Got scrap wood? We recently explored How to Get Comfortable with Power Tools and now it’s time for the fun stuff: all the cool stuff you can make for the garden once you’ve become confident using saws, drills, and sanders.

A healthy respect for power tools is smart. But there’s no reason that should hold you back from creating the things you want to make.

Getting Comfortable with Power Tools

You’ve got this.

There are so many of you who have written to me over the years to say, I really want to make birdhouses and arbors and quirky garden art signs (and zillions of other things) but I am so afraid of using an electric saw!

And you know what? That’s very smart. Power tools can be dangerous and, when someone uses them thoughtlessly without proper safety precautions, it is risky business.

But that’s not how we roll here.

I mapped out How to Get Comfortable with Power Tools because often it’s just a matter of figuring out the root of your fear (injury? noise? incompetence?) and then taking the time to learn the proper use of the tools in a calm, no-pressure environment to feel confident and in control.

As I learned to use my big saw (sliding dual-bevel compound miter saw), I not only gained the skills and confidence to safely operate the saw and troubleshoot problems, but I also realized that most people you see using power tools are kind of reckless. And this is kind of nuts because it really doesn’t take much to get it right and keep one’s fingers attached to one’s hands!

If you are still leery about power tools, have a look at what I wrote. I know exactly what it’s like to have huge creative urges to make stuff and need a nudge to make it possible. If the only thing holding you back is an imagined fear of the tools, I guarantee you that, with the right approach, you can not only find the confidence to master them but you’ll also discover that it’s quite thrilling, and dare I say powerful to be able to use these tools like a boss—a safe, skilled, knowledgeable boss who can make so much cool stuff.

And think about it: if you can operate a sewing machine or drive a car, you can certainly master power tools. Seriously. It’s time.close

Tool Tip

While it’s nice to have a workshop with all the basic tools, often you can get by with just a few basics to start.

If you’re using new lumber for projects and don’t have a power saw, see if you can get all of the cuts done at the home improvement store where you buy it.

From there all you often need is a drill (for drilling holes and driving screws) and a palm sander.

If you fall in love with building from wood, you can save up for more tools like a good saw and (well, the list is kind of endless!).

Creative & Useful Wood Projects to Make for your Garden

Raised Garden Beds

Repurpose with a Purpose

Vertical Interest

Crafty & Whimsical

Contain Yourself

Creative and useful wood projects you can make for your garden including planters, trugs, arbors, raised beds, screen door, birdhouses, benches, tables, and more!

Homes for Beneficials

Easy Furniture

This should give you a good start! Once you get started and learn to use the tools properly, there are so many things to build.

~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