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simple wooden ornament ideas

For as much as woodworking carries itself as the go-to hobby for burly, blistered handed men or nail striking females, there is an inherent level of art buried within this rugged pastime. In some cases, that shows up in the handmade production of actual art, all of which can induce an immense level of pride; regardless of whether the decorative project in question required the most careful precision or just the ability to follow less than basic instructions. If you fall into the latter of those two categories, then for this entry of the Woodshop Direct blog, we have  a couple of simple woodworking ornament ideas that you can definetly (attempt) to make yourself.


One of the easiest woodworking projects for impressing house guests, the game of kings can be great inspiration for a truly unique piece of varnished art. Rather than being 64 small squares of wood stuck together, most chessboard blueprints use eight strips of wood (four in each colour) with a border. Make sure you get the measurements right; any serious chess player will know if you haven't!


There's lots of designs for making easy coasters. Many online guides cater to those looking for a natural look by 'slicing' up circles of cedar wood, or you want something with a more pronounced manmade finish, this guide from Ehow rewards the extra effort with something that looks effortlessly professional.

Letter Racks

There's no better way to dote on a shabby chic home than by building a vintage style letter rack. Made just as much for its aesthetic beauty as it is for practical purposes, you can add all sorts of little extras like coat hooks or key holders, and overall it's a very good project to go for when you get hold of some high quality wood.

Wooden Flower Pots

We explained how to indulge the flowers in your garden by making a timber retaining wall in one of our previous blogs, but if you want to keep that handmade vibe for any collection of house plants, a nice wooden pot is always a good alternative to the drab orange of clay.


One of the go-to garden projects for first-time woodworkers, the humble birdhouse is the best way to encourage all sorts of fleeting, flighted wildlife to return to your home year after year. There's no shortage of different design ideas for a good wooden birdhouse, but we find nothing works quite as well as the classic, all round lumber variety.

Coffee Tables

The true badge of honour for every burgeoning woodworker, coffee tables come in a never-ending variety; some requiring expert precision, and others only the smallest of woodworking experience. The plan linked above is heavy, rustic and substantial, and despite it's approachable blueprints, it pars with anything on sale at the major furniture stores.

Pallet Furniture

If you've avoided buying some planed all round timber because you're already up to your ears in discarded wooden pallets (lucky you!), then fret not because you can't move on the internet for ways to upcycle those valuable bits of wood. Whether you're in the mood to make a bit of wall art, a lamp accent or even a new headboard, there's plenty of possible options for making the most of that not-so-scrappy wood.

Beer Mugs

The ultimate woodworking project for finding your inner level of red-bloodedness, it's possible to make an incomparable set of 'viking style' beer mugs with just the right bits of wood, a hatchet and a knife. The end result should ideally be lightweight, solidly built and full of hand-forged spirit.

Keepsake Boxes

A simple woodworking ornament idea that can be used not only to dote on a partner who loves everything sentimental, but also as a handmade wedding gift for a couple truly dear to you. We also recommend this project if you've gotten the hang of building, and want to explore different ways for making wood look distressed and giving it extra character.

Rustic Wooden Photo Frame

Speaking of sentimentality, we can't imagine a more thoughtful use of those woodoworking tools than a perfectly crafted picture frame. To get the best effect you may need some specialist tools, but for anyone looking to take their woodcrafting hobby to it's inevitable conclusion, this is a fantastic road stop along the way.

Post By Graham Ashton