useful thing for a beginner woodcarver to know.

This is not such a hard project to do, once you have all the power tools required, and it can really pay off. Regarding the wood, here it is very important. You want to have two different colors, while at the same time you need lightweight timber and well-defined grain patterns. For example, mahogany and eastern cottonwood would be great solutions here. Alternatively, you can use the same wood material, but put different gel stains on it, to achieve different colors and textures.

Yes, it is tricky, but we’re talking about art lads, so our design has to follow very subtle aesthetics here.


DIY Wooden Christmas Decoration Lights

Estimated Time Needed: 1 hour

Tools and supplies used:

  • plywood
  • tabletop planer
  • table saw
  • circular saw
  • hand saw
  • jigsaw
  • glue
  • sander
  • drill
  • nail gun
  • chisels

As we are moving towards more complex projects, here is a good idea for keeping yourself busy around the next Christmas. What you will see in the tutorial is how you can make some plywood planks into large lanterns. 

The tutorial suggests using it with candles, but if you are a skilled electrician, you can make it an electric lantern as well.


Cool Wood Nutcracker Idea

Estimated Time Needed: 1 hour

Tools and supplies used:

  • circular saw and jigsaw
  • sandpaper
  • glue

Watch this video and make an original gift for anyone into nuts: your granny, a friend who is into healthy food, or someone who has a hazelnut tree in their yard!

Give yourself an opportunity to practice a bit and make this handy nutcracker. All you will need are some scraps of wood (we take care of the environment!), some power tools and some glue. If the hexagonal shape is too complicated for you, remember that you can make it simple by making a squared box – with the knowledge from the previous video!


Wooden Mountain Art

Estimated Time Needed: 2 hours

Tools and supplies used:

  • oak wood
  • wide belt sander
  • paint
  • several types of gel stain
  • table saw
  • circular saw
  • glue

I put this tutorial on my list because I wanted to have little something just for the sake of decoration, to take a rest of practical objects such as mallets and tables.

Don’t get scared when the carver starts his project by drawing it in SolidEdge. You don’t have to know how to use 3D CAD software to make this. However, you will need some precision.


Making A Basic Wooden Shelf

Estimated Time Needed: 1 hour

Tools and supplies used:

  • oak or birch wood
  • circular saw
  • hand saw
  • clamps
  • tung oil
  • drill
  • mallet

You won’t need much time to make this simple wooden shelf, which can serve many purposes, from a bookshelf to a place for tools in your workshop.

As the type of wood isn’t specified, I would recommend something solid and strong, like oak or birch.


4 Easy DIY Woodworking Gift Projects

Estimated Time Needed: 1 hour per project

Tools and supplies used:

  • poplar tree planks
  • table saw
  • hand saw
  • circular saw
  • hand planer
  • drill
  • chisels and knives
  • glue
  • finish oil
  • wood paint
  • rope

In this 4-in-1 tutorial, you can find very interesting gift ideas. It will be hard to choose, though. You will see that the wooden puzzle, book holder, wine bottle displayer that defies the laws of physics and the wine case are all simple to make, but strikingly interesting.


Simple Lamp Project for Beginners

Estimated Time Needed: 1 hour

Tools and supplies used:

  • drill
  • knives, chisels, and gouges
  • clamps
  • sandpaper
  • glue
  • oil finish

Another project for those who like (and know how) to play with electricity. Use scrap wood that lies around your house or workshop to make a nice little lamp. Personally, I’m a big fan of projects that recycle wood.


2 Simple Woodworking Projects: a Serving Tray and a Stool

Estimated Time Needed: 1 hour (per project)

Tools and supplies used:

  • table saw
  • glue
  • clamps
  • wood finish

Did you know that woodcarvers can be celebrities as well? If you choose this project, you will have an opportunity to learn from star-woodcarvers J. Pickens and Ben Napier. And they have what to teach you, as you will need a minimum of equipment to make a serving tray and a modern stool in no time.


Folding Chair – Woodworking Ideas

Estimated Time Needed: 2 hours

Tools and supplies used:

  • maple or pine tree planks
  • table saw
  • jigsaw
  • hand planer
  • clamps
  • drill
  • sandpaper
  • glue
  • nail gun (or just a hammer)
  • finish oil

Do you like to fish? Or sometimes go camping? In each case, in this tutorial, you will learn how to make a portable folding chair perfect for those occasions. If you are a beginner, you will need some patience and some additional tools to make it. 

