April is National Woodworking Month. And if you're one of the 60 million do-it-yourselfers in America, pick up a hammer or paintbrush and get busy!

- YOU SAY YOU'VE RUN OUT of storage space in your kitchen? So build a free-standing pantry unit.Instructions and drawings for such a unit are available from Western Wood Products Association. This compact cupboard takes up only two square feet of floor space, but it's large enough to store several cases of canned goods.

All you need to build this pantry is a saw, a hammer, a drill, nails or screws and a few pieces of standard-size Western lumber.

For the large cupboard, you'll need two lengths of 1-by-8's for the sides, each 351/4 inches long, and three 1-by-8's for the shelves, each 17 inches long. (The base unit serves as the bottom shelf.) And for the back, you'll need two lengths of 1-by-10's, each 351/4 inches long. Then cut the top from an 181/2 inches length of 1-by-10, trimmed to 8 inches wide.

Assemble the cupboard using carpenter's glue and 2-inch finishing nails or 11/2 inch flathead screws. Notice that the top piece is flush with the front of the unit and overlaps the sides and back.

For each storage door, you'll need two lengths of 1-by-6's for the sides, each 36 inches long, and seven lengths of 1-by-6's for the top, bottom and five shelves, each measuring 73/4 inches long. The back of made from one 36-inch length of one-by-ten.

Assemble both storage doors with the sides overlapping the top and bottom. Then attach the back so it is flush with the top, bottom and sides. Then install 1-by-1 retainers between the sides to keep cans and bottles in place while the doors are being opened or shut.

The base unit, which measures 181/2 inches wide by 123/4 inches deep, consists of decking supported by a recessed 1-by-4 base. For the decking, cut a 1-by-8 and a 1-by-6 to 181/2 inches long. For the 1-by-4 base, you will need two lengths 17 inches long for the front and back, and two lengths 93/4 inches long for the sides.

Assemble the 1-by-4 base frame so the front and back overlap the sides.

For the base, turn the large cupboard upside down and position the base unit so it is flush with the back and sides of the cupboard. Attach with eight to ten 11/2-inch screws inserted through the base into the sides and back of the cupboard.

Attach with storage doors with two 34-inch continuous piano hinges. Install door catches and pulls.

Stain or paint your new pantry to match your cupboards.

- SINCE SPRING IS HERE, perhaps you would rather make a handsome, sturdy planter.

Here's a Saturday afternoon project that you could be getting compliments on for years to come. The container is 161/2 inches square; that's large enough to accommodate a good-size shrub or a flat full of annuals. If you use pressure-treated lumber, it should last 30 years or more.

The planter is built with 2-inch thick Western softwood lumber that interlocks at the corners with a simple lap joint. The sides are made from 2-by-12 lumber, making the planter 111/4 inches high. Or you can use two lengths of 2-by-6 lumber for the sides and stack them on edge to form a panel 11 inches high. The platform-style base is made from two lengths of 2-by-6 lumber.

To build the planter, you will need 6 feet of 2-by-12 lumber for the sides and a 3-foot length of 2-by-6 lumber for the base. Pressure-treated lumber is recommended for durability. You will also need three dozen 21/2-inch rust-resistant screws. The only tools you'll need are a saw (preferably a power saw), a chisel, a screw driver and an electric drill.

Cut the 2-by-12 into four lengths, each 161/2 inches long. To position the notch in the center of the ends, measure down approximately 3 inches from the top and 3 inches from the bottom and mark the ends of two 2-by-12 boards. Then cut out the space between the marks to form the notches. The notch is 5 inches long, 11/2 inches deep.

Assemble the planter sides, using six screws per corner; pre-drill screw holes.

Cut the 2-by-6 into two 15-inch lengths for the base. Center them on the bottom of the planter, allowing 1/2 inch between the boards for drainage. Attach to the planter with screws.

To prevent dirt from washing through, install a fine-meshed screen on the inside over the drainage hole.

For more easy-to-build planter plans and storage spaces, write to Western Wood Products Assn., Dept. HI-391, Yeon Building, 522 SW Fifth Ave., Portland, OR 97204-2122.