If you’re just beginning your journey into woodworking, it’s important to start your experience with some easy, relatively straightforward projects. Not only will this make your journey more enjoyable, but it will also prevent you from taking on any projects that are too complicated or dangerous. 

We’ve gathered five great DIY wood decor projects that you can try from the comfort of your own home. Keep reading to see what tools and experience you need to tackle any of these cute, simple crafts.

1.Simple Candle Holder

Our first project is a rudimentary, yet impressive, tea light (or candle) holder. In just a couple of hours, you can transform a few ordinary pieces of wood into a centerpiece that adds ambiance to any room. 

For this project, you’ll need: 

  • A drill 
  • A table saw
  • A miter saw
  • A dado stack 
  • 1-1.5” Forstner bit 
  • Tea light candles 
  • 1.5 x 3 x 12 bocote 
  • 1.5 3 x 12 maple 
  • Wood glue 

If you aren’t familiar with these materials, please refer to a trustworthy woodworking guide to ensure that you’re well-versed in the tools, process and safety procedures while working with wood. 

The manufacturing process is relatively simple. 

  1. You’ll need to match the notches you make in your wood to the lumber thickness to ensure a good fit.
  2. Fit your parts to the dado. 
  3. Mark and drill the candle blocks.
  4. Assemble the pieces and stick them with wood glue, then wipe up any excess. 

In just about an hour or two, you’ll have a brand-new candle holder to make dinners romantic or to keep in the living room for a little bit of warm lighting. 

Inspiration for this project comes from Family Handyman – visit their website for more detailed instructions and photos. 

2.Cookbook or Tablet Holder

Is the chef in your house constantly propping up a cookbook and trying to adjust its positioning with messy hands? Dealing with recipes on a tablet or on pages can be a struggle while in the kitchen – make things easier with a wooden holder that keeps their instructions right where they can see them. 

In just a couple of hours, you can complete a well-sanded, aesthetically pleasing holder that would thrill any cook!

Here’s what you’ll need for this project: 

  • ⅞” thick new (or reclaimed) wood
  • Eye protection 
  • Measuring tape 
  • Combo square 
  • Miter saw
  • Wood glue 
  • 2 aluminum bar clamps 
  • Orbital palm sander
  • Medium and fine-grit sanding discs
  • Drill 
  • Drill bit with countersink 
  • 1-1.25” self-boring wood screws
  • Wood finish 
  • Lint-free cloth

Here is the step-by-step:

  1. Using your miter saw, cut the wood into pieces of the following sizes: one 11” by 12.5”, two 11” by 2.25”, and one 9” by 12”. Make sure you use eye protection when cutting! 
  2. Ensure the pieces fit together well. 
  3. Once you’ve seen how the pieces fit together, glue them and let them dry using the clamps. 
  4. Use your countersink drill bit to create four evenly spaced pilot holes along the bottom ledge. 
  5. Attach the bottom piece to the back using the two bar clamps and pilot holes you drilled. 
  6. Using the miter saw, cut two triangular supports (4.75” at the base) and 37 degrees. You’ll attach the supports here. 
  7. After everything has been put together, use your orbital palm sander to smooth the wood surface and fine-grit sanding disc to make it even smoother. 
  8. The last step is to gloss it all with a lint-free cloth and your chosen wood finish, perhaps all-natural hemp oil. 

Inspiration for this project comes from HGTV – visit their website for more detailed instructions and photos.

3.Floating Wooden Wine Rack

Create a stunning way to display your favorite wines with a homemade wooden floating rack. These make fantastic gifts and are surprisingly easy to craft, especially if you have a basic understanding of woodworking and have the right tools. 

