First step is planning, sketching, designing a project
Second step is measuring, cutting, assembling.
Third step if "finishing" and of course finishing.
You need basic tools to measure, steels, tapes, tri-square, for angles, depths, and lengths.
Basic tools for cutting down the length or ripping and across the width or crosscutting, can be with a hand saw or hand held power saws, like a sabre saw or circular saw or a table saw.
You can buy wood that's already dimensioned to 3/4" x *** or plywood or you can reduce rough sawn wood to the dimensions you need. This requires about 3 basic power tools, a bandsaw, a jointer and a planer. You can do it all by hand, but that's your choice. The enjoyment is either in the Journey or the satisfaction is in the end product, sorta thing. There's no way to know where you are until you get more involved. If you can master hand tools then your appreciation of power tools will be better based.
Sharp tools and proper technique apply to both approaches.
You Tube has a Jillion Videos on woodworking so spend an hour there every day for a week or so and come back with specific questions and we can help.
Copied from my other post:
Quality of workmanship depends on the following: Tools, technique and blades in no particular order.
They kinda go hand in hand as you can't do quality work with inaccurate tools, poor technique and dull blades/cutters.
So, to get there from here you should "practice" joinery, whether it by making something, a project, or just setting up some typical types of joints and trying to master the technique. After you get the new table saw and set the fence and blade accurately it will amaze you how accurate you can be ....and oh yeah, a sharp blade.
A book on joinery or search phinds site
for the types will be the best, and possibly You Tube for specific joints like dove tails.
Many joints require jigs for them to be accurate, another project on which to practice joinery.
I recommend this book: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Illustrated-Guide-Joinery/dp/1561584010/ http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Illustrated-Guide-Joinery/dp/1561584010/
Japanese joinery will amaze you:
Hand tool joinery differs from machine tool joinery in some ways, but lap joints, dovetails and mortise and tenons can be done both ways, depends on your "style" and approach. I'm a machine type guy, but I would love to get more involved in the hand work.
Sharp chisels and plane blades are a must.
Cabinet making uses a different type of joining system more suited to table saws, routers and dado heads for the carcasses and face frames.
Furniture sorta combines the handcraft for carved things like legs and feet and mortise and tenons for the frames and some machine work for the panels. There are some excellent furniture makers here if you search that word and look at the albums in My Photos. Lola Ranch
comes to mind.
Projects like jewelry and keepsake boxes are best to start with and combine various hand and machine processes.