Don’t know what to do with all of that scrap wood? Here are 71 clever ways to reuse leftover wood lying around your workshop!
I’m a member of a Facebook group for woodworkers, and recently someone posted asking for clever ways to use up their ever-growing pile of scrap wood and lumber cutoffs.
Scrap wood is often thrown away or simply left to pile up in the corner of your workshop or garage. But with a bit of creativity, those scraps can be turned into something useful!
In this article, we’ll explore 71 clever ways to reuse and repurpose scrap wood. From crafts like Christmas ornaments and piggy banks to small wood projects like paper towel holders and coat racks, there is sure to be a project that appeals to you. So grab your scraps and woodworking tools, and let’s get started!
71 Uses for Scrap Wood
Nearly 500 people responded to the Facebook request for suggestions about what to do with scrap wood, with ideas ranging from the practical to the whimsical.
I categorized them so you could easily find a project that fits your needs:
Here are 71 of the best ideas:
Around the Home
1. Beer Tasting Trays
A beer tasting tray or a beer flight is a great way to serve multiple beers while allowing guests to sample a variety. Make these for yourself, give as gifts, or sell them to a local brewery.
Here’s a beer flight holder designed by Build-Basic that you can make using only one board.
A bookend or book rack is an easy project and a handy way to organize your books. You could simply glue a few pieces of scrap wood together or get creative and add some details like carvings.
Related: How to Make a DIY Tabletop Book Rack
3. Coat Rack
Do you have to dig through a pile to find your coat? Make your entryway more functional with a coat rack. It’s the perfect project to organize coats, scarves, hats, and more.
Related: How to Build a DIY Wall-Mounted Coat Rack
4. Earring Organizer
If you’re looking for a way to organize your earrings and keep them tangle-free, an earring holder is a perfect solution.
Related: How to Make a Wood DIY Earring Holder
5. Furniture Knobs and Pulls
Give your furniture a unique look by making your own knobs and pulls. You could turn them using a lathe or carve them with a knife. Handmade pulls are a great way to add a personal touch to dressers, cabinets, and more.
6. Guitar Picks
Guitar picks are a great project for anyone who plays the guitar, and you can customize them to any shape or size that you like.
7. Jewelry Boxes
Get your jewelry organized with a handmade jewelry box. You can make a simple box out of scrap wood or get creative with hardwoods like this classy wooden jewelry box made of maple and walnut by Fix This Build That.
8. Key Chains
A key chain or keyring is a quick project that’s easy for beginners. Use a scroll saw to cut out a small piece of wood in any shape you like, and then add a key ring. These make great gifts for family and friends.
9. Key Holder
A key holder is a handy way to keep track of your keys, and it’s also a great gift idea. Make a simple version with scrap wood and hooks, or get creative and engrave a design into the wood.
Wood magnets are a fun project that you can make with wood scraps. Use a scroll saw to cut out a small piece of wood in just about any shape and glue a magnet to the back. You can leave them natural or paint them and add a design or message.
11. Phone Charger Stand
A phone charger stand is a handy way to keep your phone charged and within easy reach. You can make a simple version by gluing a few scraps together or get fancy and add a charging port.
Related: How to Make a DIY Tablet Holder
12. Piggy Banks
Piggy banks are a fun project that you can make with scrap wood. Simply cut out a hole in the top for coins, and then decorate the piggy bank however you like. These make wonderful gifts and are also a clever way to teach kids about saving money.
Related: How to Make a DIY Robot Emoji Piggy Bank
13. Shelf Brackets
Shelf brackets are a handy way to add extra storage to any room. I made these shelf brackets for a friend’s vacation rental using scrap wood, a scroll saw, and a few screws.
Related: How to Make DIY Wood Shelf Brackets
14. Wooden Coasters
Wood coasters are a classic project that can easily be made with scrap wood. You can make them as simple or as intricate as you like, and they make great gifts for friends and family.
Games and Toys
15. Building Blocks
Building blocks are a classic toy that kids love. You could make them in any shape you like, but whatever you do, be sure to make them big enough so younger children can’t swallow them.
