7 Things To Weld and Sell (Money Making Scrap Metal Projects with Instructions)
Make easy money with 7 things to weld and sell that are relatively quick and easy to create. BONUS: most of the projects can be made from scrap metal which will put more cash in your pocket for your efforts!
The enthusiasm for purchasing hand-crafted items is on the rise. Why not metal items? The welded metal decor might not be as common as other hand-crafted items, because not everyone is taught how to weld, but it is very easy to create and sell!
Great news for those even a little bit skilled or inclined to create pieces of metal art! There are so many items you can construct and sell—you’re only limited to your imagination and the tools in your shop.
Most hobby welders are familiar with MIG welding, and for the purpose of this article, we’ll assume this is the type of welding you’ll be doing. For MIG welding, you’ll be using bare wire for smaller, thinner pieces of metal, or Flux Core welding might be your choice.
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Don’t forget to read our tips below each project and at the end of the article, they will give you more ideas for welding and selling!
Before we get started on what types of things you can weld and sell, let’s cover what items you’ll want to have on hand before you begin, just in case you’re new to this hobby:
- Welding helmets are necessary for your safety. A welding helmet will protect your eyes from the very bright light while welding and the helmet or mask itself will protect your face and neck from hot sparks flying at you.
- Welding gloves are a must for protecting your hands. Let’s face it, without hands, you won’t be able to weld very well.
- Arrow welding magnets for mocking up the project and holding in place for welding (great for projects like this.
- MIG Welder.
- Angle grinder.
- Chipping slag hammer and wire brush.
- Chop Saw or Angle Grinder Diamond cutting blade.
- Lastly, without getting off track, make sure you have all of the supplies you will need to create some sellable welded pieces. You need sanding paper, angle grinder, discs, and acetone for cleaning.
There are many cool things you can make that people are looking to buy. Once you get started and people hear about your metal work, hopefully you’ll have custom orders coming your way soon!
Let’s begin our projects.
1. Jewelry Tree for Hanging Jewelry
This is a great idea, because it appeals not only to females, but also to males looking to buy something unique for their loved ones. This is also an easy project that basically anyone (even with minimal welding experience) can do.
For this Welded Jewelry Tree Project You Will Need:
- Metal rods of different thickness. This way, you can use a thicker rod for the trunk of the tree and some lower branches, while using thinner rods for branches higher up on the tree.
- For the base, use sheet metal or just about anything that will sit flat, enabling your tree to stand tall even after it is loaded with jewelry.
- Tip: when selecting the metal rod, make sure it is narrow enough that rings can be placed on it. Chains, necklaces, and watches won’t be a problem, but you don’t want to create this and not be able to place rings on it.
You can opt to create an existing design; however, I would recommend creating your trees freestyle. This way, they’re all unique, plus it will improve your chances of selling!
How to Create Your Metal Jewelry Tree
- Have an idea in your head as to how big your finished product will be. 12 – 18 inches high is a pretty good size, keep the size in mind and how much space it will take up once finished.
- If you think it will be easier, pre-bend some pieces before welding vs. bending them after they’re welded together.
- Before starting to weld, cut random lengths of metal rod that you feel will be best for the size of tree you decided on.
- Find a scrap piece of metal or something that will work well for the base. TIP: You can always weld a few pieces of scrap metal together to create your own base.
- Sand and clean your rods and base. Make sure to wipe everything off. Cleaning the areas that will be welded will ensure strong clean welds and a beautiful piece of art will almost guarantee an easy sale.
- First thing to do once you are all cleaned up and ready to go is to weld the trunk to the base. TRUNK TIP: You could also weld scrap pieces together to take the shape of a trunk. Once welded use a grinder or file to shape it some, remember trunks come in all shapes.
- Next, start adding your main branches. Remember to use the thicker rod for lower branches and thinner for the upper ones. Also, the lower branches might be longer than the upper ones.
- Once you have most of your main branches welded on, start adding thinner and shorter pieces to start filling out your tree. Make sure your branches allow pieces of jewelry to ‘hang on’ without falling off.