For this project you’ll need: 

  • A wooden plank (cedar) 
  • A drill press with a 1.25” Forstner bit 
  • Sandpaper 
  • Tape measure 
  • Pencil 

Let’s dive in:

  1. First things first: you need to cut the plank into the correct size. 
  2. Determine how much wine you want it to hold, then cut accordingly. A suggested average size is 36” x 3.5” x 1”.
  3. Mark where each wine bottle will be held and where you will drill the holes. 
  4. Assuming you’re drilling at an angle of about 30 degrees for each bottle, it’s recommended that you leave about 4” of space between each hole. 
  5. After you drill the holes, use your sandpaper to smooth the rough edges and remove any pencil marks you’ve made. 
  6. Decide if you’d like to paint, stain, or shellac the wood before you do anything else. 
  7. To hang your shelf, just use L brackets. Don’t use small nails that you would normally rely on to hang light picture frames – this shelf is going to get quite heavy with several bottles of wine on it. 

Inspiration for this project comes from Camille Styles – visit her website for more detailed instructions and photos. 

4.Wooden Welcome Sign

What’s nice about this project is that you can really make it your own. From the sizing of the sign to the lettering and how you hang it, everything is up to you. This is just a guide to help you understand how to start and safely create a welcome sign for the front of your house. 

P.S. These make great custom wedding gifts for any couple you know that’s getting married! Just add the couple’s names and hang at the front of the venue for a personalized touch that will mean the world. 

Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project: 

  • A piece of pine that’s close to the right size you want
  • A wood strip (1×1”)
  • Miter saw
  • Drill and bits
  • Screws (1.25”)
  • Clamps 
  • Your choice of stain 
  • Your choice of paint 

Here’s the process:

  1. Start by measuring the exact size of your sign. Remember: the larger the sign gets, the more support you will need on the back to hang it safely. 
  2. Cut the piece of wood into four even pieces to create the desired size of the sign. 
  3. Assemble the pieces together – keep them straight or give them a staggered look if you like. 
  4. Clamp the four boards together and place two wood strips across the back. 
  5. Screw the boards into each other.
  6. Remove the clamp. 
  7. Use a clean rag or sponge (and gloves!) to apply the stain to the wood. Remember to wipe off excess stain and avoid dripping. 
  8. Let dry. 

Now it’s time for the fun part: the lettering! You can either use a stencil or freehand to create the welcome message you wish to adorn your brand-new sign. Just make sure that that stain is completely dry before you start your lettering, otherwise, you’ll run into bleeding paint. 

Inspiration for this project comes from Creative Ramblings – visit the website for more detailed instructions and photos.

5.Spinning Lazy Susan

Last but not least, let’s look at how you can make mealtimes even more enjoyable with a handcrafted lazy susan! Passing condiments and sharing sides is never easier than when you have a spinning disk in the middle of the table, and lazy susans add a fun element to any dinner. 

For less than $20 and in just a few days, you can create a lazy susan as a gift for your sister, a present for mom, or as the perfect addition to your own kitchen table.  

What you’ll need for this project: 

  • A prefabbed round piece of pine wood 
  • A rotating spice holder 
  • Stain or paint
  • Bonding glue 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start by staining your piece of pine just how you like it. Make sure you wear gloves to avoid getting stain all over your hands. Once you’re done, let the stain (or paint) dry overnight. 
  2. Once your stain or paint is dry, glue the spice holder to the bottom of the stained piece of wood and let this dry overnight. 
  3. Ta-duh! You’re already done with your simple lazy susan! Just add a centerpiece and your creation is complete. 

Inspiration for this project comes from Remodelaholic – visit her website for more detailed instructions and photos.

Want to make this project a little more involved? Take the woodworking up a notch by choosing a piece of wood that’s not already precut. That way, you can cut, shape, and stain the wood all on your own without taking the easy way out. 

In Conclusion

Did any of these woodworking projects catch your eye? 

Don’t be afraid to try one out! They might seem difficult at first, but they’re all great options for those of you that are just entering the field of woodworking. 

Everyone has to start somewhere, and these projects are perfect for beginners. Hand them out as gifts, use them to personalize your own house, or even sell them online! A homemade piece of wooden art is valuable in many senses, both sentimentally and monetarily. 

Author Bio: 

Riley Swanson is a lifestyle blogger, passionate about food, fashion, home improvement, and traveling. She is also an avid traveler and shares her traveling experiences in her blog Riley+Christian Travel.