Canadian Woodworking

Top 10 great woodworking projects for the outdoors

With warm weather just around the corner it’s time for woodworkers to turn their attention to making the most of summer with a new project or two. Start now and you’ll soon be outside enjoying a few of these projects on the patio.

1. Serving Tray – Everyone needs a tray to carry drinks and snacks outside. This small project might allow you to try a few new jointing techniques or use some figured wood.

2. Outdoor Dining Table – Whether it’s made of teak or spruce, a patio dining table will see a lot of action. Spruce 2×6s on top of a simple base will do the trick, though if you have no other outdoor projects on the go you might want to get fancy and use white oak, teak, cedar or ipe to make a centrepiece for family and friends to gather around.

3. House Number Plaque – A customized plaque to mount your house number on will surely turn heads. Go the extra mile and scroll a wood number. Search the internet for an interesting type­face, but make sure the number is still recognizable.

4. Birdhouse – This simple, fun project will attract birds of all species, and bring colours and songs over the seasons.

5. Flower Box – Whether they’re hanging below a window or sitting on your deck, flower boxes will bring life and colour to
any home.

6. Garbage / Recycling Centre – If the area around your garbage can and recycling bins leaves something to be desired, build a simple structure to hide them.

7. Mailbox – This is a fun little project that will allow you to add some interest to an otherwise simple entranceway or footpath.

8. Yard Game – Whether it’s for kids or adults, yard games are simple to make and keep your family and guests entertained. Cornhole, ring toss and wooden bowling pins are easy to make. If these sound too small, oversized Jenga, Connect-Four or Plinko will bring on the big laughs.

9. Plywood Bike Jump – I made a 16″ high by 42″ long bike jump out of plywood and spruce for my son a few years ago and it sure kept him busy. In fact, the neighbourhood kids all seemed to come out of the woodwork that summer. Helmets and grassy land­ings are mandatory.

10. Pergola – It’s a big project, but a per­gola will go a long way in defining a space in your yard for relaxing or entertaining. With a few pointers to get you started, this project is easier than you think.

Rob Brown - [email protected]

Rob is a studio furniture maker and the editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.

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