Make money woodworking
Are you a creative person who enjoys working with wood?
And already have the basic tools needed for creating wooden projects and furniture?
Then, did someone tell you that you can earn decent money with woodworking in your spare time?
Yes, that’s absolutely possible!
Read on this blog to learn about how to make money woodworking?
There is a growing demand for unique and one-of-a-kind wooden furniture pieces in a world full of cheap plastic mass-produced products and furniture.
Making and selling wooden products is not only a great side hustle, but it can also be very relaxing and enjoyable.
In this article, you will learn what it takes to start a woodworking business from home. Also, find details on how to get started, which projects sell the best, and what are the best places to sell your products.
So, let’s get started.
What is woodworking?
The art of converting wood into useful items is known as woodworking.
It is a great hobby or skill which can also be turned into a profitable side hustle or full-time business.
It requires creativity, superior skills, and a lot of practice. But as your skills improve, you can create more complex projects and earn even more.
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What skills do you need to become a woodworker?
You may have tried your hand at a few woodworking projects in your garage and enjoyed the process.
However, for your projects to sell well, they must be of a certain quality. You need to have the following skills if you want to make money as a woodworker –
- Ability to work well with your hands
- Attention to detail
- Strength to lift wood
What tools do you need to get started with woodworking?
Like any other hobby, there is no end to how much money you can spend on tools.
However, I would recommend that you start with these few essential tools:
- Circular saw – to make straight cuts on lumber or plywood.
- Jigsaw – to make curved cuts and for cutting out interior shapes.
- Power drill – to drill holes and drive screws
- Orbital sander – to sand the final work.
You should also add these essential items to your list-
- Carving tools
- Hand saw
- Wood burner
- Wood finish
- Wood glue
These necessary tools will cost you less than $200, and you can do basic projects using these tools.
As you progress and your skills improve, you can purchase more tools to make more complex products.
You can also get hold of some items like wood, staining rags, and old tools for free.
Yes, there are plenty of places where you can find free wood for your woodworking projects.
These include –
- Your backyard
- Beaches (driftwood)
- Ask friends and neighbors to search their property (old barns and structures) for unused wood pieces.
- Old and discarded furniture
- Free Facebook groups
- Wood pallets
- Old doors and windows
- Fallen branches
Where can you buy wood for woodworking projects?
If you are a beginner woodworker, you should buy wood that is ready to be finished.
Rough lumber is not straight or square, and the board faces have a rough finish. It would be best if you opted for surfaced or S4 lumber.
Many lumber stores have some S4 lumber, but you will have to pay a higher price for it. Lowes and Home Depot also have s4 lumber in hardwood and common softwoods like Poplar and Pine.
You can also work with framing lumber, which is readily available at hardware stores. You can use 2X4s and 2X4s to make rustic furniture.
How can I make money from woodworking at home?
You can make money woodworking from home, but you must consider a few things to make things run smoothly.
Here are the steps to follow to make money woodworking from home –
1. Make sure you have all the required permits
You can’t just set up your business at home by hanging up a sign on the door.
Talk to your attorney to make sure that you have all the required permits and licenses and that you adhere to all the local, state, and federal regulations.
Many house owners’ associations do not permit residents to run home-based businesses. Make sure you can operate from home in your neighborhood.
2. Make sure you have the right mindset for woodworking
Woodworking is hard work. You need the strength and the stamina to work with heavy tools and wood.
Woodworking all by yourself in your garage can also be quite lonely. If you are an outgoing personality, it may take a toll on your mental health.
Take up this business only if you do not mind working alone for long hours.
3. Plan for a financial reserve
If you want to make money woodworking, you must first plan for a financial reserve.
This will help you cover the initial expenses and tide you over the time till you start making money from your projects.
A financial reserve will also help you in emergencies like losing a job or if your business’s income stops suddenly.
4. Make a business plan
Every business, whether big or small, needs a business plan. You have a much higher chance of failing in your business if you don’t have a plan.
Some of the things that you must include in your woodworking business plan include –
- Your goals
- Types of woodworking projects to sell
- Marketing methods
5. Decide what kinds of products you want to sell
There are hundreds of woodworking products that you can make. But you must start with a few products and perfect them.
If you are just starting with woodworking, you need to be realistic about your skills. Ask your friends what they are interested in the most. Smaller products can be made faster and can be shipped easily.
Bigger high-end wooden products can take longer to make but can also fetch you more money. Consider all these aspects before you make your decision.
6. Build a portfolio
If you already enjoy working with wood, you may have some projects that you can share.
If you do not have any projects or products to show, it is a good idea to build a few.
Take good quality pictures of your work, share them with your friends, or display them on social media.
7. Decide where you want to sell your work
Whether you want to open a brick-and-mortar store or sell your creations online, the choice is up to you.
