One of the ways to get that feeling of accomplishment, of making a "thing," is having a hobby where you make stuff. I built a workbench so I could have a place to do woodworking. The first project I wanted to build, a simple tic-tac-toe shelf from Spike Carlsen's book, Ridiculously Simple Furniture Projects: Great Looking Furniture Anyone Can Build, is done now.
The completion of the project is shown in pictures below. Total time was probably 3-4 hours, with gaps for the finish to dry. All that was required was a 1" x 6" x 8' hardwood board (I used poplar).
The raw plank:
Finished with Medium Walnut Danish Oil:
Close up of the finish: