DIY Building & Installing

8 Things You Can Make with 2x4s

The first thing you need to know about 2x4s: They don’t actually measure two by four! These boards, which you can find in any lumberyard or home improvement store, in lengths from 6 to 12 feet, measure two inches thick and four inches wide in their raw state, but once milled, they come out at 1½ by 3½ inches. Now that we have that essential detail out of the way, though, the one truly important thing to know about 2x4s is that they are the simple, budget-friendly starting point for woodworking projects large and small. Read on for 8 brilliant do-it-yourself projects that begin with basic 2x4s.

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Classic Console


For a rustic yet classic addition to your home, look no further than the X motif that adds stability and style to this contemporary console table. The materials are easy enough to find in hardware stores: The sides, legs, and top are all made with 2×4 boards.

Related: DIY Plumbing Pipe Console Table

Bud Vase

Turned on its narrow side, a humble bit of board becomes a refreshingly unique holder for backyard blooms. This clever crafter drilled holes for test tubes, then stained the wood a dark brown to create a modern centerpiece in about 30 minutes—and all for less than 20 bucks.

Related: 10 Totally Unexpected Things to Remake as Planters

Coffee Table

Take a whole bunch of 2x4s and some hairpin legs, screw them all together, slap on some protective gloss, and you’ve got a super-stylish spot for coffee and cocktails (not to mention propped-up feet). Raw wood gives the table a hand-hewn vibe, but the boards could certainly be stained or painted for a more finished appearance.

Related: 16 Designs for a Low-Cost DIY Coffee Table

Bar Stools

With plenty of table-saw work, a trio of 8-foot-long 2x4s can be trimmed down and transformed into a pair of slender-legged bar stools. Strips of wood were glued together to make the seats, and a stain brings out the wood grain for extra visual impact.

Related: 10 Surprisingly Simple Woodworking Projects for Beginners

Candle Holder

Any woodworker knows that wood scraps are an inevitable byproduct of DIY. Here’s a genius idea: Turn those odds and ends into candleholders by cutting them into neat squares, using a spade bit to drill a votive-size hole, then staining them a chic dark brown.

Outdoor Sofa

A cushy outdoor sofa offers the perfect spot for guests to linger on the patio. With just 2x4s and some deck screws, you can build this model yourself in a few hours. Add some colorful cushions, and let the relaxation begin!

Related: Top 10 Classic DIY Projects for the Outdoors

Rolling Cart

For practicality, it’s hard to beat a wheeled cart. You can use one to catch keys and mail in an entry, hold towels in a bathroom, or serve as a party-friendly bar station. Six 2×4 boards, braces, screws, and some casters are the building blocks for this attractive mobile storage solution.

Floating Shelves

Inspired by similar versions found at IKEA, this homeowner whipped up a few book-display ledges in a flash after having the boards cut to size at her favorite big-box home improvement store. A coat of oil-based primer and three coats of white paint give the shelves a glossy, finished look.

Related: 10 Insanely Creative Shelves You Can DIY