This is the 10 Best Woodworking Projects that Sell Well, your guide to making and selling your woodworking projects for a profit. All of these projects are crowd pleasers, and they can help you turn a profit from your hobby. I’ll show you everything, enjoy.
Making Money With Woodworking
One of the great things about woodworking as a hobby is that under the right conditions you can use your skills to make money. This can be supplemental income that helps fund your hobby, or it can be additional household income.
Since the hobby of woodworking inherently produces objects, it’s no great leap that selling those objects can turn them into cash. This is fantastic, because your hobby will not just be a money pit like so many other hobbies out there.
To get started, it only takes the first step. You need to make some projects, and then post them for sale someplace and see what type of feedback you get. You can start online, or by getting a booth at a small craft show or fair.
At first, try not to spend very much money getting yourself out there. Over time, you can increase the amount you spend to get into different shows, but there are several inexpensive ones that you can usually find in just about any area of the world.
This can be a good first step into selling woodworking projects for a living. All you need to do is give it a shot, and the following 10 projects will get you started off on the right foot.
Here they are in no particular order, and I’ll go into each one of them in more detail further down in the post.
- Cutting boards
- Picture frames
- Wooden signs
- Wizard wands
- Wooden beads
- Bottle openers
- Candle holders
- Book holders
- Growth rulers
- Wooden rings
See Also: A Beginners Guide to Woodworking
Cutting boards are literally the bread and butter woodworking project that most people start with when they decide to sell what they make. Cutting boards are super easy to build, and they have one other distinct advantage over other projects.
You can make cutting boards from scraps. You can also make cutting boards from off cuts of lumber that are sold for a discount in a woodworking store. This means the project itself has a very low materials cost.
The creativity and the beauty of cutting boards is how you lay out the different pieces of wood to create a look. I recommend experimenting with light and dark colored types of wood, and come up with a few different sizes.
Finish them with something like a cutting board oil or wax, and that will bring out the look of the wood while maintaining food safety. Cutting boards go together very easily, and you can crank out several of them in an afternoon.
If you make it a point to buy scraps, or use the existing scraps that you already have in the shop, you can also make them for next to nothing. Take them to your next show, or post them online, and see what you sell.
Take a look and see if there’s any commonality between the pieces that sell, and then you can create more just like them. Let the market tell you what it likes, and you can continue to sell handmade cutting boards for a profit.
It surprises me how expensive picture frames can actually be. If you go into one of the craft stores that makes custom picture frames, you can spend quite a bit of money before you even realize that you made a mistake.
Picture frames in reality are not very hard to make. It’s just four pieces of wood with miter joints, joined together so that way they’re strong. You put a small rabbit behind the frame for the picture and the glass to fit, and then a couple small plastic flippers to hold it down.
There are also many different types of tools and jigs that you can buy that make creating picture frames even easier. You don’t have to buy them in the beginning of course, but if you end up making a lot of picture frames they can be quite valuable.
A trick to making picture frames is to use wooden trim that is sold for molding inside houses and on cabinets. Some of the stuff is incredibly beautiful, and you can create an amazing looking picture frame with this little secret trick.
Make some frames in different sizes and colors, and again see what the market likes so you can decide what to make more of. Smaller picture frames will probably sell a little bit easier than larger ones, but if you can give a deal on a large frame you can probably move it.
Wooden signs are everywhere now. With the rustic furniture and Decour movement in full swing, there are wooden signs with just about every imaginable saying or phrase on them. This is good though, because that means there are still a lot of customers.
Wooden signs are a bit more involved as far as construction goes, but if you can get access to the tools, you can do really well. On the woodworking side, the tools are very minimal, it’s more on the design and layout side that need more tools.
One of the best things you can possibly get is called asilhouette cameo, which is a tool that cuts out different shapes on adhesive backed vinyl. It basically lets you make sticky lettering and design elements that you can apply to your wooden sign.
This is how the professionals make their signs. All you do is create a nice background, then design the contents and layout of your sign on the computer. The silhouette shoots out the image, and you peel and stick it to your sign.
Lather, rinse, repeat, and you can have dozens and dozens of signs to sell.
See Also: Growth Chart Ruler with Silhouette
A wand is the perfect gift for a young witch or wizard. Handmade wooden wands are super popular for both the play setting and even the serious setting. There are people that like wands from all backgrounds, and they are easy project to make.
If you have a lathe, you can crank out wands extremely quickly. You only need to start with pieces of wood that are about 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch square by around 14 inches long. Turn them to different wand shapes with handles and tips, and buff a finish on them.
You can use different colored pieces of wood to create different looks, and you can even glue together pieces of wood to create laminated wands. Turn them on the lathe, carve them by hand, or shape them however you like.
Wands make a fun gift, and they represent the fun side of woodworking. They are fun toys for kids, and the cost to manufacture them is very low. If you use a lathe, your time commitment to manufacture them is also very low.
See Also: How to Make a Hand Carved Wand
One day I just happened to see how much the name brand charm bracelet companies are getting for wooden beads and I nearly fell over. It is outrageously expensive to buy wooden beads for a charm bracelet from a brand-name, thankfully you can make them yourself.
