I get a lot of questions about what to do with scrap wood. Most of it is really nice wood, and I hate to have it go to waste.
So I created this list. It is packed with ideas that combine simplicity with creativity. From functional items like cutting boards and plant stands to decorative pieces such as candle holders and wall art, each project is designed to be approachable for beginners, requiring minimal tools and basic techniques.
Not only will these projects help you hone your skills, but they’ll also add a touch of handmade charm to your home. So, grab your scrap wood, roll up your sleeves, and let’s dive into these enjoyable and rewarding woodworking projects!
Create simple yet elegant coasters to protect your surfaces, perfect for any beverage. Easy for beginners due to their simple shape and minimal cutting required. Great for practicing basic sanding and finishing techniques.
2) Cutting Boards
Ideal for new woodworkers as it involves straightforward cutting and offers a chance to learn about wood grain and proper sealing for food safety.
3) Candle Holders
A beginner-friendly project that allows for creativity in design while teaching basic drilling and shaping skills.
4) Plant Stand
Simple construction with basic joinery, perfect for understanding weight distribution and stability in woodworking.
Teaches fundamental skills like measuring, cutting straight lines, and basic wall mounting, making it great for novices.
6) Picture Frames
Excellent for learning about angles and miters, with simple construction that enhances skills in precision cutting and assembly.
7) Bird Feeder
Involves basic construction and offers a chance to work with different materials, like wood and plastic or glass for the feeder sections.
8) Wine Rack/Holder
A straightforward project that introduces beginners to concepts of spacing and size adjustments, with minimal complex cuts.
9) Wooden Lanterns
Good for practicing repetitive cuts and basic assembly, with room for artistic expression in design.
10) Wall Art
Allows for creativity and experimentation with different woodworking techniques, suitable for beginners due to its forgiving nature in terms of precision.
11) Step Stool
Teaches the basics of making sturdy, functional items with load-bearing capacity, involving simple joinery and reinforcement techniques.
12) Key Holder
A small project that’s great for learning about drilling holes and adding small hardware like hooks, with minimal material requirements.
13) Serving Tray
Offers experience in making flat surfaces and handles, along with finishing techniques to make the tray food-safe.
Simple yet practical, teaching beginners about weight distribution and decorative finishing.
15) Magnetic Bottle Opener
Combines woodwork with simple magnet installation, offering a chance to learn about embedding non-wood items into projects.
16) Pencil Holder
Involves basic drilling and hollowing out techniques, perfect for practicing consistent spacing and depth control.
17) Phone Stand
A small project that introduces angled cuts and stability considerations, with a focus on precision for functionality.
Teaches frame construction and offers experience in working with surfaces that will be written on and erased frequently.
19) Jewelry Holder/Organizer
Good for learning about small-scale precision work and adding aesthetic elements like knobs or hooks.
20) Christmas Tree Ornaments
Allows for creativity in design and is forgiving of minor errors, making it ideal for beginners to experiment with shapes and finishes.
21) Herb Garden
Introduces concepts of container construction and waterproofing, with a focus on practical functionality.
22) Bottle Opener
A quick project that teaches about installing hardware and can be customized with various designs and finishes.
23) Coat Rack
Involves basic layout planning and evenly spaced hook installation, great for learning about functional design.
Teaches foundational skills in making sturdy furniture, with emphasis on proper joining and reinforcement techniques.
A classic beginner project that covers basic construction, drilling, and offers room for creative design.
26) Pot and Pan Organizer
Involves planning for different sizes and weights, teaching beginners about functional design and efficient space usage.
27) Laptop Stand/Riser
Good for learning about ergonomic design and stability, with a focus on precision in dimensions for functionality.
28) Planter Box
Teaches about outdoor finishing and durability, with straightforward construction techniques.
29) Wooden Toys/Blocks
Allows for creativity in shape and color, with a focus on safety and smooth finishing, suitable for beginners.
30) Napkin Holder
A simple project that introduces concepts of design for everyday use, with minimal but precise cuts required.
31) Picture Ledge
Teaches about secure wall mounting and load distribution, with a focus on aesthetic finishing.
32) Garden Markers
A fun, creative project that’s great for practicing carving or painting on wood, with minimal precision required.
33) Drawer Dividers
Involves measuring and cutting to specific dimensions, great for learning about fitting pieces within an existing space.
34) Wooden Signs
Offers a chance to practice lettering and decorative carving or painting, with a focus on aesthetic appeal.
35) Wooden Boxes/Crates
Teaches basic box construction and joinery, with a focus on strength and functionality.
36) Desk Organizer
Involves planning for compartments and organizing spaces, great for learning about functional design.
37) Spice Rack
Introduces concepts of storage and organization, with a focus on accessibility and space efficiency.
38) Wall Hooks
A simple project that teaches about secure installation and load-bearing capacity, suitable for beginners.
39) Candle Lanterns
Combines woodworking with glass or metal elements, offering a chance to learn about incorporating different materials.
40) Wooden Utensils
Great for practicing carving and shaping, with a focus on ergonomic design and food safety.
41) Key Chains
A quick, easy project that’s great for learning about small-scale precision and adding decorative elements.
42) Mail Organizer
Teaches about compartmentalization and efficient use of space, with a focus on everyday functionality.
43) Dog Bed
Involves making a comfortable, durable item, teaching about material choice and pet-friendly design.
44) Bat House
A unique project that introduces concepts of wildlife-friendly design and outdoor durability.
45) Wooden TV Tray
Teaches about making flat surfaces with raised edges, with a focus on smooth finishing for handling.
46) Wooden Stool
A practical project that teaches about making sturdy, load-bearing furniture with a focus on stability.
47) Wooden Bowl
Great for learning about hollowing techniques and curved shaping, with a focus on smooth interior finishing.
48) Wooden Clock
Combines woodworking with mechanical installation, great for learning about precision and functional design.
49) Garden Bench
Teaches about outdoor furniture construction, with a focus on durability and comfort.
50) Wooden Games (like Tic-Tac-Toe or Ring Toss)
Allows for creativity in game design, with a focus on functionality and user-friendly features.
51) Wooden Ladder (for blankets or decor)
A stylish project that teaches about making strong, angled joints and stability considerations.
52) Wooden Toolbox or Tote
Involves making a functional item with compartments, great for learning about organizing and carrying capacity.
53) Garden Planter
Teaches about outdoor construction and plant-friendly design, with a focus on drainage and durability.
54) ooden Letters/Word Art
Great for practicing precision cutting and creative design, with a focus on aesthetic appeal.
55) Wooden Stars (decorative)
A simple project that introduces concepts of symmetry and decorative finishing.
56) Wooden Candlestick
Teaches about making stable bases and holders, with a focus on elegant, smooth finishing.
57) Wooden Tablet Stand
Involves making a functional stand with precise angles for viewing, great for learning about ergonomic design.
BONUS 58) Curtain Tie Backs
Challenging to make, learn how to bend wood!