2020 in review + reader favorites

Take a look at the top posts of 2020! These are easy beginner-friendly woodworking and home improvement projects including lots of resources to inspire you!

collage of easy DIY woodworking projects with text overlay.


We can all agree that 2020 has been a bit “hard” to say the least. I am grateful to every one of you to have given me the opportunity to be a part of your DIY life. For many of us, this is an escape – a way to decompress in this new normal. And I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed bringing them to you.

I would love it if you take 5 minutes to fill out a quick survey to help me help you get the most out of 2021!
(PS -There is a giveaway in there;) )

2020 milestones

In spite of this being a difficult year in many ways, I am very happy with how this year turned out for this blog/content channel and achieved many important milestones. The 2 most important ones being –

Milestone #1 : 5 years!

This January marks 5 years since I started sharing my projects and ideas with the world. I have learned and grown so much in these years and couldn’t ask for more!

Milestone #2: Courses

My goal in starting this blog was to inspire and teach others to pick up and start using the tools and make projects. In that spirit, I have wanted to launch actual courses or classes so I can teach you beyond what I can include in this website or my YouTube channel.

I tested small group online classes which were a great hit and subsequently launched the first full course “Kreg Jig for Beginners” in August!

Other memorable moments –

A few other things that I am thankful for in 2020 are –

Looking into 2021

Going into 2021, my goal is going to be to focus on more instructional articles (how-to’s) and a mix of easy and advanced woodworking and home improvement projects. I will be diving into more videos to expand my YouTube channel. I have a few very exciting partnerships lined up and I can’t wait to show you!

Plus, I will be diving into creating exclusive courses to help you learn the basics and techniques of tools, woodworking, and home improvements.

That said, my goal has always been to keep everything approachable and easy for anyone with any skill level and that will never change!

Reader favorites of 2020

Let’s now dive into the projects and articles from 2020 that you guys loved and made it to the top 10 list with a few candid behind the scenes notes from me!

10. DIY Bench with Shoe Storage

DIY upholstered bench with colorful fabric in room

This is a super easy bench that can be used in any place in the home. I was planning on an upholstered top and was looking for colorful fabric. I couldn’t get this rug out of my head… so, the rug it was! Get all the details on the bench and the plans here.

9. DIY Wooden Step Stool Using Scrap Wood

DIY wooden step stool with kid standing on it

This step stool was made out of all scrap wood! I built this simple project at the beginning of quarantine and I wanted to show you how you can use up things you might already have to create something useful. PS: it spent some time in my home as a plant stand too 🙂 As always, I have you covered with the plans!

8. How to Make Pocket Holes In Miter Joints

angle cut board clamped to a Kreg Jig on work table

When I asked you what was your biggest challenge with the Kreg jig – one of the prominent answers was -“using it with an angled joint”. Having built many projects which used lots of angles, I wrote all about it! .

7. How to Paint Veneer Cabinets

blue painted cabinets in a garage

My garage has been a work in progress for almost a year. It is almost there but not quite and I don’t think it will ever be completely done as I keep adding new tools and new storage. But these old veneer cabinets that came with the garage have been really useful for storage and I am so glad they finally got a new look. It has been 8 months since I painted them and they look as good as they do in this picture!


6. DIY Plywood Headboard

plywood headboard against board and batten dark painted board and batten wall

This headboard was one of those projects where you have a few boards and want to make a certain thing with them but you just wing it as you go! You would never guess what I had originally planned for this guy… but let me tell you – it looks SO much cooler this way and I am so glad I did this.

5. DIY Solar Pool Heater

Two homemade solar pool heater coils next to a pool

To be honest, this solar pool heater making it to the top 5 was a nice surprise. This isn’t a pretty project by any means but it was definitely something we needed. In fact, it was my husband’s idea to make one. I love this project because I got to put on my scientist hat and make it work! Plus, we were able to enjoy the pool for many more weeks than usual which was VERY helpful this year.

Fun fact – Do you know I have 4 science/engineering degrees including 2 masters and a PhD.

4. DIY A-Frame Desk

DIY A-frame desk in room with accessories on top.

It only took me about a year to come up with this design! Having outgrown all her previous desks, a desk for my daughter had been on my list of projects for a while but I couldn’t come up with any design we both loved. Finally in February, it just jumped out at me and I started building little did I know I would complete in March just in time when we needed it most! Get the plans here!

3. How to Use a Speed Square for Beginners

Checking mitered corner using a speed square

I have owned this triangle tool from the very first project I built 8 years ago. But slowly over time, I discovered all the things it could do! I decided to put it all together so you can find it all in one place!


2. How to Paint Plywood

Close up of painted plywood desk showing how to paint plywood for a  smooth finish

When I published my the desk for my daughter, I got a lot of questions about the finish – specifically painting the plywood top. I had learned and put together this method over time and I am happy all the readers found it very useful!

1. DIY Kids Table with Storage

white painted kids table with storage with lid open

I am SO excited this project made it to no.1! It is very close to my heart. I first designed and built this desk for my daughter on her 5th birthday. It was worked perfectly and now is used by my son for his school work. Since it was built before my blogging days, I didn’t have a lot of pictures or details to show you. With all of us needing more desks and chairs, I decided to build a new one and show you exactly how accompanied with a video and plans!

And there it is! The most loved posts of 2020!

Which one was your favorite? Is there a project you loved that didn’t make the list? I can’t wait to here. Let me know in the comments.

And before you go, I would love it if you take 5 minutes to fill out a quick survey to help me help you get the most out of 2021!
(PS -There is a giveaway in there;) )

For you next –

Anika's goal is to inspire and empower beginners with woodworking, DIY, home improvement, and home decor ideas.
She wants everyone to unlock their creative potential and experience the feeling that comes with making something. Nothing feels better better than seeing something and saying "I can make that!"

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One Comment

  1. Hi anika
    How about some wooden toys for boys ages 8 to 10 for my grandsons?

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