Wood beads for charm bracelets are a very simple woodworking project, and you can make them on a lathe using a pen turning mandrel. All you do is cut a little block of wood, turn it to shape, and apply finish.
Add a couple top had ferrules on either side, and you have a completed bead that looks great on any charm bracelet. This is a very small item, and it is very easy to make. You can sell them for far more than your investment in time or resources as well.
Wood is wood. Once you explain to your customers that your piece of Ebony is from the same type of tree as anyone else’s piece of Ebony, it should be a very simple decision for your customers to purchase with you.
This is one of the great gift projects that just about every woodworker who goes to a fair or show will make. Bottle openers are super easy to construct, are available in a number of different kids, and it is a project that sells easily.
Think of how many random bottle openers that people have in their houses. Yet, they still seem to buy more when they go to different places. A handmade wooden handled bottle opener is a beautiful piece, but it’s also a strong piece.
These openers stand the test of time, have a rugged look, and can be made out of any number of wood species. This is where you win as the designer, because you might be the only place in the state making an east Indian Rosewood handled bottle opener.
Start with the flat metal bottle openers pictured above, and you have a really nice base to work with.
This is also a great scrap wood project, and it’s a woodworking project that sells really well. Candle holders are super popular, they come in a number of different sizes and shapes, and above all they are super easy to make.
Just about anyone can use a candle holder. It’s the universal appeal of the project that helps make it easier to sell. Just about anybody walking by could use it, so your odds of finding a customer are increased quite a bit.
It’s all about the design at this point. Come up with something interesting, and something that you think people will enjoy. Spend your time making your line cohesive looking, and you may end up selling more than one piece at a time.
See Also: Easy DIY Tea Light Candle Holder
Book holders are great for people that have kids that are off at school, or people that enjoy reading a good book while walking around. These holders allow you to hold the book open with one hand, and it makes reading them very easy.
This is also a super simple woodworking project, because it’s made out of one small piece of wood, with one hole. If you can drill a hole, cut out a shape, and do a little sanding, you can make these by the box full.
Take a look at some of the different designs that are available, but in general the one-handed thumb hole book holder is the best. Take a nice-looking species of wood, and apply a nice looking finish. This will set yours apart from any others.
See Also: Thumb Book Holder
Growth Chart Rulers
Another excellent project that sells really well in the demographic that has kids or grand kids is growth chart rulers. These are those old-fashioned school rulers that are blown up and hung on the wall to mark the height of young children.
You’ve probably seen these before in a number of places, and the ones that you buy in retail stores are very expensive. In fact, you can sell a handmade version for less than what you would pay in a retail store, and still make money.
The other nice thing about this project is that it doesn’t require you to make any cuts. Literally all of the work is done with spray paint and stencils, so if you don’t actually have any woodworking tools just yet, this is a perfect start.
Sell as many of these as you can, and save the money so that way you can buy your first few woodworking tools. This will help make your hobby profitable right out of the gate, and keep you in that mindset hopefully for a long time.
See Also: DIY Growth Chart Ruler
This is one of my personal favorites. Wooden rings are extremely popular, and they can range in price from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. They are absolutely gorgeous, and thankfully they’re easy to make too.
You can make wooden rings by hand, or you can shape them on a lathe. If you’re making lots of them, and trying to sell them, it’s definitely a lot easier to do it with a lathe rather than making them by hand.
All you need to do is come up with a few good looking wood lamination designs, and then turn those into attractive wooden rings. Take them to your show, or post them online to sell and see what kind of feedback you get.
Wedding rings are very addicting, and the process for making one of them in a certain look is the same as making it in another look most of the time. Come up with some unique designs, and apply a beautiful finish.
Customers will love them, and because they’re so small your cost to manufacture them is nearly nothing for the materials. There will be some time involved of course, but that is the same for every project that you want to make and then sell.
Your Action Assignment
Now that you know 10 easy to make projects that you can make and sell as a woodworker, it’s time to stand up and take some action. It doesn’t matter that you don’t know which product is going to sell better than the next. Just make something.
The world was built on action, not waiting. You may pick a loser for your particular market, but you may also pick a winner, or something in between. It’s all about making something, and getting started by taking action.
The safe projects to choose are the ones that can be used by the majority of people. This would be the cutting board above all others. Anyone can use a cutting board, and a nicely made cutting board makes an attractive gift.
Since cutting boards can be made out of scraps, if you’ve been doing any kind of woodworking for a while you probably have a lot of free cutting boards just laying around your shop in a different form right now. That’s good news.
Collect some of those scraps that have been just gathering dust, and arrange them into the shape of a cutting board. Glue them up, let them dry, and then cut and sand your board to shape. Apply a food safe finish, and you’re ready to start selling.
While you are working with your customers, feel free to ask them what type of woodworking projects they are interested in buying, or they currently collect. You’ll be surprised at how freely people give feedback, and if you find something in common, it could be good for you.
If you have any questions and the 10 best woodworking projects that sell, please post a question and I’ll be glad to answer them. Happy building.
- More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
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