You can do nearly anything with wood. These ideas will get you on your way, inspiring you to try more and more difficult projects
Wood is the amazing material. It’s versatile and easy to work with. What’s more, today’s tools are easy to use and effective. You can find great hand tools that are small and powerful.
1. This one is easy and you can get the kids involved. Take wooden spoons and dip the ends of the handles into a color that is vibrant and letting it dry. The painted wood handle gives your spoons a facelift. Keep the line straight with tape across the handle or go straight to bottom of the can. When you take the spoon out, hold it upright, jiggle it a little and flip the spoon around to let it dry at an angle. Use a few different colors to make them pop in your utensil holder.
2. Organize your jewelry. Take a piece of 1 x 4 wood or driftwood if you want a more antiquated pr rustic look. Find tree twigs in shape of Y, maybe 6 in long by ¾ inch in diameter. Leave them natural or paint them as you like. Drill holes, ½ inch in that piece of wood as it’s laying on the counter and space them evenly along your wood base. Put your twigs in and secure them with woodworkers glue. Hang it on the wall for jewelry organizing or display.
3. Take the next step with found wood. Find irregularly shaped kindling and branches around your property of different diameters. Take straightest pieces you can find and cut all of them to the same length of about 2 feet. Then lay a first course of these out on a mat or a table. Glue each piece together to make a foundation measuring 2 feet by 2 feet. When that layer dries in a few hours or the next day, make another one the same size. Build and glue the layers until it’s an end table. It’s a tree branch table that looks like the Hobbit went midcentury. Cut all to the exact length of 2 feet. When gluing, come in about an inch on all sides so you don’t see glue on the edges. It will take you several days or a few weeks, but by the time you’re done, you have an end table cube of twigs. If you want a flat top, have a piece of glass cut, with little rubber feet on the bottom of the glass
4. Make a rustic end table out of a log. Find a log or stump about two feet high, with a diameter of about one and a half feet if possible. Flip it over and drill three holes in the bottom. Purchase dowels made of metal or stainless steel. Drill the holes with a bit that’s slightly larger than the dowels’ diameter of legs. Pound the legs in with a hammer. If you want a finished sheen, apply Briwax or tree wax with steel wool, along the grain, rubbing up and down.
5. Find a block of irregularly shaped wood or make it geometric by squaring it off. It can even be an old beam that you find in framing construction. About 12 inches by 12 inches works well. Find artistic pencils and pens and match their diameter with a drill bit. Drill several holes straight down. It becomes a desk organizer for pencils and pens. It looks like a butcher block for knives, but is great for a dad’s desk.
6. Another jewelry hanging device idea is to use driftwood, but to add cabinet knobs for some hardware bling. Hang chains or scarves on it. You can add the screws by drilling holes, then screwing them into the wood just like you wood on a drawer.
7. Make wooden garden bed stakes to identify plants. Gather natural twigs and whittle a piece of the bark off about two inches down from the top so that you’re exposing the bare wood underneath. Write your parsley, sage, rosemary or thyme in colored sharpie on the bare wood.
8. How about a headboard from reclaimed wood or old, discarded barn wood? You can easily affix slats, usually about four or six inches wide, to your wall in strips. Screw them into the wall as you go. Or just nail them into the wall in layers with a little wood adhesive. Then slightly sand the wood to prevent splinters. Add a nice touch by giving each a light wash. Add three different primary color washes to that ashy old wood to make a whimsical headboard for kids, or use a combination of gold, copper and silver for a more refined look. Put paint in a bucket and add water for a water color consistency. When it’s nice and thin, use a rag to rub it on with the grain. If you have a pile of wood, split that into thirds. Prestain or prepaint the wood so you don’t have to paint it after it’s on the wall. Alternate colors or rows as you go and stagger colors. Make the headboard as tall as you like.
9. Make a clock from reclaimed wood. They sell those clock mechanisms at craft stores. Drill a hole in the back. Add a clean polyurethane finish on the front to give it a slight gloss.
This post is adapted from the May 24, 2014 episode of Home Wizards that was released on iTunes May 27, 2014.