Regarding the type of wood, although not specified in the video, I would recommend pine or maple, as we are again working with furniture.


Easy Woodworking Projects for Beginners: a Kitchen Trivet

Estimated Time Needed: 30 minutes

Tools and supplies used:

  • table saw
  • sander
  • router table (optional)

With some basic tools and scrap wood, you will quickly make a kitchen trivet. You will do some metalwork as well, as you will need a couple of metal bars to connect the wooden planks. As for the wood, use whatever you have, but some hardwood would be perfect.


Wooden Serving Platter with Texture

Estimated Time Needed: 2 hours

Tools and supplies used:

  • band saw
  • table saw
  • glue
  • clamps
  • tabletop planer
  • grinder
  • chisels, gouges, and spoon knives
  • rasp
  • sandpaper
  • drill
  • oil finish

You will need quite a variety of tools to make this simple platter. But if you choose some great quality woods (although they might be scraps), you could make this project into some fine craftwork. It could be a great gift of course, but also a well-selling product.


Smart Storage Racks To Keep Your Home Tidy

Estimated Time Needed: 1 hour

Tools and supplies used:

  • table saw
  • circular saw
  • jigsaw
  • sander
  • belt planer
  • glue
  • oil finish

Do some craftwork while tidying up your home – that’s the basic idea of many scrap wood tutorials I chose for this list. In this one, you will get another idea of what you can do to transform scrapwood into a corridor storage rack.


Wooden Clamps – Woodworking Project

Estimated Time Needed: 2 hours

Tools and supplies used:

  • oak wood
  • circular saw and hand saw
  • wood lathe
  • drill and variety of bits
  • rasp 
  • sandpaper
  • hand planer

Here we begin with more complicated projects. I mentioned in another project that you need a clamp. So, if you don’t want to buy one, here’s how you can make it yourself! However, to say the truth, you will need quite some precision to make this. 

Apart from that, you will need tools, for woodworking but also for processing metal. The most peculiar thing you will need is a variety of drill attachments, namely spade and Forstner drill bits.

If this one seems too hard for you as a beginner, maybe it’s a great opportunity to invite someone more experienced and with some metalwork experience, to work with you.


Making Secret Wood Staff

Estimated Time Needed: 2 hours

Tools and supplies used:

  • a natural tree branch
  • resin
  • sander and/or sandpaper
  • Danish oil
  • paint

If your grandpa’s birthday is coming closer, and you have been into woodworking for some time, you’re lucky because here’s a perfect gift idea for you. The idea is to make a branch into a gentleman’s staff. 

The idea with the gem at the top, imitating snowy mountains is great, however, I wouldn’t say it is done quite successfully. I put it in this list because it is a great example of how creative we can be with the resin, however, feel free to further improve this project yourself. For example, I would probably add a foot (wooden or a rubber one) at the bottom of the staff, to make it more stable. As I am particularly inspired by staffs, I already made a staff wood carving projects gallery, that you can visit to get some more inspiration on the matter. 

To see how cracks in the wood are filled is a good takeaway from this video. Instead of seeing only imperfections, with some imagination, we can use them to make some amazing designs.


DIY Modern Design Coffee Table

Estimated Time Needed:

Tools and supplies used:

  • scraps (or maple tree)
  • tabletop planer
  • table saw
  • glue
  • clamps
  • sander
  • circular saw
  • oil finish
  • varnish

Use some old planks or new maple tree planks to make this multi-layered coffee table. To make it perfectly cool, put glass at the top. Pay attention to how you can use fire to scorch the surface of the wood and get interesting colors for the surface of some parts.

Final Thoughts

I hope I was able to inspire you to make some great things using your power tools. I wanted to make you think about gifts you can easily make for your loved ones, and practice your woodcarving skills at the same time. 

In the end, I would like to remind you to welcome mistakes and mishaps when it comes to some more complex projects. Instead of letting them spoil your day at the workshop, learn from them. In woodworking, it is above all important to have fun!

Jeff Richardson Editor

Passionate about wood carving since high school. Always been able to relax while carving. 7 years ago, I decided to dedicate my whole time to wood carving; this is when I started my blog. I am a fan of DIY, fitness, and crafts. Also, I love to spend time with my friends, carving something out of wood. I hope you enjoy my articles.

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