There are a lot of websites that sell woodworking products. We will discuss all the options, both online and offline, later in this post.
Can you make good money woodworking?
The amount of money that you can make from woodworking depends on the products that you are selling.
If you have just started with woodworking, you should probably stick to simple projects. They may not pay you well but will help you develop the right skills for complex projects.
Easy woodworking projects to make money woodworking
Here are a few simple projects you can make and sell for a profit.
1. Blanket ladder
A blanket ladder is a great project if you are just starting with woodworking.
It is basically only two pieces of wood with wooden dowels used as rungs to hold blankets.
They require very little material and few tools. They look great and photograph well.
2. Floating shelves
Floating shelves are simple to construct.
You need a few pieces of wood, screws, nails, paint, or wood stain to finish the project.
They are quick and easy to make and can be customized according to your customer’s needs.
3. Tealight holders
Tealight holders look pretty and are easy to make.
You will need a beautiful piece of wood, cut it in half and carve out the tealight dimensions that you want to place in it.
4. Rustic signs
You can make rustic signs from pallet wood, reclaimed wood, or any other piece of wood you have lying around. You can engrave on them and customize them.
5. Coat rack
If you find a tree branch, you can turn it into an easy coat rack. Just cut the branches to an equal length and frame them together.
You can also put a base on the branch and make a standing coat rack.
Step stools are easy to make. All you need is a few slabs of wood that are cut to the right size and screws to secure them. You can add a coat of paint.
7. Wooden coasters
You need only a small piece of wood and your favorite wood stain to build a wooden coaster. You can add a coat of epoxy for extra protection.
8. Storage boxes
Wooden storage boxes are easy to build. All you need is wooden planks of the correct size, nails, and screws. You can paint the boxes in the color of your choice or add wood stain.
9. Wooden benches
Making wooden benches is a simple project. You have to figure out the right measurements and cut the wood to the correct size.
Woodworking projects that sell well
This list covers many projects that you can make and sell quickly.
Here are some of the best-selling woodworking items on the internet –
Birdhouses are popular because people love to have beautiful birds in their homes.
Birdhouses are easy to build and can be made in a few hours.
You can also customize birdhouses according to the wishes of your customers.
Bookends are popular gifts. You can make several different designs of bookends to sell.
You can use driftwood, add wood alphabets or animal shapes to the bookends to make them look unique.
3. Cedar chests
Cedar chests are popular as they are handy for storing clothes.
The oil in this wood acts as a natural insect repellent and keeps the clothes from being damaged.
4. Cutting boards
Cutting boards are popular as they are highly functional.
You can make them from a single piece of wood or alternate light and dark wood and stick them together.
5. Chicken coops
Backyard chickens are very popular.
People who keep chickens need a coop for them to stay in at night. These coops protect the chickens from predators.
6. Dog houses
Dog lovers always want the best for their pets.
So, the dog houses you make can be simple or elaborate, depending on your customer’s wants. You can also make dog beds in different sizes to accommodate all breeds.
7. Fruit bowls
Wooden fruits bowls look great. Some bowls are real works of art.
You can carve out wooden bowls from a single piece of wood or glue together wood pieces of different patterns and carve out a bowl from them.
8. Jewelry boxes
Jewelry boxes are popular as they make good gifts. You can make a simple box with a lid or a more elaborate one with drawers and a mirror on the inside.
9. Picture frames
People often look for quality frames for their pictures, diplomas, or some art they want to display.
When making picture frames, you should be open to the idea of taking custom orders.
Wooden toys are popular and timeless. You can build blocks, cars, trucks, planes, trains, and lawn bowling sets for children.
Wooden chess boards, checkers boards, and backgammon boards are popular among adults.
11. Toy Boxes
Most kids have so many toys that they do not enough space to store them. Wooden toy boxes can be used to store and protect the toys.
You can paint the toy boxes in bright colors to make them appealing to children.
12. Vertical planter boxes
These planter boxes are ideal for hanging on a wall. They work well for small backyards.
13. Wall art
Here’s a chance for you to show your creativity. There are endless designs that you can make to create wall art. People love to put wooden wall art on their walls.
Ways to make more money with woodworking
If you do not want to make these small wooden products and wondering how you can make big money woodworking at home, here are some great ideas for you:
1. Make furniture
If you have shopped for furniture lately, you must know how difficult it is to find good quality wooden furniture.
Most furniture these days is made from plastic, particle boards, plywood, or metal. You can make money by woodworking by creating quality one-of-a-kind wooden furniture pieces.
Here are some custom furniture pieces you can make and sell –
- End Tables
- Coffee Tables
- Chests of Drawers
- Outdoor furniture
Making these pieces may be time-consuming, but you can earn good money from each unique piece that you build.
2. Restore and resell
Many people sell furniture that needs minor repairs. They often do not know how to fix it or do not have the time.