- After all branches are in place, sand the welds up a bit as needed if you like.
- If you have spray paint for metal, give it a couple of coats, or maybe just polish the tree, giving it more of an industrial look.
Pricing your Jewelry Tree and Other Welded Metal Projects You Sell
Now that you have a really cool jewelry tree to sell, what price can you ask? The process of deciding on a price isn’t easy. Most artists will ask much higher than the market is willing to pay. However, that being said, if you are introducing an item that is new in your area, then the first few sales you get will pay just about anything for it.
The longer your listing is seen, the lower the price is going to end up being. That’s just my experience; yours could be different.
My recommendation for deciding on a selling price is to ask yourself and a couple friends what they might pay for it. Don’t be offended by the amounts they throw at you. Tell them what you were thinking of asking and see if it sounds reasonable.
I know a lot of people who look at how long it took to build, and then add so much per hour to the cost of the material. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. At the end of the day, it’s all about what a customer is willing to pay if you want to sell your items as quickly as possible.
Final Tip: Jewelry trees are popular items because thin necklaces are easily tangled when simply thrown on a dresser or vanity table. A woman needs somewhere to hang her beloved necklace so it stays perfect. The jewelry tree solves this problem, plus it’s easy and inexpensive to create from scrap material. Make it look like its own unique piece of art and it will fetch more money, plus check out Etsy and you’ll find pieces like this can be lucrative with little time and money invested.
2. Bowl made out of Metal Washers, Nuts and Bolts
I really like this one because it’s super easy to weld together and will be a unique piece almost every time. Another reason I like it is that you might be able to get your washers for free. If you have connections with people that work in the trades, then chances are you’ll be able to score some free washers, nuts, and bolts among other scrap items to create it.
- If you want to add other pieces like short strips of metal or used bolts (see picture), instead of just using washers, this is something I feel will give the bowl more of a masculine touch. When I look at these bowls side by side and compare ones made out of washers vs ones with washers and metal strips, the washer-only bowls really do have more of a feminine touch.
For this Bowl project you will need:
- You might think I am going to say washers first, but no. The first thing you’ll need is a metal bowl or other object to use as a mold for this project.
- Next, you’ll need enough metal washers to create your project.
- Bare wire for welding.
How to Create Your Metal Bowl to sell
- To start, place your mold upside down.
- Lean washers against the mold (bowl). Layout enough so you can start welding some together.
- As you go, you can add more washers moving upwards.
- I would recommend building your bowl up and over the top and then start on the other side, piecing more washers together until what is left looks like something you can turn over and place items in.
- Once done with the washers, take sandpaper or your angle grinder and smooth out the welds a bit.
- To finish the bowl, spray it with a metal lacquer to give it an industrial look. You could also get creative with some spray paint. If you’re selling this piece as something to be placed in a kitchen, then try some brighter and light colors.
Tip: try using different size washers as well as throwing in the odd nut, bolt, or other piece of metal into your piece of art to give it more character and uniqueness.
Final Tip: These could easily be made in different sizes with different scrap pieces of metal. For the sake of this article, we talked about using washers and or nuts and bolts but put your imagination to good use. The more unique and intriguing an item is, the more money you’ll get for it!
For more ideas on where to get scrap metal check out our other article – How To Find Free Scrap Metal.
3. Good luck Horseshoe Bookend [Napkins and more Holder]
Horseshoes have somehow become a symbol of good luck. I’m sure there’s a story behind it. People will say, “You are so lucky, you must have a horseshoe stuck up your b*tt!” Sounds kind of disgusting now that I type it, but it means you’re very lucky!
Horseshoes turned upright are a symbol of good luck. If you have a pair of horseshoe bookends turned upright, most superstitious people will revel in the fact that they have some extra luck on their side. These are the people that are going to buy your bookends.
For this Horseshoe Bookend Project You Will Need
- Horseshoes (of course). At least two for each set you want to make. I have seen some bookends that are solely horseshoes—one standing upright on top of another that is lying flat. I prefer using a metal plate and welding the shoes to those.
