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Woodworking Project Ideas for Seniors

senior man woodworking

Few things are as satisfying as crafting beautiful objects with your own hands. And even if it’s been a while since you used a lathe or drill press, these woodworking projects for seniors can be completed with a minimum of time and tools. Most can be completed in an hour with hand tools. And whether you keep them for yourself or give them away as handmade gifts, the simple act of making something functional and beautiful will get your creative juices flowing.

9 Easy Woodworking Projects for Crafty Seniors

Whether you want to build a birdhouse for the grandkids or a picture frame for the family gallery, you’ll find links that give you step-by-step instructions in our list of  favorite woodworking projects for seniors. So roll up your sleeves, sharpen your tools, and get inspired. You can do this.

1. Planter Box

This stylish planter box adds a rustic appeal to your patio, terrace, balcony or other outdoor setting. Choose a weather-resistant wood like cedar, redwood, white oak, ipe or mahogany. Glue and fasteners should also stand up to the weather. When neighbors see the fruit of your labor, don’t be surprised if they want one too. These planters are very popular. See project steps.

2. DIY Birdhouse

This project can be as simple or as detailed as you like — from a basic box with a sloping 45° roof to one modeled after your dream home. Just be sure to use weather-resistant materials, like cedar, redwood or exterior-grade plywood. You’ll provide shelter for nesting birds and enhance your garden’s appeal. See project steps.

3. 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.

4. 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 project. The design is simple: four vertical boards separated by 10 strategically placed dividers. The dividers are shorter than the verticals to allow air circulation so wet knives can dry. See project plans.

5. 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, you’re all set. The whole project costs around $20 and can be completed in an hour. See project plans.

6. No-Miter Picture Frame

A handmade picture frame adds a personal touch. And makes a wonderful gift. If you have a router, it’s easy to make multiple frames with this simple technique. One setup 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.

7. Magazine Storage Containers

If your collection of magazines could be better organized and stored, make your own wood storage bins. They’re easy to make, look great, and will keep your cherished issues in good shape for years to come. Once you have all the materials, it shouldn’t take you more than an hour. See project steps.

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.

9. Rustic Table Lamp

If you want to add a natural look to a room, this wood table lamp will bring the outdoors in. If you’re lucky, you may have access to a tree that’s fallen or driftwood you’ve found beachcombing. The trick is to leave it rustic and pair the wood with a lampshade that fits your aesthetic. See project steps.

Hone your woodworking skills in our workshop.

Whether they’re dusting off old skills or learning new ones, residents at Regency Oaks are able to hone their craft in our well-equipped workshop. It’s got everything you need to make working with wood a pleasure, including tips from resident experts. To learn more about how we keep our skills sharp, visit the independent living page. You’ll discover all kinds of opportunities to learn, share and grow.