Woodworking as a hobby also has the potential to increase monetary income. There are so many ways to make money from woodworking. Some ways are more profitable than others, which we will explore in this article. We will also look at twenty woodworking money-makers that are both easy to design and inexpensive to make. So, if you’re ready to learn more about how to make money woodworking, then let’s get started!
To start out here are some of our tips that has helped us find out what to build and sell before starting.
Woodworking Selling Tips and Research
We go over tips we learned over the years being self employed and learning the hard way. These tips will help you be more profitable and make more money.
Research before you build.
Check out the marketplaces you plan on selling on (more details on all of these below) and see what’s listed or more importantly being sold.
For example, I have used eBay in the past for research by searching out sold items using terms that match ideas I have been thinking of in the advance search area. Items that had a lot of bids, watchers (not views) or sales is a good indication it could be a hot seller. This can even be done in the general search area too. Just look for products that have had xx number sold. We have had great success with both of these methods.
Another good place to do research and see trending and popular items is on Etsy. Again search out products you are interested in building and see if others are selling something similar. You can tell whats been sold by looking at feedback. A lot of good feedback shows whether its a popular item or not. It may inspire other ideas for you to build, never copy other ideas but add your own twist, or make it better.
Create Simple Easy Products
Start out with simple projects that take less time and money to build. Simple unique items can be very profitable and Keeping it simple will keep more money in your pocket.
Test Completed Woodworking Products
What we mean by this is only build 1 to start and then test in your market or different places you sell to see how receptive your audience is. (see places to sell below). and once you find that certain item that sells well in your market you can stream line everything and build several.
How to Make Money Selling Wood Crafts
There are a number of different ways to make money selling wood crafts. We list some unique free ones you may not thought of.
Social Media and Local Websites
Social media and local websites such as Facebook, EBay and Etsy are great ways to make money selling woodworking items. Best of all, many online marketplaces let you post items on your own ‘virtual shop’ for free! Let’s explore these (and others) in more detail below:
This online marketplace is a great site for artists and crafters to sell their unique pieces. You can list up to twenty items for free or you can choose other subscriptions options that allow you to post more items with less commission taken from your sales. And, best of all, they do the marketing for you!
This online site is for crafters in the United States and is all about handmade items, from toys and baby supplies to wood crafts and home décor. There are no listing fees, however, there are transaction fees. Transaction fees are 7% of whatever your items sell for and you must sell items for a minimum of $10 each to be eligible for listing on this particular site.
This online marketplace allows you to sell handmade wooden crafts with a small fee charge for running your virtual shop. Listing fees get smaller the more items you post and customers can buy your pieces through PayPal or Amazon Payment.
This online site specializes in handmade and vintage items. A basic account will allow you to put free online listings. A $5 monthly subscription fee will let you access a personal storefront as well as other features to help you manage your virtual shop and its sales.
This online marketplace is similar to EBay or Amazon and allows you to sell just about anything online, including wooden items. It also gives you the option to sync your listings with other sites to track your inventory and sales. Best of all, there are no set-up or listing fees with this site!
This online auction site is so popular and allows you to sell anything and everything, including handmade wooden crafts. There are so many venues on which to sell items with millions of members checking in daily. There are no fees for listings but there are fees charged upon the final sale of items.
This online retailer is probably one of the most well-known crafting websites in operation today. It is easy to set-up your own shop for free with crafters making excellent profits from their creations. The site charges a 3.5% fee per sale but gives you unlimited access to free tools and support guides. Google Pay and PayPal options are available to make sales easy and convenient.
This online site is very good for those looking to sell handmade crafts, including wooden items. Almost everyone nowadays has a Facebook account which makes it easier than ever to buy and sell crafts online. You can use the Facebook website or the app to access the marketplace and add items for sale. You also have the option to share your listings with your friends on Facebook to further promote sales.
Local craft shows are a great way to showcase your woodworking skills. If people like what they see, they are likely to purchase items then-and-there, commission you for future projects and/or recommend your work to friends and family.
Checking out your local craft shops to see if they are interested in purchasing and selling your pieces is another great way to sell wooden crafts.
Garage or Yard Sales
Displaying your woodworking pieces at a yard of garage sale is yet another way to sell items to people in your area. Post an ad in your local paper or on your local website(s) to get the word out the masses!