- Metal plate/sheet metal of some sort to create a base and possibly the side that rests against the books.
How to Create Your Horseshoe Bookends
- Most likely, the horseshoes you have will be used; therefore, clean them up a bit. With acetone and sanding paper, you should be able to get them ready to weld in no time at all.
- If you’re welding two pieces of metal plate in a 90 degree form, you’ll want to use a vice to hold one of the pieces, unless you have a jig to hold both in place at 90 degrees. Make sure the inside corner of the pieces is a 90 degree angle; otherwise, the horseshoe will not fit well and will look like a toddler made it.
- If you’re only using metal plate as the base, you’ll want to butt an end up against something like a metal toolbox or similar. Then, take your horseshoe and set the rounded part on the base, sliding up to also butt up against the toolbox. This will ensure when finished, the horseshoes butts up against the books.
- Weld everything into place as you go. This shouldn’t take long at all. If you have a large amount of horseshoes and metal plates, you could knock off quite a few of these in an afternoon.
- After everything has cooled, go ahead and clean everything up, sanding or grinding the welds.
- As with all of the pieces in this article, use a lacquer for metal or paint for metal to finish it.
Final Tip: The cool thing about these Horseshoe bookend holders is that you can use them for creating rustic-themed holders for napkins, menus, CD’s, Blu-rays, bills, and whatever else you can think of. Place these on your shelves or on your kitchen counter. They will add interest to any space as well as functionality!
4. Industrial Style Desk Organizer
Let’s face it, industrial style anything is growing in popularity. Another thing growing in popularity is using scrap pieces of materials to make unique projects. Everywhere you see on the Internet, you’ll get ideas on how to use scrap wood, metal, and other materials. That’s what I love about this project—it’s a great way to use up materials to make something really cool that’s easy to sell!
For This industrial Style Desk Organizer You Will Need:
- Scrap metal, including (but not limited to) square tubing of any size. If you use different sizes in the same project, it will look better and be much more useful.
- Large springs, pieces of sprockets, and other unique items. Also, a spark plug and sheet metal.
- Your imagination as to what this organizer will potentially hold. Will it hold pens, pencils, a calculator, maybe a cell phone, remote control, paper clips, etc.?
How to Create an Industrial Style Desk Organizer
- Cut your metal plate to the size you want the base to be.
- Cut pieces of tubing or round pipe in different lengths. Make sure they aren’t too long, as you want pens to be reachable as they sit in the holders.
- Place the piping and other pieces in place.
- Now, if you have other metal materials to add something extra to the piece, place those on the base to get an idea as to how it will look. This will help you when you start welding everything together.
- Go ahead and tack everything together.
- When done welding, clean all the welds up and again spray with a lacquer or paint.
I feel this is another project you could make quite a few pieces in a short amount of time. You might be able to gather some of these materials for free as well.
Final Tip: While our picture displays just one style of desk organizer, the options you can make with scrap materials are endless. And there is no right or wrong shape, which is the beauty of this. This is a great project for beginners or for welders who want to make fast money turning scraps into usable items people will buy. It doesn’t take long to make several different shapes and sizes.
5. Metal Yard Art
If you’ve ever been to a garden store or big box store that sells lawn ornaments, you know how ridiculously expensive they can be. So, tap into those sales and make yourself some good money! Whether you go to your local garden center or look online, there are endless amounts of metal lawn pieces people want to buy!
I like creating anything that looks like the sun and/or moon. Depending on your skill level, you could create animals. Buyers are passionate about pets, so they’ll purchase animal pieces. You can make metal stands for plant pots, or another favorite of mine is huge metal numbers for house street addresses.
For house street addresses, I would make very large numbers out of scrap metal. Things like square tubing, metal rods, and anything I feel would create what looks like a number or numbers. You don’t want to have too many different types of metal, because you want someone looking from the street to see the numbers without much effort.
You can create any size you want. A 3’ number would look really good on your lawn.
