Woodworking is my FAVORITE hobby – it is so so rewarding!

But, in the beginning it can be pretty overwhelming.

So I’m working my way through some basic woodworking skills posts to help you get the ball rolling and feel confident tackling your very first project – start to finish!

In this series I’ll dive deep into beginner woodworking topics to help you gain the confidence to tackle your first (and second and third) woodworking project! I’m covering the questions that I had when I first started woodworking. 

If you’re just starting out and have questions – leave them in comments! I’d love to write a post just for you!

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woodworking basics a series of in depth posts for beginners

Woodworking Basics Series

Each image below will take you to an article in the Woodworking Basics Series. If there is a topic you would like to see covered, leave it in the comments below. 

If you’re looking for beginner woodworking projects, you can find all of my woodworking projects and free building plans here.

Woodworking safety gear

Woodworking can be dangerous if you don’t have the right gear to stay safe. Check out my safety tips and make sure your shop is stocked with the gear to help you work safely. 

Woodworking safety gear + tips

woodworking tools

If you’re just getting started with woodworking it can be hard to know which tools to buy and which ones to skip. Don’t be overwhelmed by the multitude of options! Check out my list and start with the essentials. 

I’m covering the 12 woodworking tools that you need to get your woodworking hobby started. I share budget friendly alternatives and advice for when to spend the big bucks.

It’s everything I wish I knew in the beginning!

Woodworking Tools Every Beginner Needs

Shop for Lumber


I know that it can be intimidating to shop for lumber for your first woodworking project. I was pretty overwhelmed my first time lumber shopping, but I’ve learned some tricks along the way to make it so much easier!

Learn how to spot common board flaws, choose your type of lumber and get a free common board dimensions printable! (Did you know that a 2×4 doesn’t measure 2″x4″?)

How to Shop for Lumber for Woodworking Projects

Wood Stain 101

So you’ve finished building your woodworking project, but you’re not quite done yet! I love the look of wood grain and choose wood stain over paint for most of my projects. 

Learn all my tips for choosing and applying stain to get a perfect finish for your masterpieces!

Get the Perfect Finish with Wood Stain

Best Woodworking Blogs for Beginners

Want to know where to go for the best free woodworking plans? Are you looking for video tutorials? Do you need some super basic projects to get you started?

Girl, I’ve got you covered. 

I’ve been scouring the internet for years to learn the ins and outs of woodworking. You’ll find lots of great information on Mama Needs a Project, but I would never claim to have all the answers. (And if anyone does, don’t believe them!)

Check out my favorite informative and creative woodworking blogs.

Everyone starts out as a beginner

^ You probably read that header and thought, “duh.” ^

But, it’s easy to look at people who have been building for a while and think that they are just naturally amazing at woodworking. And, while they probably are totally amazing at it, there was a time when they had no idea what they were doing. 

Everyone starts out as a beginner, but a big dose of curiosity and a willingness to try puts you on the path to learn how to build really amazing things. Start with small projects and work your way up to the complicated stuff. 

Girl, just jump in! Seriously. Keep trucking along and you’ll be building masterpieces in no time.

How I got started with woodworking

I started woodworking about 6 years ago mostly because I was bored. I needed a hobby and woodworking seemed both challenging and useful. 

I was living in the middle of no where at the remote Marine Corps base in 29 Palms, California. (It’s not the tropical oasis you’re picturing. Trust me.)

BUT at the time (and maybe still today) there was a great Wood Hobby Shop on base that offered an introduction to woodworking, knowledgeable staff and access to all the tools you would ever need. It was an amazing resource!

Emilee Anderson from Mama Needs a Project learning woodworking skills at the wood hobby shop on Marine Corps base in 29 Palms in 2012


circa 2012 (ish)

My very first project was a bookshelf built with my husband. And then we built a bench. And then shelving. And then we built Christmas gifts for everyone in our families. We were hooked! 

After moving away from that base and to our current location in North Carolina we started putting together our own garage wood shop. It was at that point that I really started getting into building furniture on my own. I start experimenting with my own building plans and have spent countless hours dreaming up new projects.

I’ve built dining room tables, toy storage shelves, wood quilts and so much more!

I cannot believe how much joy this hobby has brought me, and I’m so grateful for the boredom that lead me to wander into that Wood Hobby Shop.

If I could give any advice at all to someone who feels curious about woodworking, it would be to just get started! Just jump in! You can totally do this.

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woodworking basics a series of in depth posts for beginners

I want to hear from you!

Do you have any beginner woodworking questions? Leave them below!