Also, round over any sharp edges and don’t make them with pressure-treated wood. If you are going to paint them, be sure to use non-toxic paint.
16. Checkers Board Game
Checkers is a great game for the entire family to enjoy. Using painter’s tape, you could make a simple checkerboard template or glue-up squares of alternating light and dark woods to form a checkerboard pattern.
17. Chess Board Game
A chessboard is a perfect project for using up scrap wood. You could make a simple chess board using a template or inlay different woods to form the squares. Get really creative and turn your own chess pieces using a lathe or carve them with a knife.
Dominoes are a classic game that’s perfect for using up small pieces of scrap wood. Make a large version to play outdoors like these lawn dominoes by Jen Woodhouse or a smaller version to take on road trips.
19. Lincoln Logs
Lincoln logs are a classic toy that kids have played with for nearly 100 years. Be sure to make them big enough so younger children can’t swallow them.
Also, round over any sharp edges and don’t make them with pressure-treated wood. If you are going to paint them, be sure to use non-toxic paint.
20. Playing Card Holder
A playing card holder is an excellent way for kids and adults to organize their cards. It’s an easy project to make with a table saw. Simply tilt the angle of the blade, and make a few passes in the face of the scrap wood.
Related: Table Saw vs Miter Saw (Differences, Uses + Which to Choose)
21. Tic-Tac-Toe Game
Tic-tac-toe is a classic game that kids love, and it’s perfect for using up small pieces of scrap wood. You could make a simple version with a board and a painted grid or make a 3D version.
Candleholders add a touch of ambiance to any room. You could turn them on a lathe, carve them, or simply glue wood scraps together to create interesting shapes.
📝 NOTE: I recommend using a battery-operated candle instead of a real one for safety reasons.
23. Christmas Tree Ornaments
Christmas tree ornaments are a great way to decorate your tree, show off your woodworking skills, and make thoughtful gifts for friends and family.
You could turn the ornaments using a lathe, carve them using a knife, or cut them out using a scroll saw.
Related: How to Make DIY Mitten Christmas Ornaments
24. Photo Easel or Plate Stand
A photo easel or plate stand is a great way to display your photos or plates. You could make a simple version or get creative by adding hinges or using a scroll saw to cut curved details.
25. Picture Frames
Picture frames are a classic DIY project, and they’re perfect for using up small pieces of scrap wood. You can make them as simple or elaborate as you like, and they make thoughtful gifts for friends and family.
Related: How to Make a DIY Tilting Wood Picture Frame
26. Scrap Wood Lanterns
Wooden lanterns are a beautiful way to add light to any room, like a living room, front porch, or even a bathroom. You can also use them as centerpieces for events such as weddings and showers.
27. Shelf Sitters
Shelf sitters are a fun way to decorate your shelves. You could make them for your year-round decor or holidays such as Halloween or Christmas.
I made this Halloween cat decoration using scrap wood and a scroll saw.
Related: How to Make a DIY Halloween Cat Decoration
28. Small Display Shelf
Showcase your collectibles with a small display shelf. You could make a simple version with scrap wood and some simple hardware, or get creative and add some details like curved edges or an inlay.
Related: How to Make a DIY Display Cabinet
29. Wall Art
Wood artwork is a great way to add a personal touch to your home. You could make Intarsia or mosaics. Intarsia is a woodworking technique similar to an inlay but uses three-dimensional wood pieces to create a design, while mosaics are made by cutting small pieces of wood and fitting them together like a puzzle.
30. Banana Holder
A banana holder keeps your bananas fresh and your kitchen organized. It’s an easy project you can make with scrap wood and some simple hardware, or get creative and use a scroll saw to create some curved details.
31. Bottle Opener
A bottle opener is a handy tool to have in your kitchen or bar cart. I’ve seen simple ones made with a single piece of wood and more intricate ones that include a box to catch the caps like this bottle opener by Shanty 2 Chic.