How to create an oversized metal number
- Gather the metal, knowing how high the end piece should be.
- Cut any pieces that will make up the height to the height you desire.
- Pre-assemble the pieces to make the number(s) so you can see what the end result will look like.
- Start tacking your metal together.
- Once your number(s) is together, make a support piece for the back so you can stand the number up on the ground. Think of the pictures you have in your home that are sitting on a table with a support piece so the picture stands properly. That is what you’re trying to replicate.
- Tack th support piece to the back of your number(s).
- Now that everything is done, feel free to clean up the welds a bit with an angle grinder or sandpaper.
- You could paint your house numbers to match or contrast your home so they stand out. That’s your call.
People will buy these because they’re unique. I’ve seen some attach metal numbers to rocks. This will be a more attractive piece in some areas of the country, but it all depends on the look you’re going for outside your home as well.
If you end up making things like the sun, for example, people will enjoy hanging them right on their house or fences. Your imagination is the only thing holding you back with this money maker.
Final Tip: House numbers are a big seller. People are always on the lookout for different and unique ways of displaying their house numbers, whether it’s on their garage, house, yard or more. Go take a look at the smaller versions of house numbers on Etsy. The numbers you can create from scrap metal will be more custom, which will garner a higher price. Look online for different ideas and add your own twist to it!
6. Cool Creatures made out of Metal
If you’re creative, how about making some cool creature pieces? Or, try your hand at anything that looks creepy and cool and you will find yourself selling to a very popular niche group. Fish pieces are easy to make. You don’t need to follow any specific pattern. You can basically create anything and call it a fish!
Scrap metal is a great option here, or if you have any old hand tools like wrenches, you can incorporate those into the artwork.
To make something like this, lay pieces out on your workbench and move them around to form something interesting to make, and potentially interesting enough for someone to buy! The more you make of these, the better the end pieces will become.
In relation to the last section on yard art, you could make these to hang on a cabin or deck, or even weld a long rod onto it so the fish can be stuck into the ground and set out in the yard or garden somewhere.
How to Create Cool Creatures
- Lay out your pieces to create your creature.
- As you start getting a shape you like, weld the pieces.
- Keep cutting and moving pieces around, and when you feel you have the next piece in the right place, tack it to the rest of the creature.
- That’s basically it. Just start building the artwork and you will end up with something cool and unique.
- When done, clean up the welds if necessary, and paint or cover with a lacquer.
7. Welded Metal Horseshoe Frog
- I have to give you one more creative fun and easy-to-sell project idea: if you have horseshoes and a couple large washers left over from two of our previous projects mentioned above, why not try making a cool frog? These cute little critters would look great on your deck or in your garden.
- You can model your frog after the picture provided in this article. I would suggest using a metal paint for the horseshoes if you decide to place your metal frog in a garden or other area where it will get wet.
Welding and Selling the Last Tips
Sure, it’s good to have an idea of what you are trying to create. Sometimes, just starting to put pieces together will give you an idea on what to do or weld next. The more you do, the easier it gets to be creative. The more creative you are, the more sales you will have. Don’t overthink it and don’t try to be perfect. Perfect pieces are not as interesting or unique.
Like we mentioned earlier in this article go check out Etsy as well as eBay and other online market places. You will see what others are selling and what items are popular. Be sure to look at reviews and feedback. The more views and feedback the more popular an item is and the more likely it will have a broad appeal and sell faster.
NOTE: Also look at what has sold, this will give you a good indicator on what kind of price you can ask for yours.
Keep pictures on your phone of projects you created at all times. You never know when the opportunity will arise to spark up a conversation, show someone your welded pieces and take an order!
People are always looking for those hard-to-find gifts, and when they give something hand made, it’s even better. These are easy sellers!
The biggest take away from this article is to not be caught up on exact style or shape but to use your imagination. Be open to creating any of these projects from scrap materials you can get your hands on for free. You will be able to make just as much money or more from the final piece you create.
Now, it’s time to start. Good luck!
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