When I was 10, my uncle and I made a wooden checkerboard. We measured and cut the wood, sanded it down, added a decorative edging, and painted on the squares. I felt so accomplished and couldn’t wait to show my creation to my parents. That and nailing scrap two-by-fours together in the garage are my only experiences in woodworking, though. Thankfully Raylene, who also works at Meridian, has had more experience. We sat down together and she shared what she loves about woodworking. Little did I know how many worlds of opportunity are opened up by learning basic woodworking skills. Keep in mind, she and her husband aren’t expert carpenters — they’ve created all of this from things they’ve learned in classes.
It’s no secret that homemade, quality gifts from people we love are extra special, especially if they are practical. Wooden gifts deliver both. My dad created a jewelry box for my mom that she still uses twenty years later because he designed it specifically how she wanted a jewelry box to be made. Raylene and her husband have made wooden cutting boards with special colors and patterns they chose for each person. You aren’t limited to giving away items either: Etsy shops are full of crafty projects that people are making a nice side income from selling. Here is a list of other gift ideas for your friends and loved ones — or yourself.
I don’t know about you, but furniture shopping is not my favorite thing to do. I always have an idea of what I’m looking for, but it never seems to exist in reality — or at least not within my budget’s reality. Making your own furniture is a good way to find the right piece for your space, and it becomes even more special that you carefully crafted it for your family. Raylene’s favorite project was the kitchen table she and her husband made together. She loves how it has become part of them as they share life around it. She’s also made an entertainment center and a bathroom vanity, and she knows others who built their own beds, nightstands or porch swings. Whether you start simple or go big, you can bring your vision of the perfect item for your space to life once you learn some woodworking techniques.
I’ve found that learning a new skill often carries over to other areas as well. Raylene said that she and her husband have been able to put their new woodworking expertise to use in renovating their 100-year-old home. From replacing doors to refinishing the hardwood floors, they’ve been able to apply the principles they’ve learned to care for and refresh the wood in their home. They’ve also been able to do this for others, like making a sliding barn door and shiplap wall for their friends. Woodworking is a life skill that will bring benefits beyond your new coffee table.
Have a project in mind or just want to try a new hobby? Come check out our woodworking classes. Once you learn about the tools and safety principles in Beginning Woodworking, you can move on to Advanced Woodworking where you get to work on your own project. You bring your materials and plan, and we’ll provide the tools and the guidance of our professional carpentry instructor. Click here to register or call 405.377.3333. To find out about more courses like this sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. View all of our upcoming courses in our digital catalog.
Abby McCain is a Communications and Marketing Specialist at Meridian Technology Center.