The author and crafter shares how easy (and not scary) DIY furniture can be
Easy woodworking projects may seem like a contradiction, but Ana White, author of "The Handbuilt Home: 34 Simple Stylish and Budget-Friendly Woodworking Projects for Every Room" and blogger of the self-titled Ana White site, sees little difference between a hand mixer and a drill. Ana says, "If you can make whipped cream or beat eggs, you can make furniture." To learn more about this slightly unfathomable claim or even more easy woodworking projects you can make almost right away, read on.
I’m a crafty person by nature. For years, I sewed and scrapbooked, and I still do all those things. When I started drawing woodworking plans, I had my husband cut the boards, and I would paint and finish them. After a while, my husband didn’t want to cut anymore, and since I was the one passionate about woodworking, I realized I'd have to learn how to build on my own and not rely on him. After I learned from him how to use the drill and saw, I realized how much easier building was than painting!
What draws you to woodworking and easy woodworking projects?
I’m creative person by nature, and I love to craft and make things. But making my own cards, I wasn't really saving a lot of money, maybe $5-$10, or with a curtain, maybe $50. Making my own furniture, I was saving thousands of dollars.
Most women are intimidated by woodworking. Why, and what advice might you have for them?
I think it’s just because with woodworking, the materials are different and the tools are different. They should think of a drill as the same as a hand mixer, just with a different fit. If they can make whipped cream or beat eggs, they can make furniture. Also, women should get comfortable with the tools. Like anything new, expect a learning curve. They can't buy a sewing machine and expect to make a double wedding quilt right away. They have to learn, and that takes time.
They'll want a drill to do things like hang a picture, hang curtains or to put toys together. Everybody should own a drill. They may want to invest in a saw later, but until then, the hardware store can cut the boards for them.
Common mistakes beginners make even with easy woodworking projects? Tips for overcoming these?
The biggest mistake is to give up. Many get frustrated because woodworking feels too hard and they don't just push through. Like any craft project, there is going to be some hurdles. Hopefully, things work out on the first project, but if they don’t, beginners should figure out what didn't work, finish the project and be proud of it. That will give them the confidence to keep working. There’s quite an amazing feeling when overcoming a hardship and finishing something.
Image credits (from top): All images from Ana White