32. Charcuterie Board
A charcuterie board is a great way to serve appetizers or snacks. You could make a simple version by just cutting a hardwood board like this one by the Family Handyman, or you could get creative and glue different wood species together to form a board.
Whatever style you choose, be sure to seal it with a food-safe finish such as mineral oil.
33. Drawer Dividers
Keep your drawers organized with dividers. Cut the wood to length, apply some glue and tack it together with some brad nails.
Related: Pin Nailer vs Brad Nailer: Differences & Which to Use
34. Knife Block
A knife block keeps your knives organized and within easy reach. I’ve seen easy versions made with a simple wooden box filled with bamboo skewers.
34. Knife Handles
You could use scrap wood to make new handles for your knives. This is a great way to personalize your knives and show off your woodworking skills.
35. Napkin Holder
Keep your napkins organized with a handmade wooden napkin holder. You can make them as simple or as creative as you like. I made these adorable camper napkin holders with a few small wood scraps, glue, and craft paint.
Related: How to Make a DIY Vintage Camper Napkin Holder
36. Napkin Rings
Dress up your dining table with napkin rings. You could make rectangular napkin rings by simply cutting a hole in a piece of wood, or you could glue different wood species together and turn it on a lathe.
37. Paper Towel Holder
A paper towel holder keeps your paper towels organized and within easy reach. You can make a simple countertop version with a small piece of wood and a dowel, or in the video tutorial below, I’ll show you how to make a wall-mounted paper towel holder with some scraps, a few screws, and a dowel.
Related: How to Make a DIY Wall-Mounted Paper Towel Holder
38. Salt and Pepper Shakers
A wooden salt and pepper shaker adds a decorative look to your kitchen counter or table. You could make a simple square version or glue small scraps together and turn it on a lathe.
39. Scrap Wood Cutting Board
A cutting board is a handy tool to have in the kitchen, and it’s a great way to use up scrap wood.
End grain cutting boards are beautiful. They’re made by gluing together pieces of wood so that the end grain is exposed on the surface, which makes for an attractive and durable cutting board.
40. Serving Tray
A serving tray is convenient for carrying food from the kitchen to the table or treating someone to breakfast in bed. Add some details like carving or inlay for a decorative touch.
41. Spice Rack
A spice rack is an excellent way to keep track of your spices and easily accessible. I made this tiered spice rack with a few wood scraps, and a scroll saw.
Related: How to Make a DIY Tiered Spice Rack
Trivets protect your table from hot dishes. You could make them with a crisscross pattern, similar to a tic-tac-toe board, or glue different wood species together like a cutting board.
43. Wine Cork Stopper
Keep your wine fresh and showcase your woodworking skills with a handmade wine cork stopper.
44. Wooden Utensils
Wooden utensils, such as spoons, salad tongs, or cake knives, add elegance when serving food.
Wooden pens are a great way to personalize your desk and make great gifts.
Nothing says “I’m a woodworker” like a wooden ring! Make a few for yourself or to give as gifts.
47. Segmented Bowl
A segmented bowl is made up of pieces of wood glued together, then turned on a lathe, and the result is a beautiful work of art. Use it for fruit, salad, or decoration.
48. Segmented Platter
Made in a similar way as a segmented bowl, a platter is a wonderful way to showcase food and a fantastic way to deliver a gift of homemade baked goods to someone special.
49. Bat House
Bats are helpful to the environment because they eat insects, and a bat house is an excellent method to attract bats to your yard.
50. Bird Feeder
Give the birds in your neighborhood a tasty snack with a bird feeder. It’s an easy afternoon project that goes together quickly. All you need is a few small scraps and some rope.
Related: How to Make a DIY Bird Feeder
A birdhouse is a classic woodworking project. Make one yourself, or get your kids or grandchildren to help.
Related: How to Make a DIY License Plate Birdhouse (19 Step-by-Step Photos)
52. Butterfly House
A butterfly house adds a touch of charm and whimsy to your flower garden. It’s an easy afternoon project you can make with a few wood scraps and a few common tools. Get the kids or grandchildren involved and make it a family project.
