10 Backyard Wood Projects for Total Beginners

It’s amazingly gratifying to roll up your sleeves and build a piece of wooden furniture. Not only does doing it yourself save you money, it forges an emotional attachment to the piece—you’ll want to hold on to it for years to come. To allow even wary woodworkers-to-be to enjoy this connection to their creations, we've scouted out 10 simple projects that can ease any beginner into the rewards of woodcraft.

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Shut the Front Door


We don’t call this “DIY Lite” for nothing: The steps to create our wood slat doormat are super basic. You can make most of the cuts in the hardware store while picking up materials! Then you just bring your wood home, drill holes, varnish, and knot the slats together for a curb appeal booster that will make your guests smile.

Related: Before and After—DIY Facelifts for 8 Home Exteriors

Sitting Pretty


Save some serious cash by creating your own backyard bench using these rough guidelines from A Beautiful Mess. You can even customize the measurements and the shape to fit your own yard. Simple tools like a circular saw, drill, and sander will get the job done.

Related:  12 Ways to Wake Up Your Tired Outdoor Furniture

Keep a Ring Off It


You won’t even feel bad about nagging friends to use coasters for their frosty summer beverages with this awesome stackable set. All you need is a piece of oak and a dowel to craft entertaining accessories that look better than store-bought.

Related:  11 Easy DIY Projects to Declutter Your Home

Grow Up


If you don’t have room for a traditional garden, don’t be afraid to go vertical. Your garden will take up way less space, but you’ll still get the delicious end result: veggies! ManMade’s simple step-by-step transforms cedar boards and hardware cloth into the perfect solution for small-space planting this summer.

Related:  How to Grow Edible Plants Indoors—Starting from Seeds!

Full Swing


There’s no finer way to enjoy cool summer evenings than sitting on a full-size wooden swing. Now, thanks to Ana White’s directions, you can relax on a swing of your own craftsmanship! The extra-large, deep seat relies primarily on 2x4s and standard screw joints, and can accommodate nearly the whole family—with room for some comfortable cushions.

Related:  10 Playful Examples of Swinging and Swaying Furniture

Room to Grow


Create a convenient outdoor potting bench that can also double as a drink table during backyard barbecues. Helpful directions and a not-too-taxing list of materials and tools make this collapsible bench a simple project that offers a big payoff in storage, efficiency, and easy entertaining. 

Related:  Double-Duty Furniture – 9 Affordable Favorites That Save Space

On the Bench


Nothing opens up your outdoor space like a designated sitting area. HomeMade Modern’s industrial-chic bench uses concrete mix and lengths of wood in several different sizes to do just that, and the site’s easy instructions mitigate any intimidation you might have about working with new materials. Once the concrete cures, you’ll be ready to unwind at your scenic outdoor seat.

Related:  10 Reasons to Go Crazy for Concrete

Pattern Play


While outdoor furniture can be pricey to replace, sometimes replacement isn’t your only option. Before you buy—or even DIY—a full new set, consider detailing what you already own, as in this project from Design Love Fest. Here, a plain bistro table gets new life thanks to a pretty pattern applied using flat black spray paint and some painter’s tape.

Related:  8 Unique Ways to Build Your Own Table

Scrapwood Stunner


Repurpose your leftover supplies to banish boring planters from your garden! Even if you’re not a regular DIYer, scrap wood has a tendency to stack up, so just pull from the pile to craft this one-of-a-kind planter. Cut the lengths to fit an old bucket, use a nail gun to secure the boards, and you’re done.  

Related:  16 Ways to Use Salvaged Wood in Your Home

Spice of Life


Jazz up home-cooked meals with herbs fresh from the garden—your handcrafted windowsill herb garden, to be exact. With a few wooden planks, plastic recyclables, and our handy tutorial, you can build an austere structure that will stand tall in your window, taking up hardly any space at all.

Related:  10 Extras to DIY for Your Kitchen

Woodwork for the Outside


An easy little wood project can help connect you with your backyard and improve the look of the make the space.