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There is nothing worse than treating yourself to a new tool for which you have no immediate use. Some people will say that maybe you shouldn’t buy that tool. They just don’t get it. Every so often, you buy yourself a tool just because you want it.
A scroll saw is just such a tool. It’s not something most people will need every day, but it’s great to have around to turn what would be a mundane, basic wood project into something special.
But we also understand that when you buy one, you want to get to work with it: practice with it, get to know it. We looked around for simple pattern projects that you can make with it. We mixed basic patterns you can get started on right away, and some more advanced ones for once you start to get the hang of using it. A lot of these patterns are available in .PDF files so that you can print them and get started right away.
This shapes puzzle from My Scroll Saw Projects is a perfect first project with a scroll saw. It involves cutting very basic lines and curves and creates a puzzle that’s great for very small children. You can also either place a backing on the puzzle to hold the pieces in place or leave them open. It doesn’t take very long, so it’s an easy pattern to learn on. A printable version is available.
If you get your scroll saw as a Christmas gift, one way you could break it in is by making a Santa mobile. It involves very basic shapes from a pattern you can download and print from Craft Ideas. One thing that makes this an especially good project to get started using a scroll saw is that it involves shaping the exterior of wood, not trying to get simple internal cuts.
A cutting board based on this printable pattern from Steve Good is a great way to get used to making cuts. It also comes with a couple of curves, so you can practice turning the pattern and your workpiece to get soft, rounded edges. The best part is that it’ll make very little difference if you screw up. It’s just a cutting board, after all.
Once you’ve mastered following patterns to make straight cuts, you can try your hand at more difficult curved cuts. A scroll saw’s blade is small enough to make these a snap if you’re following a pattern for this bear puzzle from Wooden Toy Plans, but it might also be intimidating enough to make it a challenge. The end product is a delightful toy for the kids.
At first, these coaster instructions from Scroll Sawer might be a bit intimidating. They are detailed and involved. But they are also precise and come with printable patterns. They offer a challenge that looks more difficult than it is. One great thing is that once you get the hang of it, you can figure out how to draw other shapes and make coasters for every season.
Now that you’re used to making curves, you can try your hand at something to hang on the wall to show off your skills. This simple cut sign with printable patterns at Dreamingindiy will take you some time and give you a chance to sharpen your skills.
This perpetual calendar with full downloadable plans at Craftsmanspace is a much more involved project, involving several different pieces of wood. It’ll take some time, but it’s a great way to build skills or work off some nervous energy in between major projects. It also makes a great gift.
This skeleton is a lot easier than it looks, especially if you get the fully downloadable and printable plans at Bearwood. The trick to this one is looking at it not as the finished project, but as the sum of a lot of little projects. If you get your scroll saw for Christmas, you’ll have plenty of time to work on this for a great Halloween decoration.
This geometric square from Craftsmanspace is more an opportunity for you to fool around with your scroll saw creating something. On the other hand, it is a shape that might be something worth incorporating as you’re doing other projects.
The precise curves and interior cuts on this sheet music rest might seem pretty intimidating. It’s a great way to test your ability to follow the fully printable pattern at Craftsmanspace to turn out something that looks elegant.
As another project that looks a lot harder than it is, this dual-shade whale will give you a quick project to show off so people think you’re further advanced at using a scroll saw than you are. The downloadable, printable plans available at Shopify make it a stone-cold snap.
If you’re looking to decorate your walls with something to personalize a room, try a name plaque. This allows you to create something with your saw that starts to take on three dimensions. The plans are downloadable and printable from Jaimecostiglio.
Your scroll saw can help you make a perfect Halloween decoration with these printable pumpkin patterns from Scrollsawer. They are a good challenge after you have some experience under your belt, and can lead you to make all kinds of holiday-related decorations.
You can challenge yourself with this self-contained puzzle of Noah’s Ark. It’s not just a challenge for you to put back together, but making sure that it all fits together will test whether you’ve mastered your scroll saw. The printable pattern is available at Scrollsawer.
Another pattern from Scrollsawer worth downloading, printing, and using is a freestanding VW Beetle puzzle. It’s one part decoration, one part quick workout for the mind. The great thing is that if you screw something up, no one will notice. It’s a puzzle, after all.
It’s a bit surprising that we’ve gotten this far into this list without touching on Christmas tree ornaments. Well, with these printable patterns from Scrollsawworkshop, here we are. Once you get the hang of them, if you have the sketching skills, you can probably freelance from the basic patterns.
As another in our line of holiday-inspired scroll saw projects, these filigree hearts will give you something to make your Valentine’s Day memorable. Or, with a little fake blood, maybe you’ll have a super-macabre Halloween decoration. Plans at Scrollsawer are downloadable and printable.
