Building projects can be intimidating. It's often hard to know where to begin - mainly if you haven't built many things before - and it's easy to bite off more than you can chew. However, in some cases, getting down to the workbench can be a major money-saver. In the case of these objects, the amount of money and the experience of building something for yourself make these projects worth taking on.

1. Workbench

Ironically, it's difficult to build anything without a serviceable workbench. Using some sturdy 2x4s, a bunch of nails and a hefty slab of wood for your working counter can go a long way. There are plenty of tutorials and step-by-step instructions online, and customization is practically endless, once you've gone through the initial steps. Adding cupboards or cabinets might take a bit more work, but the sky is the limit after you have finished the initial bench.

2. Cat/Dog Toys

These are a bit simpler than most construction projects - you can cobble pet toys together from leftover materials and old clothing. Young dogs have a habit of destroying all the expensive "indestructible" toys you buy them, and replacements get pricey. However, jamming worn-out pairs of socks together with a broom handle results in a tough, recycled toy for your hound. Meanwhile, bits of string and extra clothes hangers keep your cat interested for hours on end.

3. Walking Sticks/Canes

Like your workbench, sticks and canes are pretty basic projects with a ton of expansion and customization available. Start by finding a sturdy, freshly dead stick in the woods. Whittle or sand off any flaws and knobs and cut the stick to a comfortable length, and you'll have a perfectly serviceable hiking tool at no cost. If you want to get fancy, get some nice stain, char the stick to harden it further or carve your artwork on the side.

4. Shelving

Sturdy shelves are one of the most substantial cost breaks between homemade and store-bought products. With a bit of time and the right tools, a novice builder can pound out a beautiful set of shelves for inside or garage use. As with many projects, the length and difficulty of the project correspond with the luxury of the shelves. The basic blueprint will require some sturdy walls, a few wood nails and some smaller pieces for shelves.

5. Garden Boxes

Use some cinderblocks or old railroad ties to give your garden a rustic - and very structured - look. The cost of similar options at a garden and hardware store make the alternatives unappealing. Plus, recycled options are better for the environment, and there's usually plenty of serviceable material lying around your garage or backyard. Sink a couple of blocks or ties into a bed of dirt to make quality raised garden beds. Then go ahead and build your own fence using 2x4s and chicken wire!

There you have it: five easy projects for beginning hobbyists. These are all excellent for the money they'll save you down the line, as well as the satisfaction you'll feel seeing the completed product, and the long-term practical use they lend. Get started on any of these today!

Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington