If you’re looking to make extra money, then no better way to make doing something you love! Here are some easy woodworking projects that sell! Plus, all the tips and advice to help you make a profit from day one!
You want to make more money, but you’re not quite sure how to do it? Lots of people say to turn your hobby into a small side business, which sounds great. Do something you love and make money at it; a double win for sure! But if your hobby is woodworking, do people even still want things made from wood? We’re in a plastic mass-produced world after all.
Don’t worry; you absolutely have a marketable skill that people will pay good money for! People love solid wood items, as they last a long time, and are very customizable. Plus, they make great gift items during the holidays or as housewarming gifts.
Yes, you have woodworking skills, but you aren’t sure how to use them in a way that will earn money. We’ve put together a list of 10 profitable woodworking projects that you can start making & selling today!
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- If you’re looking to make extra money, then no better way to make doing something you love! Here are some easy woodworking projects that sell! Plus, all the tips and advice to help you make a profit from day one!
- How much money can you make selling homemade wooden crafts?
- 1. Wooden children’s toys
- 2. Wooden board games
- 3. Wooden wall art
- 4. Wooden cutting boards
- 5. Wooden message & mail stations
- 6. Wooden storage boxes
- 7. Wooden blanket ladder
- 8. Personalized wooden gifts
- 9. Wooden trays or caddies
- 10. Wooden letters & numbers
- Where to sell your items
- How to get started with woodworking
- At the end of the day
How much money can you make selling homemade wooden crafts?
Woodworking is, for the most part, is becoming a lost art. What people used to do by hand is now being done by machines, and plastic is taking over as it’s cheaper to use than wood. That being said, handmade crafts are still popular, yet fewer people are making them, which means as time goes on you can command a higher price, or as your skills rise and the pieces you make become more detailed and complicated.
The key to charging a premium price is the quality of the work you produce.
There are wood crafts that sell for $500.00, while others can be sold for under $20.00. It all depends on how detailed the item is, how long it took to make, and the materials used in your wooden projects.
The Money Family, who also happens to do woodworking on Etsy, says ” In a given month we typically do around $1,500 – $2,000 in sales with a 65% profit margin. It’s a great way to make some extra money with a very part-time job that lets me work my own hours and enjoy the time in the shop.”
Woodshop News estimates that wages “woodshop averages of $43,373, which is very much in line with the overall study results and the private-sector numbers.” This is decent, but then Zippa Career Experts say that the average woodworker salary is $61,000. Obviously, it takes a while to get to this level, as your pay is the result of your level of skill and quality of work, which takes time to perfect.
10 easy woodworking projects that sell
1. Wooden children’s toys
These are great as a starter woodworking project as they can be very simple and safe but still make money.
It’s especially important that children’s wooden toys need to be made of quality wood that won’t splinter, that it’s sanded well, and engages imaginative play. Some great items to consider getting started in this niche are…
- Wood animals or dolls
- Wooden beads
- Wood toy cars, trucks, and trains
- Wooden ring
- Wooden dollhouses and furniture
- Simple wooden puzzles
- Building blocks
2. Wooden board games
Selling wooden games is an excellent way to make money with woodworking. One example of this type of product is a homemade tic-tac-toe game. These games are very easy to make, and they can be sold for $15 each or more.
While some games can be very simple to make, you can go the fancy route by doing different inlays of other woods to create design elements. This will increase the price, but also take you more time.
Some other games are…
- Chinese checkers
3. Wooden wall art
This is a very popular type of wooden craft, but it’s also one that requires patience and skill. Wooden wall art can be difficult to make for beginners because there are many different types you could get into, such as…
- Wall plaques with an inspirational quote or saying
- Wooden name plaques
- Picture frames
- Animal wall hangings (i.e. cat, bird)
- Hanging wine rack
- Wooden clock
- Personalized wooden signs
When I was decorating my daughter’s nursery, I bought some personalized wood wall art, it was her name, about 20′ long, and it was covered in silver glitter. It is beautiful and still holds a prime spot on her wall.
With wall art, it’s good to give people options with finishes, paint colors, sizes, and even fonts styles.
4. Wooden cutting boards
This is another item that you could create to sell, and it’s one of the most popular. People love custom cutting boards because they can be personalized with text or their family crest.
A wooden cutting board is relatively easy to make if you have a CNC machine… but otherwise, they will take some time due to all the manual labor involved in creating them by hand.
To get started making these for sale, find out what type of wood your audience would prefer (maple vs. walnut), then add designs such as leaves or hearts using a scroll saw. Next, paint designs onto each board using stencils which adds even more detail and visual appeal when selling online. Once complete, let them dry overnight before applying mineral oil.
Don’t forget to think of matching items to go along with the cutting board, like a nice large salad bowl, wooden serving utensils, a knife block, etc.
A very popular cutting board that I have seen is a basic silhouette of a Mickey Mouse head. People went nuts over this item in a Facebook group. So creating specific merchandise for niche groups can also be lucrative. Note: it’s important to know what things are trademarked and what are not. A basic outline of a shape (i.e., Mickey Head) is fine, but don’t full out copy an image.
Along these same lines, a set of Mickey & Minnie Mouse Adirondack chairs sells for $250 (unstained), which I have seen a ton of people post pictures of the ones they have purchased from a single seller (same Facebook group as above). These are the cutest outdoor chairs if you’re into that (which, if you can’t tell, I am a Disney fan).
5. Wooden message & mail stations
Mail stations, or people call these “command centers,” are coming back in style. It’s basically a place where you put all your stuff to take with you going out the door or when you come into your home. You’ll want spaces/slots for incoming & outgoing mail, notepads, a place to hang car keys, a chalkboard spot for notes, etc.
You could also make some really nice floating shelves, a box shelf, or a wooden frame that matches to help encourage people to add on items to their cart.
6. Wooden storage boxes
Wooden boxes are another very popular item to make for sale, especially if you can use a laser cutter. You’ll want some variety of boxes that have different layouts and sizes so people will buy more than one at a time. Some examples include…
- Under-bed storage boxes (great for dorm rooms or under the sofa).
- Toy chests
- Storage cubes
- Locking jewelry cases (with removable trays)
- Phone docking station
Jewelry display stands (to show off your wares in person) A tip here is to create interesting designs on the outside with either stencils or by painting freehand. This helps them stand out from other crafty wooden items online, which tend to be more rustic looking without design elements like flowers.
7. Wooden blanket ladder
A wood blanket ladder is an easy woodworking project, and it’s a great gift for a quilter as they add rustic charm and allows people to display their blankets better in a more attractive way. They also keep blankets from being thrown on the ground when not in use. This helps retain the value of the blanket by preventing wear and tear over time compared with just laying it down anywhere, as most people do nowadays.
Also, consider making wooden shelf brackets/towel bars. Shelves that match could be offered in different but complementary sizes, and make great bundle options. This encourage people to buy more than one, which of course equals more sales.
8. Personalized wooden gifts
This is another category that can earn you a good amount of money, but it will require more work than some other craft ideas. It requires either designing your own laser cut files (which many people do), or finding existing vector art and using the CNC machine to create them out of wood.
Custom wooden gifts are very popular because they allow for personalization in ways that most mass-produced items don’t offer. For example…
- Family crests (similar to coat-of-arms)
- Pet memorial plaques/dog tags with pet’s name and date passed on engraved into the wooden casket. This is probably one option where creating designs yourself would be better so you don’t have to pay anyone royalties from selling pre-made.
- Commemorative ornaments – baby’s first Christmas, etc.
- Wall art – family tree, name placards
- Cutting board with a family recipe on it
Some of the above personalization can also be done with wood burning, which would make the custom part of producing these products go a lot faster.
9. Wooden trays or caddies
People love to use trays, especially for parties. These can be used as a centerpiece decoration on the table or simply an organizing tool during the day by helping people keep things like napkins, utensils, and cups all in one place.
With caddies, it’s best if you include lids so that they can also double as storage too (i.e. chips & dip). This will allow them to buy more than just one piece at a time and increase sales of your items overall which is always good news!
Or another popular caddy is a bathtub caddy; it’s something that fits over the edges of the bathtub and can hold a book, phone, beverage, etc.
Other similar items can include wooden candle holder, coasters, cheese board, etc.
10. Wooden letters & numbers
Wooden letters are great because they can be used for decor items like name plaques which makes them pretty popular. People can mix and match letters to write out names so have both uppercase and lowercase options.
Numbered wooden blocks with letters on each side is another option that works well here if you have a CNC machine to cut out numbers and letters from wood slabs rapidly.
Where to sell your items
You’ll of course, also need a platform to sell your items. Your choices are selling online, selling in consignment shops, or selling in person.
If you want to sell online, Etsy makes a great option. Potential customers know that Etsy is the place to get custom and handmade goods so you’ll be in good company. Be sure to check out How to Get More Sales on Etsy From Day One to give you the best chance of success!
If you choose the online option, you’ll also need shipping supplies like boxes, bubble wrap, tape, etc.
Selling in consignment shops:
If you have a local craft store or garden store, they might be interested in your woodworking projects.
A great place for inspiration is the Woodworker’s Guild of America shop directory; it lists all the national and regional guilds that run shops across North America (with location information). If there isn’t one near you, consider starting up your own!
Selling in person:
If you prefer to sell in person, you can look at local farmer’s markets, sell at craft fairs or events with handmade items as well – these are especially good places to get started since people will already know what “handmade” means!
When you sell in person, make sure to bring your own display items like tables and signage so that people can find you easily. You’ll also need a cash box (or square), money bag or envelope for change (the bank gives them out free of charge), etc. Make it easy on yourself by using the same table every time! It’s much easier to remember how many things are there than having to rearrange everything all the time.
No matter where you sell, you’ll want an online presence (either a website or Facebook page) so potential customers can look at your work and contact you. Remember, good photography is so important for attracting customers! If you have bad photos, no one will want to buy your items.
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How to get started with woodworking
So, now that you’ve got your woodworking skills down and know where to sell what you make… how do you get started? There are a few things to consider before diving in.
First of all, woodworking requires special equipment – many people start with items like miter saws or routers because they have more than one use, but let’s dig in deeper.
Woodworking tools list
If you don’t already have your own tools, you’ll need to invest in a few quality pieces to get started. However, don’t get caught up in buying the hugely expensive equipment to just “maybe” start woodworking. You should already know that this is something you want to do long term before investing in these items as they can be expensive.
Hint: You may be able to find a lot of these items on the resale market and save a ton of money. Many people buy tools brand new for father’s Day or Christmas and end up dumping them (hardly used) later on. This is why tools is #8 on our list of Best Items to Flip.
Here’s a woodworking tools list of the woodshop tools you will want to consider getting if your hobby becomes a viable business.
- CNC machine
- Table saw
- Circular saw
- Sliding compound miter saw
- Band saw
- Router & router table combo kit
- Drill press – Benchtop or floor standing models are both workable.
Don’t forget about small hand tools like chisels, sanders, handsaw, files, planes, hammer & nails, sawhorses, clamps, wood glue, etc.
Note: Be sure that you have a secure space to store all these expensive tools, and a location to spread out and use them. You can always empty out your garage of all your storage stuff (and earn money selling it in garage sales), and turn your space into a woodshop.
Don’t worry, if your space is limited be sure to check out this guide on Woodworking: How to Build a Micro Workshop
Where to get wood (hopefully for cheap or free)
When woodworking, you’ll want to use the best wood possible. There are different grades. According to Woodworking for Dummies, there are “firsts, seconds, selects and common.” It goes from best to worst quality with knots and defects. Use only firsts & seconds for woodworking.
This means you may need to spend a lot of money on wood that has been specially milled and dried for woodworking purposes. You can find lots of options on WoodworkersSource.
However, there are other options available if you’re looking for cheap or free wood, which is ideal. You can check with your local lumber supply store (Home Depot & Lowe’s too) for scrap lumber; these are great to use just for practice. Often, Craigslist is a good option where builders get rid of their scrap wood.
How to learn woodworking skills
With any hobby, you’ll need the supplies and working knowledge of the items you want to make. Luckily there are many resources out there on the internet that can teach you how to get started if you’re interested in woodworking.
Take a course on Craftsy –
Are you on Craftsy? If not then no worries, you can get started today. They have tons of classes and how-to videos on all things craft-related. Even Woodworking classes!
- Drawing & Painting
- Baking & Cooking
- Paper crafts
This is an online learning platform where people pay $15-30/month to take courses taught by experts over video tutorials so they can learn skills quickly without having to attend a class or workshop (which usually costs hundreds of dollars).
Some classes include:
- Fundamentals of Furniture Making
- Finishing Essentials
- Hand-Held Router Techniques
- Table Saw Essentials
- All About Wood
Independent courses –
- The Weekend Woodworker is a great place to start! You find Steve’s older videos on YouTube, but he’s recently made a complete online course just for you (and the 18,000+ students who have taken it).
It’s a six-week online program, which “is the only program of its kind that walks you step-by-step through creating beautiful, practical pieces for your home, office, shop, and patio over a weekend. We’ll cover everything from finding the right materials, to picking the perfect projects to get started, to saving money on tools, to cutting techniques, to joinery, to finishing your project beautifully and in your own style.”
- The Woodworkers Guild of America is another great place to learn about a specific wood project (i.e., using reclaimed wood), or general knowledge about how to work with wood. The classes tend to be smaller than Steve’s, more single skill or topic-specific. There are a ton of options, so be careful as buying programs individually, it can add up to a lot of money.
Woodworking instruction videos made available through YouTube channels like David Picciuto on Make Something who specializes in CNC routing machines and other woodworking techniques.
Remember, anyone can post on YouTube, so make sure that you are following a reputable, trained, and safety-focused channel. Be very selective in your teacher!
Going the DIY learning route with YouTube is great for learning skills, but for some items, you may need detailed woodworking plans & instructions on how to build items. Luckily there are lots of options for you to get started. Start with a simple woodworking project and then work your way up to more detailed plans, like wooden furniture (Adirondack chair, coffee table, raw edge dining table, etc.). For example…
- Multifunction bench
- Make your own woodshop cabinets
- Simple outdoor bench plans
- Farmhouse table
- 1890’s era rocking horse
- Construction vehicle bed for kids
- Adirondack chair
- Amazing garden shed
At the end of the day
Woodworking can be a great creative outlet, and you create unique, beautiful, and useful items. Could it get any better? Yes, you could make money doing this great thing that you love! With these 10 easy woodworking projects that sell, you can start your new side hustle today! You may not be Bob Villa, but you should absolutely get a plaid shirt and your own tool belt if it makes you feel more legit.
Articles related to woodworking projects that sell:
- How to Get Sales on Etsy from Day One!
- The Best Etsy Shop Ideas (Perfect for You!)
- 25 of the Best Items to Flip for Massive Money