Getting creative with wood

Getting creative with wood …

In June 2008 a campaign was started named the “wood for good” – this was the United Kingdoms largest ever wood promotional campaign – As part of the campaign an unique Do it yourself ” Cookbook” was written, this cook book was full of concepts on and designs on how to make stunning and very modern design furniture and accessories from wood for the workplace or the home.

Wood has always been one of the most popular choices of building materials used in the production of furniture for homes, this trend shows no signs of decreasing any time soon. The wood for good cookbook is aimed at people with basic DIY knowledge so as to easily understandable to the broadest spectrum of people, One of the main aims of the book is to teach people how to incorporate the true beauty of  timber into furniture designs that show of the natural beauty of wood finishes, this then turn a piece of furniture into a centre piece that will stand out in any home and be a natural topic of conversation for any quest to your home. The Wood cookbook was presented by the well known TV personality Michael Jewitt.

Michael has been involved in many home make over shows including eal Rooms, Change That, Changing Rooms, Children In Need, and Housecall. Some of the design concepts covered in the Wood for Good Cook book include woodens chairs, tables, a room dividers, wardrobes and surprisingly ( Ididnt believe it possible until I saw it with my own eyes) a wooden vase, Some of the project will be easy for any level of DIY competency, some will prove a little challenging and my require a few attempts, it all depends on your own level of ability.   If you are a master carpenter then you will have you should have no very few if any problems following Michaels design concepts.

The design concepts in the Wood Cookbook are written to be  straightforward and easy to follow with plenty of pictures and clear instruction on how to complete each stage, I found it to be like actually building my own Ikea furniture (Hopefully it wont need re fixing 18 months down the line) the sheer beauty of the finished design can help to transform any home all by using just timber. Michael recommends using Finnish Birch Plywood, alongside solid laminated pine boards and planed pine boards for the majority of the  projects these types of timber are easily available from any decent timber merchant, You can of course use any type of wood to fit wit existing design of your homes interior, however if you are unsure about the working nature of any timber it always advisable to ask at your local timber merchant as they will have a vast knowledge and understand of the workable nature of all timbers they stock.

If your bored of watching sports on TV and really want to impress your wife then lock yourself away in the garden shed and set about crafting something truly beautiful and unique. Imagine how stunned your wife will be when she ask can your repair the flat pack wardrobe and you reply no need I built us a brand new one. Working with wood has been something we humans have been doing since almost the beginning of evolution. Be adventurous and take on a project from the wood cookbook that will leave you with a piece of furniture that will last a lifetime!

Featured Projects in the Wood For Good Cookbook


Kitchen Makeovers

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms of any home, it also one of the most expensive room in the house to furnish, first off there are the appliances cooker , washing machine, microwave etc, but these are only secondary to the actual kitchen itself. Replacing the a entire kitchen can be not only very costly but also very tricky project. I had to apply cement to the wall of my kitchen after drilling more than thirty holes in my wall to try and hang just one kitchen cupboard. ( I gave up and called an expert, who took less than five minutes to put said cupboard up)

So before you go spending a fortune on replacement cupboards and worktops it would be a great idea to consider replacing the cupboard doors. First check the existing units to make sure they are both sturdy and stable still and remove and replace any that do not meet those requirements, remember if you are removing and replacing an existing cupboard unit then the holes are already drilled and it should be a very simple straight forward task to install a new unit.

New kitchen cupboard when made my yourself cost only a few £s each, producing your doors will also solve the problem that many people face when looking for replacement doors, of non standard door widths and heights. The number of low cost kitchen makeover that have been cancelled due to the price of replacement doors being very expensive because the sizes were non standard and so the prices advertised compared to the prices delivered from replacement kitchen door companies is very large.

The wood cook book cover kitchen Cupboard Doors on page three and are produced by using a basic sheet of 12mm laminated pine board, add a 6mm laminated pine board in 60mm wide strips that act to form a ‘frame’ around the edges.  Once the glue as set the finished doors can be either left natural or a coat of varnish, wax or paint can be applied.

Viola the transformation of any drab and dull looking kitchen is completed, depending on how many cupboard doors you have to produce this can all be done for less than a couple hundred pounds. Purchasing handles from a furniture or diy store will add the final finishing touches, I generally use Ikea for purchasing door handles.
Quick Tip: When working out the measurements it is much easier to use the existing doors or drawer fronts, cut to the exact same size, to the nearest millimetre to form the new doors.  Mark out the new hinge positions by using the existing locations from the old doors.

Quick Coffee Table

Perhaps one of the most common centre pieces of any home is a coffee table, this often acts as piece of furniture that the rest of the room is arranged around. The wood cookbook has an beautiful looking slated designed coffee table, that will fit in with almost any decorating style, the size and dimension of the table can be adjusted to suit the space that is available to you. The design would not look out of place in either a home or office environment and so you could even furnish your place of work with your own hand made furniture.

There aren’t as many section to this design as say the wardrobe design however the joints used can be tricky even for an experienced carpenter, you may want to pay someone to help with this part of the design although it would not be that expensive as you could do much of the preparation work. The main timbers used are lengths of pine and then the actual joints use both the mortise and tenon joints. Once completed the coffee table can be painted , varnished stained according to your own personal tastes, although we would suggest using a natural clear varnish to allow the beauty of the grain shine through.

And So To Bed …

If you ever been to a world famous furniture chain and seen the beds on sale you may have thought to yourself, ” I could make than and make it more sturdy” most mass produced flat pack furniture is made from compact timber fibres( its not usually a solid piece/s of timber)The cook book covers this type of thinking by giving you a fully detailed plan on how to produce a attractive eye catching low level bed that will be both a lot sturdier and also cost you a hell of a lot less.

The design featured is produced from planed pine, and has been stained with a rich dark brown stain, myself I would have used a much more neutral colour of stain which would have allowed the grain and detail of the timber to stand out much more clearly, that is all down to both your current decor and your own personal choice.Once again as you are producing this yourself you can adjust the sizes to suit but do make sure that there is mattress to fit the size of bed you are making. Do make sure to ask that the mattress is fit to use with rigid slatted base.(the majority of beds are)The recipe provides clear instructions on how to work out the materials needed to produce the bed based on your chosen mattress size.
Quick Tip: The design of the headboard is a very basic box design however the slated design used in the production of the coffee table could be used to create a much more attractive and unique design!

Check out the wood. for good website ( it offers a lot of information regarding wood care and information regarding treatment and which timbers to choose for your home, fact sheets are also available that cover topics such as  Wood Flooring, Timber Cladding, Doors and Windows.  If the Wood Cookbook lights your imagination then check out the website for everything there is to know about timber in and around the home.

The wood. for good. was a promotional campaign that was sponsored by a timber group we hope that you will only use timber that have been grown in line with certified sustainable forest program.