Woodworking Projects for Teens

By Kim Blakesley
A simple birdhouse pattern is a suitable starter project for your teen.
A simple birdhouse pattern is a suitable starter project for your teen.

Teaching your teen how to do woodworking requires time and patience. Simple woodworking projects will help your teen become comfortable with the tools and techniques of the trade. Those processes you feel are simple will not come as easily to your teen. Model each technique or process for your teen prior to turning him loose on his own project.

Equipment Lesson

Prior to beginning the first woodworking project, show your teen how to use the required woodworking equipment correctly. Equipment examples include a drill, skill saw, table saw, miter saw and palm sander. Emphasize the fact that your daughter should wear safety glasses at all times when using power equipment. Use a scrap piece of lumber to show how to use each piece of equipment. Allow your daughter to use the equipment under your supervision until you feel she is comfortable using the particular power tool.


Select a simple birdhouse pattern with four walls, a floor and a roof. A simple pattern is one with two square sides and two sides with a 45-degree pitch for the roof. Make a birdhouse from a 48-inch length of 1-inch thick by 6-inch wide piece of pine. Cut four pieces 5 inches long, one piece 6 1/2 inches long, and two pieces 8 inches long with a table saw. Cut each piece the width of the board. Make a 45-degree triangle at the top of the two 8-inch long pieces. Make a square from two, 5-inch pieces and the two with the pointed tops. Nail or screw the pieces together. Place the completed sides on top of the 6 1/2-inch base and secure. Secure the top. Drill a 1-inch hole in the front of the birdhouse. Sand and finish with either stain or paint.

Bamboo Wind Chime

To make a bamboo wind chime, cut an 8-inch circle from a piece of plywood with a jig saw or scroll saw. Drill 1/4-inch holes every 2 inches around the outside of the circle. Position the holes in from the outside edge 1 inch. Drill a hole in the center of the circle. Cut a 3-inch circle and drill a hole in the center of the circle. Cut one length of 1 1/2- or 2-inch bamboo to the following lengths: 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 inches. Cut one end of the bamboo lengths at a 45-degree angle. Drill a 1/4-inch hole through the bamboo on the opposite end. Position the hole 1-inch from the cut edge. Connect the bamboo lengths to the outside of the 8-inch circle with 50-pound fishing line. Position the lengths so they hang 4 inches beneath the circle. Secure the 3-inch circle to the center of the wind chime. Position it 8 inches from the 8-inch circle.

Paper Towel Holder

Make a paper towel holder from a 1-by 8-inch piece of pine 8 inches long. Draw a 6-inch circle on the wood. Cut out the circle with a jig saw or scroll saw. Position a 12-inch length of 1-inch dowel in the center of the circle. Secure the dowel to the circle with a 2 1/2-inch wood screw. Sand and stain to finish.

About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."