List of Woodworking Project Ideas for Beginners That Sell 2021 [Updated]
Wood items are some of the best-selling handmade products sold on sites like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay. As a beginner woodworker, you may wonder whether it is possible for you to make some extra money selling simple items. We’re here to tell you that it is completely possible!
The following are 12 examples of easy woodworking projects that sell well in online marketplaces and in-person. They require basic tools that you likely already have in your home workshop and utilize affordable wood and scrap materials.
With a mix of large and small finished items for home and outdoor use, these projects are sure to attract interest from potential buyers and will give you a sense of satisfaction as you hone your skills as a beginner woodworker.
What Tools are Needed for Woodworking Projects?
To complete the following beginner woodworking projects, you will need new wood or scrap wood depending on the project. Most of the projects use plywood, walnut, pine, or maple.
The main tools you will need include:
- Miter saw
- Table saw
- Circular saw
- Rip cut
- Drill press or similar tool
- Wood glue
- Brad nailer
- Finishing products
Other tools and equipment may be necessary to complete a few of the projects listed and specifics are discussed below for each project.
Due to the beginner-friendly nature of these tutorials, any tools you do not have can be substituted for the basics you likely own already. Feel free to get creative and make use of what you already have in your workspace.
Beginner Woodworking Project Ideas That Sell
The following are a few beginner-friendly woodworking projects that can be sold online or in-person. Each of these projects can be modified to fit your skill level and design preferences.
1) Cutting Board for Beginners
Cutting boards are easy to make and even easier to sell! This cutting board features a simple design and lots of gluing, making it perfect for complete beginners.
Start by cutting some wood blanks down to size and clean up the ends of the boards. Then cut the boards again into smaller strips and run them through a planer and jointer to remove any irregularities in the shape of the strips.
Glue the pieces together and clamp. Be careful not to over-tighten the clamps, as this could lead to warping. Wipe away any excess glue from the surface of the cutting board and remove the clamps.
Send the cutting board through your planer one more time to make sure the surface is smooth. Clean up the ends of the cutting board at your table saw. If you have engraving tools, you can engrave a name or phrase into the cutting board as shown to personalize the piece, but this is totally optional.
Sand the cutting board and then spray down with water. Let the piece dry completely and sand again with up to a 220 grit sandpaper. Apply a mineral oil finish to complete the project.
2) Farmhouse Coffee Table
This beginner-friendly coffee table costs less than $40 to make and is a fast project for a rainy afternoon! Begin by cutting wood pieces down to size with a miter saw according to the video and the provided project plan. Build the ends of the coffee table first by using trim head screws and wood glue.
Use scrap 2×2 lumber to make decorative X patterns on the ends of the coffee table as shown in the video.
Once the basic frame of the coffee table is complete, cut down boards for the table top. Screw the top boards to the coffee table frame. Place boards in the bottom of the table frame as directed and screw into place.
Sand the entire piece and finish with a stain of your choice. Add decorative metal brackets to the corners of the table top if desired for a rustic farmhouse look.
3) Triangle Shelves
These triangle shelves are extremely popular pieces on social media, so they are sure to sell on online marketplaces like Etsy or Amazon. You can use any affordable wood you want for these shelves, such as pine.
Rip the wood down to size on a table saw. Cut the ends of each piece at a 30 degree angle using a miter saw or circular saw.
Assemble each triangle with wood glue or screws depending on how sturdy you want the shelves to be. If your shelves will be holding small decor items, wood glue will do the trick. Use tape as a clamp.
Next, cut 8 or 8 1/2 inch pieces for a small shelf that will be centered in the triangle. Attach this inner shelf with glue and screws for a secure join.
Sand down the triangles and wipe with a damp cloth. This step can also be completed before assembling all of the wood pieces into a triangle if that is easier for you.
Stain the triangle shelving as desired and prop the triangles on paint cones to dry.
Attach hanging hardware of your choice. To make the triangle shelves even more functional, attach hooks to the bottom to hang jewelry or other lightweight items.
4) Planters in Three Sizes
These modern wood planters are a perfect item for your online or in-person shop! This video tutorial gives you options for making small, medium, and large planters of different styles.
To make the smallest planter, begin by cutting walnut wood down on a table saw. Make joints for two pieces to fit together. This will be the base of the planter that the legs will attach to. Cut out four legs and taper them down using a tapering jig. Add a chamfer to each edge of the legs if desired.
Mark and place holes in each leg where they will be attached to the base. This can be done with a drill press, or the process shown in the video.
Insert dowels into the holes you created and use wood glue to help piece the project together. Check out the video for further details and to learn how to make the other planter designs.
For an outside-the-box project idea, consider making this kid-friendly longboard! Start by cleaning up some scrap wood on a table saw and rip to your final desired width.
Glue these strips together and clamp until dry. Use a planar to smooth out the surface.
Print out the template provided and tape onto the plank of wood. Cut out the shape of the longboard using a jigsaw. Sand down the edges with a bench table sander or any other sanding tool you have on hand.
