Best of 2021: Reader Favorite Projects

Take a look at the top posts of 2021! These are easy beginner-friendly woodworking and home improvement projects including lots of resources to inspire you!

Collage of woodworking projects from 2021 with text overlay

It’s that time of the year!

Time to look back at all the projects you have loved this past year.

January 2022 also marks 6 years since I hit publish on the very first blog post on January 4, 2016!


Sometimes it feels a really long time. Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday.

Either way, I have loved the journey every step of the way – I have learned so much from everything I have created, built and from every mistake.

And I am SO thankful and grateful for all of you for being here.

2021 Milestones

2021 has been an amazing year!

There were a LOT of really huge projects and a few large milestones. This was the year of the kitchen remodel (which you will see reflected in the top posts below), but I learned so much from all the projects I took on!

Milestone #1: My DIY Circle

My goal has been to inspire and teach others to pick up and start using tools. I have been working towards creating more ways to be able to help you learn beyond what I can do through this website, YouTube channel, and social media.

After working on it for a long time, I launched my new membership My DIY Circle in November.

I was blown away by your response and we have so much fun in the community.

Milestone #2: Being on TV

I was on NBC-Los Angeles LIVE! I had never imagined the first time I did this, it would be in my backyard talking about my culture (Diwali) on live TV!

Other memorable moments

A few other things I am thankful for in 2021 are –

  • I got to take over The Home Depot’s Instagram stories for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month to share about how Indian culture has inspired current home decor trends.
  • Getting featured on various websites – The Spruce and FDMMC magazine (print version)
  • I got to participate in multiple product launches with some of my favorite brands – Kreg Tools and Cricut.

Looking into 2022

Going into 2022, I look forward to continuing to help and support you through my membership community and creating more avenues for you to learn and grow your DIY and woodworking skills.

I will also continue to bring you lots of instructional articles and videos along with some fun and functional woodworking and home improvement projects.

But, as always, they will all be approachable for everyone!

Reader favorites of 2021

Let’s dive into the projects from 2021 that you loved and that made the top 11 list with a few candid behind-the-scenes notes from me.

Yes, it is 11 instead of my usual 10.

Project #11 is very close to my heart and I just had to squeeze it into the list. More on that in a bit.

11. DIY Record player cabinet

Record Player Stand with all it's doors closed in living room

First off, if I can say so myself, this is the most gorgeous project I have built. It is my favorite build of the year.

It was my first time building with Walnut – boards and plywood, and I LOVED it!

But more importantly, this piece taught me so much!!!

Do you know I started building this in summer 2020? I actually built it and then didn’t like a few things about it and ended up scrapping the whole piece!

I tried to salvage a few boards out of it but most of it had to be trashed.

Finally, I rebuilt it, this time with Walnut and tweaking the build process to keep in mind all the things that were problematic the first time.

DIY record Player cabinet with storage with all doors open in living room

And we have that beauty – with record storage, removable magnetic speaker covers and a space for the record player! Get all the details and plans here.

10. Kitchen Makeover Reveal

Kitchen makeover with green and white dual tone cabinets and open shelves

This was the main project in the first quarter of the year and we completely changed the look and feel of the kitchen. We added LOTs more counter space and storage and made the entire space functional and beautiful.

I still walk into the kitchen and fall in love with it all over again and can’t believe where we started and what we did with it.

See the full transformation here.

9. DIY Chair with Cane Webbing

Brown chair with cane webbing in arm and back in room with colorful pillow and plant next to it

This was another first – working with cane webbing. And it was so much fun. I think I say this about everynew technique I try but I am obsessed with it. I have a little bit of cane leftover which I can’t wait to use in another project!

Get all the details and plans here.

8. DIY Outdoor Storage Box

DIY Outdoor storage box and bench in the backyard

This was super simple project – quick and easy. The only thing I did differently with this project was stain before assembly. That helped get in all the little spaces.

See all the details and plans here.

7. Cement Feature Wall

DIY cement feature wall in an entryway

I literally woke up with this idea in my head one morning. I had no idea how it was going to work out but it turned out better than I had expected!

The pictures really don’t do it justice! The texture and color variation in real life are so perfect!

See all the details and tutorial here.

6. Bookshelf with Trellis Back

bookshelf built with trellis back with books and plants

I needed a bookshelf and I had some trellis leftover. So I decided to put the two together. It ended up being the perfect tough to this bookshelf.

See the full tutorial and plans here.

5. Device Charging Station

The cord clutter on my beautiful kitchen counter was driving me crazy so I decided to do something about it.

Adding the wireless charger was a little bit tricky and I had to do a bunch of test runs but once I got a hang of it, it worked like a charm.

See all the details and plans here.

4. Self Watering planter

This has to be the best planter I ever built! Most of my plants end up dying because I forget to water. With this, I barely had to water the plants.

The built-in system help water for almost 6 weeks! I think I added water to this only about 4-5 times from the time I built it to last month.

Get the details and the plans here.

3. Wood Slat Kitchen Island Trim

close up of island with slats

Well, it is really a peninsula but I call it an island. You won’t even believe what this looked like before! My favorite thing about this is the way I was able to wrap around the corner.

This was when I first got to see the cabinet color I picked in full real life size and I knew I was going to love it!

See all the details and tutorial here.

2. Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring

New Lifeproof vinyl plank flooring in kitchen showing how to trim around cabinets

Truth is the flooring is what triggered the entire kitchen remodel. Our old flooring was popping up and becoming a trip hazard.

We installed our own flooring and while it was “great exercise” for our legs, I had a lot of fun putting it in. Like any new project/technique, I learned so much about flooring, subfloor, prep and floating floors!

I packed everything into the detailed tutorial. Check it out here.

1. How to reface cabinets

view of the kitchen cabinets

Can you believe the power of paint and new cabinet doors? We decided to keep the old cabinets since they had great bones. We also added new cabinets to extend the kitchen.

To unify everything AND update the style, we simply changed out the doors and drawer fronts. You can’t even tell the old cabinets from new ones now!

Refacing cabinets is a great budget-friendly way to update a kitchen/bathroom.

See all the details here.

Which one was your favorite? Is there a project you loved that didn’t make the list? I can’t wait to hear. 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 2022!
(PS -There is a giveaway in there;) )

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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  1. Hi Anika,
    Really i love your diy projects and i will visit your diyblogs on daily basis. Keep up the good work

  2. Lexie Harvey says:

    Your outdoor storage box is a great idea! Maybe even design a front porch UPS/FedEx parcel box for 2022? A package delivery storage box will need a solid/heavy 40-50 lbs concrete base ( so no thief walks away with it) and sturdy 2×4 or 2×6 walls (could use 24×24 inch concrete pavers/step stones as wall sides) and top. A sturdy latch. A place for the lock to be available for the shipper to lock the box latch.

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