I am currently looking for a position as a Java Programmer. I am self taught, so I don't have a portfolio. How would I create projects to represent my skills? I don't know where to begin. I'm also interested in the TYPE of project in Java code that would make me a viable candidate.
I think you shouldn't worry so much about what will interest employers, but think more about what would interest you. What task do you have that would benefit from computerisation? Do you know anybody who needs a program writing? You are more likely to do a good job with something you are interested in. Put the programs into a Git repository so that:-
1: You demonstrate you know about version control, and
2: The prospective employer can easily find the work.