One of the most versatile materials for making crafts is wood. Woodworking is a hobby that goes back as far as man. Wood is a natural resource that you can use to make everything from functional items to items intended for decoration. Today, with the vast array of woodworking power tools aimed at meeting the needs of the wood craftsman hobbyist, constructing projects from wood is easier than it's ever been. Here are some easy woodworking projects you can accomplish with minimal tools and skill.
Decorative wooden signs are fun to make and not overly difficult. There's no need for a lot of fancy equipment to make signs from wood. You can purchase pre-cut wood from a lumber yard or use scraps of wood you might have lying around. You can even take a walk through the woods to find pieces of tree wood suitable for sign making. Wood you pick up on a walk through the woods can be especially appealing if left in its natural state, with the bark still on. You can use a clear wood stain to preserve it.
Use a woodburning pen to customize and personalize your signs for every room of the house. You can purchase a woodburning pen from any hobby and craft store. They're easy to use and give your signs an appealing natural decorative feel. You can use a woodburning pen to burn names, slogans or even pictures into your signs.
Birdhouses are easy to make and are a fun project for the whole family. You don't need expensive wood to make nice birdhouses. Cheap plywood painted with acrylic paints works well. You can purchase plans for a birdhouse at hobby stores as well as some hardware outlets, or you can take advantage of some of the free plans online (see resources below). If you're feeling especially creative, you can design your own. You don't need a lot of tools to make your own birdhouse. A table saw, hammer, nails and paint will do the trick.
Shadow Box and Picture Frames
Shadow boxes and picture frames are easy to make and don't require expensive wood or a lot of tools. You can use cheap plywood for both. If you want a fancier picture frame, use mahogany or oak. These woods are more expensive and harder to work with for beginners, but they do make attractive, durable picture frames. You can save time and money by purchasing cheap wood and using stains and paint to give your frames the look of more expensive wood.
Shadow boxes are not only fun to make, they are ideal to give as gifts. You can make them with cheap wood and paint them, then customize the contents to fit the personality of the person you're giving it to. Use a woodburning pen to customize the outside as well.
Indoor and Outdoor Home Decor
Try making simple wooden end tables or a set of wooden shelves for the kitchen or living room. You can find plans at hobby shops for these items. Some websites sell plans for simple wooden home decor projects, and some of them offer free plans (see resources below).
Another easy wood project is a planter, which is easy to make from cheap plywood. Planters are functional and can be decorated to match the outside of your home.
Coasters for your living room, a serving tray for your kitchen or even a decorative bread box are all easy-to-make wood projects as well.