Main Project Brainstorming

I have no idea what I want to make for the final project. Well, that’s not totally accurate. What I should say is that I have too many ideas about what I will make, and I don’t like any of them. I am enjoying learning about woodworking (see my upcycle project to learn more about that) and I think I want to stick with that as a medium. Also, I like making furniture, so I’m leaning in that direction.

Some ideas I have had so far (some are wooden furniture and some are just random):

  1. Dining table and chair set
  2. Build a bicycle from scratch
  3. Dresser
  4. Model of something from a video game (literally any game that I like)
  5. Car buildout for camping (4Runner)
  6. Marble track for my nephews
  7. Another coffee table with nicer wood (not upcycled)
  8. Toolbox(s)
  9. Gardening shed for my roommate
  10. Custom bikepacking bags
  11. Mid-Mod chairs to accompany my upcycle project
  12. Wheelbarrow
  13. Music reactive lights
  14. Wall art
  15. Patio furniture
    1. Outdoor table
    2. Bench
    3. Shade structure
    4. Chairs
  16. Refinement of a previous project
    1. Bed frame – specifically adding a headboard and/or lights to the bottom
    2. Desk – adding drawers
    3. Nightstands – total rebuild with nicer materials
  17. Kitchen storage / spice rack

Needless to say, this list is pretty unrefined. I am attempting to implement the 100 ideas approach. If you coin the sub-bullets, I am at about 22 ideas. I even started bugging my roommates to help me brainstorm. 

One issue that I am running into is that I will be moving to Seattle this summer. I don’t want to make something too big because then I’ll just have to move it. I could try to make something nice enough that I could sell it before I move, but that seems difficult. 

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I am most interested in working with wood. However, I am also interested in metalwork and textiles. I have access to a fairly rudimentary metal shop at work, and my roommate has a very nice sewing machine. While these areas seem interesting, they both have drawbacks. For metalworking, I am limited by the cost of materials. I am a broke college student with no job prospects at the moment. Since I would be working in a company shop, I would likely need to supply all materials needed. I don’t have any of these materials, so I would be starting from nothing. For textiles, I am limited by my lack of experience. I don’t think I’ve ever actually used a sewing machine. I’m confident that I could learn by the end of the semester, but I don’t know if I would be able to make something to a high enough standard that I feel it is a proper final project. 

In any case, I am still very much in the brainstorming phase. I will keep thinking and eventually come up with one idea that I’m really excited about!


Featured Image: UX collective,

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hey James,

    I really appreciate your method to cultivating and exploring options on what you want to do. I think your process for getting started with an idea will pay off really well when you’re in the midst of the design and manufacturing process. I’m confident that whatever you choose will work and I’m excited to see how you’re bringing a dynamic design to woodworking, especially in furniture.

    • Thanks Sidd! I’m glad that you are optimistic about my project. Sometimes I get frustrated at the brainstorming process because I like making more than I like thinking, but I agree that it will probably pay off in the long run. The idea of dynamic furniture/ wood has seemed a bit oxymoronic at times to me too, but we will see. At the moment, I am actually thinking of trying to learn how to sew for my final project. We will see what happens in the end though.

  • Hey James,

    I like the amount of ideas that you have come up with. I’m sure you’ll find something that will work well. I feel your pain on not wanting to make something too big right before you move. I think I’m in a similar boat. I really like the bike-packing bag idea. I’m looking to get into that hobby and those bags can be really expensive. The only part that I don’t know about is the dynamic function for those or the furniture. Do you have any ideas for that so far?

    • Hey Ben,

      I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one! I think in terms of dynamic elements I would just make something functional. Like for the bikepacking bags I would have clips and zippers. Potentially loops / daisy chains for attaching other bags or lights. For the furniture, I would just have some drawers or hidden compartments. I think those would be pretty complicated though.


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