Clean up the edges of the longboard at your router table and sand the surface again. Finish the longboard with an outdoor finish.
To make the longboard functional, roll grip tape out onto the longboard and smooth out any bubbles. Use a razor to cut around the grip tape to fit the shape of the longboard.
Attach longboard trucks by drilling holes through the grip tape and following the instructions in the video.
6) Scrap Wood Trivets
Beginners who have already accumulated a lot of scrap wood will appreciate this trivet made from scrap pieces and brass tubing. Trivets are a great small home decor item that you can sell in sets.
Begin by ripping into small strips on your table saw. Then sand down each piece. Use a router table to create a chamfer on each edge of the wood pieces for a more interested look.
Drill holes at the same spot into each piece using a jig and drill press. Cut brass tubing down to size at your band saw and sand the rough ends smooth.
Assemble the trivets as shown in the video using epoxy to secure each piece.
7) Step Stool
If you are looking to improve your hand working skills and want a challenge, this small step stool is a perfect project for you. It uses Japanese-style joinery methods that require close attention to detail and a lot of patience.
Cut your wood pieces down to size on a table saw as shown in the video. Then, create all the necessary joints for all pieces using the Japanese joinery methods. A chisel is required to carve out and clean up areas where the pieces will fit together.
Sand down the joints and edges of the pieces. Apply a polyurethane finish of your choice and assemble the step stool as shown in the video.
8) Outdoor Patio Table
A great project for the spring and summer is this funky outdoor patio table. It is a high circular table with three legs that is perfect for a patio, deck, or garden space.
Cut the wood pieces down to the desired size and drill holes along the edges of each board. Apply glue and dowels to attach the boards together. Cut and apply glue to narrower boards and clamp together. These pieces will make up the table top and bottom.
Cut out a circle from both pieces and cut out rounded legs as shown in the video. Saw notches in the smaller circular piece for the legs to rest in. Attach legs to the small circle at the notches.
Place the larger circle on top of the ends of the legs and screw in place. Sand the entire piece and finish with a product of your choice.
This modern nightstand is a perfect beginner furniture piece that is sure to sell! It requires only a few easy cuts and is a fast project that you can finish in a few hours.
Rip cut a plywood sheet to make it a more manageable size. Then transfer it to your miter saw for further cutting. You will want to follow along with the video for measurements.
Create risers for the nightstand at your table saw and sand and finish all of the pieces. Glue the pieces together and brad nail for extra security. Attach hairpin legs to the bottom of the nightstand, leaving a 1 1/2 inch clearance around the edge of the nightstand.
10) Floating Shelves
Shelves are a great home decor item that you can make with inexpensive wood and a few tools. Cut the sides of the shelving using a circular saw and mark where you want to place the shelves. Cut recesses for the shelves to rest in and use a chisel to clear out the recesses.
Cut five shelves down to size and connect the pieces with finishing screws. Pre-drill holes for the screws if needed. Cover the screws with putty that is the same color as the wood.
Sand down the entire piece and finish with your desired stain. Cut and paint a support piece for the shelf to hang from. This should be painted to match whatever wall you are hanging the shelves from so that the shelving appears to be floating on the wall.
11) Wood Wall Art
This wood wall art piece is so unique and eye catching! While you can use whatever geometric design you want, beginners can follow along with the video to get the hang of cutting and assembling so many parts.
Using lattice boards, cut each one to fit a large sheet of plywood using a miter saw. Lay the pieces in a chevron pattern as shown in the video.
Measure and mark cut lines for the main pattern and cut down as described. This project requires attention to detail to make the pattern symmetrical, but don’t worry if it isn’t perfect. Any imperfections will give it a more rustic and handmade quality.
Once all the pieces are cut, stain or paint the pieces in the colors of your choosing or as shown in the tutorial. Reassemble the pieces onto the plywood and glue down. Start with the center pieces and work outward, using a brad nailer for extra security.
Cut the excess wood along the edges of the plywood to make a rectangle shape.
Fill in drill spots with putty, sand, and touch up with matching paint.
Cut and stain four more lattice pieces to make a frame around the entire piece. Spray on a finish of your choosing.
12) Magazine Holder
This little magazine holder is a great multipurpose piece that is ideal for beginner woodworkers. Use it to store magazines in your living room, documents in your office, or even baby books in a nursery.
Begin by cutting boards in a miter saw for the sides and bottom of the magazine holder. Sand with an orbital sander.
Trace the circumference of the dowels along each side of the wood pieces. Drill holes where you marked the dowels with a spade bit and Forstner bit.
Sand the entire piece again. Then attach the sides to the bottom with glue and a brad nailer. Cut the dowels into 16 inch pieces. Insert the dowels into the holes you made earlier and trim off any excess wood from the ends of the magazine holder for a clean finish.
Leave the magazine holder as is or apply a finishing product if desired.