Small DIY Wood Projects for Beginner Woodworkers

Carpenter marking pine

If you’re searching for small DIY wood projects for you and the family,  the best woodworking projects are often simple, easy to do, and turn out some pretty impressive results. Many of the projects I’ve included here can be made using some extra lumber you have lying around the yard, to make fun, basic projects at a low cost.

These small DIY wood projects are perfect for woodworkers of all skill levels, but they’re also a great choice for the beginner. These simple projects will allow you to test your new woodworking skills and take on some fun projects that will add a beautiful custom touch around your home. These projects include:

  • Key hook
  • Serving tray
  • Wall rack
  • Multipurpose box
  • Stepping stool
  • Side table
  • Table and drawers
  • Shelves
  • Bookshelf
  • Stand
  • Organizer
  • Corner shelf
  • Lantern holder
  • Memo board

These projects are also very budget-friendly and can be made using old repurposed wood, some screws, wood glue, and the finish of your choice.


DIY project at home

If you have the best table saw, then you can easily make many of these projects in the fraction of the time it would take if you used a basic hand saw. I recommend the Dewalt DW745, which is a fifteen amp model, so you know it’s packing more than enough power.

Other supplies and tools will include:

  • Hand saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Finish
  • Wood glue
  • Screws
  • Wood pallets
  • Repurposed wood
  • Old furniture

There’s really no limit to what types of projects you can take on, especially if you have some basic woodworking skills. However, the projects I’ve included here are also very beginner-friendly. If you don’t have any old pallets lying around your shop or garage, you can easily pick some up for a low price, or even free, at a local home improvement store or a lumber yard.

Key Hook

This key hook project can be made using some old wood pallets. For this simple project, all you’ll need is an old piece of wood and some keys. You’ll use the keys as coat hooks. This gives the project a fun almost whimsical look that will really make it stand out. To do, you’ll just bend the tips of the keys using a hammer. Next, you’ll attach the keys to the wood using some wood glue or screws, and you’re done.

Serving Tray

Making a simple serving tray out of repurposed wood is a popular DIY project because it’s so easy to do and it’s highly functional. You can use some old wood pallets and some screws to build the tray. The tray can be used to serve anything for meals to drinks, depending on the strength of the wood. The handles you can use can be repurposed dresser drawer handles or some old rope.

Wall Rack

wood shelf

If you’re tired of paying a high price that comes with purchasing chic products from your local furniture store, then making your own wall rack is a great way to save money. For a basic wall rack, you’ll use scrap wood or repurposed cabinet drawers, or wood pallets. If you really want to get creative you can try making some built-in storage space for small items such as gloves, keys, and other personal items. The main purpose of a wall rack is to keep hats and personal items accessible and organized. This is truly a versatile project and a great one for the beginner.

It’s also a great project if you want to use recycled pallet wood. However, you’ll need to have some basic woodworking skills to get the job done right.

Multipurpose Box

You can make a simple wooden box to hold a wide variety of items ranging from spices, makeup, jewelry, old photos, or recipes. A wooden box is also super easy to make. Use the finish of your choice to make it really stand out.

Stepping Stool

If you’re looking for another useful item that you can build using wood scraps in just a few hours, then try making a stepping stool. While a basic stepping stool may look like a complex woodworking project, it really isn’t. This type of stool is inexpensive to build and very easy to make. If you apply a nice finish you can set it out next to your sofa or use it as a side table.

Side Table

You can also use scrap wood pieces to construct a beautiful side table. Just like a stepping stool, a side table looks more complex than it really is. This is a fairly simple woodworking project that will require some basic skills but it’s a fun project for both you and the kids. With the right finish, you can have a set of beautiful matching side tables for your bedroom or the family rec room.

Table and Drawers

Building your own table and drawers is a tougher, more serious project which can take a few hours to complete. However, the final project is a beautiful table for your entryway complete with drawers that are made out of scrap pallet wood. If you want to make something more solid, you could try repurposing an old dresser you have lying around the attic or garage. This is can be a great option if you’re a beginner and lacking the woodworking skills it would take to build a table and drawers from scratch.


You can make some nice shelves for the wall to hold small items such as picture frames, jewelry boxes, or books. The design is fairly simple and consists of four wood boards. The dimensions and size of the shelves will depend on the size of the boards themselves. You can use horizontal plates attached vertically to the boards using some screws or glue.


Shelf from pallet

Making a bookshelf is typically a big project, but since it should only take two to four hours to complete it’s a simple, affordable do-it-yourself project that only requires beginner woodworking skills. A  bookshelf can store your collectibles, books, or knickknacks. You can make your own bookshelf using wood pallets or repurposed wood.


Make a beautiful stand to hold a larger knickknack, vase, or plants. You can make one using old wood pallets or repurposed wood. With pallets, you can easily make a large enough stand to hold four to six plants based on the strength and size of the stand. You’ll need to build legs that are steady and strong enough to hold the weight of the plants. You could also put this type of stand in the kitchen to hold small items or dishes.


A large organizer made out of natural wood can be used to hold tools, umbrellas, and more. You could take an old tree trunk, hollow it out, and you’ll be left with a beautiful rustic stand that will quickly become the focal point in any room.

Corner Shelf

Make a quaint, compact, beautiful wood shelf to fit in the corner of your kitchen or living room. You can use it to organize your letter writing supplies, books, or small items. It’s a great way to organize your belongings and utilize space.

Lantern Holders

This type of project is perfect for the beginner. All you need is some old wood pallets and a couple of nails. If you have more advanced woodworking skills, then you can easily make lantern holders look more stylish and intricate. You can use it to hold anything from clothes and candles to scarves and lanterns.

Memo Board

Do you want to create your own memo board for your study or kitchen? Memo boards are very easy woodworking projects that involve using some screws, paint sticks, a sawtooth hanger, paper, thumbtacks, small pipe, and some wood from an old pallet.

Related Questions

What is the Most Useful Woodworking Tool?

  • Table saw
  • Compound miter saw
  • Power drill
  • Hammer
  • Circular saw
  • Router

What Woodworking Tools Should I Buy First?

Most woodworkers can agree that the best portable table saw is very versatile. I recommend the Rockwell RK7240. A router table is also a must, as are planers, which are used to get material to a precise thickness and clean up rough sawn stock. Jointers are another great choice and can be used to make the edges of material square, straight, and smooth.

Can You Use a Jointer as a Planer?

Jointers can be used to square up one edge and flatten one face, while the planer can be used to make an additional face flat and parallel to the first one. In terms of thickness, jointers won’t allow you to thicken a board to a precise dimension, while the planer is designed specifically for this task.

Final Thoughts

These small DIY wood projects are perfect for beginners and will allow you to easily make some custom pieces for your office or home. These projects are so easy that they’re also the perfect DIY wood projects for kids. Over time, as your woodworking skills increase, you can add your own special flourishes and design changes to each project to show off your new joinery skills, sanding techniques, or painting skills.