Amazon is a great online retailer that now allows people to sell handmade items. Handmade at Amazon is all about promoting both hand-crafted items and their creators. You can sell basically anything, including woodworking projects. To maintain your shop, plans start at $5 per month with no listing fees or commissions!
Creating your own website is one of the best ways to market your woodworking crafts. It helps you to build a ‘brand’ while giving you full control over how you market and sell your items.
How Do You Price Your Work?
Deciding how to price your woodworking crafts is important when choosing to make and sell items for profit. There are five main standards to consider. These include:
Materials (Overall Costs)
You must determine all of your costs in advance before pricing your items to sell. Direct costs include your materials, supplies and any other money spent producing these items. Then, you need to figure out your variable costs, such as packing or shipping, as the more you make and sell, the higher these costs will be. When you add these two factors together and divide by the number of units made, you can then determine a ‘break even’ figure.
Like the old saying goes, ‘time is money’. Your time is valuable and you need to put a price on that value, whether it be $20 an hour or more, this amount needs to be factored in when pricing your woodworking items to sell.
The difficulty or complexity involved in creating a handmade wooden craft needs to be factored into its overall cost. For example, if you build a raised garden bed using straight cuts versus creating something on the scroll or band saw, you could definitely charge more for the latter. Even some cuts like dovetails take extra time and expertise to create. All of these things should be considered and definitely warrant a higher end price.
There are two ways to price your handmade wooden crafts. The first is cost-plus pricing which involves including a mark-up percentage to your overall costs. The second is value-pricing which is determined by how much value your customers attach to your product. This is often referred to as ‘supply and demand’.
You need to know how much similar items are selling for locally, how much the average customer is willing to pay for such items and how much your competitors are charging for these items. Then, you can determine if you want to match or beat these prices, making sure all of your out-of-pocket costs have been covered first.
When Pricing Techniques and Market Value Don’t Matter
You can definitely use pricing techniques and look at your local market to figure out what you should charge for your woodworking. From my own experience, I can tell you that those things sometimes don’t matter. At the end of the day, you will only sell something for whatever a customer will pay.
For example, you may feel that a particular item is worth $150 but a customer has offered to pay $120. I recommend selling it for the $120. You can later determine if there is anything you can do to reduce future building costs in order to make $120 more profitable. Sometimes it is just about trial-and-error and what the market is willing to pay for your woodworking.
Best DIY Wood Projects to Sell
There are so many crafts that can be made and sold out of wood. The ones that are easy to create and inexpensive to make have the most potential for profit. The following is a list of twenty such crafts to consider:
Toys and Puzzles
Wooden toys and puzzles are very popular today. Wooden building or pattern blocks for kids, for example, are easy to make and last for a lifetime! There is a definite market for wooden toys today. Parents and grandparents are often on the look-out for toys made from wood (cars/trucks, checker boards, dollhouses, nesting dolls, etc.) as they make great gifts for kids of any age. The options are endless so consider putting your woodworking skills to the test and make some toys to sell.
If you can make and sell toys, why not craft the toy box to house them as well? Toy boxes are easy to make and there are so many different options available, from a crate-style cedar box to a solid oak box with a lid! All that is required is some wood, sandpaper, screws and nails, hinges, wood glue, a saw and a finishing product!
A coat rack on a wall adds rustic appeal and unique charm to a home. They are easy to build requiring only a few simple hardware items including wood, nails and some wrought iron hangers. Finish with some paint or stain and you have an inexpensive (yet profitable) wood project that will appeal to many homeowners.
Picture frames add style and appeal to any photograph, especially family portraits. They can be designed to look modern (with cool colors and embellishments) or rustic with (refurbished wood and aging techniques). They are always an in-demand with great profit potential.
Planter boxes make great outdoor decorations for patios, decks, terraces or gardens. They are simple to design yet highly sought-after. They are inexpensive to make, requiring just some wood, nails and stain yet they have great potential for profit. Best of all, they appeal to many homeowners as they can be used indoors as well as outdoors!