You can start getting into three-dimensional projects with single board baskets. These plans from TheKimSixFix, printable and downloadable, show you how to turn a single board into a basket or bowl capable of holding fruit.
Making a box with a scroll saw is as simple as cutting out the four sides and then the top and bottom. These plans, downloadable from Craftsmanspace, give you the template for one that is pretty easy to make but looks pretty complicated.
These butterfly magnets take little scraps you have lying around your woodpile and turn them into something that looks pretty sophisticated. These printable plans from Scrollsawer will help you make the leap into spring with just a little work.
Add a little class to your mantel or standalone shelf with these bookends to keep a few old-looking tomes in place. Detailed instructions that you can print and use your scroll saw to cut are available from Steve Good. They even tell you what kind of wood to use and how thick to make it.
If you’re into making your own furniture and want something other than a normal flat top for a table, this marquetry decoration pattern, downloadable and printable from Craftsmanspace, is a great option. It makes what looks very difficult pretty easy as long as you can follow a pattern.
Earlier, we shared printable plans for one basket from a single sheet of wood. Here’s a whole family of baskets with plans available for downloading from Scrollbench. It’ll take a little more than a single sheet of wood, but the end product gives you a lot more storage space.
One fun thing you can do with your scroll saw is make coasters to protect your wooden tables from water stains. You could spend a little money and get something that looks like what everyone else has, or you could practice with your saw and these downloadable, printable plans from Craftsmanspace.
Why bore yourself whenever you turn your lights on or off? These downloadable, printable frog-based switch topper plans from Steve Good can add a little bit of whimsy to the mundane. The best thing is that after you’ve mastered this and have the general idea down, you can freelance your own designs.
Here’s a spooktacular little project for your scroll saw: decorative downloadable plaques from Scrollsawer. Stained black and backed by a smoky-looking dark wood, they add a touch of rustic charge that goes perfectly with chilly autumn nights.
A project as intricate and delicate as the insect itself, this intarsia butterfly is a good way to challenge both your skills handling a scroll saw and your ability to stay on task. The downloadable, printable instructions from Scroll Saw Paradise make it as simple as following a pattern.
If you like to keep close track of your tools, you might have them hanging from pegboards. It might also drive you just a little bonkers when they’re out of place. Using your scroll saw to cut patterns, downloadable from SunCatcherStudio, is a great way to stay on top of things.
Why settle for boring shelf brackets when you can cut your own? This assortment of patterns, available for download and print from Craftsmanspace, gives you a wide variety to choose from. They range from simple ones based on an L-support to downright complex ones that’ll have your guests wondering how they work.
You can make homes for your avian friends with these printable, detailed plans from Scrollsaw. One thing that will challenge you is making sure that you have all four sides, the roof pieces and the floor cut to the right dimensions so they all fit together.
Your cat won’t be able to read this plaque, but anyone who stops by your house will know that it’s feline friendly after seeing it. The plans are downloadable and printable at Saw4Fun and require making some interior cuts, which can offer an interesting challenge.
These four patterns of classic automobiles are perfect to make decorations for your garage. The plans are downloadable from Craftsmanspace, and you can print them off for free. They require some highly detailed work and are perfect to hone your skills making delicate cuts.
SunCatcherStudio has patterns for fancy alphabet monograms that you can adapt for just about any purpose that requires big, flowery lettering reminiscent of the first word of an old book. The plans are available for download and printing for free here.
These aren’t for actual clocks, which require carefully machined, precise clock hands to stay accurate, but they make great components for other woodworking projects like models. They also make nice little accents to put on top of shelves. Plans are available for printing from Craftsmanspace.
This decoration might look simple, but with its many curves and angles and its internal cuts, it can pose a challenge to even a hobbyist who knows how to use a scroll saw. The pattern is downloadable and printable for free at Baggetta.
Once you’ve developed some skills and are in between major projects, a lattice picture frame is a great way to pass some time while making something that looks complicated. The plans are available for free from Saw4Fun and are printable.
Finding it difficult getting into the holiday spirit during a long, dark December? These ornaments from SunCatcherStudio are just the thing to help pass the time, make something great, and get into the holiday spirit. An entire set would even make a great gift.
It’s not the most complicated pattern, but is there any better way to let your kid’s teacher know they’re the apple of your eye than with this simple gift? The pattern is available for free download and printing from Baggetta.
These stars are more a learning pattern than anything, a way to develop and hone skills making basic curved cuts, transitioning into patterns. They’re a great way to use up little pieces of scrap wood sitting around the shop while making shapes that you can hang on to until you find a use for them. The pattern is free to print from Knowledge of Axminster.
When cut, this intricate circular pattern can be used for a lot of different things, from coasters to a trivet in your kitchen. In the meantime, it offers a challenging pattern to cut with internal cuts and shapes. The pattern is available for free at Craftsmanspace.