You can buy these furniture pieces for very little money and repair them. You can also transform these pieces by painting them with chalk paint.
3. Think big
Another way to make money woodworking is to take on big projects like building timber frame houses.
This work obviously needs expertise, and you will have to travel. You can learn the art of building timber-framed homes if this is something that you are interested in.
4. Start a YouTube channel on woodworking
When you make a product for a customer, you can document the project step by step by making a video of the whole process.
You can also teach different woodworking techniques and review woodworking tools on your channel.
Many YouTube channel owners make a steady income from the videos that they post. This is also an excellent way for you to advertise the wooden products that you create.
How and where to sell your woodworking projects?
You may be thinking, where to finally sell your projects to make money woodworking?
Here is a list of some of the best ways to market and sell your wood pieces.
1. Partner with a local store
You can sell your wooden products by partnering with a local store. It can be a furniture store, home décor store, craft store, or a consignment store.
You can arrange with the store owner to stock your items and share the profits when the item sells.
2. Flea markets and craft fairs
Consider selling your products at a local flea market or crafts fair that gets a lot of footfalls.
You can rent a booth here and market your furniture and other wooden items.
You must choose a booth that is well placed so that more people walk in.
Also, if you have many big pieces of furniture and other items, choose a booth where you can easily transport your products.
3. Open your own store
Opening your home store gives you more freedom and independence to market and sell your woodworking projects.
You can go about this in two different ways. You can open a physical store in your neighborhood or open an eCommerce store.
Opening a physical store can be more expensive and risky. You will have to lease a space, pay for utilities and hire someone to help you out.
On the other hand, starting an eCommerce store is the more affordable option. Platforms for building online stores like Shopify and BigCommerce can be useful for you.
Etsy is a well-known marketplace for different handmade products. It has millions of shoppers and creating a shop on Etsy is also free and easy.
You can have your shop up and running here in less than an hour. The categories in which you can sell your products on Etsy include art and collectibles, toys and entertainment, wedding and party, and home and living.
You are charged a fee for every sale that you make on Etsy. You must familiarize yourself with the site’s fees, terms and conditions before getting started.
5. Facebook Marketplace
Selling on Facebook Marketplace is an excellent way to offer your woodworking projects to the masses.
All you need to do is click a great-looking picture of your finished project, write a brief description with an asking price, and you can get started for free.
You can access Facebook Marketplace from your regular Facebook account.
The only downside is that you may get many non-serious buyers who may offer much lower than your asking price here.
6. Amazon Handmade
Amazon has a separate section called Amazon Handmade, where you can sell your wooden creations.
To sell your products on Amazon, you first need to apply to be a seller. You will be able to sell only if you are accepted. The application process also involves submitting pictures of your work.
Shopify is another great option if you want to make money woodworking. You will be charged a fee whenever you sell your creations here.
You also need to pay a monthly fee to keep your shop running. This fee can range from $29 to $299.
OfferUp is an app that you can download on your smartphone. It works like Facebook Marketplace.
Many people browse OfferUp looking for great deals for their homes and offices.
Craiglist is one of the most popular online marketplaces. It may be simple compared to other online marketplaces and many people browse it daily looking for products.
Bonanza is another online marketplace with an easy-to-use interface. It offers many product categories and has been voted ‘Best overall marketplace’ by Time, CNN, and Mashable.
11. Uncommon Goods
Uncommon Goods is another online marketplace where people make and sell unique items and uncommon goods.
To sell your products here, you need to apply for each product.
The product then goes through an evaluation. If your creation passes the evaluation, you can sell it here.
You can either create an eBay store or create individual listings of your products.
eBay stores offer customization features that can help you optimize your listings. You can also use special marketing tools to direct traffic towards your listings.
How much can woodworkers make?
Some woodworkers claim they make between $1,500 and $2,000 per month in sales money.
Ultimately, it all boils down to how much you have spent on the materials and how much you will change for the finished products?
For instance, you can find a driftwood piece (free) and convert it into a unique table. You can charge $100 for it and easily pocket the money.
Similarly, you can use reclaimed wood or flip old furniture to make easy and substantial profits.
How to take your woodworking skills to the next level?
Another way to boost your profits from woodworking is by improving your woodworking skills.
When your skills improve, you can take on more complex projects and make more money.
There are many ways to polish and enhance your woodworking skills.
You can read books or watch online videos or find a mentor to teach you the finer points of woodworking.
Also, take up a course online to learn woodworking. Udemy offers many courses that range from ABC of woodworking to courses that teach you specific woodworking projects.
Final thoughts – How to make money woodworking?
I hope I have answered all your questions about woodworking.
Whether you are a beginner or a skilled woodworker, there are plenty of opportunities for you to make some money on the side.
In fact, you can also make a career in woodworking. All you need is the right skills, the correct tools, and the right place to market your goods.
I wish you all the best in your new venture!