40 Outdoor Woodworking Projects for Beginners
You don’t have to be an expert woodworker or own specialty tools to take on one of these 40 outdoor woodworking projects for beginners. Every one of the simple projects included here features step-by-step plans and tips for success.
Cool Projects to Build: Easy Timber Bench
If you have some experience with power tools, you’ll have this timber bench built in just a few hours, though staining it may add a couple hours more. All materials are readily available at home centers.
Cool Projects to Build: Modern-Style Birdhouse
Make this minimalist birdhouse on a Saturday morning, and learn some tricks to matching tough angles in the process. Plus, there’s a video tutorial to take you through the project, step-by-step!
Cool Projects to Build: Raised Planter
This sturdy, easy-to-build planter is perfect for a vegetable garden or flower bed, and it can go anywhere around your home—in the backyard, on the patio or deck, on the front porch, you name it! Get the full, simple plans here.
Mixed-Medium Garden Trellis
Climbing plants like vines and roses lend a lot of charm to an ordinary garden, especially when they’re winding up a trellis as stunning as this one. And its character just grows richer as the wood turns gray and the copper develops a beautiful green patina. Click here to get the plans.
Things to Make with Wood: Garden Closet
If you don’t have room in your yard for a large, freestanding shed, you can still create plenty of space for garden tools with a shed attached to the back or side of the house. This garden closet project is easy to build, even for a beginner. If you’re an experienced builder, you can build this shed in a couple of weekends.
Patio Garden Pond and Planter
Things to Make with Wood: Cornhole Boards
This classic backyard game is easy and inexpensive to make yourself. And with legs that fold up, it’s easy to tote along for tailgating, camping and more. Plus, watch the video tutorial for a quick how-to!
Pedestal Picnic Table
Stripped-Down Window Planter
Stone-Top Patio Table
It takes a mere three hours from start to finish, and you only need basic tools and a miter saw to get the job done. Your choice of tile top will dictate the price. The table shown cost less than $30, but you’ve a wide variety to choose from for the top, including slate, granite, limestone, marble or decorative tile. Prices range from $5 to $20+.
Good skills with driving screws are required for this project, including using a counter-sink.
Cool Projects to Build: Classic Wooden Cart
If you enjoy gardening but not making multiple trips to collect tools, fertilizer, flats of plants, mulch, a garden hose and a weed bucket, you’ll love this simple cart. It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver, but it works like a heavyweight. It’s easy to build with these step-by-step plans.
Tiered Plant Stand
Add Interest with a Garden Arbor
Perfect Patio Chairs
And if you choose pine, this project will cost around $60, while cedar will increase the cost to $90.
Suitable for a beginner, this DIY outdoor furniture project only requires a little experience and basic tools. The instructions are detailed and include skills such as how to use a speed square to ensure that the legs are plumb.
Cool Projects to Build: Butterfly House
Butterflies like the protection of dark, sheltered areas—whether it’s for months at a time (during long, cold winters), or for just a few moments (when dodging hungry predators). Here’s a simple refuge you can build for them for under $20.
Things to Make with Wood: Island Deck
The simplicity of this ground level deck makes it fast to build. With a helper and all the materials ready to go first thing in the morning, you can have a completed ground level deck before sundown. Get the complete plans for this project here.
Create a Porch Trellis
Things to Build with Wood: Backyard Boardwalk
Paths built with concrete, stone or pavers are expensive and labor intensive. They require a lot of digging, hauling of tons of materials and the disposal of tons of soil. If you’re looking for an easier path, consider a wooden walkway, especially for wet or sloped sites.
Adirondack Chair and Love Seat
This chair and love seat set is made from pressure-treated pine, and you can paint or stain it afterwards to customize this DIY outdoor furniture even further. Also, you can vary the back design, choosing from curved, gable or round styling.You’ll need basic tools and it only costs around $20 to $100 to make these stunning outside wooden chairs!
The base is made from plywood and No. 2 cedar, with the top made from knot-free cedar or pressure-treated deck boards. And the cost varies depending on your materials. Follow the complete plans to learn how to build a table base like the one shown here.
Arbor With Built-In Benches and Planters
This arbor is built from pressure-treated wood, and you can customize it with your choice of paint or stain to finish it off. It’s a multi-day process, but can be done over one weekend if you decide not to stain it.
This DIY outdoor furniture project is simple to build, (although you will need to know how to drive toe screws perfectly), and will cost around $250 to make.
Cool Projects to Build: DIY Garden Cart
Wheelbarrows are great for hauling stuff around the yard—unless you’re working on a hill, or trying to negotiate steps and rough terrain, or moving a lot of bulky material like leaves and branch trimmings, you get the idea. This beefed up two-wheel garden cart is a must for your yard chores. Follow these simple plans to build it yourself.
This bench can be completed in a weekend, and costs between $100 and $500 to build, depending on your choice of wood.
Things to Make with Wood: Backyard Privacy Screen
We’ll show you a foolproof technique for laying out this privacy fence to ensure you get perfect post positioning. Get the full step-by-step plans for building this privacy screen in your backyard.
Simple Folding Chair
It costs $20 to $100 to make, depending on the wood you choose. The chair shown is made from cedar, but you could also use Cypress fir or pressure-treated wood.
You can build a chair like this in a day, easily.
Elegant Outdoor Table
Cool Projects to Build: Garden Arbor
This combination arbor and swing may look like a challenging, weeks-long project, but it’s not. If you can drive screws and handle a saw, you can build it in a weekend.
Polished Stone-Top Table
Although it looks tricky, this project is suitable for a beginner, but you’ll need to allow several days to complete each stage of the concrete process.
Patio Combo With Built-In End Table
Deceptively simple to build, this DIY furniture project is made from pressure-treated wood, so remember to lay your timber flat while it dries thoroughly, to avoid warping.
This project can be completed over a weekend and will cost between $100 and $500.
3-Season Planter Box
Things to Make with Wood: Campfire Bench
This simple, sturdy campfire bench is perfect for the backyard or cabin. Build it with your kids this weekend and park it next to your fire pit or under a shade tree.
Cedar Potting Bench
DIY Wooden Chair: Classic Adirondack Chair
Plop down in one of these solid wood chairs and you’ll appreciate the comfort of this traditional design. You don’t have to be an expert to build it either. All the parts of this solid, great-looking Adirondack chair can be cut with a circular saw and jigsaw, then assembled with a drill, a few clamps and glue.
Pond in a Box
- NO-DIGGING!: With this design, there’s practically none of the worst part of pond building—gut-busting digging. And that also means there’s no huge pile of dirt to get rid of.
- FAST: Talk about instant gratification! Build the walls and trellis in the morning and assemble the pond in the afternoon. Add the trim the next day and go buy goldfish!
- SAFER: Traditional in-ground ponds can be a drowning hazard for toddlers and pets. With this above-ground design, the risk is reduced.
Get the complete how-to instructions for this homemade pond here.
Garden Tool Storage Cubby
This planter is designed to make your patio or deck gardening much easier. Instead of filling it with dirt and planting each flower or plant individually, you simply set pre-potted plants right into the planter. Build one for your outdoor space with these plans.