As any craftsman knows, there’s no better feeling than giving a gift to family or friends that you’ve created with your own hands. It sure beats ordering something online.
With the holiday season upon us, there’s no time like the present to put your skills to work. To get you started, here are simple woodworking projects that don’t require hours of your time or a fully-equipped wood shop. Of course, if you have access to a woodworking studio like the one at StoneRidge, all the better.
8 Gift Ideas That Are a Cut Above
These wood projects are as much fun to make as they are to give. And they’re sure to be treasured for many years to come.
1. Wine Box
How do you improve upon a fine vintage for that special someone? Present it in a box you made yourself. If you have access to a table saw and know what a dado stack is, you’re all set. The whole project costs around $20 and can be completed in an hour. See project plans.
2. End-Grain Coasters
Turn your wood scraps into something useful and beautiful. These end-grain coasters are fun to make because of the endless patterns you can create with different pieces of wood. Once you have your block glued together, you slice off your coasters like you’re slicing bread. See project steps.
3. DIY Birch Vase
If you can get your hands on a birch tree that’s fallen, you can transform a thick branch into a beautiful holiday vase. Cut the branch to the height you want, and then drill a wide hole in the center with a tri-fluted drill bit. Sand the top and use it for dry arrangements. Or drop a glass vase inside for fresh flowers that require water.
4. Wood Slice Ornament
These rustic tree ornaments are easy to make and can be personalized with your own holiday message. Use a fallen branch or pick up wood slices from your local craft shop or online. After slicing a branch into discs, screw in an eye hook, and thread with some jute twine for a hanger. Decorate with paint or metallic markers, or try this clever transfer technique.
5. Silhouette Ornaments
If you have a scroll saw, you can cut out a silhouette. And if you have a digital photo of the person in mind, you can make a template. A piece of ¼” plywood with good quality veneer will work, but solid wood would be fine too. Learn more about this project here.
6. Walnut Knife Block
Walnut is a popular choice for cabinetmakers and furniture builders because of its natural beauty. But you don’t have to be a skilled craftsman to make this knife block. The design is simple: four vertical boards separated by ten strategically placed dividers. The dividers are shorter than the verticals to allow air circulation so wet knives can dry. See project plans.
7. No-Miter Picture Frame
A handmade picture frame makes a wonderful gift. If you have a router, it’s easy to make multiple frames with this simple technique. One set up on the router table and you’re ready to cut the rabbet that receives the glass, picture and backer board, and cut the corner joint. Watch the how-to video.
8. Ring Box
Small boxes make big impressions, especially when there’s a surprise inside. This ring box could hold anything: candy, dried herbs, small shells — whatever you fancy. You can make a ring box from just about any type of wood, but it’s best to use three contrasting colors. Learn more about this easy-to-make, easy-to-love project here.
Hone Your Craft at StoneRidge
Woodworking is just one of many hobbies residents can indulge at StoneRidge. From brewing beer and winemaking to painting and gardening, opportunities for learning new crafts and sharpening old skills are easy to find. Whatever your interests, we can help you explore them at StoneRidge. Take a look at the variety of activities StoneRidge residents engage in.