Indoor and Outdoor Furniture
Wooden furniture is a staple in most homes and nowadays, bespoke (or customized) pieces are in great demand. So many items can be made from coffee tables to wardrobes. Creating beautiful pieces of furniture is both a profitable and rewarding endeavour for hobbyists with the possibilities seeming almost endless!
Indoor and Outdoor Signage
Making a ‘welcome’ sign for a front porch, an address block for a house, a ‘family rules’ plaque for a living room or even a growth chart for a kid’s room are all great woodworking ideas that homeowners love and you can profit from. Use high-quality wood, cut to precision and finish with care to ensure top-dollar for your wood creations.
Wooden utensils such as forks, spoons and knives have both ornamental and functional features that appeal to most people. They look great set on a rustic wood table in either a kitchen or a dining room. An added bonus is their ability to conduct heat more efficiently than their metal counterparts.
Whether floating or box-style, shelves are easy to make and lend themselves to all sorts of customizations, increasing their potential for profit. Using purposed wood, it is easy (and inexpensive) to create both rustic and modern designs. All that is required is a little cutting, sanding and staining.
Birdfeeders and Birdhouses
Birdhouses are so appealing when made from a high-quality wood and stained or painted to perfection! They are easier to make than you may think and have so much potential for profit. After all, who doesn’t love to watch or listen to birds singing on a bright, summer morning! Made with redwood, cedar, cypress or pine wood, these items will have bird-enthusiasts seeking your woodworking services!
Coffee Cup Racks
Similar to coat racks, coffee cup racks look great in a kitchen and make great gift ideas for weddings, bridal showers, even birthdays of Christmas. They don’t take long to make, require only a few supplies and have great potential for profit. Unique and ‘quirky’, these handmade wood items are perfect for homeowners and coffee lovers alike.
Wine and Glass Racks
Wine racks made out of wood are sturdy and appealing. They look great in any home can be sold for nice profit to any wine-lover looking for a unique piece to display their bottles and glasses. They are inexpensive (often made from used pallets) and fun to make and will be in demand as long as wine is made and sold.
A drink holder such as a beer caddy with an attached bottle opener makes a great gift for birthdays, Christmas and even Father’s Day! Try using pine wood, which is both inexpensive and easy to stain. Customize it with cool details such as a favorite beer logo or even a person’s name. This an easy and fun piece to make sure to strike interest with beer lovers and party-goers and has great potential for profit.
Wooden dog beds are a great alternative to the commercial, plastic types. They are sturdy, attractive, appealing and can be made to suit both the homeowner’s style and the dog’s personality. They aren’t difficult to make and have great profitability potential.
Wooden headboards add charm and rustic appeal to any bedroom. They are always in demand and make a great bespoke edition to a home. What better way to put your artistic woodworking skills to use and make a profit at the same time.
Wooden jewelry boxes are a great gift idea for birthdays, Christmas or even Mother’s Day. Add felt to the bottom and dividers on inside to add extra appeal. Keep the design, yet elegant, which will keep your costs down for profitability. Try including a unique, personal touch such as a hand-written or calligraphic note on the type of wood used and where it’s from.
Wooden chess boards are simple and elegant and can be made in one afternoon! Simply prepare the wood, make the board and finish the piece. It is important to use good quality wood such as walnut or maple and to be sure it properly planed and straight. A great gift idea for any chess player, these boards have so much potential for profit, especially around Christmas time.
Handmade cutting boards are great woodworking projects to make and sell. Whether it be an end-grain or edge- grain board, these items make great gift ideas and are easier to make then you may think. Check out my previous article entitled What Tool You Need To Make a Cutting Board for more information.
Cedar chests are great for storage and look beautiful when hand-crafted to perfection with quality wood and finishing. A great gift for weddings or baby showers, this item can be made quickly and easily with cedar decking and pre-cut planed boards and can turn a profit if done well.
Handmade wooden picnic tables are great for a patio or deck at home or at the cottage. They can be made with different types of wood (such as fir or cedar) in a variety of different styles and sizes. They are sturdy, durable and visually-appealing with great potential for profit.
In conclusion, there are many ways to profit designing and selling homemade wooden items. Taping into your creative side and reshaping a block or piece of wood into something worthy of both praise and profit is a fantastic feeling! Take your passion for woodworking to the next level and create some items to sell today. Good luck!