Related: How to Make a DIY Butterfly House
53. Carpenter Bee Trap
Carpenter bees can wreak havoc on your wood structures like your house, garage, or shed. Build a trap to catch them before they do any damage. It’s simple to make with a few small scraps and a mason jar or plastic bottle.
54. Garden Markers
Garden markers are an excellent way to keep track of your plants, whether you’re a seasoned grower or just starting out. You can make these out of scrap wood and some paints.
If you have a fireplace or woodstove, kindling is a necessity. Scrap wood makes great kindling, but you may not have any leftover with so many other great ideas on this list!
Foods smoked with hardwoods are delicious. You can use hardwoods such as hickory, mesquite, or apple to add flavor to your food.
57. Squirrel Picnic Table Feeder
A squirrel feeder in the shape of a picnic table is a fun project that kids and adults will love. Fill it with nuts and seeds and watch the squirrels come to eat.
58. Wind Spinner
A wind spinner, also called a helix or an Archimedes screw, is a unique way to add some movement to your garden. All you need is some pieces and a metal rod. The wood pieces are mounted on the rod and then offset, so it looks like a corkscrew.
Sell or Donate
If you have any scrap wood left over after completing all of these projects, you could donate it to a local school or vocational program.
Another option is to sell your scrap wood. Woodworkers buy small hardwood pieces for pen blanks, cutting boards, etc.
61. Bow Ties
A bow tie is a small piece of wood used to reinforce a joint or crack. It’s simple to make and a great use for small wood pieces.
62. Corner Blocks
Corner blocks reinforce the corners of cabinets and keep them square. It’s another great way to use wood from your scrap pile.
Related: How to Make DIY Cabinet Doors
63. French Cleat Wall Storage
A French cleat is a type of wall-mounted storage system. It’s great for organizing your workshop or garage. You can use small plywood scraps to make the cleats, holders for tools, or storage bins.
Related: How to Make a French Cleat
64. Joiner’s Mallet
A joiner’s mallet is a tool used to tap two pieces of wood together. It’s a great way to use hardwood scraps and a handy tool to have in your workshop.
65. Make Your Own Panels and Boards
You can make your own panels by gluing together small pieces of wood, squaring and flattening them with a joiner and planer, then using them for your projects.
Related: Jointer vs Planer (Differences & Which to Buy First)
You can also glue boards end to end using finger joints to create longer boards. This technique works well for projects that will be painted.
66. Paint Sticks
Paint sticks are a great way to use up thin strips of wood. I always have strips leftover from ripping wood to width on my table saw, and those strips are perfect for stirring paint or stain.
67. Pocket Hole Plugs
Pocket hole plugs fill the pocket holes made by a pocket hole jig. They’re easy to make with a few pieces of scrap wood and a drill.
Related: How to Make Pocket Hole Plugs
68. Practice Hand-Cut Joinery
If you’re interested in learning hand-cut joinery, scrap wood is the perfect material to practice with. You can use it to make dovetails, box joints, mortise and tenons, and more.
Afterwards, you can use the practice joints as artwork, paperweights, etc.
Related: How to Make Box Joints (3 Easy Ways)
69. Push Sticks and Push Blocks
Push sticks and push blocks are a necessity when using power tools. They help you keep your fingers away from the blade or bit and help to push the workpiece through the machine.
70. Scroll Saw Projects
The scroll saw is an excellent tool for cutting small pieces of wood. If you have a lot of small scraps, put them to good use with scroll saw projects like ornaments, puzzles, and more.
71. Workshop Jigs
Jigs are used to hold wood in place while you work on it. Depending on the project you’re working on, they can be simple or complex.
As you can see, there are many creative ways to reuse and repurpose old wood. So next time you have some scrap wood, don’t throw it away – get creative and put it to good use!
Thank you for stopping by. If you enjoyed this tutorial, would you please take a moment and pin it to Pinterest? I’d really appreciate it!