Wooden furniture has an innate beauty in them that you just cannot see in cold metal and tacky plastics, which is why it is understandable that they are more expensive. But by learning the basics of woodworking, even a complete novice like you will be able to produce great looking pieces of furniture; all you need is the right set of tools, some free time, and a lot of practice.
There are only a handful of hobbies that are as rewarding as woodworking, and you would be surprised at just how cheaply you can make the same items that you usually purchase in furniture stores. The basics of working with wood are very easy to learn that even complete beginners have no trouble picking them up.
Obviously if you want to take up basic carpentry and furniture making as a hobby then you need to have some basic tools. For beginners, just having a claw hammer, some saws, drills, screw drivers, and some measuring tools are enough. As a beginner you should not expect that you will be undergoing huge projects like picnic tables and cabinets, so getting expensive power tools are unnecessary at this point. Once your skill level in working with wood improves, then you can think about upgrading your tools as well.
Once you have the basic tools then very first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with them and study how to use them properly. For instance, a lot of people have a hard time learning how to use the hand saw. Beginners find it very difficult to make even just a simple vertical cut, but with practice, you will become more accustomed to using your saw and your cutting precision will also improve. It is highly recommended that you do some practice cuts on scrap lumber to familiarize yourself before you actually start cutting up lumber that you bought for your first project.
The biggest mistake that beginners at woodworking do is they take on projects that are way beyond their skill level, resulting in a lot of frustration, wasted money, and sometimes a couple of cuts that require a trip to the emergency room. To avoid hassles like these you should start with simple projects that only require doing some simple cuts and can be glued and screwed together, like a simple shelving unit for instance. As your skills improve then you can take on more ambitious projects.