The joy of Minecraft is that you can build whatever you want. From the dinkiest little cottage to a rendition of the Death Star, the only thing holding you back from architectural greatness is the effort it takes to start and the dastardly forces of time.
So what is found below? A few simple build ideas you might appreciate, really, but particularly build ideas that should teach you a valuable skill or two, give you a leg up in the world, or encourage the acquisition of lots of materials. Food for thought, then, to get you considering the possibilities of Minecraft before you begin working on your own personal Eiffel Tower.
After you build a shelter a Watchtower makes a nice new project. It's quick but, more importantly, lets you survey the area surrounding your home and provides a nice, high reference point for you when you're exploring the world.
A good material to use in the construction of a watchtower is the humble wooden block or, better yet, the cobblestone (just to make it flame resistant. You'll want to stock up on sticks for the creation of ladders too.
Because of the verticality of the Watchtower this will get you used to working with edges and ledges. Learn that holding the sneak button (defaulted to Shift on PC) lets you walk to the edge of a block without fear of falling off. Doing this can give you the ability to construct things on the face of the blocks below you (it's even possible to place a ladder below or above you as you use it). Use this building experience to grow your confidence in working with tight confines and ledges.
Honestly, why not? Castles are impressive, spacious, and come complete with defensible moats (that double up as creeper consuming traps). Digging a moat around a house just looks silly, anyway.
Cobblestone, stone, bricks, all manner of non-flammable rock should be used in the construction of your castle. Aside from these items you might want to think about some furnishings, bookcases and the like, and a bed, but in terms of the basic castle design it's rock all the way.
Building something as winding as a castle will improve your crafting knowledge, due to the necessity to build stairs alongside square and flat blocks, but it will also improve you general digging ability. Constructing the moat is a time consuming addition but a worthwhile one, and it's recommended that you dig out of it (filling the passage behind you as you go) rather than building out vertically – trapped enemies could use your stairs to get out themselves.
As impressive as a castle is it's still vulnerable to 360 degrees of attack. It doesn't matter how deep your moat is, this is absolutely true. A hobbit hole, on the other hand, is genius in its inconspicuous nature. Dug into a hillside, or into the ground, these bungalows are inconspicuous and largely safe. If nothing else a 'Hobbit Hole' makes a good mining entrance...
That's really the beauty of the hole, it's mostly to do with furnishing something you've hollowed out – you'll wind up with pockets full of dirt but it won't have cost you anything to create.
The real benefit of creating a hole home is that is gets you used to working with the digging mechanics in a logical manner. You'll have to react to potential breakthroughs to other underground caves, unexpected monsters, it's a learning experience in Minecraft's most vital skill.
Video: Pixel Art
Creating Pixel Art is a great idea. Not only does it give you something amazing to look at in your world it also doubles up as a landmark. It will also get you confident in regards to building in tight environments. See the video for more.